The charcuterie plate at Marché, or more specifically, the deep-fried pork trotters. Don’t think about them too much. Just pop one into your mouth – the melting, porkulent, buttery center enrobed by crunchy breadcrumbs is an experience any pork lover should have in his or her repertoire. They’re down Representin’ as we speak at Slow Food Nation in San Francisco.
Loveliness at the farmer’s market: little, yellow greengage plums in their short season. Get ’em while they’re cool. Chanterelle mushrooms. And the tomatoes! You must taste some of the sungold tomatoes bursting out all over the place. I *drank* some of mine, using this brilliant cocktail recipe, the Sungold Zinger, with gin, lemon, agave nectar and salt. My variation muddles in a tablespoon of fresh tarragon for a more vegetal background, a few more tomatoes (since they’re smaller out of the garden) and a couple drops of Fee Brothers lemon bitters.
Price increases at Ta Ra Rin? Ouch! This is getting ridiculous, folks.
Hideaway Bakery’s Cornish Pasty is an impossibly flaky pastry shell stuffed with tiny pleasing, perfect cubes of carrot and potato. It might be vegetarian, but can pastry made without lard taste that good?
Weirdness at Sushi Domo: we were sitting at the sushi bar. Why did we have to order through the waitress as if we were at a table? We really didn’t want our sushi delivered all at once, and we’re not that white, are we? I mean, I know it’s in the same complex as the Wal-Mart, but still…
And speaking of Marché, Marché Provisions had a single bottle of Carpano Antica left on the shelf when I went there last week. I agree with Ryan Dawe-Stotz, who knows such things, that you “must” own this bitter, dark, complex, gingerbready Italian vermouth. Run, don’t walk. Beat someone over the head if you have to.
Small batch gin ‘n’ tonics at Bel Ami, using Cricket Club gin made in Cottage Grove and bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s housemade lemongrass-tangelo tonic, sweetened with agave syrup. As much as I love his St. Germainy pinot-grissy East of Eden, the GNT should be a staple in any Eugene bar experience of distinction.
Sahagun chocolates out of Portland, especially the salty, oozy caramel ones. Put the whole thing in your mouth at once or you’ll be sorry. They’re still closed for vacation – never thought I’d say it, but hurry up, September!