Misty Morn

Well, our beautiful Indian Summer Fall is gone and now we are back to our regularly scheduled Oregon weather.

Rain, Gray, drizzle, pouring rain, gray, mist, sideways blowing rain, and more gray.  The other morning the church lawn across the street offered a nice misty photo opportunity with the mist, and the black birds and the light.

Then today I sat at the table eating my very yummy White Bean and Garlic + Sausage soup and staring out into the back yard watching the drizzle come down.  And watching the drizzle steadily beat down my lovely potted King Tut Grass and the Purple Fountain Grass, soon its summer splendor will pass into a sodden, droopy mess.  So I thought of this Haiku:

A drizzle falls slowly

while plants die

and a cat watches

Misty Morn

Top Ten Burger Crawl

Jeff eating a Mike’s Double Cheeseburger Basket.

Sometime back (January?) Jeff and I were discussing an article listing the Top Ten Classic Burgers in Portland. Well, actually, it was more like an argument, if you must know. 

Jeff’s argument was based on the premise that how could anyone truly know what the Top Ten was? After a while I became exasperated and suggested that to be qualified to discuss it at all, one must surely eat at all of these places and Then discuss it.

Jeff agreed and the Top Ten Burger Crawl began. Every week or so we visited one of the places on the Top Ten Burger List. It was really fun to plan and discuss where to go each week, it gave us something to look forward to, that’s for sure.

We went to every place on the list except for one, which I swapped out, because I had then found a second Top Ten list and felt it was important to drop one that received many bad/mixed reviews and add one that had many rave reviews.

I dropped Stanich’s for Foster Burger and I have no regrets about this. Foster Burger remains my pick for the Number One Burger in Portland. While Jeff argues that it didn’t truly qualify, because it was a Pub and therefore, not a classic drive-in sort of place.

I don’t care: Foster Burger had handmade buns from the bakery next door, your choice of toppings–Five Guys style and Poutine, they are the best!  This is the only place I have returned to, with Chris and I had to remind him to taste his food because he was wolfing it down so fast!  When Chris and I went, we shared a Coffee Shake and it was everything a shake should be, cold, rich, creamy and served in one of those over-sized metal cups.

After talking with Jeff at length, he finally admitted that his Number One Burger would have to be the Double Double Bacon Bacon Burger at Humdinger’s. He says it wins based on sheer height and bacon-ness. I have to admit, their burger was a classic and their shakes were awesome.

I had their soft serve chocolate marshmallow shake, and they don’t skimp on their flavoring, lots of chocolate topped off with a dollop of marshmallow cream.  Three other people saw my milkshake and decided to order one themselves, including the guy who was waiting for his to-go order.

Humdinger’s Double Double Bacon Bacon Burger and the Chocolate Marshmallow Shake

When we visited Humdinger’s in March, it decided to snow that day, so it was not the best day for milkshakes, and I plan to make a return trip this summer, when they are holding one of their outdoor checker games.  Jeff says we’ll go in his old Buick Convertible Skylark, as soon as its running reliably again.

Our other favorite burger, running at Number Two would have to be the Burger Barn on Glisan.  It was a sub for Canyon Burgers which is owned by the same people, only why drive to Beaverton if you don’t have to?  This place didn’t look like much, was run by a single guy who seemed unsure of what to do,  but boy-howdy!  We had to ask for forks to finish eating these enormous, sloppy,  burgers with juices that started running down our arms with the first bite.

We also shared a Caramel Milkshake and it too is done by hand and served in the over-sized metal cups.  It was really good and I had to ask what caramel flavor they used and he said it was Ghiradelli’s.

The biggest burger surprise has to go to Roake’s, which is an institution as far as Coney Island Long Hot Dogs go.  Jeff has been going there his whole life and he took me there as our first real date many moons ago.  Both of us have Never Ever eaten a burger there, so it was with some trepidation that we had one.

We were pleasantly surprised, Roake’s does make a very good burger.  I had the Rich Roake that is served on a French Bun and Jeff had the Roaker which is served with their famous coney sauce.  Of course their fries are the usual hand-cut greasy fries that we love.

Mike’s Double Cheeseburger Basket

Jeff and I wound up our Burger Crawl at a local place, Mike’s Restaurant, we went to the Sellwood location so that we could hit up East Moreland Park for a picture shoot if the weather was good.  It wasn’t, as you can see from the pix I did take. Gray, cloudy, splats of rain, bleh!

Mike’s has three locations around where we live, and I now have officially been once to all three.  They make a decent sized, good, classic burger, its just not a great burger.  But many people love Mike’s, and that’s O.K.

All the remaining places on the Top Ten list were each good in their own way, but neither of us are sure we would go out of our way to eat their again.  They are:  Giant Drive In, George’s Giant Hamburgers, Dea’s In & Out, Helvetia Tavern and Skyline Restaurant.   Well, Jeff said he would go to Giant Drive In again, he liked the old curmudgeon owner and the old-fashioned style of the place as well as the huge everything burger he had there.

Now that we’re done, we’re discussing a round-up of the Top Ten Diners…of the American style comfort food sort.

I’m making a list.

Sock Summit, Now with More Awesomeness!

I have to hand it to the Sock Summit Team, I wondered how it could be even more awesome than the first one, because the first one was Really Awesome, but they did it, made it even More Awesome!

First, the registration went smoothly with no crashes and tearing out of hair or other angst-y moments.

Second, tons more classes!  I even got to take a class myself, which in itself is very cool.

Third, a bunch of lectures and demos, which were very interesting and informative or just made you laugh out loud.

Fourth, the vendor selection was Fantastic!

It seemed to me that there was a bunch more Indie Dyers and Sellers of Knitting Related Stuff there than last time.  This was a good thing.  Which meant there was less commercial vendors there, like stores and such.  Not that there is anything wrong with that, I just appreciated the focus on the Independent Sellers.

Yarn pictured from Wonderland Dyeworks.

Fifth, the PDX Knitbloggers got to set up a little meet-up area, which was great because I knew were to go to find my knit buddies.

Sixth, I was a volunteer, which gave me some new opportunities to help out and gave me a cool green volunteer pass which allowed me access to places the normal attendee didn’t get to go.  (For instance, entering the Marketplace before it opened, not shopping, mind, just entering.  And I discovered where the teacher’s lounge was too. )

Seventh, I attended two lectures, one as a volunteer and one because I was a volunteer.  Yeah, that makes sense.  One lecture I was sent as a volunteer, the other was the “reward” so to speak, for being a volunteer.

Eighth, I met new peeps and made new friends and had fun hanging with my old friends, especially trtgrl, who is a kick to hang out with!

HAY by Rachel, hand-spun yarn and hand-dyed silk hankies in Red Riding Hood.  

Rachel and I went out to dinner together and got along like a “house afire” as they say, and I hope she is one of my new friends.  Aside from her fantastic products and ridiculously low prices, she is a terrific person.  You should totally get some fiber from her!  (HAY stands for Hand-spun Art Yarn.)

Ninth, Cool New Sock Yarns and Knitting Patterns, Swag and a Free Book were Acquired!

My Grandmother’s Knitting, signed by the author, Larissa Brown

My Grandmother’s Knitting is a charming book with the first half full of stories from all kinds of famous knitters and designers, such as Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed and Norah Gaughan,  Creative Director for Berrocco and many others.

The second half of the book focuses on updated designs based on some classics, such as your Grandmother might have knit.  I especially like the 1940’s styled Bed-Jacket styled shrug by Joan McGowan (who had a booth at the Summit btw) and was amused by the remake of the timeless slippers, complete with pom-pom on top by the author of the Gin and Tonic blog.

Tenth, My Honey Bunny went shopping at the Marketplace for my birthday!  He did an awesome job of picking out special things for me, and wouldn’t let me see until he had gone around the Marketplace twice, making sure to get all the freebies he could too 🙂

Most of the swag acquired at Sock Summit  II 

One of the cool items pictured here is the charting software from Intwined Studio, which I am playing with and trying to figure out how to use.   The class I took “How to Write Up an Awesome Sock Pattern” by Kate Atherly who is the Tech Editor at Knitty.com was really helpful and informative to me.

She taught us some great things about pattern writing as well as mentioning how the use of charting software is a terrific time-saver.  Intwined Pattern Studio lets you create any type of chart and it instantly converts it to a written pattern as well.  This is a very cool thing, and after hearing several class members say how great it was, I had to have it.

All in all it was an exhaustingly fabulous time and I came home with plenty of stuff to keep me busy for a long while.

Sock Summit Shopping-Loot! 


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