Did you know that living in the Portland area means you’re in the middle of one of the largest wine-producing regions in the US? This unique area is located virtually at the center of Washington State and Oregon, the 2nd and 3rd largest wine-producing regions in the US, respectively. What does this mean for you as a wine-lover?
My brother bought me a Breville BSG520XL Panini Duo 1500-Watt Nonstick Panini Press. It takes normal, boring, cold sandwiches and turns them into crispy, steaming hot ones. I love it. Moreover, I actually use it, which is more than I can say for that pasta roller and most of the other kitchen gadgets he’s gifted me over the years.
What could be easier? You plug it in, wait a few minutes for it to heat up, drop your sammy on, lower the lid, and just walk away. In minutes you’ve got a sizzling, toasty panini (or whatever) oozing cheese out of three sides and practically screaming “bite me.” Would you believe I’m halfway through just such a sandwich as I write this? (licks and wipes fingers) Well I am. And I am loving it.
Now go get yours.
The site–billed as “Tokyo’s Guide to All Things Wine”–offers information of Tokyo wine events of all kinds, classes, Tokyo wine bars and restaurants and more. Members can post reviews of wine bars, wines and events, as well as add their own listings of shops and restaurants they know and love. Content is only available in English at the moment, but we are planning to roll out a Japanese version by this Summer.
1. Tully’s. Understated, cozy, jazzy BGM. 「アメリカノ、お湯少なめで。」
2. DEAN & DELUCA. Expensive and worth it.
3. Seattle’s Best Coffee. Very few Tokyo locations. Enjoy it at Beacon after lunch.
4. Sagafredo Zanetti. Stylish and tasty.
5. Starbucks. What’s to say?
6. Kohikan. Home to the shortest chairs in Tokyo and dated “Blue Mountain”-type offerings.
7. Pronto. My morning stop-in, mostly owing to a local lack of Tully’s.
8. Doutour. Widest demographic swath of them all. Taxi drivers sipping and smoking next to teenyboppers.
9. Cafe Veloce. The chain most often selected by salarymen for a quick meeting or post-meeting chat.
10. Renoir. Step back in time to Japan, 1985. Lots of deals and calls being made, stick-around-a-while furniture, refills.
11. Excelsior. So bad on so many levels.
Easily the best 本格的な和食 (authentic Japanese food) in Miyamasu-zaka-ue (宮益坂上) is to be found at local lunch favorite Honoji. I’ve been going there once every week or two for two years, and the consistently high quality and service make it one of may favorites lunch spots here in Shibuya.
The fare is standard-issue 定食 (set menu) Japanese, but the quality is a cut above the rest. The miso soup (or tonjiru, depending on the day) is always flavorful and piping hot, and the rice cooked to fluffy perfection. The lunch menu consists of four choices: hamburger steak, 生姜焼き (ginger pork), and then a fish item and a “honoji special” that change every 3-4 days each. Everything is good, all the time.
If there has been any staff turnover in the time I’ve been going I haven’t noticed it, and this surely one of the reasons why they do such a great job. The staff is friendly, attentive and professional. If you’re in the area here for lunch one day and looking for great 日本食 you should definitely give this place a try. (Menus and communication in Japanese only.)