Wednesday, November 26, 2014

I am taking a break from my dollhouse for the winter, but I think I have finally finished the herbology room.  If  anyone wants to take a peek, click here;  MY MINIATURE WITCH HOUSE

Monday, November 3, 2014

It is a well known fact that I love Halloween.  I don't just love Halloween in October, I live it all year.  People often ask me when my love of the morbid began, as if it is a defect that must be traced and cannot be allowed to happen again.

This year, my fascination with witches, vampires, goblins and ghouls finally brought me to New Orleans for Halloween. The days flew by in a fury of gators, gumbo and fangs.  I plan on adding more New Orleans photos to this post as the weeks go by.  These entries will be mostly photos.  Pictures speak louder than words, especially when you are talking about a six- foot man in a vinyl jumpsuit.

Let us begin on the last evening of the trip at the Endless Night Vampire Ball.  This event is held yearly, the weekend after Halloween.  It has been touted as the best Halloween party in the world.  This year's theme was a mixture of Victorian and Oriental.  Most of the attendees stuck to this theme.  I was shocked at the work most of these folks put into their costumes. Father Sebastiaan, the world renowned fangsmith was booked for weeks previous to the ball!  "No more appointments!", his website blared. 

I would say that about 80% of these folks were excited to be at the ball, but I am convinced that the other 20% really fancied themselves actual bloodsuckers at a yearly convention. Scary!

For a better view, click on each photo.  That means you, Mom :)

This photo does not do her stunning costume justice.

Most folks were pretty nice about having their photos taken, but this guy in vinyl was not having it.

This couple was simply stunning and very friendly.

These costumes were made of ivory satin and flowed all the way to the floor.  Her dress featured hand applied cherry blossoms.  Lovely!

Yikes, it is me!  I am not sure I like that guy who is looking over my shoulder.
 "What exactly have you gotten us into?"

I was sorry this photo came out so dark.  The girl in pearls was lovely and the girl on the right has some pretty amazing fangs.

These two were on their honeymoon.  Yeah, I have to admit I was a bit surprised too.

The ladies on the left really followed through with the Oriental theme, with beautiful results.

Vampire dancers on stage, fangs and all.

The finalists in the female costume competition.

This was an odd blood letting ceremony on the stage.  I didn't ask, because I didn't want to know.

Finalists in the male costume competition. Check out the dude on the far left.  He was intense. 

Just a few vampires, hanging out and having fun.


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Halloween and Ice Cream in Portland

Looking for a sweet treat besides candy on Halloween?  Try out the meal worm sundae at the Peculiarium. I took this photo last year when I visited this highly amusing Portland shop near NW 23rd.  Krampus looked on while I enjoyed my vanilla ice cream topped with "blood" and meal worms.  The no longer wiggly fellows tasted remarkably like potato chips.

There are only a few days left in October to try the Dracula's Blood Pudding and Candy Corn ice cream at Salt & Straw.  Soon the quirky Halloween flavors will turn to ones containing the likes of turkey and cranberry sauce.  Trust me, the October specials are exquisite. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Where to eat? Here are some ideas.

The danger in compiling a list of the restaurants I have tried is the realization that I have spent way too much money dining out.  It also clues me in to why I will never again be a size four.  Never. Again.

But I am going to give myself a break. Fabulous food is my one vice and after all,  I have been adding to this list willy-nilly for over seven years.  If you want more info on any of these establishments, let me know.  I will keep the descriptions below to a minimum. 

The *** indicates a favorite.  

This post is a work in progress.

Tempura Spam musubi!

Belmont Station 

Beer, beer and more beer***


Big Ass Sandwiches
The name says it all! (FC)

B J Brewery 

Bob's Red Mill Restaurant

Breakside Brewery 
The best blue cheese fries, EVER! ***

Wonderful Scandinavian fare, but oh the wait....

Bunk Sandwiches***

Please try the pork belly sandwich and don't forget a side of pickles!


Vancouver, WA - Fish tacos! 

Cadillac Cafe

Christopher's Gourmet Grill

RIP-Please come back!*********

City State Diner ***
Great brunch spot with a very short wait. I don't enjoy the lunch quite as much, but the weekend benedict choices are superb.

The Country Cat

Cultured Cave Man
(FC- Mostly good when you are doing Paleo)

Deschutes Brewery

Dick's Kitchen 
Delicious burgers and baked fries - Paleo friendly too ***

Drina Daisy 

Bosnian dining in Astoria - Ohhh, the lamb!***

The EastBurn

El Tapatio
Pretty standard

Enjoni Cafe
Authentic African buffet 

Equinox Restautant
Take advantage of their Groupons. They never act fussy about it.***

Fire on the Mountain
Sweet potato tots and buffalo blue cheese wraps. Fried Nutter Butters too! Don't forget the banana ketchup. ***

Franks Noodle House
Franks Noodle House (House made noodles and jelly fish salad***

Ginger Pop Thai 
Vancouver, WA - Best wings in the PNW! Try the tofu fries and chili jam too. Great Tuesday beer specials

Huge yummy brunch with a wait.  Across the street is an old timey barber shop where you can get your beard trimmed and enjoy a whiskey.


Delicious Lebanese options

Hair of the Dog Brewery
Try the charcuterie plate and a beer or two, or three.....

Oh how I love eels and rice! ***

Happy Sparrow Cafe 
The kolache sells out fast so get there early

Henry's Tavern 
A bit too pricey for what you get, but that's just my opinion.

Horse Brass Pub
Traditional British pub fare and a HUGE beer selection

House of Louis
Delicious dim sum and warm duck egg porridge

Hopworks Brewery
Beer, beer and oh yeah, food too

Hipster breakfast haunt- Normally good food, but I find it inconsistent. Be prepared for a wait.

The Jerusalem Cafe
Vancouver, WA - Mediterranean near Cinetopia

Karam Restaurant
Great Lebanese and Syrian entrees, but the dessert and Turkish coffee are my favorites.

Kell's Irish Pub

Killer Burger
Why no photos, Gayle?? I have enjoyed at least a million of their peanut bacon peanut butter burgers! ******

Koi Fusion
I've heard that this food cart is not consistent. That makes me sad because I have enjoyed more than one bulgogi burrito with kimchi rice.

Kornblatt's Deli (HUGE meals, giant bagels)

Lapellah (Vancouver, WA - Wonderful happy hour and homemade desserts. But how to say the name.....?) ***

Lardo (Dirty fries with pork cracklins. Yeah you heard me right.  Also try their fresh fruit marquritas.) ***


Laughing Planet (Trying to eat a healthy diet? Fine, if you must)

Laurelwood (Standard brewery menu but great beer!)

Lompoc Brewery 

Lucky Lab Brewery*** 

Lucky Strike (Spicy pig entrails taste better than they sound. Great choice before a show at the Hawthorne Theater.)

Makoto Japanese Buffet (Vancouver, WA) 

Mc Menamins (Multiple Locations) 

McCormick & Schmicks

le BistroMontage (Great brunch menu and no wait!  Their Bloody Mansons and fresh squeezed juice are amazing. That choice is not easy, but booze and Spam often wins.) ***

Namaste (Vancouver, WA - Best Indian food you will ever eat) ***

Namu (FC-Great food, but a 45 minute wait at flood cart is not a good thing.)

Nong's (A family tradition) *********

Observatory (Great cheese plate)

Ocean City
Ocean City (Best dim sum in PDX ******

Pambiche (Cuban Fare with a quirky ambiance)


Patrick's Hawaiian Grill (Overpriced Hawaiian in Vancouver, WA.  You call that laulau?  My daughter's Spam musubi than theirs.)

Petite Provence (French dining and an array of pastries to go) ***

Petra House (Vancouver, WA  - Amazing authentic Mediterranean menu.  Does not serve alcohol but they wash your hands in rose water.) 

Pho Green Papaya (Vancouver, WA- Great choice on a rainy day)***

Pied Cow (Fun spot for happy hour on Hawthorne.  Don't be alarmed when you see a leg on the wall. It is all in fun.)***

Podnah's Pit

PoShines Soulfood & BBQ

Potato Champion (FC) 

Pyro Pizza (FC)

Queen of Sheba
Authentic Ethiopian on MLK)

Radar Restaurant
Brunch on Mississippi - It is difficult to choose Radar when Gravy is right next door.

Random Order Coffee House
Bourbon pecan pie, salted caramel apple pie, fluffy banana cream pie; the list goes on and on. Enjoy it best with a hot Irish coffee ***

Amazing chicken liver pate

Gooey fondue and fun atmosphere, but make a reservation!

Rock Fire Pizza
Vancouver, WA - Fun rock and roll ambiance.  The pizza ain't bad either. Try the Bat Outta Hell pizza with a plastic pail full of booze or jello shots in a syringe.

Russell Street BBQ
Pricey for barbecue, but it tastes good.

Salt & Straw Ice Cream
Monthly specials galore and delicious favorites.  This one is full of  Lucky Charms! ******

Salvador Molly's
Pirates love this place.

Wicked good Mexican food. Be warned, they share their bathroom with Mary's Strip Club.  It's fine as long as you remember a tip for the dancer. Great choice after the Winter Ale Fest.***

Sapphire Hotel (Formerly a brothel, now a cocktial lounge with lots of food options such as the perfect cheese plate.)

Screen Door ( Southern cooking - Try the chicken & waffles! Sad to say, I cannot eat the whole thing.) ****** 

Shut Up & Eat (Needless warning because I was too busy eating. Don't ask Siri to locate this place for you, she will assume you are being rude.)***

Sizzle Pie (Vegan pizza choices along with some quirky types of pie)

Stepping Stone (Try to finish a mancake, I dare you.  Be ready for a wait if you decide to go for brunch. But it is worth it.)***

Sushi Chiyo (Conveyor belt sushi in Vancouver)***

Sweet Basil Thai (Not open for lunch on weekends.)

Sweet Tomato (Buffet where you pay extra for the protein)

Syun Izakaya (The BEST sushi in the Portland area. Well worth the drive to Hillsboro. Try the Chef's Pick, you can't go wrong.) *****

Tabor Tavern (Daily specials you won't find anywhere else. Try the fish and chips with minted peas or the Tabor Burger with bacon jam.  They offer their jam in a jar to go too.) ******

Tasty n Sons (Delicious original menu items. The ingredients in these dishes taste like they were just harvested.)***

The Roxy (Bloggers tend complain about the service, but we have never had any problems.  Perky they are not, but I don't go out to eat to be fawned over by the wait staff.  Fun food choices all times of day and night.

Tin Shed Garden Cafe (Brunch choices called Everything Naughty, Everything Nice, Tummy Warmer and Belly Teaser, all of which are delicious.  They have a menu for your pup as well. Be ready for a wait though.)***

Toji Korean Grill House

Tommy O's (More overpriced Hawaiian in Vancouver. Do I sense a theme?)

Toro Bravo (Not just a meal, an experience.  Please choose the prix fixe menu. Surprises are always fun, especially here.)***

Veritable Quandry (Pricey but a good pre-theater eatery)

Voodoo Doughnut  (The Magic is in the Hole and the line is long on weekends)

Wet Dog Brewery (Astoria Brew pub with phenomenal food)***

Whiskey Soda Lounge (Sure the food is good, but $60.00 for a few drinks and appetizers....eh, maybe not when there are so many other good options.

Whole Bowl (FC - The perfect weekday lunch)

Wild Abandon (Wonderful brunch with no wait)

Woody's (Vancouver, WA - Fresh margaritas, no mix! Fish tacos and ww torillas.  This place is a hole in wall with phenomenal mexican dishes.)

Zilla Sake House
On the sushi order slip, just write on the bottom how much you would like to spend per person.  You'll thank me! The sushi arrives one beautiful piece at a time. Each plate is a work of art.)***