Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Egg A Day Experiment, Parts 31, 32, 33, 34

The challenge with this experiment is the natural tendency to gravitate toward the familiar. I went into the weekend determined to shake things up; to seek out some wild eggs.

I found some gems in Portland, Oregon, one of my favorite eating cities. I went there to check out the cool deals offered through the Portland Perks package, including lots of breaks at area restaurants. I love the diversity of the dining scene there. The city is home to stylish venues as well as hundreds of food carts that stretch the limits of culinary creativity. I stopped at Swamp Shack and Violetta, a new truck that features local meat and produce. I was nuts about the nacho fries at Big Ass Sandwich. Now, if only they could have put an egg on top. Nuts! I guess I should have asked.

First fantastic egg of the trip was served at the lovely dining room of the Heathman Hotel, which I would make my second home if/when I win the Mega Millions. It was a poached duck egg served with trotters. Holy cow! That dish was rich, rich, rich. The duck yolk, extra golden.

Next two eye-openers were served at exotic Ping. Throughout dinner, Johnny and I kept wondering aloud: Why isn't there a place like this in Seattle? It's so fresh, so original. Asian street food done with tons of style and a great value, too. I can't say enough about the raging hot egg salad, a vinegary mix of greens and chili with sliced eggs on top. YUM!

Then, the tea-marinated egg. WOW! This hard-boiled egg took on a smoky/salty flavor. I've got to try making this at home. Is this what some cookbooks call the "100-year egg"? More research is needed!

Before hitting I-5 North, we ate a swell Sunday brunch at Nel Centro. Johnny ordered a fluffy omelette, fattened up by goat cheese and sweet spring asparagus. I got the corned beef hash topped by a pair of poached eggs. This was probably the most traditional egg dish I ordered all weekend, but it came with a twist. Not truly a "hash", this meat-and-potato saute was a refined variation of the diner specialty. A fine pedestal for those eggs.

Nothing like a couple of days out of town to stir the pot, providing fresh inspiration. Next up on my egg agenda: curried eggs.

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