Sunday, January 31, 2010

Bijou Cafe, Oatmeal and Fruit

Here's another really fun place I went to in Portland.  First, this town has quite the personality, and this restaurant embodies the 'vibe'.
Okay, here comes my signature jib jab.
So, I am walking down the street, to go there, and here's what I come across.  There's these - I will call them - trailers, sitting in a corner pay parking lot.  They seem like 50 year old converted camping trailers, turned roach-coach/food truck.  They aren't the all stainless food truck type thing, but more the corrugated siding style of the 60's camper trailer, with the fold up sides, enabling the 'store front' or service front.  So, they are all lined up, virtually touching each other like cars parked in a parking lot.  Each has a sign, offering food, like Thai, or hot dogs, or Indian, or vegetarian, or what have you.  It's like this totally ad hoc idea, yet structured.  It's easy to see personality in each little place.  Everyone doing their own thing, yet somehow finding a community theme.  I wonder, and bet, the food in these things are great.I think these are the ones I saw.
So, anyways, I am cruising over to Bijou Cafe and next I see this totally cool building with neon lights coming diagonally out from the corner of the building- again, maybe a 50's - 60's sign - something like outdoor Portland - a sporting goods place.  Neon lights are so, um, unconventional for a sporting goods joint!  Yet, cool.  So, next to that is like a little local grocery store, a place to get your nails done, and in the middle of it all, a strip joint.  I am thinking, wow, way to not make a big deal out of it.  I just find it so interesting.  The tolerance for it all....  It seems to be the Portland way.  Passion and ,compassion.  Which takes me to Bijou Cafe.  I can feel my whole self smiling as I walk in the door.  It's casual, comfortable, original, and somehow, I can feel the passion.  There's a comfortable confidence with my wait person, setting me up with a cappuccino.  So, I can see they have jazz performances... It's all totally cool.  I see another guy having the oatmeal, which looks incredible.  How, you wonder?  Well, its got nuts and fruit in it.  So, I find it on the menu and it's toasted filberts, and some specialty raisins, sliced apples, pears and bananas with some special kind of brown sugar.  So, yeah, fresh grapefruit juice and oatmeal and awesome coffee.  So, she brings it to the table, and everything - I can see the attention to detail.  The filberts are perfectly toasted.  Dry, and seriously tasty.  The raisins!  Even the raisins have this bursting with sweet, sour flavor, and of course the fruit is all organic-type stuff.  And the brown sugar has some deep brown color.  I am sure, again, something special.  And then, they even asked me what kind of milk I wanted.  Okay, maybe a surprise, I like non-fat.  
So, anyways, here's our version at home.  It's Bob's Red Mill Organic Whole Grain Steel Cut Oats, mixed roasted salted nuts (walnuts, peanuts, pecans, pistachios)  bananas, blueberries, apples sliced thin and yeah, skim milk.  The coffee cup is another story, and also from Portland, and it is Polish pottery from the Polish Pottery Place.  It's not much of a website, but a great store, and loved the woman who runs it.  It's in her house, just off of 23rd, about half way down.

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