Lingonberries Market

Sandwiched in the most unlikely of places, between a car wash and an adult lingerie store, is Lingonberries, an entirely gluten free market! How nice is it, for people with allergies, to simply shop in a store without having to check for potentially harmful ingredients! They did the sorting for us. I originally made the quick jaunt to Vancouver in search of a granola that a hairstylist got me hooked on by Bakery On Main in “nutty cranberry maple granola” flavor. I found it, and then some.

Lingonberries carries an assortment of known brands and products, such as rice pasta and Kind Bars, but there was an extensive array of products and brands I had never seen before. Bread mix from Brazil? Cookies from Europe? Dinosaur shaped fruit cookies? COMMUNION WAFERS? They have it.

This is pretty much heaven for anyone with an allergy who has been denied a cookie at some point in their life. Here, you have full reign of every type of cookie, from flavor to size to crunchy or soft, and you are not just left with the one random gluten free option that doesn’t look that great anyway. I think I will be sick if someone suggests another trail-mix bar as dessert!

Aside from boxed goods, they also have a freezer case stocked full of giant frozen muffins, pie crusts, and even chicken nuggets from Applewood Farms! In the front of the shop is a brand new lovely display of glitter dusted cupcakes by Fairycakes of Portland, that also makes dairy-free options. Even though the shop is gluten-free, you still have to check for any other ingredients that you avoid. I had a hard time finding breads or baked goods that are entirely vegan, but there are some to choose from.

I went a little crazy and brought home a huge bag of healthy gluten-free junk food. It was my first time, after all. I have to try everything! Take a trip to Vancouver to get your gluten free fix! You will be so happy you did.

Lingonberries Market
6300 NE 117th Ave, Suite B5
Vancouver, WA 98662


love bite: h5o

While exploring downtown on a date, I spy an enormous rainbow peeking through the tall buildings and shifting sunlight, ending at the west side of the Willamette river. We hungrily chase the rainbow for blocks, laughing and running through “do not walk” signs, hoping for a better view as it fades into the sky.  By the time we get to the waterfront, the rainbow has already disappeared, but our hunger has not. We look up and strike gold – happy hour at H5O is happening now! H5O, located within Hotel 50, and just across the street from the waterfront, has a happy hour that is well priced, filled with fancy people on vacation, and is just blocks from Pioneer Square. I love that H5O has many options for vegetarians and omnivores, and uses loads of local and organic produce in their menu.

Order a mountain of truffle oil french fries ($4), shared easily between two ravenous diners, and ask for the house red ($6), for a generous pour of wine. “The Salad” ($3), is meager but pretty, with a refreshing vinaigrette of honey and shallot.  The dungeness crab roll ($5), has some of the freshest crab I have tasted lately, paired with avocado and pickled mango. My date orders (and avidly compliments) the tomato bisque, made with rich cream and organic tomatoes. It arrives a vivid orange color, topped with chopped basil.

Always of fan of a chic pink drink, I order the Cosmo-Not ($8), made with house-infused beet  vodka. The visual effect is more similar to a bloody mary (I don’t get to hold a pink drink after all), but tastes fresh and is strong without being overpowering.

Inside H5O, the waitstaff is impeccably dressed, and accommodating for substitutions (some restaurant happy hours will not accommodate menu substitutions, which can make or break your meal options if you have food allergies, like me) The decor is very modern- everything is shiny and new, with placemats that look like a million melted plastic yellow paperclips, and an impressive indoor crushed glass fireplace to sit around when it gets chilly. I am not a fan of the two televisions screens above the bar, or the parking lot view (try to snag a communal bench spot); but overall, the ambiance is high energy, and the music is upbeat. This is a place where you can dress up a bit and be surrounded by others on holiday- ready to jet off for a movie or shopping spree. Fab.

Happy hour is Monday-Saturday, 3-7pm and 9-close, and all day Sunday. Let’s go!

H5O Bistro & Bar
50 Southwest Morrison Street
Portland, Oregon 97204

love bite: suite 6

No matter where I go, finding a good party dress always seems to be a challenge. They are often too frilly to justify wearing in the real world, too stylish to be able to wear it in two months, or too expensive to buy in the first place. I came across Suite 6, and found my new place for a party dress fix. Suite 6, located in the Alberta Arts district and surrounded by multiple Thai restaurants, lines their walls with flattering and wearable dresses. Everywhere I look, there are dresses suitable for Portland art openings and maybe a fancy dinner and drinks- Biwa, anyone?

Suite 6 is also rather tongue in cheek about some of their items. There is a grey, flowey sequin mini dress/tunic top by Ringspun that is PRINTED with sequins rather than having actual sequins sewn on. The effect is a rather chic scaly look. Something else that cracked me up momentarily is the new spin on a BFF necklace set of interlocking USB sticks, plated in gold. If you don’t have a BFF, you can just wear it by yourself, but it would be more interactive to share!

If you are in need of a pair of black or grey leggings that last more than three months before they fall apart (the ones from Target are nearly disposable), this is the place to get them. Prices for durable and creative black leggings range in price from $35-$49.

I happily galloped away from the boutique with a black dress, on sale for $40, that directly channels Audrey Hepburn. It is definitely date worthy, but I can also wear it to work. The exposed zip and sheer black back is extra exciting.

Suite 6
2641 NE Alberta St
Portland, OR 97211
503 517 0305

love bite: lili patisserie and cafe

Last night was my first failed foray into Sellwood, at an attempt to locate a fabric store. No matter where I went, the GPS red dot on my iPhone was always traveling in the opposite direction from where I was headed. The fabric store closed before I could find it, and on the brink of tears, I drove on, lost, in search of redemption. I found myself driving slowly past Lili Patisserie and Café and could not help but investigate my namesake. I walked in upset, lost, and hungry, and left impressed, beaming, and satiated.

Lili’s is special. This is the kind of restaurant you would want to bring your best friend, your sister, your mother, or your boyfriend. It has a welcoming charm, a non-overly fussy French interior, and incredible food at reasonable prices, given the quality and locality of the ingredients. I find out from the perky waitress with enviably tousled hair that Lili’s brother owns a farm less than a mile away, which is the origin of all the produce used in the recipes. Much of the menu is based off of this farm-fresh produce, and it is impressively tasty. In addition, everything at the restaurant is made from scratch, and made to order. Even the bread and butter is delightful! I am presented with an elfin-sized wheat roll and whipped butter with fresh herbs.

Inside, antique mirrors cover the walls. Vintage wooden frames and cookie tins adorn the cabinets, with a wash of pale blues and greens throughout. Even the floors are charming, with hand-painted drawings and words of kitchen supplies. A lemon juicer lies ahead; a mixing bowl to my left.
I peruse the menu of well-crafted dishes, and decide upon the gnocchi. Lili has the best gnocchi, hands down, that I have ever tasted, and I order a lot of gnocchi. Their secret – no potato! What? I still have some questions about the reality of this dreamy dish, but I do know that the dough is made with ricotta cheese, topped with a San Marzano tomato sauce, and set over a bed of sautéed spinach. There is even a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and grated Parmesan cheese to create utter perfection. The gnocchi itself is fluffy, angel-puff soft, and served with a spoon, for $14.

It is rare that I order wine at a restaurant (I tend to save the extra cash to purchase dessert, as I am an avid sugar hound) but I decide to order Namaste’s “Peace,” a Chardonnay blend, for $7. It has a slight effervescence at the first sip, and tastes of crisp fall apples – a perfect autumnal wine. I am even more at peace. The majority of the wine selection is from Oregon and Washington, and I love that they support local wineries!

I overhear nearby conversations of Cinderella pumpkins, of sorrel, of trips to France. The fellow patrons are well versed in the ways of dining, and they fill up the café quickly – the small, ten table venue develops a waiting line within minutes of my arrival. I am informed that the dessert case is filled to the brim with sweets during the day, which is also the after dinner dessert selection. I choose the lingonberry panna cotta. The lingonberry topping is tart, the panna cotta is thick and custardy, and served in a mason jar. I leave none behind.

I could not be happier with my meal at Lili Patisserie and Café. I left wanting to spread the word to everyone I know who appreciates beauty, local cuisine, and excellent culinary skill. This is a place I would love come to on a date…but I already took myself here on a date, and will continue to do so, until my boyfriend catches on. I hear they also serve breakfast and lunch. Blueberry pancakes, anyone? I will be back soon. Their winter hours are rather short, so make sure you check the hours before heading out to Sellwood. 

Lili Patisserie and Cafe
8337 SE 17th Avenue
Sellwood, OR

the red e café

the red e cafeMoments like these are why I started my blog. Your favorite food of the moment is on the menu, they carry your favorite secret coffee brand, the album you’ve played on repeat in your room, your car, your work, is now on their speaker system. Artists with funny hair surround you, speaking of Germany and Fullbright scholarships. You smile because you’ve found a new home for the next two hours while attempting to blog. This is the Red E café. For the record, I had a manchego mushroom biscuit (like a strawberry shortbread biscuit mama makes, but savory!), Intelligentsia cappuccino, and they started to play Caribou upon my entrance.

the red e café
1006 N Killingsworth St