Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The Top 103 Things I'll Miss About Portland

The rumors are partially true. I'm moving to Maine, but I'm not starting a cult.

My wife and I just bought the property and house of our dreams on the Midcoast near Belfast. Not only am I returning to my home state, I will investigate the so-called Back-to-the-Land Movement 2.0, a movement with deep roots in America centered on reducing our impact on the environment through good old-fashioned country living.

Also, can you imagine how loud I can play death metal without neighbors?

From our isolated 10 acres, I intend to chronicle what others are doing in the area, from the Four Seasons Farm and the burgeoning hard cider movement, to my old friends who are living off the grid. My wife and I are putting our money where our mouth is (mouths are?), experimenting with subsistence farming and dedicating resources to writing our books.

The sad part is there's a whole lot of Portland I'm going to miss. I have so many people to thank and acknowledge. This means I'm going to miss roughly 103 things about Portland, Oregon. Here's a start:

  1. Anh Luu: #Phorrito went viral! This is definitely a career highlight—all thanks to your incredible talent at putting soup in a burrito. Thank you.
  2. Erin DeJesus: Working beside you was a pleasure and a privilege, and hanging out with you and Johnny at dive bars was even better. 
  3. Daniel Shoemaker: Terra Nostra, V., and chopsticks for hornets.
  4. Aaron Adams: When you told me how much adding Farm Spirit to the Eater 38 meant to you, it made all the hard work worth it. Also, thanks for giving dignity to vegan fine dining. I still can't believe you became a weight lifter.
  5. Gregory Gourdet: The first time we met I gave you an awkward fan hug. It was kinda weird but I'll never regret it. Keep inspiring people to be themselves. 
  6. Carrie and Jannie: You are consummate professionals, while also being fun and cool, which has always been my preferred form of consummate professional. 
  7. Adam Sawyer: Never forget the Sunset Resort big daddy (but would you turn the fucking television down?!?).
  8. Kayt Mathers: Girl, you pack one hell of a punch.
  9. Olga Tuttle: Your ability to inspire people through wine, music, free-thinking, and hard work is staggering. 
  10. Barnaby Tuttle: I hope I can be as cool as you when I grow up. RED FANG X HERBIE HANCOCK X WHITE TANNAT X STARSHIP ENTERPRISE X THE CHRONIC. Thank you.
  11. Michael Zusman: God, that cheese bread. Also, I learned a ton from you. Thanks for sharing your knowledge over many great meals.
  12. Dayna McErlean: Moving from Italy to Portland in 2010, DOC made my wife and I feel immediately at home—not just flavors, but hospitality. It was always a pleasure. Thank you.
  13. Peter Cho: You made me LOVE Korean food. Thank you.
  14. Melissa McMillan: When you told me how much my coverage of Sammich meant to you, it made all the hard work worth it. Thank you.
  15. Gabe Pascuzzi: Yes, really. The chef behind a sandwich shop deserves to be Chef of the Year. That's why I named you Chef of the Year. Now, can you please give me the recipe for that oxtail French dip so I can share the wonders of Oregon with Mainiacs?
  16. Andy Kryza: I know you already left Portland, but you're crazy, and I love you.
  17. Maya Lovelace and Zach Lefler: I will never look at Southern/Appalachian cooking the same again. Thank you. Also, BEHEMOTH.
  18. Dina Avila: You're the best restaurant photographer in Portland, but your talents also include ūüźĮ
  19. Earl Ninsom: I just think what you're doing is cool as hell.
  20. Carrie Uffindell: What a blast. Keep holding it down in Woodstock!
  21. Bonnie Morales: I hope there will be a Russian restaurant in Maine, but I know it won't be as good as yours. I really still can't believe Kachka exists.
  22. John Gorham: HUGE-with-a-capital-everything respect. Also, remember that party in Eugene? 
  23. Renee Gorham: Your brand of hospitality is the best in Portland. Hell, it might even rival Italy. Keep making people happy. Thank you.
  24. Katherine Cole: That 4 Top podcast episode was so much fun—one of the most rewarding things I did in Portland. Thank you.
  25. Alex Frane: DEATHGASM IS THE BEST MOVIE EVER.
  26. Kurt Huffman: Thanks for letting me judge the Feast flipcup competition. That was some Mad Max Thunderdome-level shit.
  27. Walter Ferrante: Finally, someone made real-deal panzerotti. Thank you.
  28. Warren Boothby: Your bars are the coolest in Portland (and you're from Maine!). 
  29. Nong Pooonsukwattana: Keep inspiring people to take risks and be themselves. Thank you.
  30. Jenny Nickolaus and Chris Whaley: It's very lame American Local closed. I loved your food and style. Hope you're doing well.
  31. Long-Haired Reel M Inn bartender Who Now Has Short Hair: Thanks for teaching me how to pronounce ron-yay.
  32. Joshua McFadden: When people ask me for my favorite restaurant in Portland, I always hedge for as long as possible, asking for qualifiers and price range, and then I say Ava Gene's. Honest. And next time you're visiting Four Seasons farm, I'm just across the bay. Can't believe that mezcal trip. I spilled so much mezcal on that tope!
  33. Margarette Waterbury: You were a great editor at Edible Portland.
  34. Karen Locke: Saying I would make a good cult leader was one of the best compliments of my life. I'll look into it... maybe? Also, too bad we finally just started to hang. I think we could have gotten into a lot of trouble. 
  35. Kate Buska: We've always had a blast. Thanks for the good advice.
  36. Joel Stocks and Will Preisch: You cook my style of fancy food—and then much more. Thank you. Keep up the stellar work.
  37. Gary the Foodie: Fun doing those podcasts and watching you dominate global cuisine.
  38. Naomi Pomeroy: After a rocky start, I think things went pretty well.
  39. Annie Bailey: Really, you're in charge of the best county in Oregon. 
  40. Frances Dyer: You're not a phony. So many delicious things. It's been fun getting to know you. Good luck on the rest of your life and stuff. 
  41. Alexa Darrow: Duuuude! You see visions.
  42. Lila Martin and Christian DeBenedetti: It was always a pleasure. Keep bringing people to the country.
  43. Kate Norris: Wow, you made winemaking better. I was always too busy to spend enough time at Southeast Wine Collective. Thank you.
  44. Tom Monroe: Ditto. You guys are totally inspiring.
  45. Althea Gray: Thanks again for introducing me to that Hippie Food book. Finally, someone credited hippies for all the food trends they've inspired over the past 40 years.
  46. Lisa Donoughe: We hit it off from the get-go. Thank you for the amazing conversations and stories.
  47. Cathy Whims: Thank you for connecting Portland with Italy with such authenticity. Your regional specialties taste just like they do in Italy.
  48. Donnie Vercher: Mad respect. It takes serious skills to turn a gas station into a barbecue destination. Thank you.
  49. Andrea Damewood: You've always been my preferred Portland critic.
  50. Maria Stuart: The blending experience remains one of the most educational things I've ever done with wine. The trip to Carlton as part of #WBC11, with the faux cops, etc. etc., remains the best prank ever. 
  51. Aniche Winemakers Rachel, Anais, and Talia: Literature! Hula Hoops! Fight the man! Tyger, Tyger!
  52. Shawn Fancy: Bro, harvest 2010 for life. 
  53. Pechluck Laskey: Keep up the good work.
  54. Karen Brooks: I'll never forget that pleasant afternoon at your home... or all those rad salt and pepper shakers. Thank you again for such warm hospitality. 
  55. Michael Claypool: It was always fun writing about your experimental wines and soaking up the rays over a game of bocce ball. Thank you.
  56. Justin Woodward: Love, metal, knives, Castagna.
  57. Ha “Christina” Luu and William Voung H: When food has that extra element that makes it incomparable, I like to call it soul. Your food has soul FOR DAYS.
  58. Jim Gullo: As a travel writer, you have some of the best stories ever... like that one where the tide sucked you out of an atoll through a bunch of kelp into a minefield of sharks.
  59. Rick Gencarelli: Man, I love your holy trifecta of sandwiches, beer, and music. Thank you.
  60. Josh Poole: Southeast Barbershop slays all other barbershops. Thank you for giving me style and one hell of a Thrillist article about old-school PDX.
  61. Dirk and Sarah Marshall: Your hot sauce makes every other hot sauce taste pretty much like sad ketchup. Thank you.
  62. Katie Bray: I could always count on you to keep me in the local-cheese loop. Mmmm... Oregon cheeeeeeeeese.
  63. Nick Ford: Thanks again for inviting me to the filming of that Vice Munchies episode. 
  64. Kathleen Bauer: The way you choose the stories you cover has taught me a lot. I plan to implement the lesson asap. Thank you.
  65. Mike Thelin: It was always great chatting, big daddy, but nothing beats the spa.
  66. Doug Adams: Man, your beef ribs are certifiably insane. Thanks for kind words, too—they meant a lot.
  67. Leslie Scott and Charlie Lefevre: Best of luck bringing Oregon—and American—truffles to more people. I have all my fingers crossed. Really. It's pretty uncomfortable.
  68. Matt Bennett: We'll have to grab a slice of coconut cream pie at Helen's the next time you're passing through Ellsworth. Thank you for that very, very special lunch.
  69. Matt Choi: Love the kimchi. Love the family stories. Thank you.
  70. Tommy Habetz: I'll never forget swinging by the Jerk right after that fire. Glad you rebuilt... not one but TWO. Rock on.
  71. Pat Jeung: Your story as an entrepreneur remains one of the most inspiring I've told. And wow, getting an invite to your white party was beyond beyond beyond— Thank you.
  72. Sizzle Pie Crew: Thank god somebody is setting a good example. 
  73. Cana Flug: Dig your style, dig your smile. Rock on.
  74. Seiji: Man, great grabbing grub. Until next time—
  75. Jin Soo Yang: Some of those tales of fishing in Alaska still have me holding my belly! Hahahahahhaa. 
  76. Seth O'Malley: Did you just make a fucking Pacific Northwest Fernet? Yes, yes you did just make a fucking Pacific Northwest Fernet. THANK YOU.
  77. Jim Kyle: Danwei Canting was such a novel idea. Glad it's picked up steam and can't wait to see where it goes.
  78. Kyo Koo: Really fun seeing the early menu development. Thank you.
  79. Kate Koo: Learning the inside story on chowamushi was eye-opening. Thank you.
  80. Adam Robinson: I've never had a more fun experience tasting cocktails. I looked into it buying my own kitchen centrifuge, but they appear to start at $799.
  81. Aaron Silverman: Thank you for bringing prosciutto-style cured hog to Portland. May the next batch age more quickly.
  82. Damian Magista: Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, the Bee Whisperer always knows.
  83. Andy Ricker: I was always surprised and impressed by how hands-on you are with your restaurants and pr. Very badass.
  84. John Janulis: Always a pleasure. Thanks for picking up the phone.
  85. Matthew Singer: It was only a year, but thank you for the great edits and feedback. Those restaurant reviews are some of my favorite work.
  86. Derecus: Thank you for all the small-business advice, man.... and for being a good friend in general. But don't ever forget the American cheese again. 
  87. Lisa Hill: I hope the next time we meet it's on a yacht in Camden harbor.
  88. Allen Routt and Jessica Bagley: What a special place you've created. Keep honing perfection. Thank you.
  89. Gabe Rucker: Damn, man. Dammmnn.
  90. Jason Brick: Keep fighting the good fight with lots of cursing and scatological metaphors.
  91. Kate Ristau: Wish I could stay to be a member of Willamette Writers! Where I'm moving has its own poet laureate at least. And do let me know if anyone ever scores more wine donations for the conference... I may return to reclaim the title.
  92. Michael Russell: Sir, I loved scooping you, and I like to think you enjoyed scooping me, too. Hats off. 
  93. Taichi Ishizuki: Going through the many steps finally made me understand ramen. Thank you. 
  94. Mary Cressler: I'm regularly inspired by your hard work and dedication. Can't wait to see your book!!!
  95. Meredith Davison: The tattoos were temporary but the memories will last a lifetime. 4th of July Barcrawl FOREVER. 
  96. Jack Czarnecki: It was an honor to spend an afternoon in your home learning about mushroom and truffle foraging. Thank you.
  97. Christopher Czarnecki: I can't believe I didn't take you up on your offer to break into your wine cellar after Sip 2017...
  98. Aaron Bedard: Thanks again for making that last-minute crabbing photoshoot work. Still one of my favorite photo stories. Crab butter really is delicious.
  99. Maylin Chavez: I'm glad I was able to stand behind my "innovative" headline. You talked the talk, and then you shucked the hell out of local oysters. Kudos.
  100. Steven Shomler: We will be talking soon about the book. Thank you for the encouragement.
  101. Ally Harris: Scatalogical poetry pals are the best. Thanks for all the great readings and brutal feedback. Wish we'd had more time.
  102. Ed Morris: I believe you compared me to some viking-like guy Hunter S. Thompson knew who used to hang his screeds on the wall by driving axes through them. One of the best responses to my work ever. Thank you.
  103. Fred Armstrong: An underground wine cellar that's only accessible by an elevator—an elevator only two people have the keys to operate? The tour was amazing, the vertical of Petrus dating to the 60s awe-inspiring.
I know many more people should be on this obsessive list. To you and everyone else, thank you for all the great times as well as the important lessons along the way. I can't say it enough. I will miss you.

Stay in touch and see how moving back to my home state goes—like, will it suck?


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