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Fault Lines Poetry, Cartopia and the Woodsman

This morning I woke up in another dimension – perhaps it was the sunlight of mythical Portlandia streaming through the window of my friends' apartment beaming me awake at 7:30am. Perhaps it was the adrenalin rush of reading poetry in a totally public place like a farmer's market. Perhaps my manhattan at dinner was one drink too many.

Regardless the reason I was awake and groggy. It was time for a breakfast of champions- kale with leftover foraged mushrooms from last night's bounty.

Then I did a few google searches to find my farmer's market and five false starts to actually navigate there. Finally I arrived at St.John's farmer's market and book store to read poetry with my fellow Portland contributors to the wonderful book Fault Lines: Poetry for the People.

Here is our happy audience on a Saturday afternoon for poetry.

With the rest of my day in hand I found myself in a quandary of too many food choices and navigational challenges.

After accidentally wandering into an IPA beer festival looking for a public restroom I almost was able to decide upon a food cart pod to eat lunch at.

I ended up – two hours later – at Cartopia eating french fries from Potato Champion with Tarragon anchovy and Harissa dipping sauces.


A few hours of coffee shop living later with the grave disappointment of not getting tickets to the cat circus act in town I resigned myself to eating at a recently awarded "best" restaurant in the country by some food magazine – The Woodsman Tavern.

I have a new favorite place to eat in Portland or anywhere.

I sat alone at the bar treated to superb service combined with tasty unique rustic food. Ok- maybe octopus and rabbit liver are not rustic – but they are amazing when done by these talented tattooed folk.


Despite the down pillow dreamy tenderness of the octopus – my favorite dish was the $3 greens. I think I found carrot, celery and feral greens (otherwise known as edible weeds in my garden I can't name) in there. I counted over 6 to 8 types of greenery as I sat at the bar picking the pile apart like some type of mad scientist rabbit.

The nice bartender smiled at me as I took each interestly shaped piece in my hand and held it up to the light then popped it into my mouth to chew and analyze its individual flavor.

After dissecting the side of greens I attempted to explore dessert but was met by the challenge of gluten and cream all over the place. As this month I am observing my body's do not eat requests I had to forego the dessert menu – but my bartender friend would not have me left out in the cold – he gave me a lovely little alternative treat of cocoa dusted almonds with just a hint of sweet and salty under the thin brown powder.

After my palate adventure I was ready to navigate home to a good night's sleep to drive away from my fairy tale food land back home to Seattle.


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