What a gem! A friendly, unpretentious room...great service...and absolutely delicious food. We shared two starters and had three different mains, and all were fabulous. Slow-cooked chicken on a raisin-croissant cake (so decadent), luscious ling cod and a steak frites that was among the best I've had in the city.
We will definitely be back -- really nice to find a delicious and reasonably-priced French restaurant with options that are a more interesting than a traditional bistro.
This is The perfect local jewelry store. I am a huge fan of their custom work, because they created the gold @ sign necklace that my mother commissioned as a birthday gift several years ago, and I get constant compliments on it. But they are also terrifically good, efficient, and economical in their repair work, for example, in reconstructing the setting on an antique ring.
Gurvin also has a well-curated and tasteful selection of jewelry, including a very large selection of Pandora. they have excellent, friendly and helpful staff, and a wonderful departure from the sometimes snotty attitude of jewelry store staff people, and after watching someone help and pick out an engagement ring the other day, I'm very touched by how they throw themselves into that kind of process.
Elliot Bay strikes the magic balance between large enough to offer a truly impressive selection, yet small enough to feel intimate and manageable.
Even though we live in Vancouver, Canada, we think of Elliot Bay as our local bookstore: we come down to Seattle several times a year to stock up, working largely off the excellent recommendations scattered throughout the store. While we love Powells in Portland, Elliot Bay is in a league of its own in offering comment cards on books in every single department.
It's a lovely place to browse and a great place to find your next new favorite book or author.
I've never been to a climbing gym before, so this review will be more relevant to novices and families than to serious climbers. And after reading some of the reviews, I was worried that this place was just too hard core for us -- that without any knowledge of how to belay, we'd be unable to participate, since there weren't any staff available for private lessons today.
But PRG was as welcoming as could be! Dan encouraged us to climb as a family -- grownups as well as kids -- and showed us how to use the auto-belayers and how to spot the kids on the bouldering wall. I'm a total chicken myself, and a worrier when it comes to the kids, but I felt totally comfortable giving it a try.
And our kids loved it! Our little guy was a bit put-off by the auto-belaying, I think because he finds it reassuring to have someone else on the other end of the line. But our daughter loved it, and was up and down a few different walls more that a dozen times.
Even I was able to get halfway up a wall at several point; the onlyobstacle to going higher was that OMG I AM HALFWAY UP A F*CKING WALL AND I HAVE TO GET DOWN AGAIN. Trusting the cable to support me on the way down scared the bejusus out of me. But again, the relaxed and friendly vibe was perfect -- the various staff and fellow climbers who I shared my fears with were all very encouraging, and I ended up pushing myself more that I thought I could and having a better time than I had imagined.
It was also very convenient to find a small selection of cardio and weight training equipment -- while my daughter got in a few more climbs, I had a few minutes on the elliptical, which is always tough to fit in while on vacation. In combination with the climbing itself, I actually had a real workout, hurrah!
This was a great way for our family to experience climbing together, and it's something I think we'll do when we get back home. We were really happy to find such an enjoyable family activity on vacation -- and one that made us feel more like locals than like tourists.
Thanks PRG for a great afternoon!
Salted caramel macaron: 17 stars.
Amelie (chocolate hazelnut pastry): 5 stars.
Concorde (chocolate mousse pastry): 4.5 stars
Creme brulee: 3 stars for being served cold.
Courtyard ambiance, complete with petanque (boules): 5 stars
Waiter who was notionally courteous but clearly unenthused to serve us and our (at least tonight) well-behaved kids: 1 star
Next time, I'd get the pastries to go.
Sustainable sushi. Seems like a fantastic idea, but also the kind of thing that could earn a restaurant a little wiggle room in other departments -- like, maybe we'll cut them some slack on food or ambiance or service, just because we like that they are trying not to devour the entire ocean.
But no slack-cutting needed here. Even without the sustainability bonus, Bamboo is a top-notch sushi restaurant in every respect. It has absolutely excellent, fresh, melt-in-your-mouth fish (tonight we enjoyed a flight of 5 different kinds of fresh salmon, plus just-in albacore. Yum!) It has inventive (but not overly sauced) specialties, like its "green machine" roll made of tempura asparagus, albacore, avocado and some kind of magic sauce -- a dish that is going onto my list of foods I will seek out on future visits to Portland, because it's one of the best sushi rolls I've ever had. And they also do a beautiful job of the non-fish basics: the miso soup and the spinach gomae were both superb, though the texture of the agadashi tofu wasn't hall-of-fame league.
To go with the fab food, you have a wonderful room, delicious drinks, and excellent but not intrusive service. We were guided towards a good (and not excessive) selection of dishes, the first of which arrived just a few minutes later, and the rest of which were very well-paced. Service remained attentive but not hovering; triple bonus points for the fact that staff asked whether they could clear some plates for us, instead of just snatching each dish away the second we seemed to have finished (a pet peeve of mine -- I hate feeling rushed, especially at a good restaurant).
As some folks have noted, it is pricey -- with two cocktails and tip, our dinner for 3.5 (two adults, one enthusiastic sushi-eating kid, and one delicate eater) came in at $135. That bill wouldn't surprise me at a high-end sushi restaurant in Vancouver BC, but after a couple of weeks of eating at Oregon's remarkably inexpensive (and delicious) restaurants, it was noteworthy. But we considered it money well spent, and not unreasonable for a meal of this caliber.
We'd definitely recommend Bamboo to friends, and hope to return ourselves.
This is a fabulous place to find new games and fellow gamers. It's a big space with lots of roomy tables where you can try out ant of dozens of games on hand, ranging from kid-friendly classics like Mousetrap to indie games and role playing games.
In a roomful of regulars we felt very comfortable settling in to try out a few games with the kids...and this was on an ordinary weeknight, not a special game night.
My only regret is that the assortment of games for sale wasn't representative of what they had to try out, so we ended up leaving without making a purchase, which felt kind of funny after spending well over an hour there. However there was nothing about the friendly reception we got that made me feel this was atypical, though certainly, if we were regulars, I would want to buy games there, too.
All in all, a great resource for locals, and a lovely way for us to spend an evening in Portland as visitors.
You know that thing where you fall in love with a restaurant in another city, and obsess about how much you want to go back there, and tell everyone you know who is visiting that city that they should go there too, but then when you go back, it isn't actually as good as you remembered?
This is not that.
This is where you go back, and it is not only as good as you remembered, but is maybe even a bit better, so you start to think about how hard it is to hold onto the memory of how good something is, and how maybe the very definition of an excellent experience is that your memory can never quite do it justice.
Because if you say that the "summer muffin" was a breakfast that actually tasted like summer, how do you actually remember what that means? And if you say that it was a homemade english muffin with fresh greens and cheese and a fried egg and pickled beets, how do you actually remember the way they add up together to delicious smooshy salty crisp yumminess? Or if you admit that a cajun meatloaf egg sandwich was even more delicious than the summer muffin, is that saying that summer isn't the most delicious taste there is?
All you can do is hope to add to the memories with new memories...like the memory of your kids FINALLY being as excited about a restaurant as you are. And no wonder, when they got to eat Dutch Baby pancakes that they described as a crepe crossed with a popover (where the crepe-popover was served with lemon curd and blueberry compote so perfect that they are non-hypothetically worth eating straight from the bowl).
So yes, it is all that. The only difference now is that all that is even more popular than it used to be, so you have to be there RIGHT at 9 am when it opens if you hope to have all that for your breakfast.
This Buy-Low is THE secret to a great Osoyoos vacation!
Fools that we are, we assumed that (as in our own neighborhood) the Buy-Low was the discount, not-very-good grocery store. In fact, it's by far the best grocery shop we've discovered in these parts...so good that if it were in Vancouver, it's probably where we'd shop.
Like the name promises, it's a well-priced source of all the essentials. But it also has an excellent produce department, a wide assortment of (mostly conventionally raised) meat and fish, a remarkably eclectic bakery and a really great range of East Indian (and to a lesser extent, Asian and Mexican) foods. We found everything from buffalo mozzarella (several kinds!) to gluten-free baking supplies to delicious spanish cookie/cracker things (Rosales tortas) that have a cult following on the internet, but which we'd never previously discovered.
If you're in Osoyoos, start your shopping here.
If you have never experienced a suspended simulation like this one, it is a magical experience well worth having even at this high price. Yes, it lasts only half an hour, only nine minutes of which are on the ride, but it makes for a special special treat.
We took the kids to Flyover Canada as a birthday treat, and it made our birthday girl very very happy. We experienced a similar ride at Disney World (the same ride exists at Disney's California Adventure), and Flyover Canada is rougly as good or even better. As a Canadian, I found it even more gratifying, because it triggered an unexpected ways of patriotic appreciation for a beautiful country.
The pre-ride immersive movie was very much part of the experience, and much more remarkable and meaningful than I had expected. Definitely added to the value.
Overall, a great attraction, run very professionally.
"Unsparing in my enthusiasms and frustrations."
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