What I Ate in Portland

In July, Robin and I headed to Portland, Oregon, for the Portland Zine Symposium. We were absolutely spoiled with all the good food in the Pearl District/Nob Hill area, so I wanted to share some of my favorites.

Blue Star Donuts

A box of doughnuts from Blue Star: key lime curd, passionfruit cocoa nib, raspberry old fashioned, blueberry rosemary, and lemon poppy seed.
A box of doughnuts from Blue Star: key lime curd, passionfruit cocoa nib, raspberry old fashioned, blueberry rosemary, and lemon poppy seed.
The counter at Blue Star Donuts with all the donughnuts lined up on plates behind glass. There are about 15 varieties. The display is minimalist and clean.
The counter at Blue Star Donuts with all the donughnuts lined up on plates behind glass. There are about 15 varieties. The display is minimalist and clean.

I eat a lot of Very Good doughnuts, but it’s been awhile since I’ve had a mind-blowing doughnut. The passionfruit with cayenne and cocoa nibs and the blueberry rosemary were my favorites of the bunch. I still can’t get over how vibrant the flavors (and colors) of the glazes were.

We grabbed these and some coffee, ate at the Northwest Portland Hostel and Guesthouse, where we had a private bedroom and a shared bath, then walked over to the convention with our suitcase of goods.

Portland Zine Symposium Exhibitor Lunch

Zine Fest Today
Entry to the Pacific Northwest College of Arts. There is a banner that says “ZINE FEST TODAY!”
The Corners of Their Mouth booth at Portland Zine Symposium. There is a rainbow flag on the table and copies of the Zines. There are large prints of botanical drawings.
The Corners of Their Mouth booth at Portland Zine Symposium.

A con that offers free food to staff and contributors is golden. Not having to run off in the middle of the day to get food was a huge help—even with two people, the “quick lunch run” my least favorite part of cons, especially out of town.

We had falafel, pita, olives, and hummus. Everyone on the symposium staff was so wonderful, and I later went out to karaoke at Schmizza with the organizers and some folks who are way more Zine Famous than me.

Also, everyone who exhibited or came had AMAZING shirts. So many floral and fruit prints!

Fish Sauce

A plate of spring rolls with tofu and peanut sauce on a wooden table.
Spring rolls with tofu and peanut sauce.
Bun with a fried spring roll, carrot and cucumber pickles, basil, fish sauce, spring onions, and grilled tofu.
Bún with a fried spring roll, carrot and cucumber pickles, basil, fish sauce, shrimp, spring onions, and grilled tofu.

Before karaoke, we went out to dinner at Fish Sauce with our friend Kayla and their partner. This tofu bún was a delight. The flavors were so well balanced, and the tofu was crispy perfection.

Zines

I also picked up some zines. My favorite food-related one so far is Food Femmes by L.M. Cook, a zine of interviews with women and femmes about food and memory. I also got to meet Archie Bongiovanni (!) and get a copy of their Yes, I’m Flagging zine.

Verde Cocina En La Perla

A poblano stuffed with quinoa, sweet potato, and apples, topped with queso fresco and salsa, and served with garbanzos and veggies. Close up. the far right side is in shadow.
A half-shady, half BURNING SUN shot of the chile relleno.

On Sunday, we had breakfast in the cafe of the hostel. Later, we met up with a pal from Ishikawa at Verde Cocina. I got the chile relleno. This one was a poblano stuffed with quinoa, sweet potato, and apples, topped with queso fresco and salsa, and served with garbanzos and veggies.

Verde Cocina (yes, not Cocina Verde) specializes in making Mexican food from PNW ingredients as well as for a variety of types of diets like vegan and paleo (and thus lower-carb stuff Robin could eat).

Portland Rose Garden

Close up of a bee in a magenta rose.
A bee in a magenta rose.
Close up of a yellow and magenta ombre rose.
Close up of a yellow and magenta ombre rose.
Close up of a bunch of yellow roses.
Close up of a bunch of yellow roses.

Robin and I also visited the Rose Garden and all the roses were in bloom! The last time we went was after the Japanese Garden in April 2016, and I really wanted to go back and see the roses. I never get sick of going to flower gardens or flower viewings, and I’m lucky enough to have our little rose bush and a small bed of roses near my office. But this! There were SO MANY roses and I got to see and smell them all and cuddle some hydrangeas. All of my Utena and Rose of Versailles romantic date dreams come true.

A hedge of many different kinds of pink, orange, and yellow roses blooming profusely on a sunny day.
A hedge of many different kinds of pink, orange, and yellow roses blooming profusely.

Robin enjoyed looking for tea roses and purple roses, while I fawned over the ombré ones. (I love ombré roses with yellow, orange or pink tones.) And, of course, I found lots of yellow roses, which stand for Sapphic angst in our zine The Queer Language of Flowers.

We had a very sweaty bus ride home to Seattle but arrived in one piece!

Fall Events

If you missed us in Portland or didn’t get a chance to buy The Queer Language of Flowers because we sold out(!!), here’s where we’ll be this fall! You can also check for events information on The Corners of Their Mouth Press and our social media.

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