Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Last summer dress

Finally got to wear this reconstructed vintage dress out to a party at the end of summer. When I bought this dress, it was floor-length and long-sleeved. I completely cut it up and resewed it to my style. Thankfully it barely fit around my 5-month pregnant belly. 

Dress: Goodwill, reconstructed
Belt: vintage, from a friend's mom

Friday, October 26, 2018

What I ate in Tijuana: An homage to one of the world's most delicious cities - 2017 Edition

I try to keep record of everything I eat whenever I travel. Looking back on all these delicious meals from destinations all over the world has given me a lot of personal satisfaction. 

Tijuana is a special case. 

This is an evolving list. 

I expect I will return here many times and each time I will need to update the list. This first list is from 2017. As always, I'll start with the usual questions and then list ever meal by category:

1.     Food I wished I had but didn't:  Mision 19…next time! Octopus pizza at La Justina, Chinese food
2.     Food I had but wished I didn't: one bad macaroon from Colectivo 9
3.     What should have been on the list: Birria tacos
4.     Biggest surprise: crickets in hot sauce are delicious!
5.     Most delicious meal: Alma Verde chilaquiles

Street food

Crickets in hot sauce

Huevos Ranchers and Birria tacos at 5:00am

Street tacos

Gastro- Mexican

Telefonica – soup and taco

Alma Verde

Verde y crèma: corn and Korean tacos


Cake at Puestro

Macaron from Colectivo 9

Bread with Cajeta from the bakery

Ice Cream from street vendor


Colectivo 9 - burger and fries

Loci bar truffle fries

Note, this list does not include all the amazing cocktails I had in Tijauna. I have dedicated another post to that....

Monday, October 22, 2018

Portland Cafe Guide: Southeast


As soon as I started typing up my first post on Portland’s many wonderful cafes, I knew it wouldn’t be my last. It took me over a year to visit all the cafes on that first post, and I knew I had barely scratched the surface. Most of the additional cafes on this list have actually only opened in the time between my last post and now, so I’ve had a lot of catching up to do. I realize this is still not a complete list of all Portland cafes, so I will have to provide a disclaimer again that these are just the ones I find worth mentioning. Onward…

As a recap, I compiled this list based on a few factors: 

1) lattes
2) seating
3) atmosphere
4) decor. 

I am also dividing these posts into 4, because there are almost 90 cafes I am documenting and that’s too much for any one post. To break it down, I am focusing on one quadrant of the city at a time. I used to post them in order of favorites, but my tastes are fickle and new cafes are always popping up, so they are in alphabetical order instead. 


Southeast Portland
The Southeast (SE) is my neighborhood. Most of these cafes are within walking distance to me, so you get bet if there is a new cafe that opened, I am one of the first to be there. The SE is home to a few hip spots in Portland, notably Hawthorne Street, Division Street, Belmont Street, Lower Eastside Industrial, and Sellwood. 

Albina Press on SE Hawthorne 
A late-night addition to the SE neighborhood - open until 8:00pm with ample seating.  Music is hit or miss - sometimes too loud and distracting to work. 

Volunteer-run café in a church that switches out local roasters month to month. Pretty cool to work on your laptop from a church though.

Quirky gem-filled café in a desolate area of Foster Road. Excellent latte served in a special mug made this a unique experience. 

Coava on Hawthorne 
My preferred store to the Coava on Grand. More seating and a homey vibe, since it is on the first floor of an apartment building. Bonus points for having a fireplace!

Coava on SE Grand 
Coava's coffee is so good that their latte needs no sugar at all. I would probably rank this as the best roaster in Portland, though I don't go there as often as I would like to the limited seating at this location.

Dapper & Wise on SE Division 
For years this was my go-to spot on the east side. Excellent drinks and more importantly, it seemed like you could always get a seat at any time on the weekend.

The original Either/Or in Sellwood is a small shop with only a few antique chairs for seating, but their  unique Orgeat Latte (almond) is so good I keep coming back here just for that.

Elevator Coffee
Intense work space with an office vibe 

Foxy Coffee (closed)
Foxy is a small shop off Belmont street, tucked away in what seems like an attachment of a large  Victorian home. The space is open and well-lit but with only three tables getting a spot to work  can be a little tough.

Good Coffee on 12th 
A small and always incredibly jam-packed café. If you do get a seat, my favorite one is a corner that faces a window.

Good Coffee on Division 
Good Coffee on Division Street is my Monday- and sometime Friday-default. True to its name, the coffee is good, but so are the friendly staff, and the comfortable ambiance.

Decent seating and ok coffee. Tried it once. 

Heart on Burnside 
Another weekend favorite that I try to hit up before 10:00am. Heart is one of the best roasters in Portland and their café on Burnside has a great atmosphere.

Heart Woodstock 
I was excited about the new Heart outpost on Woodstock. Same great coffee and abundant seating, with more windows and natural light.

Jet Black 
A vegan café attached to vegan grocery Food Fight. Latte with soy-almond milk.

Another Sellwood café with a decent selection and vibe. 

Popular coffee cart ion Belmont also serving delicious sausage breakfasts sandwiches and cannoli.


Decent cafe in the Reed College area.

Never Coffee 
My favorite addition to Belmont. This very small place is perfect to visit on a sunny day to sit outside on their picnic benches. They have an amazing selection of sweet lattes with homemade syrups like Rich Kid, which is a rose water-saffron-cardamom flavored concoction, or the spicy Hug, made from cacao-chilies-and cinnamon. 

Nossa Familia on SE 3rd 
A newly-opened café in the chic industrial area, with beautiful greenery. Tables are not quite laptop-friendly, but this is a great place to have coffee meetings. 

Nossa Familia on SE Division

A much welcomed addition to the Ladd's Addition neighborhood, this Nossa Familiar has it's own unique ambiance and design. With Lisbon tiles, custom designed furniture and a tip jar with "thank you" in Portuguese, this cafe feels truly special. 

Grungy bike café off of Stark. 

Oui Presse
A French-style cafe on Hawthorne serving the most amazing Cafe Au Lait with a beautiful ambiance. This has become my go-to place for cold, rainy winter evenings. 

A old favorite in the Ladd's Addition neighborhood with a library vibe and great cakes. 

Small coffee stand specializing in latte with homegrown mint

Push x Pull
Another 2017 newcomer that is also a roaster. Seating is uncomfortable and service was poor  (no menu!) which is very pretentious. Disappointing because I was so looking forward to their opening.

Rain or Shine 
A popular spot for meetings and studying in the Mt. Tabor area. Don't expect expertly crafted espresso drinks, but come for the get-shit-done vibe. 

Rocking Frog
This grungy outpost off SE Belmont is really a hidden gem. In a creaky old house this place makes a darn good egg sandwich and fresh donuts. I also enjoyed my charcoal latte, a rarity in this city. 


My new favorite cafe on the goat blocks. Roseline is a popular roaster in Portland and finally opened a cafe in 2019.  

Soro Soro

One-of-a-kind Korean cafe off SE Burnside with the best latte art in the city, and amazingly photogenic cakes. Despite the Instagram appeal, this is also a nice space to get some work done on a weekday when they are not busy. 

Stumptown on Division
Decent Stumptown outpost with couch and table seating. 

Stumptown on SE Blemont 
My preferred Stumptown on the Eastside due to the small table (good for one person to work) and bar counter seating looking out over Belmont.

Tea Bar
Does this count as coffee? Probably not, but Tea Bar is still one of my favorite places to work. Lovely atmosphere, ideal seating, and great tea beverages.

Bus retrofitted into an Egyptian café makes Tov a one-of-a-kind gem in Portland. Had some strong Egyptian coffee on the roof.

Upper Left 
Another favorite I strongly recommend. Great coffee, beautiful store, perfect seating, and great open -face sandwiches. I take many, many meetings here.

Water Ave Coffee
A popular local roaster with food options. Café has a great vibe but can get really crowded and loud. I used to work a couple blocks away so this and the Coava on SE Grand were my default morning stops.

Libre Day

 Met up with a friend for happy hour and wore this new dress I bought at a vintage store in Tokyo from my trip in April. It is quite volumin...