Thursday, May 1, 2014

Ken's Artisan Pizza

I am a huge fan of pizza. HUGE fan. I'm far behind in my quest to ingest all the best pizza Portland has to offer.  I finally made it somewhere new this past weekend. 

Ken's Artisan Pizza! It's nestled away in a small two tenant commercial building (it shares the building with Bamboo Sushi) in a residential neighborhood. 

When we arrived we were told that the wait was 45 minutes to an hour. By virtue of my broken foot, the wait staff seemed to take pity on me and we were seated at the bar with menus within about 5 minutes. (FINALLY something good has come out of walking around in this stupid cast)

Pile of wood for the wood fired pizza oven.

Wood fired pizza oven in action.

Bar in action

Happy pizza eaters

We went for two pizzas, first up is the Olive pizza ($13.00). Tomato sauce, rosemary, mozzarella and black olives. 

It was very good. The olives were oily and very flavorful and provided a nice tang in contrast with the mozzarella and lightly sauced crust. 

We also tried the Soppressata pizza ($13.00). Spicy soppressata, mozarella, tomato sauce and basil. 

This was my favorite of the two. The spicy soppressata was actually spicy, and the basil cooked up nice and crispy. 

I really liked Ken's Artisan pizza. I'm not sure that it tops my current Portland favorite, Apizza Scholls, but it is definitely a close second. I've heard that Life of Pie is the next pizza place I should pay a visit to, so I'll keep that in mind. I would definitely return to Ken's - their salads look amazing, and there are many other pizzas on the menu that deserve a try. 

If you'd like to check out Ken's for yourself, they are located at 304 SE 28th Ave in Portland. Their website is They are open Monday - Saturday from 5:00pm - 10:00pm, and Sunday from 4:00pm - 9:00pm. 

Ken's Artisan Pizza on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

April 2014 Ipsy Glam Bag Review

I'm a couple months behind on my Ipsy reviews, so I'm fast forwarding to April. 

Cute bag this month. It's larger than the Ipsy bags usually are, which is great for me. I'm planning on using it for something completely non-beauty related, it will be the new storage container for dog poop bags in my house. 

Value $15.00

Urban Decay 27/7 Black Velvet eye pencil. The 24/7 Black Velvet pencil was the perfect inclusion in this bag for me - I ran out of eyeliner the morning that this arrived in my inbox. I love the Urban Decay 24/7 pencils (however they do NOT last 24 hours on me, I'm lucky to get 8 hours wear out of them, but they are SO vibrant and go on so smooth I'm completely fine with reapplying). This pencil is a 3/4 size, so it's almost full size - a super generous sample.

Value $9.75  / $6.00

Dr Brandt Microdermabrasion - This looked familiar to me when I pulled it out of the package, and realized I received this in my October Birchbox. I still haven't used it, but after reading the reviews for it again, I realize the error of my ways, and that I need to give it a try.

Big Sexy Hair Root Pump mousse - this is a travel size, which is just the right size for me for any hair product, since I probably style my hair only a couple of times a year. It gets great reviews, if I can figure out how to use it I'm sure it will be a hit. 

Value - $19.00

Cailyn tinted lip balm in Apple Pink (FULL SIZE). This lip balm claims to stay on all day, and so far I believe it. I'm glad it came in a neutral shade that I will actually wear (it seems like most Beauty Box items are always red or bold pinks). 
Value $3.99
City Color Cosmetics White Gold Shadow & Highlight Mousse (FULL SIZE). I had never heard of City Color Cosmetics. They appear to be sold online at their website only

I'll give this a try as an eyeshadow, but it pulls way too golden for me to use as a highlighter. 

I paid $10 for my Glam Bag and it had a total value of $53.74 (not counting the makeup bag, that I would easily have paid $5 for). This months bag was completely worth it just for the eyeliner alone. 

If you'd like to sign up for Ipsy, you can do so through my link here

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sunday Brunch at Jamison

As the Sunday brunch tradition goes, T and I take turns choosing a location. He tends to chose the same thing every week (Irving St Kitchen), while I like to try somewhere I've never been before. After much goading he was prompted to choose something other than his standby, ISK, and decided on Jamison. 

I have probably walked by Jamison over a hundred times, and never once have I seen anyone coming or going, it never dawned on me that it was a restaurant, it appears from the outside to be an event space. 

Not in a bad way at all - it's just so.. beautiful inside. Take a peek:

It almost has the feeling of a high end furniture store. 

I really, really like the ambiance and the whole feeling of the place - however I should mention that when we arrived at 10:00am on Sunday for brunch we were the only customers at Jamison. In a town where an hour wait for brunch is the norm, the absence of customers is typically a bad sign. 

The brunch menu was a good size, and featured some interesting items. I really considered the salmon pastrami benedict with preserved lemon hollandaise, just because it sounded like such a strange combination, I figured it deserved my attention. Unfortunately they did not have it available while we were there. 

T decided to order like a grownup and had the fennel sausage scramble with red peppers, onion and cheddar ($11.00). It arrived with two pieces of dry toast and country potatoes. It wasn't bad, but wasn't remarkable either. 

Here is where things get weird. I ordered the baked french toast with apple compote, brown sugar and whipped cream ($12.00). When it arrived I looked at this and thought - there is no way that can be french toast - right? But according to the waitress this is what I ordered. However those things on the "french toast" were not apples, but maybe figs (they looked like smooshed figs, but did not taste like figs in any way), and the absence of both brown sugar and whipped cream led me to believe she accidentally gave me the gingerbread waffles with brandied figs instead. She insisted that I had my correct order. Whatever this was, it wasn't what I ordered, and it was gross, and her blase attitude about the mixup was infuriating. 

We ordered a side of bacon ($4.00) because bacon makes everything better. But it wasn't very good. Bacon is almost always delicious, but this was soggy, almost seemed underdone, and had little to no flavor.

I really wanted to LOVE Jamison - no wait, we had the place to ourselves, and it is gorgeous inside, but the food was just not good. I would give them another try for maybe lunch or dinner, but wont return for brunch. 

If you'd like to check out Jamison for yourself, they are located at 900 NW 11th Ave in the Pearl District. Their website is and they are open for brunch and lunch on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00am - 4:00pm. Happy Hour is daily from 4:30pm-5:30pm, with dinner served nightly starting at 5:00pm.

Jamison on Urbanspoon

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Podnah's Pit BBQ

My friend Burl lives all the way in Coos Bay, which is roughly a 4 hour drive from Portland. We share a love of shooting guns, and dining on delicious meat. When in his neck of the woods we like to go out into the middle of nowhere and fire off a few hundred rounds,  and when he's up in the Portland area we try to get together and check out some of the delicious animals being served at local eateries. 

This time when he came to visit we decided to go waaaaaaay out of my comfort zone, and travel across the river to Podnah's Pit BBQ. 

As you can see, it's a super classy joint - the patrons outside are wearing tuxedos! (okay, okay, your typical Portland tuxedo of jeans, tennis shoes and either a sweatshirt, North Face jacket or a leather jacket). 

They have a very well stocked bar, with comfy stools, and a great rustic aesthetic that runs through the entire restaurant. 

The bar is super spacious and looks like a great place to cozy up to and grab a slab of meat and a beer (or in my case a ginger ale). 

We arrived for lunch at around 2:00pm. The dining area isn't huge, so I'd expect a line during peak hours. Look how happy everyone is! These are smiles clearly brought on my delicious meat, right? 

We only had to wait about 5 minutes for a table, and in Portland, the land of the 2 hour wait for a meal it felt like we won the lottery. Check out the tagline at the bottom of the menu. One of the many fabulous things about the dining scene in Portland is that so many places make EVERYTHING themselves. 

Burl and I cozied in and spent about 20 minutes carefully deciding what to get. There were so many options. I thought about ordering the Pit Boss, in the name of research for the blog of course. It is comprised of 1/4 lb brisket, 1/4 lb pulled pork, 2 pork ribs, 1 sausage link, cornbread and two sides for $21.25 - but after careful consideration I realized there wasn't any realistic chance of me being able to finish it, so I passed. 

Instead I ordered the St. Helens Brisket (smoked 10 hours) which comes with two sides and cornbread ($14.50). 

My pile of brisket was so soft and melt in your mouth delicious that it kind of had the appearance that it had already been chewed. I assure you this isn't the case! It was very, very good, melty, rich, salty, I could have happily gobbled up an additional heaping pile. 

The first of my sides was Texas Caviar (black eyed pea salad). It was brimming with jalapenos and red onions and had a delicious vinegar-y bite to it.

For my other side I chose Coleslaw, as I had heard it was fantastic. It was coleslaw.  Nothing exceptional, but I was pleased to find it too contained jalapenos.  

Burl also chose the St Helens Brisket. If you look carefully at the upper right corner you'll see that I've caught him photographing his meal too - it's nice not to be the only camera wielding person at the table. 

Burl's brisket was visually far more appetizing than mine, but tasted equally great.

He chose BBQ Beans as a side and he really liked them. He kept trying to get me to sample them, but I'm just not a fan of baked beans, I couldn't bring myself to try them. 

For his second side, Burl chose Potato Salad. It was your standard, run of the mill potato salad, but presented very nicely. 

If you'd like to check out Podnah's Pit BBQ for yourself, they are located at 1625 NE Killingsworth in Portland. Their website is podnahspit.comThey are open Monday - Thursday from 11:00am - 9:00pm, Friday from 11:00am - 10:00pm, Saturday from 9:00am - 10:00pm. and Sunday from 9:00am - 9:00pm.

Podnah's Pit BBQ on Urbanspoon

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Colgate Optic White Toothbrush & Whitening Pen

The other day on my way home from work I was planning on stopping at Target to pick up a new toothbrush. I stopped at Target on my way home as planned, but ended up leaving the store with a bunch of things I didn't go there for, and forgot to buy a toothbrush. (story of every trip to Target EVER)

Imagine my delight when I arrived home, toothbrushless and checked my mail - a large package from Influenster featuring Colgate Optic White - GUYS - IT SAYS "TOOTHBRUSH" RIGHT ON THE BOX!  Best. Timing. Ever.

Inside the box was the new Colgate Optic White Toothbrush + Whitening pen, a trial sized tube of Colgate Optic White toothpaste, and a ton of coupons for $3.00 off a future purchase. 

Obviously this could not have come at a better time. I don't know if I am unusually hard on toothbrushes, or brush my teeth too often, or what, but I seem to need a new toothbrush far more often than the average person. I am also SUPER picky when it comes to toothbrushes (and toothpaste). I really like a toothbrush to feel "sturdy" and not bend at all - and so many nowadays have "flex heads" - I feel like I don't have as much control when the toothbrush head is fickle and flexing all over the place. This toothbrush was SO GREAT. Medium bristles, the head wasn't too large to fit in my mouth like so many toothbrushes out there, and it was very sturdy. I would be in love with this toothbrush just stopping there, but having a built in whitening pen is like the icing on the cake. I use many teeth whitening products, strips, trays, gels, lights, but I've never used a pen - so it was nice to be able to try one out - and having it attached to the toothbrush is a great way to remember to use it. 

I don't think that my teeth have actually changed color at all, but I've been using whitening toothpaste daily and whitening treatments weekly for years, so I'm probably maxed out on whiteness potential at this point. 

I really, really liked this toothbrush/whitening pen combo. The next time I went to Target I stopped by the toothbrush aisle to see what the retail value is on these toothbrushes. 

iuahdlkjsalsk;ajkdjiahfodlsdhfosj;f;pskdfpk  <------ that is the sound of me choking on my toothbrush. I really, really liked this toothbrush - but I will never be comfortable paying $13.99 (regular price) for a toothbrush. Even with the $3.00 off coupons that were included that is just too much money for a toothbrush in my opinion - especially considering I go through them so quickly. If it were more in the $5-6 range it would be far more reasonable. Unless of course you have teeth that aren't whitened to their full potential - if you need some whitening this is definitely a good value, to purchase once, kickstart your whitening, and then start on a regimen of regular whitening. 

You can pick up a Colgate Optic White Toothbrush + Whitening Pen from here.

I received these products complimentary from Influenster in return for my honest opinion about them.