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.