As I’m pondering the productivity of my summer before I romp off to college, I realize (sadly) that the three reasons why I ever left my house the past three months were to eat, go to the library, and physical therapy. Figures. My summer reading book provided telltale signs that I was a true introvert at heart. I can already predict:
Fellow awkward freshman at college orientation: “So, how was your summer?”
Me: “Uh……I lived the hermit life. And I learned that colleges use powdered eggs for breakfast in the cafeteria.”
Fellow freshman: “Okay I’m going to find my normal friends now.”
Actually, I lied. If I were a real hermit I’d probably have to live on bread and water forever—which hardly constitutes a food blogger’s lifestyle. But, why, you may ask, all this full-bloated mumbo-jumbo reminiscing?
This is probably my last ever Portland restaurant blog post for a while. I’M GOING TO COLLEGE, FOLKS.
I’ve heard that Houston (home of my university) has a fantastic food scene, which gladdens my soul because otherwise I would be just a little tiffed at going to live in a hot, humid place where the mosquitos could potentially make my legs look like baby whales. Never fear! Keep following my blog as I experience diversity in the form of Texas fare!
So the subject of my last Portland post: dear old Blueplate. Blueplate is like this glorious mix of tiny old-school diner and candy store. Giant jars of Smarties, Dum-Dum lollipops, and peppermints line old shelves while patrons can sit at the counter and watch the cooks whip up their grill and soda magic. The menu mostly consists of sandwiches, burgers, salads, and specials like Grandma’s Pot Roast Tuesday.
Yes indeedy, Blueplate boasts a tickle-your-nose soda fountain. Well, soda “fountain” in the sense where there’s this little pump that spews out sparkling water and then the soda wizard pours in a flurry of syrups and whatnot to produce delicious concoctions in tall milkshake glasses.
I was delighted to discover that there existed a Chai Bomb soda. I’ve always had a soft spot for chai tea lattes. But in soda form? I admire the out-of-the-box perspective. The taste was strangely spot-on chai, complete with the strong spice flavors, and I could even argue that it exuded a brighter, spicier flavor than most chai tea lattes I’ve downed. This chai soda really helped shape my taste buds to acquire all sorts of different tastes from one flavor.
Truth be told, the highlight of the whole excursion was the mashed potatoes. Indescribable. My best friend put it perfectly: “It’s like eating French fries in mashed potato form!” And yes, it kind of is! The texture isn’t quite fluffy, it’s more of a creamier, thick look. And it’s made with good Yukon gold potatoes and screams rich buttery goodness.
Come to think of it, darn good mashed potatoes can be pretty hard to craft. I like potatoes made in a way where bits of skin are present and where the overall texture is creamy but not too creamy. Actually the snippet above about powdered eggs served at college cafeterias got me to thinking about how colleges would serve humongous heaps of mashed potatoes—don’t tell me they use powder mixes. That’s simply disgusting.
Back to Blueplate. At the time, I had a hankering for burgers but didn’t really feel like stuffing my jaw into a quarter pounder. Imagine my delight when I saw sliders on the menu! Dubbed “Northwest Sliders”, these little burgers feature delicious basil mayonnaise, Tillamook cheddar cheese, and juicy strips of bacon all crammed with tiny beef patties cooked medium style. I think that the basil spread in particular really makes Blueplate’s version of the slider unique. Two of these sliders combined with a side of mashed potatoes resulted in a surprisingly very satisfying meal.
Sometimes when I’m bored at home I like to think of fun names for my blog posts. How did I come up with Smurfplate? Well, because the plate’s blue. Duh.
Can’t wait to tell y’all about Houston’s eateries! PEACE.
“American in Paris”
Grilled cheese with tomato soup
Check out Blueplate’s website at: http://www.eatatblueplate.com/index.html
Address: 308 SW Washington St. Portland, OR 97204