Saturday, February 12, 2011

Party time

Portland, February 11—
WHAT A WONDERFUL FAMILY I have! The reason for last night's desperate drive up here was to celebrate Pavel's 50th birthday. For the occasion his wife Giovanna threw a big party, and for the party made fourteen cakes, or perhaps seventeen; accounts vary. And since Giovanna is her mother's daughter as well as mine, she's an excellent cook with a focus on baking: the cakes were fabulous.

But you can't live on simply cake, so for lunch, a little groggy, we went out to one of Portland's famous cart pods. Others had chicken and rice from a Thai kitchen said to be one of Portland's finest, but I was attracted to a sandwich specialist around the corner. Here I could have had ham and gruyère, or tuna with hardboiled egg, or brie and cucumber, or roast beef and horseradish sauce, estimable sanwiches all: but I had duck confit and cabbage, with a little cranberry relish to lend pointed sweetness to the combination: it was truly delicious.

In the evening, of course, cake; nothing but cake, and a brownie or two, and Želka's kolāčky: so good that I think I'll stroll into the kitchen and grab another right now.
Addy's Sandwiches, 10th at Adler NW, Portland

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