I started a law firm with my friends. One of them will be joining us after the first of the year. I would love it if anyone who visits the site would give me their feedback. It can be seen at CRLawGroup.com. If you have any comments or suggestions, feel free to contact me on the website or here. We are bankruptcy and consumer protection attorneys. We help people file bankruptcy in Portland, Vancouver, and the surrounding metro area. We genuinely care about the people we help, and between the three of us, we have several decades of experience. If you know anyone who needs help with a bankruptcy, please do not hesitate to contact us. We like to help!
If any person I know is ever with me when I consider going into a McMenamin’s again, please stop me. Just don’t let me do it. It won’t take much prodding. The only reason I would be considering such torture would be because I was on the verge of passing out from hunger, but even then, encourage me to find some ants or flies to tide me over. It’s not worth it. Remind me that no matter which location I go to or what time of day, the service will be so abysmal that I will want to leave something vile for the server, like a gutted chicken filled with maggots, to let them know just how rotten their service was, and that I won’t be able to do it and will end up tipping 10% or something anyway and then feel grave resentment for having done so. Let me know that the server might just as likely see a gutted, maggot-filled chicken as evidence of my love because the server is quite likely a Satan worshipper. Not much else could explain their nastiness. Maybe it’s working at McMenamin’s, but I’ve never gotten the vibe that the servers suck because of their employer. They don’t seem harried and rushed because of some evil manager or cook hiding in the back flogging them on, pushing them to move faster and thus turn over the tables more quickly. Rather, servers seem proud of their odious attitudes, conspicuous indifference, and reprehensible lack of courtesy. It’s like a badge of honor there. We customers should be grateful they bothered to meander by and notice us. We should thank our lucky stars that grease-spotted menus were left on the tables, and that if we are extra, extra nice, we might get some food-like substances tossed our way. Don’t bother asking to have it prepared as we like it, that’s not the McMenamin’s way. And definitely, definitely, definitely do not go there if you are in any semblance of a hurry. Better yet, order and drink alcohol so you won’t notice just how disgusting the food really is, covered in grease and sauce and too much cheese and peppercorn. Maybe that’s their tactic to sell alcohol. They should call the place McMeanamin’s. I can’t think of a name that adequately describes their awful bar food, but it doesn’t matter because awful bar food isn’t what makes the place special. It’s their amaranthine capacity for treating customers like shit that is McMeanamin’s real badge of honor. Any location. Any day. Any time. Expect the worst service, then multiply it by 14, and you’re about there.
In any case, please. If I won’t listen, show me this post and remind me. I beg you.
I don’t have a television, so I can’t watch the local news. It’s unfortunate. I miss out, I’m sure. I have little doubt that today I’m missing out on the STORM OF THE CENTURY!! There are pitiful snowflakes mixed with rain coming down in Portland. It’s barely at freezing and there isn’t enough precipitation to create any snow of any substance, but I’ll bet anything the local news stations have camped out at the highest elevations, looking for that razor thin layer of snow to indicate it’s sticking and a tiny flurry of flakes in order to justify standing outside in their perfectly matched snow bunny outfits to warn us all about the STORM OF THE CENTURY!! They probably also found some moron who drove too fast on a curve and whacked into a tree to warn us just how “dangerous it is out there, Bob, and back to you.” And back at the station, “Yes, be very careful. This storm will cause very dangerous conditions. Very dangerous. The world is full of danger. Watch out. Don’t go out.” It must be thrilling for the local newscasters to live in a state where snow is a major news item. They’d poop their drawers if anything ever really did happen. I guess they would be prepared.
I love the Cameo Cafe (8111 NE Sandy Boulevard). It’s kitschy, small, and in a sort of odd location, but the food is delicious and the prices can’t be beat. They always use fresh ingredients. They are only open during the day until 3, so breakfast seems to be the main thing for them, but they also have a delicious lunch menu.
Their specialty is a bread called Strong Bread. I’m not sure why it’s called that. Next time I go in I will ask. It is covered in poppyseeds, and buttery yummy. It is hard to resist. If you’re on a bread-free diet, don’t go there or at least make sure they don’t bring this bread to your table or you’ll be off your diet.
They have a salmon salad covered in fresh veggies and spinach. The salmon is generous and always cooked to perfection. I haven’t been to many restaurants, especially one like this that looks like a truck stop diner, that cooks salmon so well (see the next review I’m planning to do on Koji, for a place that can’t cook salmon).
The decor is odd, but it is unique and fun–sort of garage sale meets diner. For instance, there is a carousel about a foot and a half tall, with lights on it, that sits in the corner, spinning away as you eat. There are photos of Miss Oregon all over the doors. There are fake plants in various locations. The chairs are these metal things with heart-shaped backs. There is a long dining counter and tables along the wall. There is outside seating on the patio and a chicken coop near the front entrance by the street with cute chickens inside.
The service has always been splendid when I’ve been there. All the servers chip in to help. The service is definitely a big reason I like going to this place. If they had terrible service, it wouldn’t be as fun. The place is too small for grousy servers.
I recommend Cameo Cafe. It’s got personality. It’s not the biggest place in the world, so it isn’t the place to go if you’ve got a big party, but fun for a few.
This blog needs something. It’s crapped out in the last year. Gone from a trickle to a drip. Part of it is that I don’t really feel like working out my own bs here anymore. I thought I did. I started doing that again a while back, but it felt weird. The other big reason is that I have an infant and work and having an infant is s full-time job in and of itself without the addition of a job outside the home. Plus, sad but true, I must not be such a full blown artist devoted to my writing because given the opportunity to sleep, I choose sleep, every time. Today I specifically set my alarm to get up earlier to write, so I suppose there might be hope for me yet, but it’s dicey. I have even toyed with the idea of shutting this blog down, but then where would everyone go to bitch about Pure Med Spa, Brite Smile, et al?
So in an effort to breathe new life into the thing, I’m going to use it to post my non-foody opinion about restaurants in Portland and nearby. I eat out way too much, why not use it for something more than a hit on my pocketbook? It can be creative inspiration. Then someday if I ever get enough reviews, I’ll make them into a pamphlet for no one to read. I plan to change the look of the blog too, when I can find the time, but for now, this is it.
First review: The Tin Shed, NE 14th and Alberta, in Portland.
The Tin Shed is my daughter’s favorite restaurant, namely because patrons can bring their dogs if they decide to sit on the outside porch. I give The Tin Shed high marks for service. Nearly every time I have gone there the service has been impeccable. I say nearly because once I went there and had a server who visited our table maybe once after taking the initial order, but that was an anomaly.
Last night I ate there with my two daughters (age 9 months and 11 years), my mom, my three-year-old niece, and my dog. The service was fantastic. I’m not sure if this is a regular feature of the restaurant, but it seems like I always get a primary server, and then everyone else really helps out. This was definitely the case last night. We never had to want for drink refills or anything. The server brought the children their food as soon as it was ready, which was great considering the three-year-old wanted to climb on the table and baby was starting to grab everything in sight.
Immediately upon being seated, the server brought our dog a bowl of water. She spilled it minutes later, but the service was still canine thoughtful.
Oregon had 100 degree weather for about five minutes, then as is often the case here, it got cold again (I think it is about 60 degrees out right now). We were seated out on the patio because of the dog (doggie customers must sit at patio seating), and the wind started to blow. We asked management to turn on the heater above our table. They did so, which led to patrons at other tables asking for their heaters to be turned on. The patio toasted up nicely. The server also pointed us to a closet filled with blankets we could use. Now that’s cool (or warm, as the case may be). We were all snuggled up at our table in blankets under a heater in July. Good, old climate change.
The food was delicious. I particularly like a dish called Baby Beluga. There isn’t any beluga in it. It’s rice, avocados, spinach, raisins, and a few other vegetables, with a yellow curry sauce. I get the sauce on the side because it has a pretty good spice kick and I’m a wimp, but on the side, I can tolerate it just fine in smaller amounts.
The children each ordered noodles with butter and Parmesan. The Parmesan was the real stuff, not that powdery, disgusting crap. The noodles were swirly, which the children loved. Good stuff. Mom had the stack sandwich. My daughter’s dad has gotten that before and both he and my mom give it rave reviews.
I only have one small complaint. Our table was next to the entrance, and up on a curb. I tripped on the curb sitting at the table, and my mom actually tripped and fell backwards about five feet into the planter behind her. If she had been holding my baby, both of them could really have been hurt. The host said there was supposed to be a planter there. I suggest they return it there pretty immediately, or they might have a lawsuit on their hands. It’s really quite dangerous.
Actually, I take it back. I have another complaint, although it did not apply last night. Any time I have eaten indoors, the music has been too loud. When music is so loud that conversation is difficult, it’s too loud. Restaurant lately seem to like to play music really loudly. I personally hate this. I find it extremely distracting. I never like it. If I wanted to go to a disco, I would go to a disco. I do not like to shout to my dinner companions, and if I’m eating alone, I like to read, and I don’t like reading in a disco. Perhaps I’m alone in this, but I can’t stand it, and it is one reason I have passed up The Tin Shed on occasion. Other than that and the unsafe curb table, I really like the place and recommend it.
The Benson Hotel in Portland, Oregon has decided to stop playing live music. They gave the musicians who had been playing there for years one day notice. Not long before they had installed a flat-screen television in the bar. I guess sports or Fox News is preferable to any sort of culture. Nothing like treating the people well who worked for you for years. You never comped meals or parking, I guess there actions should not come as a surprise.
We still do not have the internets. We are expecting the installation Friday. I am really looking forward to having the internet at home. I have so much stuff to post here, plus TONS of work to complete for my scholarship application to Columbia and Milla’s application to the Waldorf School here. I have been hanging out at Starbucks, starting the process, figuring out what information is needed, heading back home, finding the information in all the boxes of crap, making another trip down, and on and on, so it goes. The deadline is Saturday at midnight, so the internets better be hooked up Friday or I’m screwed, that’s just all there is to it. I’ve been trying to get all the stuff together, but certain pages will not let you access them until you have entered information on the previous page. So I gather that info, enter it, am allowed access to the next page, only to discover I need another 20 years’ worth of crap. So much fun. Um, not really. I also have a bunch of blog posts, and a photo journal from our trip to post, but those things will have to happen after the financial aid apps are done. I guess my February work is cut out for me.
Update: So my boyfriend spoke to one of the lead musicians today. It turns out that while the Benson decision to dump the musicians with one day’s notice was poorly timed, their reasons came from critical money problems. The hotel has operated at 20 percent and below capacity all year. Their bar costs more to operate than it brings in. They are suffering economically. To cut a $400 a night operation seemed a necessity. Plus they are in talks to bring the musicians back as soon as they can afford to. I get it–they couldn’t afford it. I just wish they would have given the players the two weeks’ notice they were contractually obligated to supply.
I’m learning how to be. I’m seem always to be failing at it. Maybe I need to change my standards. I don’t know.
Last night was infiinitely better than yesterday. I finally opened my mouth to the man I love and once we started speaking, things were better. I find it odd to have roles reversed for me in this relationship. In the past I was the one prodding and speaking and working to make the other say something. I have now become the one who clams up. Weird, this.
We cleaned the house and decorated for Christmas last night. Then we wrapped too many gifts. The gifts are small, but we have quite a few of them to hand out so there was a lot to wrap. It’s satisfying that it is done.
Portland is buried in snow. The city does nothing when it snows like this. I find it completely frustrating. I just left Boulder, Colorado, where it snows like this all the time. The city plows the roads, puts down gravel, and gets on with it. Portland just turns stupid. We went to the mall today with a friend. While there a customer service person at Ross accosted us upon walking in the door, WE’RE CLOSING! We’re closing in TWO MINUTES!! He was frantic. This was four hours before the store was scheduled to close. God forbid anyone is open past dark. None of the stores salt or gravel their walks. It’s slick, but not unmanageable. I don’t get it. People keep saying it is because no one here is used to it. I say that argument is bunk. People are from everywhere these days. We drive in rain in Oregon; we can drive in snow if we so desire. It would help a lot if the city actually did something productive like scrape and sand more roads, but to stop everything is ridiculous. We did not even get mail today.
I have a wretched bladder infection. Can you believe tha when I called my doctor. The office was closed…of course, it’s snowing! Who goes to the doctor in the snow? Foolish me to expect otherwise. So the message at the office claimed it would forward me to the answering service. Guess what? The answering service never answered. I called and called. No answer. I guess it’s too hard to answer the phone in the snow too. Let’s hope it isn’t true that the climate is changing so drastically that snow will be a norm here. If so, Portland might disappear considering no one can function when it snows here.
So today we are comfortably ensconced in our warm house. I am grateful for the warmth in our home. We are packing and getting ready for our big trip across country. I’m kind of scared, but excited too. It’s a big step. I hope our apartment works out. It’s big by apartment standards, but so small in many ways. The kitchen is wretchedly small. There isn’t even a counter. We’re going to have to create our own. Anyway, it feels better when I consider the prospect with Boyfriend, but I’m still sort of freaking out about fitting it all in and wanting to get the goods at Ikea to make it all fit. We don’t have a lot of extra cash lying around. Certain things simply will not work without Ikea to help us. Yikes. We’ll work it out. I will definitely be glad when we are on the other side of the move and have actually had to do it rather than just think about it. Soon enough. For now, Christmas awaits. Santa is coming to see Milla. The tree is up. Snow is falling. It should be lovely.
I don’t have an umbrella. I used to have one, a really nice one. But over time it must have worn out because one day, the button to open it stopped working. Then on another it turned inside out in the wind and came detached from the metal skeleton giving it its shape. I have not been able to find another one that I like. I do not want to get a long umbrella, even though those kind provide a great deal of coverage. But lugging one around…Ugh! I want a pocket umbrella, the kind that folds up nicely. Only I could not find one that wasn’t just boring black or navy blue. I have kept looking; not actively looking, but noticing whenever I’ve seen umbrellas for sale. I haven’t found one I like and don’t have one. Here it is January in one of the wettest years I can remember, and I’ve slugged it out in a hat, keeping my collar up and often wearing a scarf and a hoodie.
Then yesterday, I was reading Willamette Week, a weekly paper here in Portland, and saw an article about Portlanders who refuse to use umbrellas. The author postulates that us non-umbrella Portlanders carry no umbrella out of some anti-umbrella solidarity and animosity towards this wet protection device. We are from Oregon! We do not need an umbrella! We will wear our hoodies as a testament to our city! He then encourages us to give up this foolish non-umbrella obsession and go get one, for Christ’s sake. We are even provided with a list of local retailers selling umbrellas for reasonable prices. How convenient and thoughtful!
I am here to tell the author of that article that he misses the point on the lack of umbrellas in Oregon. It isn’t that we take some bizarre pride in going it wet. Not at all! We just live in a grey, dismal, rainy place. It is grey here like 10 months out of the year. We don’t want to go hiking through the grey carrying a boring black or navy umbrella. We want color! But we don’t want to have to carry around some three and a half foot long sword to get it. I mean, I know fencing is popular here, but we don’t go around screeching “En Garde!” and poking our neighbors. Instead of exhorting Portlanders to stop their maniacal unwillingness to use umbrellas, he should be urging umbrella manufacturers to make prettier umbrellas! And of course, they have to be affordable. I saw this fantastic colorful orange and yellow pocket umbrella in NW Portland. Sixty dollars. Sixty dollars! Are they f-ing kidding me? I may as well carry around sixty dollars and toss it on the ground because umbrellas get lost. It’s a fact. I’m not paying sixty dollars for an umbrella, no matter how cute it is.
So since the author missed his chance in his article to tell the umbrella manufacturers to make affordable color umbrellas, let me take this opportunity. Please. I promise Portlanders will use umbrellas if you follow these three simple guidelines: Affordable, folds to go in a purse or pocket, and COLORFUL!! This last is the most important.