Tag Archives: pacific northwest

CityPASS Seattle: Chihuly Garden and Glass

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I had never heard of  Dale Chihuly until I saw in my CityPASS Seattle booklet that there was a $5 off admission for his Chihuly Garden and Glass installation.   This had to be worth checking out.  CityPASS has not let me down yet.

Chihuly Garden and Glass is a long-term installation and contains 10 different displays, a movie theatre showing Chihuly’s team of artists at work, and a quirky café, featuring local fare served atop the artist’s favorite collectables.

Born in 1941 in Tacoma, Wash., Dale Chihuly’s work is included in 225 museum collections worldwide, as well as special installations in Venice, Jerusalem, London and Chicago. The new collection in Seattle samples some of his more famous works: Cylinders and Baskets from the 1970s; Seaforms, Macchia, Venetians, and Persians from the 1980s; Niijima Floats and Chandeliers from the 1990s; and Fiori from the 2000s.

The “Glass Forest,” one of Chihuly’s earlier works in collaboration with artist Jamie Carpenter.  It is eerie.  It reminded me of something that an Ice Queen would have installed in her castle.  The neon glow of this work was truly hypnotic.

The Sea life Room echoed imaginary glass waves from deep within the work.

The Mille Fiori, which is Italian for 1,000 flowers, is a glowing garden of glass set in the dark.   This room was truly mesmerising and made me wonder ‘is this installation as good as it gets?’  Nope.  There was more to come.

The Glass House is the piece de resistance.  This conservatory contains one of Chihuly’s largest suspended sculptures.  It is 100-feet long; it’s an expansive explosion of Persian glass in reds, oranges, yellows and amber made up of 1,340 pieces.  It’s a true game changer.  I took a seat in the conservatory for a good fifteen minutes to take it all in.  Even then I couldn’t.  It was so wonderfully immense.

The day I was at the Chihuly Garden and Glass it was pouring outside but nevertheless I trekked out onto the grounds.  Catching the 16-foot Seattle Sun, a gorgeous, round tangle of yellow and orange was a true highlight even in the midst of the gloominess. Check out the Rose Crystal and Green Icicle Towers as well.

The great news was that I was able to get a discount from the $19 for general admission using my CityPASS Seattle booklet.  The CityPASS Seattle included a coupon for $5 off general admission to Chihuly Garden and Glass; however you will need to purchase that ticket separately because the Chihuly Garden and Glass is not a ticket included in the core CityPASS Seattle product.

The Chihuly Garden and Glass was the best $15 I have spent on an exhibit in a long time.

Chihuly Garden and Glass

Address: 305 Harrison St, Seattle, WA 98109, United States

http://www.chihulygardenandglass.com/

CityPASS Seattle: EMP Museum

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The draw for me in visiting the EMP Museum in Seattle was definitely seeing my second Frank Gehry designed building up close.  It was tremendous.  How can you not be totally gobsmacked from looking up at such an amazing piece of architecture?

Other Highlights included:

  • Experience hands-on installations that include world building, mapmaking, and a life-sized animatronic dragon in Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic.
  • Be a star at On Stage, a virtual concert experience where you’re under the bright lights, in front of screaming fans.
  • Watch music performances and light shows in Sky Church, featuring a mammoth HD LED screen. To be able to watch videos from Lorde and Pearl Jam felt like I was truly paying homage in the church of music.
  • Explore the spectrum of cinematic horror in Can’t Look Away: The Lure of Horror Film.
  • Iconic sci-fi artifacts on display include an Imperial Dalek from Doctor Who, the Star Trek command chair, and Neo’s coat from The Matrix Reloaded.
  • See the Vince Lombardi Trophy and the Super Bowl Championship Ring in We Are 12™: The Seattle Seahawks and the Road to Victory.

My favourite out of the Special Exhibits Included with CityPASS was the Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses collection.

To be able to view the most extensive exhibition of memorabilia celebrating the music and history of Seattle grunge luminaries, Nirvana was a treat. The exhibit features rare and unseen artifacts and photography from the band, their crews and families.

Kurt’s striped sweater from the ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ video, In Utero memorabilia and Nirvana’s make shift Sup Pop record deal were delights to see up close.  It is extensively curated and full of fun and fascinating facts.

But the exhibit is not solely about Nirvana.  It also gives a fantastic snapshot of the early days of grunge with nods to the likes of the Screaming Trees, The Melvin’s and Mudhoney.

Advice for Visitors

  • Conveniently located at the Seattle Center alongside several other attractions including the Space Needle and Pacific Science Center.
  • EMP is easily accessible by many bus routes, or hop on the historic Seattle Center Monorail, which departs every 10 minutes from Westlake Center downtown and from Seattle Center.
  • Parking is convenient with a lot adjacent to the museum, and a multi-level covered garage across the street on 5th Avenue.
  • Check out Jimi Hendrix performance videos and more all day in JBL Theater.
  • Enhance your museum experience by purchasing an Audio Guide at the ticketing desk on your way in.
  • Get $5 off purchases of over $35 at EMP stores, plus a free set of limited edition EMP guitar picks; see coupon in booklet.

EMP

325 5th Avenue N.

Seattle, WA 98109

At Seattle Center, near Space Needle

(206) 770-2700

empmuseum.org

Summer (May 24-Sep 2): Open daily, 10am-7pm

Winter (Sep 3-May 23): Open daily 10am-5pm

Seasonal hours may apply; see details.

Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day

CityPASS Seattle: Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour

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Learn about Seattle on this entertaining, one-hour, cheery live-narrated cruise of Elliott Bay and the Seattle Harbor. View the spectacular panoramic background of the majestic Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges. See the city’s historic waterfront, sparkling Emerald City skyline, busy shipyards, colorful Alki Beach and breathtaking natural beauty.

The best part of the cruise was the behind the scenes views of the container ships as they came and left the port.  Plus, who knew the Washington State ferry fleet is the largest in the U.S.?

I was lucky I had wonderful sunny days whilst in Seattle.   It was a tad cold on the water but regardless made for great views and photography.  Talk about bang for my buck!

Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour

Visitor Center: Pier 56

Ticket booth and dock: Pier 55

Seattle, WA 98101

5-minute walk southwest/below Pike Place Market

(206) 623-1445

argosycruises.com

CityPASS Seattle: Seattle Aquarium

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I enjoyed my time at the Seattle Aquarium.  The Seattle Aquarium is a decent size, easy to navigate and has great exhibits both indoors and outdoors.

The Seattle Aquarium is the 9th largest Aquarium in the U.S. by attendance and among the top 5 paid visitor attractions in the Puget Sound region.

The Aquarium’s species collection is featured within six major exhibits: Window on Washington Waters, Life on the Edge, Pacific Coral Reef, Puget Sound Fish and Dome Room, Puget Sound Orcas Family Activity Center, and Marine Mammals.

My favourite part of my exhibit was the Puget Sound Fish and Dome Room.  Talk about a magical experience. To see fish swimming around up close in a room that looks positively spaceship like  – it is definitely photo worthy.

Seattle Aquarium

1483 Alaskan Way, Pier 59

Seattle, WA 98101-2015

Phone:  (206) 386-4300

Hours:

9:30am to 5pm daily

Last entry at 5pm,

Exhibits close at 6pm

http://www.seattleaquarium.org

11th Avenue Inn Bed and Breakfast

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Walk to the Pike Place Market and to the other Downtown Seattle attractions from the 11th Avenue Inn Bed and Breakfast, a cozy B&B on a tree-lined side street in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. We are 1.0 mile from Downtown Seattle – a 20 minute walk, and 1.5 miles from the Pike Place Market – a 30 minute walk. Most of our guests walk to Downtown. Buses to Downtown Seattle stop one block from the Inn. We’re near dozens of restaurants, shops, and a popular park. Queen beds, private bathrooms, full hot breakfast, 9 guestrooms, free on-site parking lot, guest computers, Wi-Fi. Some guestrooms have two beds.

If you are looking for more of an authentic, unique, small boutique hotel experience in Seattle, please check us out. The 11th Avenue Inn Bed and Breakfast is a large, classic, light-filled house built in 1906 and located on a street of trees and other houses and apartments from the turn of the century. The Inn has 9 guestrooms, original wood floors and detailing, antique furniture, and oriental rugs. We are located just up the hill from the Seattle hotel district – the area where most tourists and business travelers stay in Seattle. We are often more affordable than a Downtown Seattle hotel, especially with our mid-week and longer stay discounts, or when including our free parking, free breakfast, and free Wi-Fi. Most of our guests are visiting friends or family here in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, or are visitors to town or business travelers looking for an alternative to the downtown hotel scene.

Review:

When I travelled to Seattle after my trip to Portland I wanted to take things down a further notch.    Was it even possible?  Even though it was a chilled experience in Portland I decided to stay outside the city centre in Seattle.  I found a quaint little Inn on Capitol Hill which suited me called 11th Avenue Inn Bed and Breakfast.

The house was on a quiet street and a decent distance from the main road.  It was within walking distance from a few convenient bus stops and also close to some boutique shops and nice restaurants if you didn’t want to trek into the city in the evenings.

My first night I thought I was the only one in the Inn as there wasn’t a peep to be heard.  But sure enough as I came down for breakfast the following the day there were 4 shining fellow travellers sitting and enjoying a hearty breakfast.   Pleasant talk to be had and a wonderful breakfast to behold.

I have never stayed at an Inn where the breakfasts were so lush, nutritious and plentiful.  Think fluffy pancakes, crepes, with fresh fruit, cups of tea, yogurt and the like.  I was pleased with the variety, tastiness and quality of the food.

I appreciated that there was always tea, coffee and snacks available at the 11th Avenue Inn Bed and Breakfast.  When I was in Seattle I was lucky to have a bright and sunny days.  In the evening it would get a tad chilly.  Coming in in from the cold most nights, it was such a pleasure to brew up a Stash Tea within seconds of entering the door.

It was rare that I would see the Inn staff in the evenings.  The house felt like my home away from home.  Warm, inviting, safe and an air of sweetness.  Going up to my room on the second floor with my hot tea, some biscotti in hand and chocolate tucked in my pockets would make for the best part of my evenings resting my sore legs from days of walking up and down hills.

I stayed in the Ruby Room.  It was small and tidy.  Dark woods, comfy bed, a vanity, desk and comfy chair where included.  It was the last room down a long hall and free from any house noise and distractions.  It was perfect for a girl like me travelling alone.

The Wi-Fi onsite was fast and made for a great companion when catching up with life at home away from home.

The 11th Avenue Inn Bed and Breakfast was a good fit for me whilst in Seattle.  For an Inn just a tad outside of the downtown core you are offered an affordable price, creature comforts, a wonderful breakfast layout and a location that can’t be beat.

11th Avenue Inn Bed and Breakfast

121 11th Ave E

Seattle, WA, 98102, USA

info@11thavenueinn.com

Phone:  206-720-7161

http://www.11thavenueinn.com/

BoltBus

I wanted to keep my travel expenses to a minimum so instead of taking the Amtrak from Portland to Seattle, I bought a ticket with BoltBus.

BoltBus is a premium brand of service launched in 2008 offering safe, non-stop, premium level bus transportation with fares as low as $1 between New York, NY and Washington, DC, Philadelphia, PA, Cherry Hill, NJ and Boston, MA to name a few.

In 2012, BoltBus also expanded its operations to the West Coast with service between Portland, OR, Seattle, WA Bellingham, WA and Vancouver, BC, Canada.

I enjoyed my trip on BoltBus.  I’m easy, just as long as our trip leaves on time and gets in before the estimated arrival time – it’s a bonus.  Which rang true with my experience for my trip between Portland and Seattle and back.  I also appreciated the super-fast Wi-Fi, comfy seats and friendly drivers.  Always a pleasure when you are on holiday.

https://www.boltbus.com/default.aspx

PDX Now

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My time in Portland was short but also wonderful.  I enjoyed so many great days out, foodie rendezvous’ and most importantly Oregon’s climate.  The people were cool and weird.  But also kind, welcoming and genuine.

Would I visit again?  Yes.  In a heartbeat.

If my articles have convinced you to visit Portland – check out http://www.travelportland.com/ for travel planning ideas.  Have fun and get lost in the woods!

Portland Art Museum

The Portland Art Museum was a treat.  When you travel and have the time and access to see great art – there is a pressure to get it all in.  Instead of walking around aimlessly at the Portland Art Museum I thought I’d focus in on what interested me the most.

My favourites were the Forbidden Fruit from Chris Antemann at Meissen and the Native American Art installations.

Forbidden Fruit

Chris Antemann at Meissen

SEP 27, 2014 – FEB 8, 2015

In 2012, Oregon-based sculptor Chris Antemann was invited to participate in the Art Studio program of the renowned Meissen Porcelain Manufactory to collaborate with the Meissen master artisans on unique pieces and a series of limited editions of her sculptures, resulting in a grand installation that reinvents and invigorates the great porcelain figurative tradition. Using the Garden of Eden as her metaphor, the artist created a contemporary celebration of the 18th-century banqueting craze. Inspired by Meissen’s great historical model of Johann Joachim Kändler’s monumental Love Temple (1750), Antemann created her own 5-foot version. Stripping the original design back to its basic forms, she added her own figures, ornamentation, and flowers, as well as a special finial with three musicians to herald the guests to the banquet below. Employing her signature wit and formal references to classic Baroque Meissen figurines, Antemann has invented a new narrative on contemporary morality through her one-of-a-kind porcelain figures in a setting that evokes the decadence of Boucher and Watteau.

Antemann’s Love Temple is the centerpiece and heart of the installation. It was designed to house a host of semi-clothed revelers around a banquet of “forbidden fruit.” After sculpting the Love Temple and banquet table, Antemann expanded the vision of the installation to include a pleasure garden made up of eight separate pieces that surrounds the temple, creating an elaborate tableau in the great tradition of royal 18th-century sur la table.

Accompanying the lavish and overflowing banquet table is a massive 12-light porcelain chandelier and a collection of smaller sculptures to accompany the table along the gallery walls, evoking the tradition of palatial porcelain rooms. The small, intimate vignettes entertain with playful scenes of dalliance and seduction.

Review:

A very cheeky exhibit and perhaps art that we may cast off as cheap and cheesy.  But the beauty in these porcelain pieces is the attention to detail, sauciness, the manipulated control in creating such fine and cohesive work.  I was mesmerized and found myself lost in the Love Temple piece.  As I moved around the tableau I saw even more decadence and conversations between the characters unfolding.  The ‘forbidden fruit’ reminded me of sugar plums and added a further enticement to keep looking as a voyeur into the characters debauchery.

Native American Art

The Museum’s collection of Native American art is housed in the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Center for Native American Art. The collection, remarkable for both its depth and diversity, consists of more than 5,000 prehistoric and historic objects created by some 200 cultural groups from throughout North America. Included are outstanding works by Native American masters such as Allan Houser, Charles Edenshaw, and Maria Martinez, in addition to regional contemporary artists such as Lillian Pitt, Joe Feddersen, Pat Courtney Gold, Rick Bartow, and James Lavadour.

The Center is located on the second and third floors of the Hoffman Wing in the Museum’s Belluschi Building; each gallery is devoted to art from a specific cultural region. The second-floor galleries focus on the Museum’s world-renowned collection of Northwest Coast art as well as galleries dedicated to the Arctic, Plains, Woodlands, Southwest, and California regions. Also located on the second floor is the Phil and Sue Bogue Gallery, dedicated to the display of the Museum’s excellent collection of Pre-Columbian art from Meso and South America. Two additional galleries featuring work from our own region, western Oregon and the Columbia Plateau, are located on the third floor.

Review:

Being Canadian, I am always drawn to First Nation art.  I particular love looking at costuming, accessories and especially bead work.  The Portland Art Museum will satiate your fix.  From the ornate dress, beaded handbags and tapestries you will be moved by the emotion and history woven into each piece.  Awe-inspiring and also worthy of reflection into the history of Native American Art in the Northwest Coast.

If you have time check out the Modern Contemporary Art space.  I took swooning breaks between the works of Damien Hirst ‘5 Skulls’ and Andy Warhol’s ‘Family Album 312’.

The Portland Art Museum needs some of your time the next time you are in Portland.

Portland Art Museum

1219 SW Park Avenue

Portland, OR 97205

http://portlandartmuseum.org/

The Oregon Historical Society

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I was told by someone whilst travelling, ‘why are you going to visit The Oregon Historical Society’?  Hmm, I was confused.  Why not?  For a girl travelling from Canada wanting to learn more about the state of Oregon it would make a fantastic reference point in educating myself towards Oregon’s roots.  Isn’t that one of the most important pieces when travelling?

Sure enough, I arrived at The Oregon Historical Society and read that their mission is a simple one,

‘As the steward of Oregon’s history, the Oregon Historical Society educates, informs, and engages the public through collecting, preserving, and interpreting the past . . . in other words, Oregon history matters.’

What struck me whilst visiting in Portland is that people are kind, live simply, earnestly and with sheer enthusiasm.  So refreshing!  These are beautiful qualities to behold and seen as evidenced at The Oregon Historical Society through their varied and interesting historical exhibits.

I encourage you to check out the following:

Place: Framing the Oregon Landscape

November 8, 2014 – May 17, 2015

Place: Framing the Oregon Landscape brings together an impressive collection of artists currently working to capture and interpret the landscape of Oregon through the medium of photography. The dramatic beauty of this region’s landscapes has inspired generations of artists, and these contemporary photographers carry forward the innately human aspiration to depict the relationship between their own existence and nature’s elegance. This exhibition will feature the stirring works of ten contemporary landscape photographers and draw from the Oregon Historical Society’s extensive collections to foster a contextual examination of the land, its people, and the artists’ negotiation of that duality.

Review:

The ‘Place: Framing the Oregon Landscape’ exhibit is stunning.  Interactive, emotional and an eclectic collection of work.  As a visitor you are instantly aligned with the artists as they demonstrate their connection to the Oregon landscape and what drew them to it.  What their reactions to their new ‘place’ is and what creative stimulation it evokes.  As a visitor, I found myself taking photographs in transit, of nature and the mountains in Portland.  I immediately felt a kinship to this exhibit.  It stirred something deep within me.  What brought me to Portland?  What am I taking home with me?  Don’t forget to pick up some free postcards at the ‘Place: Framing the Oregon Landscape’ exhibit to pop onto your fridge or your desk at work.  They are beautiful pieces of art to reflect upon at a later date.

Plastics Unwrapped

October 14, 2014 – January 1, 2015

Only 50 years ago, we hardly used plastics. How did they go from being rare to being everywhere? Plastics Unwrapped, explores how material culture was changed―rapidly and perhaps permanently―by plastics. Learn what life was like before plastics, how they are made, why they are so convenient to use, and what happens after we throw them away. Explore how this? Material of the future? Has impacted our daily lives, as well as the long-term impacts that plastics have on our environment. Plastics Unwrapped is a traveling exhibit organized by the Burke Museum, University of Washington, and the national tour is sponsored by Boeing and the University of Washington.

Review:

An interesting exhibit that offers some tremendous food for thought.  Portland has the hand on the pulse of ‘green living’ and recycling.  An informative and easy to digest exhibit that is worth perusing for your relationship with being kind to the planet we share.

Working on the River: A History of Dredging

May 1 – December 14, 2014

Come navigate a part of Portland’s history in the original exhibit Working on the River: A History of Dredging. Through this exhibition, discover the men, women, and machines that have shaped our region’s geography, trade routes, economic vitality, and history. In commemoration of the Port of Portland vessel, Dredge Oregon, and its recent upgrades, this exhibit highlights the role of dredges like the Oregon in maintaining the Willamette and Columbia River navigation channels for maritime trade.

Review:

Dredging is fascinating.  At first you may think, I’ll skip this exhibit – I encourage you not to and immerse yourself into some education as to why dredging was and is instrumental to life in Portland.  This is the stuff you want to go home and talk your mates about when they ask, ‘Why Portland?’.

Oregon: 150 Years of Statehood; 150 Million Years in the Making

The windows in this exhibit illustrate how geology crafted Oregon’s landscape and natural resources and continues to shape the land and lives of its citizens.

Oregon My Oregon

Winner of a 2005 MUSE Award, Oregon My Oregon features the most important pieces from the Society’s collection of artifacts.

Oregon Voices: Change and Challenge in Modern Oregon History

With Oregon Voices, a new permanent exhibit, the Oregon History Museum combines the technology of today with stories from the past. This interactive exhibit gives visitors a chance to explore the issues and events that shaped Oregon from 1950 forward.

Clink! A Mini-Taste of Oregon Wine

Due to the popularity of Clink! A Taste of Oregon Wine, the exhibit’s “Tasting Room” (Hayes Gallery) has been held over and a portion of the exhibit highlighting the history of the Oregon wine industry is currently on display in the space. Learn about the early days of Oregon wine through colorful graphics with photos and text, view vintage bottles from the OHS collection, or relax in comfy chairs while paging through photo books featuring some of Oregon’s most celebrated vineyards.

Review:

These four exhibits are wonderful examples of what makes up the fabric of Oregon and why it is one of the most interesting, game changing and progressive states.  Take your time with them and let the wonder sink in.  It may offer you some inspiration to input into your own life.

The Oregon Historical Society is a must see on your next trip to Portland.  For a quiet humble neighbour sitting next door to the Portland Art Museum you will need an hour or two to walk the length of the exhibits.  Leave some time for ‘Place: Framing the Oregon’.  Visitors and locals alike have a lot to gain from hearing the whispers of those through their photographs about why Oregon is important.  You may find your own heart echoing similar beats.

Lastly, if you look closely enough you will see where Portlandia filmed the infamous ‘Sacagawea’ skit.  If that doesn’t get you in the door to visit The Oregon Historical Society; you are missing out.

The Oregon Historical Society

1200 SW Park Avenue

Portland, OR 97205

(503) 222-1741

http://www.ohs.org/index.cfm

Tasty n Alder

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I heard great things about John Gorham’s ‘Tasty n Alder’ restaurant when I was researching my Portland, Oregon trip.  I was eager to try it out as it was just down the road from my hotel, the Mark Spencer.

Tasty n Alder sits pretty besides it sister restaurants, Toro Bravo and Tasty n Sons.  I picked Tasty n Alder mainly for its relaxed vibe and foodie options.  Plus being a girl travelling on my own, I thought it would be a great fit to have a nice meal and still have time to do something after.  Three hours later…

My dinner reservation was for 7 p.m. and I was greeted with a full restaurant on a Thursday night.  People were eating, having drinks and having a laugh.  Perfect, I could slide into a side booth and have a quiet meal.  But I ended up being sat beside a sweet couple who had driven over an hour and half to have a meal at Tasty n Alder.  They stated their dog was waiting for them in the car.  It was the sweetest thing.  I was eager to hear more – why ‘Tasty n Alder’?

They proceeded to tell me ‘what was good’ on the menu and why they kept coming back to Tasty n Alder.  For them it was all about the tasty food, reasonable prices and a feeling like their service was always appreciated.  Wow!  For a couple that said, ‘they don’t eat out’ a lot.  They had firm ideas on what they liked and didn’t like on the menu.  That said, there wasn’t much they didn’t like on the menu.

With their suggestions in hand, I placed my order.

Starter:

Grilled Spanish Octopus

The Grilled Spanish Octopus was beautifully prepared.  It was cooked just enough that upon biting into it, it was tender to the palate.  No rubbery texture.  Just supreme.  I noticed I kept staring at it like it was a painting in a gallery on my plate.  I appreciated the minimal dressing and sautéed garlic. The garlic brought out the flavours of the octopus and took it to another level.  Simple.  Gorgeous.  I could have had 7 plates of the Grilled Spanish Octopus and called it a night.

Saigon Brussels Sprouts

I’m not a huge fan of Saigon Brussels Sprouts but these prepared by the Tasty n Alder crew were robust and had a kick to them.  In terms of portion size – the plate was full.  It could have been easily shared between three people.  Even after I had finished my Grilled Spanish Octopus  and was heading onto my main, I was being distracted by the juiciness of the brussel sprouts.  It just kept on giving and giving.

Drinks:

Rawhide-  bourbon, salted bonal honey, genepy, lemon, boker’s bitters

The Rawhide will take you out.  I’m not kidding.  It is a powerful liquid potion guaranteed to make you smile.  I adored the bourbon and mix of the salted bonal honey and lemon.  It punctuated the flavour of the drink.  Tasty n Alder are employing the best Mixologists behind that bar of theirs.  This drink was the recommendation of my waitress who it seemed everything she gently suggested was bang on.  It always helps to pick the brain of good wait staff.  Thanks Kristen and Manager Katie!  They know what will make for a fine dining experience time and time again.

Improved Whiskey Cocktail- rye, maraschino, bokers bitters, herbsaint, demarrera

I sipped the Improved Whiskey Cocktail during the course of my entrée.  It was also very tasty and married well with my meal.  I liked the mix of the sweet and sour.  It made for a nice end note as I transitioned between my starter and entrée.  But again, it will take you out.

Entrée:

Seared Scallops with mint pesto

I encourage you to order the Seared Scallops with mint pesto the next time you are at Tasty n Alder.  The scallops were larger than a Silver Dollar coin.  Plump.  Full of intent.  They require time to dwell upon and pay homage to.  They were thick and juicy.  Cutting it gently into quarters was only kind.  I enjoyed the mint pesto sauce as well.  It was fresh and aromatic.  I felt like I could have been eating this dish sat on the side of a cove because it was so alive.  A true gem.

Dessert:

Steakhouse Brownie with vanilla ice cream & cajeta artisan goat caramel

I was craving a decadent dessert and opted for the Steakhouse Brownie with vanilla ice cream & cajeta artisan goat caramel.  The brownie was royal and Beyonce epic.  It was made from scratch and had the layers of flakiness to prove it.  It was pure chocolaty joy.  The vanilla ice cream & cajeta artisan goat caramel pulled the warm, cool and sweet flavours into a dance.  Even though I had already eaten an appetizer and main, this dessert was the perfect end.  I could have easily taken the Steakhouse Brownie with vanilla ice cream & cajeta artisan goat caramel home with me and gotten into bed with it with a book and a big spoon.  It was all romance.

In terms of pricing at Tasty n Alder plates will cost you the following:  Smaller plates, $5-$15; meats, $12-$30; larger plates, $14-$19; desserts, $6-$7.  Indeed very affordable.  For the food quality and quantity you are leaving with not only your belly full but your senses opened to possibly trying out more dishes the next time you are at Tasty n Alder and whispering your good times to friends and family so they can join you next week.

If you find yourself travelling and want to feel like you are in a cool, family friendly with a dash of hipster resto – Tasty n Alder is for you.  The wait staff was great and left a lot of room for recommendations without the hustle to sell.  I appreciated their authenticity and genuine approach.  I also appreciated that the staff gently checked in on my progress without pushing me out the door.  Like a true family establishment they encouraged me to stay, keep enjoying and just take my time.

Lastly, the space at Tasty n Alder was warm and friendly which was amplified by their young, hip and trendy staff.  The re-claimed wood type table and chairs created a modern space but a space you can get stuck into with fuss.  The restaurant was lighted perfectly and the music albeit loud was not club pumping.  Tasty n Alder is a place for everyone.  Give them your business – you won’t regret it.

For the price, ambiance, service and food quality, Tasty n Alder gets a strong 5/5.

Tasty n Alder

580 S.W. 12th Ave.; 503-621-9251; http://www.tastyntasty.com

http://tastyntasty.com/alder/index.html