It could be the greatest dish in the world. Combine the delicious flavor of fresh garlic salsa, sour cream, cheese, olives, and tater tots, and you’ve got yourself what Oak’s Bottom Public House affectionately calls totchos. Christina and I shared a “large” plate of them for linner yesterday, but “gargantuan” would better describe the portion. I fully expected to walk in and get some totchos and a burger; instead, what I got was a buttload of delicious totchos and nothing else save a 7UP. Despite our powerful appetites, not even our combined efforts could finish the final blow to this dish, easily leaving behind enough for another person to savor. If you ever come to the Sellwood/Moreland area looking for cheap eats, stop by Oak’s Bottom Public House (map) and treat yourself to the ultra-powerfully garlicky potato goodness that is the totcho.

The Breakdown:
Totchos ~ $5 (normally $6, but $1 off during happy hour)
7UP x 2 ~ $2
Total ~ $10 (including $3 tip)

My Experience: 9.5/10 - Muy excelente!

Our First Anniversary @ Melting Pot

Me and ChristinaChristina and I celebrated our first anniversary as a couple of old married folks yesterday at The Melting Pot, which is probably the States’ largest fondue restaurant chain. Since it only comes once a year and we wanted our first anniversary to be really special, we went all out and got the most expensive package they had - Lovers Lane - which includes a four-course meal in addition to some extra amenities that Christina wasn’t aware of, which made the night that much more fun.

The entrance to the restaurant is unique in that the restaurant is underground. On the street level, a staircase decends to the front door. The worst part of our night was our unwelcoming greeting by our host, James - he was either unhappy to see us or maybe he was just exhausted. Fortunately, James made up for the cold welcome later on in the evening.

Christina and her raspberry martiniWe were seated in a nice semi-private booth in the back of the restaurant. Soon after, Jerry introduced himself as our server and, since this was our first time, discussed the workings of the menu and the four-course meal.

Before I go on, you might be thinking, “four courses?” Yeah. Hell yeah. >:)

My Dad

Dad and meMy dad and I have never had much of a relationship. Though I was born here in Portland, my mom left my dad and took me and my brother, Shawn, to Baltimore when I was 3. Shawn and I would see my dad a couple times a year until I was 15, when we moved back to Portland to live with my dad while my mom was going through some rough times. Though Shawn only stayed for a year before moving back to Baltimore, I ended up building my life here in the Portland area. It’s a great place with great people - I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

I don’t have any regrets about staying in Portland, even though Shawn moved back to Baltimore. I know Portland; I can trust people here and walk down the street without feeling like I could get jumped at any minute. I don’t have that same sense of security in Baltimore.

My dad is my only blood relative in Portland. Even though we spent a couple Christmases with Debbie’s family (Debbie is my dad’s fiance), the few holidays we spent together still felt like they were missing something. However, I found a life and a family here in Portland when Christina and her family helped fill the void for the family I left behind in Baltimore.

I still miss my Baltimoron family, though. It was an awesome treat to go back there 2 years ago for Christmas and shock the hell out of everybody (the only one who knew we were coming was my grandma). I really wish I could see my mom, Shawn, and everybody else more often.

Despite my longing for my family, I haven’t had much of a reason to want to see my dad. He’s the only one who lives within reasonable driving distance, yet I had’t seen him in almost a year. That was until last Sunday - Father’s Day.

We Portland Think Smart n Stuff

I’m not sure if it’s fair to base the intelligence of an entire city solely on it’s “higher learning” ratios, but BizJournals is a much larger website than this one so who am I to argue? According to BJ, Portland is the ninth smartest city in the whole US of Americana. That actually makes sense. Not that we’re ninth specifically, but just that we’re one of the smartest. After all, we have a ton of book stores, colleges, pseudointellectual junkies, tech geeks (like myself), musicians, performing arts theatres, and strip clubs.

I’m in the middle on BJ’s scale as part of the 25% who went to college but never finished. It seems so stupid to me that people never finish college; it’s almost the same logic as paying to join a gym and never going. So in that regard, I’m stupid. It’s not that I didn’t want to finish then, or that I don’t now - it’s just a time struggle. Once you put work before school, it’s really hard to get back into school.

It seems like the lives we live are too short in the beginning but, oftentimes, our usefulness pales in comparison to our unproductivity. The real question isn’t “How should we be more productive?” but rather “Should productivity be our primary focus as a species, and why?”

Alice in Chains @ Rockfest

That’s right, Alice in Chains is playing this year at Rockfest on July 29 at the Columbia Meadows! Like Nirvana, Mother Love Bone, Sublime, and Blind Melon, Alice in Chains is one of the many ill-fated grunge-era bands whose lead singer passed away too soon. I’m really glad to see AiC back together and I would so love to go to the show. Although we can’t really afford it, I’m trying to talk Christina into going - especially if we buy tickets now at the “discounted” pre-sale rate of $34.50 ($6 for an “AliceInChains.com Service Charge”? WTF?).

Who’s comin’ with me?

No, that’s not Lenny Kravitz - it’s AiC’s new [temporary?] frontman William Duvall

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