On Sunday morning we drove back downtown for brunch at a restaurant along the Willamette River called Three Degrees.
In order to get to the restaurant we (that is, Romaine) parked the car on the street below one of the river's bridges and we walked across the bridge and took in the panorama of downtown Portland:
Now, this restaurant was a pretty nice place and that bagel with all trimmings came to $13.
Would you believe that both of our bagels arrived burnt? I mean, burnt black! When we politely pointed this our to the waiter he very graciously took away our burnt bagels and after a few minutes, during which time we gazed at the disenfranchised cream cheese, lox, tomatoes and capers on our plates, he returned with two fresh bagels toasted to the golden perfection that $13 bagels should be toasted to; but I'll bet you anything when he brought those bagels back to the kitchen he said to to chief, "Nope, sorry, they wouldn't eat 'em. Guess you'll have to make two more after all."
That being said, the bagels we ended up with were really good, oversized bagels, big enough to pile on the cream cheese, lox, tomatoes and capers, which were also very good.
After breakfast we strolled along the river walk, which was lined with shops and restaurants full of people.
Eventually lunch time rolled around, as lunch times do, and this being my last day in Portland, I found my mind wandering back to the incomparable Kale Caesar Burger Bowl from Dick's Kitchen. So we headed back to Romaine's 'hood and walked from her house to Dick's Kitchen for a farewell Kale Caesar Burger Bowl.
Though we did still have one more meal to plan for.
Romaine suggested that for dinner we walk to this little spot she'd been hearing about called The Italian Market that supposedly made a Philly cheese steak that tasted like the real thing. For those of you not from Philadelphia, a real Philly cheese steak is an entity that is practically impossible to find anywhere outside Philadelphia, except, of course, for South Jersey.
But this place in Portland was reputed to make a real Philly cheese steak.
Skeptical, we two native Philly gals decided to go put it to the test.
The set-up of this place was kind of confusing, but kind of cool at the same time.
There was a building that held a bar and a liquor store. Connected to the bar/liquor store was a cute eating area with indoor and outdoor seating:
It took Romaine and I a while to figure the process out. It seemed to take everybody - at least all the first-timers - a while to figure the process out. But once we did it was kind of fun.
So...did the Italian Market, which claims to be a genuine South Philly food cart making genuine South Philly food, live up to it's claims?
Well, you tell me, you native Philadelphians out there, does this look like a Philly cheese steak?
Romaine asked one of the cart cooks how come there were no cheese steaks at this place that was supposed to be the Portland reincarnation of South Philly.
The enthusiastic young cook answered that if they made cheese steaks that's all people would want and then they'd never try the fantastic slow-roasted pork sandwiches.
Anyway, the sandwiches were good. But they weren't Philly cheese steaks. And so it continues to stand that the only place you can find a Philly cheese steak is in Philly.
I left Portland Monday morning for Los Angeles where I met Tom and where we'll be until next week visiting Justin and Maria and our grandbabies.
But before I left for the airport Romaine gave me a little memento of Portland:
But for all its wonderfulness, the best thing about Portland is: