The god damn Internet is out at the house I live in and it has been for a couple days. This is gonna sound terrible, but I have become so dependent on having it, that its taken me until now to remember life without it, sad but true. I’m losing my fucking mind over here, I’m such an asshole! I watched dvds last night like it was 1999 again. Who fucking does that? Watches DVDs, it’s like listening to cassette tapes. Any non digital formatting is dead and/or dying.
I first tasted this amazing beverage at a restaurant in N Portland called ‘Po’ Shines’. It is just a tea made from dried hibiscus flowers and sweetened with simple syrup or agave (I usually use agave nectar), and sometimes sexy-fied with lime juice and a sprig of mint. It’s is generally served cold as a summertime refresca. Very popular in the Southern US and Mexico, it is always in my fridge at home, not just in the summertime but ALL THE TIME. I get my hibiscus at mexican grocery stores, food for less, or on one occasion a specialty tea store (but they are waxin’ for that shit). I call it purple drank…
Easy as fuck, here we go…
1c dried hibiscus flowers
2qts cold water
simple syrup or agave nectar, approx. 1 cup
optional, lime juice, wedges, and sprigs of mint (I omit)
Bring water to steeping temp. in a large pot. roughly 185 degrees F.
dump those fucking flowers in there and stir. Kill the heat. Let steep for 20 minutes.
Strain through a mesh strainer into storage container with the ice.
I have been living in St. Johns for the last 4 months. If you don’t know where St. Johns in Portland is, that’s not surprising. It is a small little neighborhood in the very most northern part of north Portland.
At one time it was it’s own municipality but since the 50’s, I believe, it has been part of Portland. It is quite different from the rest of Portland and it has this weird little small town, anywhere, vibe going on. It is s decent enough neighborhood to live in, but god damn it is fucking faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar away from my daily life. It takes me 25 minutes to get to SE Portland most days and all my work and most of my friends live outside of St. Johns, and convincing them to drive all the way out there to hang out is impossible. Besides the fact that I am spending most of my time commuting back and forth from work and hanging with my homies, I have found some decent spots to get down at.
I will start by saying that St. Johns is NOT a place you want to come to find amazing cuisine and Portland style nightlife. That being said, there are a few places that I have been getting down. The first place I ever went to get shitfaced when I moved out there is this greasy bar/ small music venue called Slim’s. Slim’s is about what you would expect from a neighborhood bar that has live music most nights of the week. They have a pretty large FSA and Sysco based menu, about 10 tap handles, ciders, and plenty of booze. Of course, like every bar in Ptown they got video stroker parlor in the back, a couple of pool tables and loads of ugly St. Johns skanks sneaking around. Go for the music and cheap booze, happy hour has dollar Pabst if you are into sport drinkin’… but eat before you go.
I recommend, leaving Slim’s and walking directly across the street to what most people know as “The Hidden Restaurant”. It’s a Mexican store complete with bakery and butcher counter, but in the back is this sketchy looking cafeteria style room with dozens of folding tables and absolutely no ambiance or flair. The place looks dirty and I’ll tell you the truth, I was fuckin’ bugged out when I walked in the first time. There is 1 counter with a fridge behind it full of Jarrito’s, an horchata circulator, a small salsa bar which I wouldn’t eat out of, and stacks of cases of Mexican Coca-Cola everywhere. The food is BANGIN’ y’all. Dollar tacos and $4 burritos, menudo on the weekends, and everything I have tried there has been top fucking notch. The place is actually called ‘Tienda Santa Cruz #2’ and everyone in St. Johns knows this is the place to go for the bomb ass cheap eats. Be sure to go with plenty of time because I have never been in and out, this place is always busy…ALWAYS. The bad news is, they close at 10 pm, so if you’re a late nighter, like me, then keep reading.
Another dope spot to drink AND eat at is a little joint called, ‘The Fixin’ To’. I mean with a name like that, how could it not be awesome. The place is fairly small inside, maybe 6 or 8 tables, but they have two outdoor seating areas, 1 is covered and has overhead heaters, the other is only partially covered, but the craft cocktail menu is OK, I guess, kinda ‘meh’ for me, but I’m a beer guy, and they don’t have the largest beer selection, but it’s a PBR life over here folks, but the food is outstanding. The menu is small and easy to manage for their limited space but all of it looks awesome and the truth is I can’t get passed the chicken and dumplings. I grew up eating chicken and dumplings like a boss, and theirs is everything I always wanted and more. Truthfully, I am going to steal it when I move back to Cincinnati. I will say that ‘The Fixin’ To’ is the most hipster dipster spot in St. Johns so if you don’t wanna punch a hipster in the ego for being a douche, then go somewhere else.
Oh and an update, maybe y’all remember when I blogged about Bakersfield, the taco joint in Cincinnati puttin’ it down out there. I mentioned that my 1 gripe was that they weren’t doing double tortillas on the tacos and good news, I got word last night. They got hip and now all of em are rollin’ out on two tortillas. I don’t care what the real reason is, I’m taking credit for that decision and I’m very proud of it.
This is frickin’ cool as hell. I haven’t had the time to try this, cuz my life is like crazy busy right now, but I have the procedure here for y’all.
On a scale of 1- awesome, How fucking cool is this shit?
Lots of y’all know I’m dippin’ outta P-Town at the end of November and I’m driving back to Cincy. The dilemma I am faced with now is, Which route do I choose to get there?
This map shows in red, the quickest and most efficient route to take. I will also mention that it is boring as fuck. Now, the scenery is magnificent. I have done it twice, but you stop in nothing but bullshit towns the whole way. Zero is the number of fuck’s I give about Lincoln, Nebraska and Indianapolis. On the western part of it you can stop in Salt Lake if you want, but Why…?
I have a much more interesting idea, highlighted in blue.
My homey Joe, is living in LA right now, and I don’t have to strong of a desire to see LA, except for the fact that Joe is there. I’ll give it a shot to see Joe. I also have heard awesome fucking things about Austin. I don’t know anyone there but, fuck it, I’ll find a way to pull something together. As long as I’m down there it doesn’t seem like a stretch to see New Orleans again. From there, I wanna swing through Memphis, because it’s on the way and Nashville after before I bring it in to Cincinnati.
What scares me is this stretch of freeway from Phoenix to Austin, that stretch alone is 1,000 fucking miles, through the desert in my piece of shit car. Of course I’ll risk it like an idiot but it is intimidating. We are also talking the entire trip being a distance of 2,300 miles going the boring route and 3,700 frickin’ miles going south. Am I crazy? 1,400 extra miles just for shiggles…especially, solo miles if I don’t snag a road dog to go with me.
Anybody got any input on this one? Lemme know.
Oh, and here’s a track to listen to.
This is absolutely capable of blowing your brains out of your head.
The very first cassette tape I ever bought for myself was the ‘Wayne’s World’ soundtrack and Warrant’s, ‘Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich’. Isn’t that funny as hell to think that some of us used to go browse new cassettes to buy? I don’t think that I ever bought a record to listen to, rather than collect, until I was much older than when I bought those first two cassettes. If I remember correctly, the first two CD’s I ever stole were Pearl Jam’s ‘Ten’ and ‘Nevermind’ by Nirvana. Check out this unbelievable Eddie Vedder impersonation.
The Black Sheep’s ‘A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing’, was definitely the first rap album I ever heard, my homeboy Joey Joyce turned me onto it when I was just a lil’ pup. He was a cool cat, we used to run around all summers together and fuck shit up (we belonged to the same swim club), his mom was a clown, we found our first bong under his clown moms car seat, and smoked the shit out of it.He lit a van on fire just to see what would happen and we used to break into this garden center store he worked at when we were like 14 and terrorize or BMX bikes all through there. We would race the forklifts and gators out back of that place til like 4 in the morning.
Anyway, he also turned me on to Digital Underground…and I remembered this terrible movie from the 90’s called Nothing But Trouble, that had Chevy Chase, Dan Akroyd, Demi Moore, and a bunch of other fucks in it too. I loved that shitty ass movie. I also loved this equally awful movie from back than called Disorderlies, starring… that’s right The Fat Boys!
Also, I happened to have to steal Rapper’s Delight by The Sugar Hill Gang three times when I was younger cuz I just had to always have ‘Apache‘ on the ready when the situation called for it.
I been in cincy for a couple days and as I suspected, and I’m sure y’all coulda seen it coming, the food scene sucks. I put it to my brother, Bro Grylls, to dig up some supa fly spots puttin down scratch made flavor town delights. As it is, we ain’t found it… Til last night. This handsome lil son of a bitch that is my brother, who by the way is the coolest kid I know, is a goddamn Segway tour guide in town.
It is a statement of fact that I find this informative and helpful.
I’m in Cincinnati right now and I’ll see yall in a bit with some freshness.