Tag Archives: rose gardens

Just A Bite

Portland is cold, and we are broke.

So today Yean and I made another excursion to the Rose Test Garden, which is free (free!) and very pretty. It’s rare that I end up in the 23rd-ish area of Portland, which is a shame because Ken’s Artisan Bakery, my favorite bakery in Portland, is there. On our way down Burnside to Washington Park this exchange occurred:

YEAN: Oh, aren’t we near Ken’s?

EMMY: Omg, yes.

(moment of silence)

YEAN: You wanna swing by there?

EMMY: OMG YES. I mean, I am a bit peckish.

YEAN: (makes wild right onto 21st.)

I always tell people Ken’s makes the best croissants in Portland. I have not sampled all the croissants in Portland (though that would be an AWESOME THING TO DO) but I do know that Ken’s bakes theirs nice and dark, which is not common! You know those anemic Costco-type croissants that are all floppy and pale? I know, I’d totally still eat them too, but to me the proper way to bake a croissant is nice and dark, helped along with a healthy egg wash. It gets all nice and flaky, but still stays chewy and yeasty in the middle. Basically, if you’re not making a huge crumby mess when you eat it, you’re doing it wrong.

And yes, my hand is that tiny and cute. It’s a gift.

Yean got a morning bun, which reminds me of the ones I used to bring her  from Grace Baking and La Farine in Oakland. It’s a Bay Area staple, but in Portland they do it a bit different. Is that raw sugar I spot on the outside?

Yean says there was some sort of lemon zest mixture in the middle, but I can’t confirm that. I didn’t try it.

When it comes to pastries, we don’t share. We’re cruel like that.


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Call Your Mother

Mommy was in town last week.

Some people don’t like the word “mommy.” Some people, I’d even say, are sickened by it. But I feel all right using the word at 24 because a) it’s not that unusual in Asian families, b) I’m pretty comfortable with my level of independence from my mother, and c) If I stopped now, I’d break my mother’s heart. Well, that’s not fair. My mom’s a hearty sort of woman; I’m sure she’d understand. But to me, she’s Mommy. I can refer to her as “my Mom” to other people, but on the rare occasion when I get to see her, she’s Mommy. Name: Mommy. Occupation: Mom. She also has a real name and occupation, but look at her. She’s just so dang cute.

Such a Mommy.

So the first thing we did, of course, was take her to Mother’s Bistro, a restaurant in downtown Portland. I hate that I like this place so much. It’s big, it’s in the middle of the city, and you can always see the chefs taking a smoke break when you’re waiting for a table. I hate that. I had a teacher in school who refused to enter Jake’s Grill downtown for this same reason. But the food at Mother’s is so, so good. The egg dishes are gorgeous. The biscuits and gravy is rich and meaty. And they make an eggs benedict that jiggles like an angel’s boobies. I don’t even care about the nicotine-sucking cooks (like RIGHT OUTSIDE THE DOOR). They make a bangin’ hollandaise.

I have to try very, very hard not to get biscuits and gravy every time. Or eggs benedict. But I’m also in love with this stuffed fritata, which is essentially an omelet with broiled cheese on top.

The next day, we went to the Rose Gardens in Washington Park. I’ve actually never been before, despite the fact that I used to live one MAX stop away from it.

I took a lot of pictures. A LOT. And it was very bright, so I couldn’t quite see what I was doing. But some of them came out okay! Actually, most of them. I guess you can’t go wrong with pretty roses.

Let me tell you, that place is huge. If it wasn’t for the fact that we’d just gone to the Japanese gardens and at that point were severely hungry, I could’ve wandered around for hours. Did you know there’s a Julia Child rose?

And a Karl Lagerfeld one?

All in all it was a nice way to spend the afternoon. And it felt fitting. Roses for Mommy, because she’s awesome. Even though she’s not fond of receiving flowers, and also I think it’s illegal to bring Oregon plants into California. As I am writing this she’s just called my sister and told her that she’s home safe, even though she couldn’t sleep in her hotel last night because the woman in the room next door was making loud sex noises.

That’s my Mommy. I miss her already.


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