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I just got scolded for going radio silent for a few days.

But Brother was here and we had serious business to attend to. We had to EAT! and eat we did! Tour d’Portland commenced Friday lunch at a local landmark, Nicholas Restaurant. I knew the Mezza for 3 would be more than enough for 4 of us, but then we had leftovers to nibble on the next day. They start you out with a big bread (think the world’s largest pita) and then bring out food. When you think you are full, they bring more food.

Friday Dinner was one of my favorites, Apizza Scholls. If you go with the expectation of a slightly snooty experience and maybe feeling a tad rushed then you’ll be fine. Portland has a few pizza feuds and this hails at the top (depending on where you sit). I am firmly in the Apizza Scholls camp. I have never been disappointed, but I have also never been one of the folks who have waited all evening just to be told they just ran out of dough (they only make 100 a day). A rustic, artisan thin crust pizza. Heaven as far as I’m concerned. We got half Margherita and half Amore (Margherita topped with Hot capicollo -cured pork shoulder). We decided the capicolla made the pizza.

Saturday morning started with me spending an incredible amount of time on the phone with comcast to get ESPN for 2 days. Brother is a man who knows what he wants and it’s called G-O-L-F. We then followed the comcast experience with a home-style (what we call home) breakfast from Miss Kate’s Southern Kitchen food cart on North Mississippi Ave. A fella who hails from Vicksburg (as do I) made the most incredible biscuits and BACON gravy. It went from beautiful work of art to empty in mere seconds! Of course, I had to try the fried chicken. Good crisp skin and a biscuit with a hint of syrup.

We had an incredible dinner on Saturday at Portland City Grill and I discovered a new Oregon Pinot. I had the braised beef short ribs that just melted in my mouth. Seared yellowfin tuna with an incredible house made mustard got raves around the table. Brother got a pork shank that was out standing. There wasn’t a morsel left on our table when we were through.

Sunday Breakfast at Ned Ludd was good. While I have cows adorning my kitchen, they have chickens everywhere. A rustic restaurant that was described by one at our table as feeling like sitting on grandmother’s back porch. Logs to fire the oven on one side and big gold curtains on the other side. I nibbled my way through brunch with the charcuterie plate and country pate. We had 2 different versions of creamy polenta (aka grits) topped with vegetable ragu or meat ragu. The frittata was what I aim for anytime I make a frittata. It was fluffy and beautiful.

After I put Brother on a plane I got a well deserved (but way too short) nap before folks came over for Happy Hour at Home. This evening’s community dinner was a small, but just the right mix of people. We had bacon wrapped dates, quesadillas, focaccia, a king cake and lots of spirits. I made a French 75 cocktail with New Deal Gin Recipe #3. We also did a little whiskey tasting, comparing the 4 different whiskeys I have on my bar.

French 75 Cocktail
2 oz gin
1/2 oz lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
Shake and pour into champagne flute or chimney glass
Top with champagne

I’m always delighted when he comes to visit (if you haven’t noticed- I adore my big brother) but I am equally delighted when he leaves. If I ate on a regular basis the way we do when we are together, I’d burst! A few days of salad and veggies and I’ll be ready to go again.