I’m a big fan of year-end lists.
Writing a year-end list gives me a chance to really think about all that I’ve seen and done in the past year. To relive things I’ve eaten, places I’ve been, and people I’ve seen.
So, I am going to attempt to share a few of these things with you.
Here are some of my favorite things from 2012 (in no particular order):
1. Tanuki. I thought about this long and hard, and I think that Tanuki is my favorite place to eat in Portland. I crave the kimchi bacon croissants, the squid jerky, and the seaweed salad. The atmosphere is odd (at best) and the food is not for the faint of heart. But if you’re feeling adventurous, I highly recommend that you go to Tanuki and order omakase (chef’s choice). You’ll leave full and happy. I promise. Runners up: Laurelhurst Market. St. Jack. Little Bird. Ox. Yoko’s. Bunk Sandwiches. Screen Door. Ned Ludd. Apizza Scholls.
2. Cheap Eats. There are so many amazing food carts and affordable eateries in Portland, it is hard to pick a favorite. But, let it be known that 2012 has been the year of Du’s. I eat Du’s Teriyaki far too often, but I just can’t help myself. I order the same thing every time: the chicken and beef combo teriyaki plate (with extra sauce!) and a side of kimchi. It is so stupid good. Runners up: Taqueria Su Casa on 82nd, Whole Bowl, Chaba Thai, Los Gorditos, Little Big Burger.
3. Having my kitchen featured on The Kitchn! The lovely Leela Cyd photographed my kitchen for Apartment Therapy’s The Kitchn. The photos were stunning (I promise, my kitchen isn’t actually that clean and sparkly!) and I gained a lot of new blog readers afterwards.
4. I was laid off from my job, and it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Getting laid off enabled me to drive across the country with my sister when she moved to Minneapolis. So, that was awesome. And now I have a new job with Stumptown Coffee Roasters and I really love my job (which is also awesome).
5. Beasts of the Southern Wild and Les Miserables. These movies made me cry, a lot. In the best way.
6. Damien Lillard. He’s gonna be rookie of the year. He makes the Blazers an enjoyable team to watch. I love him.
7. There are too many good things to drink in Portland. But, if I had to pick favorites it would be the following cocktails: (1) Pedro Martinez at Rum Club: it’s boozy, it’s rummy, and it has a big ice cube. I’m obsessed with giant ice cubes. (2) The Alaska: The Sapphire Hotel (specifically: bartender David S.) makes the best Alaska cocktail in Portland. But, the Laurelhurst Market’s version of an Alaska is also quite lovely. Try em both! (3) Barrel Aged Negroni at Clyde Common. What can I say, I’m really digging the barrel aged cocktail trend.
8. Game of Thrones. Everything related to Game of Thrones is my favorite in 2012. The books. The TV show. The cookbook. Direwolves. Jon Snow. Winterfell. You get the idea…
9. The PDX Food Swap. The founder of the PDX Food Swap has been away all year, traveling the world with her husband, so I had the privilege of organizing and hosting the PDX Food Swap all this year. I loved every minute of it!
10. Queso dip at Trigger. I would like to thank Tommy Habetz and the Bunk Dudes for opening Trigger and for changing my life for the better. I’m going to eat a lot of queso in 2013.
11. Bob’s Red Mill. I’ve always loved Bob’s Red Mill, as they make an amazing array of flours and natural grains. And then, Bob gave away his company to his employees. Such generosity and selflessness is downright inspiring.
12. My Wusthof chef’s knife. I’m not sure how I lived without one for so long, but the husb got me one for my birthday this year and I’m obsessed.
13. Buzzfeed’s list of 26 Moments that Restored Our Faith in Humanity This Year. Because, sometimes, you need to be reminded that it’s not all bad.
14. Oregon Wine. Remy, Anne Amie, Soter, Argyle, Illahe, Vincent, Abacela, JK Carriere, Erath. I could go on forever. We have a lot of good wine in Oregon.
15. Lil Omar! While I got him in 2011, he continues to be the best bunny on the planet.
And I think I’ll leave it at that.
There was a lot of good in 2012. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2013.
Happy New Year, everyone!