I went out for drinks this weekend with some buds to celebrate new jobs, departures to new places, and the hosting of some friends in town. We went to Cyril's in Southeast, where my neighbor and friend Laura is their new chef!

A revamped patio in the works!!
The owners, Sasha and Michael, founded Clay Pigeon Winery in 2011 and opened up Cyril's just this year. Sasha has a wealth of knowledge in the artisan cheese industry, while Michael has a vast experience in the wine world. Basically a dream team of sorts if you ask me. Hearing Sasha's story makes me envy all of the presumably amazing culinary experiences she must have had in her life. I mean, she serves on the Board of the American Cheese Society. Dream life?

You can from their large menu of cheese to compose your own cheese plate, but we let Laura do the picking. The mix was a great variety, with some smoky cheddar, stinky blue, grassy manchego and creamy camembert! All paired well with some crusty baguette and sliced meats.

Cheese board
Olympic Provisions meat plate


At the Rack

Spring so far has been chock full of visitors. This past weekend, my friend Sarah came to check out the Rose City all the way from Michigan. We go way back to grade school, at a time where I was unrecognizably chubby, and her white hair had her dubbed 'Ghosty'. Alas, babies we are no more.
garden girls
We spent the weekend sampling fare at some old standbys, as well as some new spots. Below are some select snaps from the weekend.
Communal dinner at Pok Pok
the Whole Hen!

Wings and other things!
Happy hour at Jo Bar & Rotisserie - bruschetta trio
Had to...

Whiskey sweet tea and a vodka lavender lemonade at Side Street

Group feasting on Moroccan fare at Marrakesh.

I had never been to/heard of this place, but it was amazing for a group. Things get pretty personal when you are eating with your hands!
Another great spring weekend with friends. Next up - Cali & Vegas! Stay tuned.


Cheese & Crack

I love grazing. I think some of my favorite eating experiences involve small bites of of a variety of stuff. I'm not sure why I waited so long to check out Cheese & Crack, but it is now my favorite cart of the moment.

Recipe for a successful cart that Marissa will love:

1.) Cute business card with a wink

2.) Adorably written, delicious looking and reasonably priced menu, located under a twinkly lit tent. Kind and knowledgeable guy hand crafting your selection.
3.) Ambrosia sodas (get. out). Handsome males available for conversation.
4.) Uhh. House made crackers, jam, and pickled rhubarb. Tasty green olives and local honey. Coppa sliced thinly whilst you wait. And Brûléed Brie. 

BRULEED BRIE. I never want another s'more with a ratty marshmallow ever again. Moving forward, brie only. Sub house made savory oatmeal cookie for graham, jam for chocolate.

I am forever changed.


Another coffee post

Buzzed over to Coava Coffee Roasters this a.m. for a much needed caffeine boost. Yesterday was the end to a very long week (long month, months really...) of planning my organization's annual conference.  It was pleasing to see everything go off without a hitch, as it was my last project before I depart next week for my new job.

Coava is located in the southeast industrial area and is a short hop from my place.  I was tempted to cruise over on my new scooter, but have yet to purchase a sidecar for the beau.

The menu is no nonsense and offers two drip roasts and two espresso roasts. They share their space with  a woodworking company, so the interior of the building is chock full of handdrafted wood seating and other creations.

A good spot for an early morning chill with a handsome dude.


Tuesday Morning

Continued my weekday coffee roam this morning with a (flawless) pourover from Courier roasters. No doubt I will be missing these places once I start my new gig in a few weeks!


Monday Morning

Still getting my sea legs back from the weekend. Americano at Barista, ie. my lifeline.


Lemon Yogurt Cake

For whatever reason, I feel like warm weather and citrus flavors go hand in hand. As the clouds and rain finally gave way toward the end of this week, I felt the urge to try a recipe I had clipped awhile back for a citrusy pound cake, made with lemon zest and yogurt. I tweaked the it a touch, and the results were delicious!

Lemon Yogurt Cake

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp kosher salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/5 tbs lemon zest
1-2 tbs lemon juice 
3/4 cup greek yogurt (I used lemon flavored)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

-Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a loaf pan with butter/veggie spray and dust with flour. 
-Mix flour, baking powder, and kosher salt in a bowl. 
-Rub sugar and lemon zest together in separate bowl using your fingers until the sugar starts to clump a bit. Add yogurt, oil, eggs, and vanilla and mix. Add in dry ingredients and mix until just blended.
-Pour batter into loaf pan and jiggle to smooth out the top. Bake until it looks like a beaming brick of gold, about 45-50 minutes.

Enjoy with fresh fruit, whip, or a scoop of honey ice cream! I think the next time I make this (there will be a next time), I will add some lavender buds, and hang back on the lemon zest a touch to ensure that the herbal flavor comes through.

Happy weekend!