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Timewarp: Our Last Night in Portland

July 1, 2007

Alibi SmallIf you go to Portland, friends, as you have been directed, you must spend at least one evening doing the following:

Grab dinner at the fabulous Mexican taqueria on Mississippi Ave called, ?Por Que No? This place is kind of yuppified, located in the burgeoning hip neighborhood of North Portland.  But it’s incredible.  It’s a California style taqueria, serving up very fresh and local meats and veggies as the Portland tradition demands.  Our margaritas were stellar, but I would not recommend the sangria.  Although I’m not much a sangria fan in general, this version did not have enough of the spicy kick to offer one who wants a respite from the sugary wine juice I have come across at other places, mostly in the Southeast.  I ordered a fish taco, which featured local cod, fresh and lightly breaded, and was graced with a homemade salsa, avocado, cebollas (onions), cilantro, and of course, a healthy dash of lime.  They also do their own carne asada and other roasted meats in house, and I was pleased with the pork taco I Alibi SmallAlibi Smallordered, but I thought the fish was superior.  Anyway, at this point my company and I were well lubricated, full, and happy amidst the brightly painted indoor/outdoor neighborhood establishment.  Onward!

 Our next stop was the famous Pix Patisserie.  Follow this link to the beautiful food, and the even more beautiful chefs and servers who will helpfully guide you through indulgences beyond your wildest imagination.  I understand Pix Patisserie is now a local chain throughout Portland, but I found the one located on North Mississippi to be breathtakingly gorgeous.  The walls reminded me of a Bordello featured in the 90’s TV show, Twin Peaks, and spread out like an open invitation for this diner to run her fingers along the burgundy velvet, thus commencing the five-sense onslaught of delight.  The bakery case was exactly what I imagined Alice in Wonderland would eat when she was small: brightly colored, perfectly ordered sweets in beautifully petite packaging.  The cleverly named desserts reflect the soul of each sweet perfectly, engaging us with names like “Shazaam!” and “Incognito.”  Aptly named, because after eating here, I sure do believe in magic.  Don’t leave without trying the homemade “gumdrops,” made with real fruit in flavors such as blueberry, pear, blackberry and apricot.  The accompanying cappucino was devine and prepared us well for the last leg of the evening,

 The Alibi.   The AlibiAlibi SmallAlibi Small

This real, honest-to-goodness tiki bar is one of the oldest establishments in Portland and has not changed a bit since it opened in the 1950’s.  The seats were cushy pleather, the crazy, mismatched lanterns hanging from the ceiling were straight out of a vintage shop, and the drinks were fruity.  We sampled the “Blue Hawaiian,” the “Pirates of the Caribbean,” the “Strawberry Smash,” and of course, the “Pina Colada.”  These drinks were well frozen and substantial, adorned with umbrellas, cherries, and other tropical fruits.  And every night is kareoke night.   Fun abounded, and from what I remember, this place is heavenly.  Some damn good singers, too.  I think I met a couple of future American Idle (mispelled on purpose, for once) contestants.  Plenty of Queen covers and a rousing rendition of “Rainbow Connection.”  Portland, you have my heart. 

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