A Whale of a Time

Seattle is all of the wonderful things I love about Portland and reminds me of all the fun things I enjoyed in San Francisco.

I had chosen to visit The Whale Wins based on a picture that popped up in my Instagram feed (@thisvalleyblog) a handful of months ago. Naturally, I looked up the restaurant (and its sister restaurants) and obsessed over their menu*.

When I learned of the cookbook Renee Erickson had written, I immediately pre-ordered it.


I got to relive all the dishes I gushed over at The Whale Wins and The Walrus and The Carpenter.


Here are a few pictures of the most amazing meal I’ve ever had. Enjoy.

2014-08-26 20.14.002014-08-26 19.41.052014-08-26 19.37.312014-08-26 19.17.372014-08-26 19.07.192014-08-26 19.02.582014-08-26 18.56.12Things that make The Whale Wins my most favorite restaurant to date:

  • the food (the most amazing marrow bones and the goat cheese plate that stole my heart)
  • the perfect date night ambiance (look at that kitchen, the lighting, and the patio)
  • the wonderful staff (that was so very accommodating)

If you ever get the chance to visit Seattle, go to The Whale Wins. I promise you will have the best dining experience.

*I will fight someone over marrow bones and tartare makes my heart skip a beat.


we went on a date

We don’t go on many dates, but when we do…

…we take public transportation.


… we usually find somewhere with cheap eats we can share.



We’ve been together for 5 and a half years. At this point in our relationship our date nights go a little something like this: Adam and I decide to go on a date. We go to the restaurant we decide to go. Something falls through. We hang our heads and go home and try to plan another date night.

This almost happened when we decided to go to Portland City Grill. We got there about an hour into their happy hour and, after two swoops through the bar area, we couldn’t find anywhere to sit. We were just about to go home dejectedly when we decided to take one more jaunt through the bar when I spied some cash on the bar. Figuring the people were going to leave soon, I waited and ended up snagging two spots at the bar for Adam and I. Overall, it’s a really awesome place for happy hour. The view is as amazing as their prices. We got two plates (blue cheese fries and short ribs) and two cheap beers for $20 (not including tip). If you have any patience for spot hunting at happy hour, I’d definitely say give it a try.

It’s our Portlandversary- part two

And now for part two…

In January we….

…stayed up til midnight ringing in the new year.


…we experienced some weather.

…tried to keep Sierra warm.

…we found a new place to hang out.

…let Sierra lead the way.

…ate grilled cheese sandwiches on a psychedelic school bus.

…packed up and headed west for valentine’s day

…celebrated beer.

…tried new places.

…brought some color into our lives.

…geeked out at OMSI After Dark.

…showed my parents around Portland.

Fig Newmans



Tonight we were going to go to Ox. I’ve had a gift certificate for a couple of months now and tonight was the perfect night to use it. We got there at 5:30 and there was a 90 minute wait. It seemed a bit much so we left. That really put a damper on my date night excitement.

Where did we go to hang our heads in bummed outedness? New Seasons on SE Division! After I bought some veg to juice and Fig Newmans to shove in my face dejectedly, we decided to get back to the West Side and go to Laughing Planet for a bean bowl (let’s face it, all their menu options are bowls/burritos chock full of fiber).

laughing planet southwest bowl

Moral of the story? Get to Ox at 5 sharp and also my Nokia Lumina 920 takes awesome pictures in the dark without a flash.

Happy date night, yo!

Sunday is for brunching

Adam has a wonky work schedule. The only day we get to spend together is Sunday. And it’s not even all day because I work until noon. Last Sunday we decided to go to brunch since we hadn’t seen much of each other in a while. When I got back from work we sat down and tried to find some local brunch place we hadn’t been to before. In the end we went to Brix Tavern. It’s not so much an old stand by as it is our favorite brunch place in Portland to date. Why do we enjoy Brix so much?


They give you breakfast appetizer doughnuts! And they have bottomless mimosas.

We mostly love them for their bottomless mimosas. But they also have one of my favorite and underrated breakfast items-chicken and waffles.


Adam got some ham skillet thing that was layers with eggs, and ham, and hash browns. It was glorious.

ham skillet

I couldn’t leave knowing that we hadn’t used the brand new crayons.

new crayons

Since Adam and I aren’t that great at drawing, we copied something from the internet.

challenge accepted

all the mimosas

Brix is my favorite. It should be yours too.