Evan Burschkopf, CEO of Zarsha Leo, has recently opened a new branch of his restaurant-bar on E. Burnside Street. Located at the other end of the road from Fire on the Mountain, this new eatery is attracting a lot of college students in Portland.
According to Burschkopf, “it seems like the youngsters like Zarsha Leo because it contains lots of fun things, like the dart board, a pool table and a Foosball Table. As well, the sliders and spicy chicken wings are a real hit because it’s a recipe I got from a friend who worked as head chef in a bar some years ago.”
As an early Birthday gift, Daniel treated me to the Portland on Ice winter festival. It was a lot of fun and such a unique present. I always complain that he just gets standard gifts like perfume or jewelry, so this year it really was a lovely surprise. So after a light snack at the Original Pancake House, we headed off to Portland Harbor Hotel and truly had a blast. It was absolutely mobbed there, which was no great shock.
There was so much else going on when we went too. There was "Strike a Chord: A Music Discovery Funhouse,” for free from the city’s Downtown District and the music Foundation. And then the instrument petting zoo that we weren’t so excited about but made me think how much fun the kids would have had. But they were home with a sitter. Daniel wanted the night to be just about me!
I love living in Portland with all its eccentricities that the show Portlandia depicts so perfectly. But sometimes, I feel the State of Oregon goes a bit too far. For example, on my way to take the kiddies to school, I saw something particularly strange that I later discussed with Amanda. There was a Craigslist poster of a local man drinking a cup of coffee. Seems innocent enough, right? Until you read that the man in the photo – a self-described “casual home roaster and coffee geek” – has started making Kopi Luwak coffee beans (consumed and then expelled) for $30 a pound!
It might be all in fashion and all, and even actually be a delicious cup of coffee but I personally think that this is taking the eccentricities of Portlanders a little bit too far. Still, feel free to disagree with me, as clearly a lot of my neighbors are doing!
Daniel has been reading these blogs recently in the hope of finding new eateries that we both might enjoy. So he discovered one on all the great things in the world – aka Portland – and found a really funny-named restaurant Shut Up and Eat that he said we have to try. After I’d stopped chuckling at the title, I took a brief look at the menu and thought how me and the boys could devour one of the meatball subs – which is Pan-fried beef, veal and pork meatballs with red gravy and provolone. Daniel said he could eat one of those alone! There’s a lot of variety on the menu but the general idea seems to be very hearty meals. The prices look reasonable as well so we’re for sure going to try it – as a family – sometime soon.
So of course I was hoping for something nice for Valentine’s Day. And Daniel kept telling me (like he does every year) that he doesn’t buy into all this commercial stuff and if he wants to show me he loves me he can do so any day of the year. Normally we don’t do much (although the first year we were together – during our engagement – he did buy me chocolate hearts and take me out to a hotel for hot chocolate and cookies) but this year he surprised me.
He organized a babysitter, and booked a table at Shigezo which is a sushi restaurant in the neighborhood. We both love sushi and what’s good about this place is that it offered a special for Valentine’s Day that was not nearly as expensive as all the other restaurants which are totally milking the opportunity as Daniel says.
It turned out to be really lovely actually. We ended up not going cheap and getting the holiday special – because we both love sushi so much we just ordered a ton of that to share. And then Daniel ordered a fun sweet sparkling wine for me, just to get us both in the holiday mood a bit without admitting to the fact that we were celebrating Valentine’s Day! He is so very cute though and we both had a great time.