Portland, Oregon Needs More Cowbell…

Portland is about as different from Vegas as a place can get.

It is a bizarre confluence of grunge meets cutting edge.

With so many people walking around in shades of brown and gray it looks like a human mushroom farm.

But they have really groovy public transportation.

And an art and culture scene.

But the ratio of bums to pedestrians seems like about 1 to 1.

And the people are so f*cking politically correct that every time we sneezed, we looked around to see who we were offending.

But micro-brews are everywhere.

As are Burgundian-style pinot noirs.

And it’s Will-AM-ette, dammit.

This area is probably the most fertile, locavore-friendly, micro-climate-rich, top-to-bottom cornucopia of food, seafood, fish, shellfish, meats, cheeses, vegetables and herbs anywhere in America — including California and the east coast.

Even if it is a short growing season.

But all that urban planning, and liberal correctness, and hipster-meets-urbanite vibe left us feeling more than a bit constrained.

And claustrophobic.

So after three days of walking the city and eating and drinking ourselves silly, all we can say is this:


…Portland has a lot to offer…

…but what it needs

…more than anything else…

…is more cowbell.

5 thoughts on “Portland, Oregon Needs More Cowbell…

  1. when the homeless folk in Seattle are unnervingly “nice” you start to hanker for the edge we enjoy in Las vegas. Welcome back John

  2. But Mr. ELV, that’s how they like it in the Northwest! Why do you think they were so pissed when “Californicators” were moving north back in the boom days? And remember that they consider us in Vegas “weird” because we don’t like to actually pay for our government, and because there’s no way we can be “environmentally sustainable” in their eyes. (Hey, we’re in the desert!)

    Seriously, my friends & family up there and in the Bay Area still give me s**t because I moved here. They were mad enough about me living “Behind The Orange Curtain“, so now they REALLY don’t like that I’ve relocated to the libertarian wonderland of Lost Wages. ;-)

  3. Somewhere in the past twenty years or so, Portland lost the identity that made it such a unique city in terms of the dining scene. I know, I lived there. I’m a native born Oregonian who still resides in the Pacific Northwest, (to the shocking horror of Portlanders, I’m now a resident of Washington State, spending about 12 hours a day in the more “sophisticated” environs of the palates of Seattle).

    In a quest to find an identity that was already there–(oysters, salmon, filberts (hazelnuts to the poorly informed), marionberries and so much more)–a new faction of Portlandites decided, somewhere between protesting the WTO and getting another tattoo or piercing, that they needed to cook food that was trendy, fussy, silly and served on mats hewn from hemp. Along the way, the character of what made generations of Oregon families unique and the foods they were known for, were shoved to the back of the dining room.

    Yes, there are plenty of artisans crafting delicious cuisines in Portland based on local, seasonal products. But the “cowbell” so to speak, the traditional pioneer spirit of Oregon that is so delicious is stunningly silent these days.

    I do take a bit of satisfaction in knowing that two of the places I suggested to ELV, Dan and Louis Oyster Bar and Wildwood, do have the cowbells a’ringing.

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