2011 Pacific-12 Football: Week 5

Hopefully I built up a solid cushion in the preseason, because it gets harder during the Pac-12 matchups every year. My picks went only 3-2 last week to set me up at 30-7 on the season.

Oregon State will get RB Malcolm Agnew back this week (UPDATE: just kidding!)and the offense should get that much better...but is it too little too late? And Arizona, fresh off three straight losses to top-ten teams, gets a road trip to USC - that's a brutal schedule. Are the Huskies for real? I still don't know...

On to the games! Rankings in parentheses (AP, ESPN). All times Pacific.

(Time - Matchup - Network - Pick)

12:30pm - Arizona at USC - ROOT Sports - USC
12:40pm - Washington State at Colorado - Fox College Sports Pacific - COLORADO
4pm - Washington at Utah - ROOT Sports - UTAH
7:30pm - UCLA at Stanford - ROOT Sports - STANFORD
7:30pm - Oregon State at Arizona State - Fox College Sports Pacific - ARIZONA STATE

This week Oregon (9, 11) and Cal have the week off.

Who do you pick?


Wafu Isn't Traditional, But We Don't Care

In a previous post I extolled the traditional cuisine at Mirakutei, but a visit to Wafu (like to Portlandfood.org because Wafu's website is just a shell) was a trip to the complete other end of the Japanese food spectrum.

That's not good or bad, it's just different. And you know what? Different can be pretty damn awesome.

I started off with a glass of Rogue's Morimoto Soba Ale. It's a very light beer, but has a nice developing crispness to it. Solid beer, but $8/glass is a bit much for me.

Our food started with a ceviche with mahi mahi, tomato, corn, calabrian chile, cilantro and mint.

This was fantastic. I'm not normally a mahi mahi fan, but these pieces were luscious and tasty - and that sauce I could drink a glass of. See the corn? Freeze-dried, I believe, which added an interesting layer. 

We also ordered an onigiri (rice ball) with grilled prawn, tomato, bacon, and soy mayo, topped with bonito (fish flakes) and nori (seaweed). Since it's rice on the outside and the restaurant was dark, the photo didn't turn out at all. This was a tasty bite, but didn't hold together well. Probably wouldn't get again.

This next dish was the star of the night: tempura shrimp with creamy spicy sauce and with wasabi mayo, plus a daikon palate cleanser.

And a closer look just at the tempura shrimps (wasabi mayo on the left, creamy spicy on the right):

We both liked the creamy spicy better, but it's really splitting hairs - both were fantastic. The daikon - something I don't normally eat raw - was nice between the two different flavors of shrimps, allowing the tongue to fully enjoy the flavors of each.

Our last dish of the night was the reason we went in the first place: Wafu ramen with pork belly and slow poach egg added. The ramen comes with corn, scallions, kamaboko (that's the pink-rimmed thing - a fish cake), and smoked schmaltz (rendered pork fat used for frying).

The pork was perfectly cooked and literally fell apart in the bowl. I liked the corn addition (highly recommended from Japan), but Wifey wasn't in love with it. The egg was nicely done. The broth, though - wow. Awesome. So many levels of porky goodness. I'm not sure it's better than Mirakutei, but it was damn, damn good.

But again, not traditional - none of this was traditional Japanese, but quite obviously Japanese inspired. It was good, very good, and we wouldn't hesitate to return.

Besides, it's right next door to Sunshine Tavern. And a block away from Pok Pok. And just up the street from Taste Unique and Little T American Baker. Maybe we should move closer.


2011 Pacific-12 Football: Week 4

If Arizona State had come up with a score on their final drive last week the NWX blog could have posted a very rare perfect week. That was not to be, so instead I'll take a 9-1 record to push me to 27-5 on the season.

Now it gets hard. Starting this week the Pac-12 teams will be playing almost all conference games and there is quite a bit of parity. Home field is huge in this conference and really only Stanford and Oregon have shown they should be favored in any game.

Speaking of those two schools, how about Arizona's schedule? Two weeks ago they played Oklahoma State, then last week Stanford, and this week Oregon. Three top-10 teams in a row...that's tough. 

This is a make-or-break week for the UCLA Bruins and Oregon State Beavers. A loss by either team could pretty much end any bowl hopes, but the game is being played in Corvallis AND the Beavers should be much improved. They didn't get freshman running back Malcolm Agnew back, but they will have redshirt freshman quarterback Sean Mannion taking all of the snaps AND seniors James Rodgers (WR) and Joe Halahuni (TE) will be making their season debuts. You can see my pick below, but I don't think it's very close.

I'm happy to see the conference opted against bringing in Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. While all of those universities would bring great traditions, I get the distinct impression both UT and OU felt they would be able to come in and control the conference, to run it the way they see fit. Texas doesn't want to share it's TV network and OU simply thinks they know better than everyone else, as evidenced by their assertion they would only stay in the Big 12 if commissioner Dan Beebe were replaced (among other demands). Today word leaked there will be a new commissioner.

Thank you, Larry Scott - I'm sure you want to deal with prima donnas like that less than I want them in the Pac-12.

On to the games! (Rankings in parentheses (AP, ESPN). All times Pacific.)


(Time - Matchup - Network - Pick)
12:30pm - UCLA at Oregon State - CBS College Sports Pacific - OREGON STATE

12:30pm - Colorado at Ohio State (32, 26) - ABC/ESPN2 - OHIO STATE
12:30pm - California (t42, 32) at Washington (NR, t42) - ROOT - CALIFORNIA
7:15pm - Oregon (10, 13) at Arizona - ESPN2 - OREGON
7:15pm - USC (23, NR) at Arizona State (36, 35) - ESPN - ARIZONA STATE

Utah (t30, 34), Washington State and Stanford (5, 5) are off this weekend.

Who do you pick?


2011 Pacific-12 Football: Week 3

Week two in the 2011 Pacific-12 Conference football season went pretty much as expected. I managed a 8-2 week to push me to 18-4 on the season.

This week Oregon State has a bye to lick the wounds from their 0-2 start. But guess what? They might look pretty dang good when they face UCLA next weekend. Why? Coach Mike Riley mercifully made a call on the starting quarterback, giving the job to redshirt freshman Sean Mannion, a big, strong arm who clearly outplayed Ryan Katz in the previous weeks. In addition, freshman running back Malcolm Agnew - he of the 200+ yards against Sacramento State - tight end Joe Halahuni, and (still a maybe) wide receiver James Rodgers could all be back. The defense didn't play horribly against Wisconsin, and if the offense can keep up the Beavers could rebound from a bad start.

One other fun point this week: Cal is playing a team called "Presbyterian," a "Big South Conference" opponent with a mascot called the "Blue Hose." I'm not entirely sure I buy it, but apparently it's a real school and thinks it has a football team. What are Blue Hose? Well, Presbyterian must get that question a lot, because back in 2008 they actually posted a piece on their athletic site telling the world. I think they should have just gone with Blue Sox. My pick in this game won't be a surprise...but Ted Miller's (of ESPN) were more entertaining.

On to the games! (Rankings in parentheses (AP, ESPN). All times Pacific.)


(Time - Matchup - Network - Pick)
10:30am - Colorado State at Colorado - ROOT - COLORADO
12:30pm - Missouri State at Oregon (12, 14) - Comcast Sports - OREGON
12:30pm - Texas (t23, 21) at UCLA - ESPN - TEXAS
12:30pm - Washington (t35, 37) at Nebraska (11, 10) - ABC - NEBRASKA
2:30pm - Presbyterian at California (NR, 38) - No TV - CALIFORNIA
3:30pm - Washington State at San Diego State (NR, 39) - No TV - SAN DIEGO STATE
4pm - Arizona State (22, 18)  at Illinois - Big 10 Network - ARIZONA STATE
5pm - Syracuse at USC (27, NR) - FX - USC
6:15pm - Utah at BYU (33, 42) - ESPN2 - UTAH
7:45pm - Stanford (6, 6) at Arizona - ESPN - STANFORD

Who do you pick?


Mirakutei: Traditional Japanese Goodness

Last week Wifey and I got a hankering for some good Japanese ramen and tried out two different places. The first one was Mirakutei (the link is to Facebook, because their other page is devoid of info), a small shop on East Burnside, near Burnside Brewing and Le Pigeon. It's housed in a newer building and run by the same man (Hiroshi) who ran Hiroshi's, a sushi spot in Northwest. Both places were running for awhile, but Hiroshi's recently was closed and Hiroshi now does sushi (only for dinner) at Mirakutei. 

The lunch menu offers a choice of two different bentos, a few different ramens, and some small plates. We started off with some fried rice. 

This was, in short, perfectly traditional (as far as fried rice goes, which no, is not a Japanese dish) and perfectly tasty. And cooked perfectly. Great flavors, good size of veggies, and everything worked. Wifey says it might be the best she's ever had. 

Next up, the gyoza - we always have to get gyoza.

As you can see the gyoza had a nice crunch on the outside, but still were soft. The onion and pork ratio also was spot on. And that sauce? Normally I don't really care for gyoza sauce, but this one I could drink it was so good. No idea if it's housemade, but it's damn good.

Wifey ordered the tonkatsu and salmon bento, which also came with a side of rice, some tempura veggies and a tempura shrimp.

The pork tonkatsu also was cooked just right. Crunchy, but still moist and still recognizable as pork. We had a bad experience with a restaurant's tonkatsu a couple weeks back and this buried that memory. The tempura was nice, not overly battered and still preserving the flavors of each vegetable. The salmon...well, it was just okay. There was something in the flavor I wasn't a fan of, something that made me thing it wasn't the greatest quality fish. Hiroshi's was known for it's high quality fish, so I don't know what the deal was...or maybe I'm just spoiled from Copper River salmon fillets. Shrug.

The last dish we ordered was the Genki Ramen, which is a white miso base with scrambled egg, shredded pork, and topped with bean sprouts.

Absolutely fantastic. The broth was rich and full of flavor, garlic and pepper adding depth and a kick, the egg and pork adding just the right amount of goodness, and even the bean sprouts - which I don't normally eat - seemed to just fit with their added crunch. The noodles were also perfectly cooked.

And you know what else? We got there when it opened at 11:30 and despite ordering and eating our way through four dishes, only one other customer showed up. I'm not sure if it's the location isn't conducive to a lunchtime spot on the weekday or what, but we had the place to ourselves.

We both highly, highly recommend Mirakutei and we absolutely will return. Next time we may have to go for dinner to try out Hiroshi's legendary sushi to go with the ramen. And fried rice. And gyoza. Might have to skip lunch that day.


Deer Are Out To Get Me

Trips to the beach are starting to get pretty damn expensive for me, and not for good reasons like overstuffing myself on caramel corn, fudge and saltwater taffy.

A few weeks back there was the speeding ticket. That sucked, but it was also 100% my fault - I can deal with that, accept it, and make sure it doesn't happen again. (By the way, all I had to do was call them, say I was guilty, and they cut $47 off the fine so it was only $143. Still sucked, but not as bad.)

Then there are things that happen you have absolutely no control over and couldn't avoid at all. Mother Nature loves to assert her dominance over people with weather, but the more overlooked piece of her power is her use of wild animals. Even among those, events like bears attacking campsites or sharks attacking surfers get all the press, but I'm here today to tell you about a much bigger scourge being sent against the human race.


Picture found on Google Images from Tru-Wildlife

No, I'm not kidding, so stop laughing.

These things are evil, and Mother Nature is sending them to attack me like a Stinger missile.

Perhaps I should explain...

Wifey and I are driving west to Newport on Highway 20 from Corvallis. We are just  a few miles away from hitting Highway 101, which runs north-south along the Pacific Ocean. Highway 20 is four lanes across, with a fifth lane in the center for making left turns. I'm headed uphill at about 10am. It's a weekday and traffic is light, so I am not following anyone or being followed by anyone closely in the right-most lane. My car is moving at about 60 miles an hour, because I learned my lesson from the last trip to the beach and am not speeding.

As a driver I keep my focus to everything forward of my vehicle, especially when moving that fast, because experience tells me threats to the safety of my car will be in front of me, not behind or to the side. At 60 miles an hour anything to the side is already too far away to be a worry.


As I am driving west my vehicle is in the sun and the eastbound lanes are somewhat in the shade. Suddenly there is movement on the south side of the highway and a figure bursts from the woods and races across the street. This happens closer to my vehicle than my normal range of focus, so I didn't immediately see it.

This shape flashed across four lanes of highway (three driving lanes and the middle turn lane) at an impossibly high rate of speed, heading straight for my vehicle. I see it at the last second, a flash of brown with white spots, too late for me to react. I see the spots in my rear view mirror as the shape slams into the side of my car near the back bumper, rattling the vehicle and scaring the shit out of Wifey and me (but not Misaki, who only raises her head from Wifey's lap to wonder why we are freaking out...).

The impact is light and didn't alter the course of the car. I slowed down only slightly and looked in the rear view mirror both in the street and then off to the side, seeing nothing. Briefly I debated stopping, but for what? If the deer is injured it's not like I'm going to put him out of his misery or something. Sucks for the deer, but I don't carry a handgun in my car, nor do I have a wrench to clock him over the head with (and it's highly doubtful I could bring myself to do that anyway). Plus, the deer wasn't in the street, so it wasn't a hazard to other drivers (again, not really sure what I would do, since they are pretty heavy).

I coasted a little, testing to see if the car is moving differently, but everything seemed fine. From the side mirror I could tell the gas tank lid was open and I think the bumper is loose, but the side of Highway 20 isn't the place to worry about that, especially if the car is running fine.

So I kept driving, all the way to the Nye Beach parking lot. There I took out the camera to see what kind of damage this evil deer had left on my car. Here you go.

As you can see the gas tank lid is open. Upon further inspection that's all it was - just open, not damaged. Can you see the dent just below the window? Not really? Well how about here:

Instead of a smooth piece of metal from the gas tank to the tail light, you can see the distortion in the reflection of me taking the picture (and Misaki behind my legs). This is likely from the deer's shoulder and didn't scratch or crack the paint at all. Maybe it will pop out easily, maybe not, but it'll still cost a couple hundred dollars I'm sure.

The other, more important (to me) damage is with the bumper. 

If you click on the image and maximize you can see deer fur stuck on the corner. And yes, that piece of black plastic is suppose to be attached to the body of the car. See the top piece of plastic, where it looks like it should just snap on? Yep, it should, but the impact of the stupid deer snapped off the plastic, so it can't be reattached.

Maybe it can be fixed, I don't know yet, but if not I'll have to buy an entirely new bumper because it's only piece that wraps all the way around the rear of the car. That, I'm sure, is a few hundred more dollars.

And here I thought the speeding ticket hurt the pocket book; that's chump change compared to what this deer did.

I've spent some time thinking about this, wondering if I could have avoided it. (Ironically, I would have driven by this exact point earlier had I been driving faster...) I don't think I could have. Mother Nature knows this...and she'll do it again.

How do I know THAT? Because it's happened before...


Mother Nature sent one of her spotted minions at my moving vehicle 12 years ago. It was the summer of 1999 and I had just graduated from the college. I can't recall if I had started my job as a gofer at a law firm yet, or if it was in the two months I was just unemployed. I drove a 1986 Honda Accord at the time, a four-door sedan (smaller than the current SUV in the pictures above, with less surface space to absorb a hit), and was living at home with my parents. They live in a rural area outside of the city, which meant a 15-20-minute drive to get anywhere resembling civilization.

Here it is - a 1986 Honda Accord sedan. Even the same color and with the same wheel covers. From TypeRHonda.com.

It was a Friday night and I took my sister the closest Blockbuster to pick up a couple movies. It wasn't too late but the sun had gone down, so we drove back in the dark along country roads where the posted speed limit was 45 but the curves rarely let you go that fast. Of course, my Accord handled pretty damn well and you probably figured by now I'd push it on a road like that when I could. And I did.

The road came down a hill from a 120-degree, 20mph-turn, into some smoother turns I could take at 35-40, with no shoulder - just drainage ditches. The last turn before a stretch of straight road bent 90 degrees to the left. Friends lived on this road, ones I had been visiting for years, and I took this road every day up to Clackamas Community College, where I spent my freshman year, so it's safe to say I knew this road very well and could drive it in my sleep.

As I started to exit that last curve I slowly accelerated - you know, because that's how race car drivers do it, exploding out of the turn - and that's when I saw it.

A spotted deer, perhaps a still adolescent female, stood in the middle of my lane, frozen in my headlights and looking straight at us. There wasn't enough time to swerve into the opposite lane - and remember, no shoulder - so I slammed on the brakes, my wheels locking, and my sister started screaming.

As the car slid towards the deer time slowed down the way it sometimes does when something bad happens. I knew I wasn't going to stop in time, but there really was nothing I could do to prevent what happened next. The deer's face grew larger in my view and at some point the pointed front of my car's bumper must have taken out her legs, because she fell towards the windshield. I swear her mouth was open, her eyes wide, and she probably screamed just as loud as my sister did.

Thankfully she didn't hit the windshield. Instead she bounced off the hood and off the side of the road. I have this recollection of her bouncing to her feet, but given the car first hit her legs I don't see how that could have been possible.

The car finally came to a stop and I believe the engine died, because it was a manual transmission and I was worried about the brakes, not making sure I had the clutch engaged. The deer was now laying in the pasture next to the road, and my sister was still screaming. I had to grab her just above the knee and squeeze, asking her quietly to stop, before she finally took a breath. I was okay, she was okay, and here we were at a dead stop on a country road in the dark with any traffic that would come behind us coming out of a blind curve.

Just like with the deer the other day, there wasn't anything I could do. I turned the car back on and everything sounded okay. It also seemed to move okay, so we drove home, freaked out.

When we finally did get home it took our parents a little while to calm us down, then Dad and I went and checked out the damage. The entire hood was caved in, but nothing was leaking and the bumper looked okay. In the end nothing functional was broken, but fixing the cosmetic damage cost me $1200 (or, the same amount I paid for the car...). The first two paychecks I received working as a full-time adult went towards fixing my car (so, yay for living at home at the time, I suppose).


In the interim my sister has also hit a deer in her small Honda Civic hatchback, causing hundreds of dollars in damage she had to address. I've also swerved to miss deer a couple other times.

I have no idea what we did to piss them off, but apparently Deer Nation is after me and my family. Is Mother Nature just screwing with us?

No clue. Every time I see those yellow deer crossing signs on the highway panic starts to set in, nausea rising in my stomach as I get a little more vigilant.

And don't even get me started on the elk crossing signs. Those are so not funny.

But apparently this is how it must be. From now on, Ms. Nature, this is war. This is the face of the enemy:

Found on Google Images

Not that I'm going to do much about it. I don't hunt, nor do I have much of a taste for venison.

I could buy a Hummer though. Then deer in the road would just make me laugh, rather than cringe.


Toro Bravo: In Pictures

Two years ago Wifey and I went to dinner at Toro Bravo and experienced one of the best meals of our lives. For some inexplicable reason we had not been back since. Why? I have no idea. We could blame it on the fact you have to get there early to get a table, which is problematic during the week and not helpful on the weekend. We could blame it on the fact you can't make reservations for just two people.

We could, but really, I don't know why. Today we rectified that...and were rewarded with an absolutely fantastic meal. With minimal commentary, here is Toro Bravo in pictures.

Any meal at Toro must start with these - griddle bacon wrapped dates in honey stuffed with an almond. Just two bites each, these are divine, sweet and savory and crunchy all rolled into the perfect mouthful.

We ordered drinks too, a white wine sangria (with blackberries, blueberries, and orange), and a limoncello drink, with cava and Tosca cherries.

The next plate to come was a fresh empanada stuffed with tomato, ham and corn. This came with a side of greens and pickled onions, plus a mayo-based dipping sauce. The empanada also had spinach inside.

Want to see the inside? Well, here you go:

Yeah, it was also awesome. Great flavors, light crust, and the greens provided a nice palate cleanser.

The next dish was grilled corn with cilantro pesto. It came on the cob, cut into thirds.

Not only was it pretty in the initial presentation, but after slicing the corn off the cob it still looked nice.

The crisp, sweet corn worked fantastic with the cilantro pesto. I could eat a mountain of this.

The last small plate was drunken pork and avocado salad. The pork was wrapped in bacon, making it more awesome, and everything about this dish was just right.

The last dish was the biggest, the paella Toro.

Yep, there is all sorts of fun stuff in there: mussels, clams, shrimp, chorizo, braised chicken, rice, tomatoes, peppers, and even lemon slices. Neither of us had ever eaten paella before - again, I have no idea why - but everything in this plate had great flavor, was cooked perfectly, and it just looks so damn pretty.

We ate everything but couldn't finish off the paella - we had to save room for dessert. We each ordered a dessert. The first to come out was caramel panna cotta. The two layers - both of which are made in house - tasted fantastic on their own and phenomenal together. Panna cotta in general is one of our favorites, but this quite possibly could be the best (our waitress said this was her favorite dessert on their menu) in the entire city.

Our other dessert was the molten chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream. We sat at the chef's counter again this time and could see much of the prep work and cooking - which is fascinating - and the chef closest to us leaned over and placed this before us:

Does it look awesome? Oh it was, it sure was. The gooey insides leaked all over the plate when we cracked it open with a fork, mixing with the cake and the vanilla to make taste buds happy. The chef also made a point of telling us we had chosen well and this was his favorite dessert on their menu.

It's not a cheap meal - $72 plus tip - but with the quality of the food, I really don't care. It was that good.

We will absolutely go back....and it will not take us two years to return. That's a promise.

2011 Pacific-12 Football: Week 2

Week One in the Pacific 12 was not good to me or to the state of Oregon. Ouch.

Actually, outside of Oregon college football was just fine for me, resulting in a 10-2 week picking last week's games. The Ducks have a lot to work on now if they even want to be conference contenders, let alone championship contenders (how about a running game?) The Beavers...they should have won. Unfortunately for them they have a very, very hard game this week. They will improve.

On to the games! (Added the rankings this week (AP, ESPN) - forgot those in Week One. All times Pacific.)


5pm - Arizona (NR, 33) at Oklahoma State (9,7) - ESPN - OKLAHOMA STATE


7:30pm - Missouri (21, 19) at Arizona State (26, 23) - ESPN - ARIZONA STATE


9am - Oregon State at Wisconsin (8, 9) - ESPN - WISCONSIN
12:30pm - Nevada at Oregon (13, 14) - FX - OREGON
12:30pm - California (NR, 43t) at Colorado - Fox College Sports Pacific - COLORADO
12:30pm - Stanford (6, 6) at Duke - ESPNU - STANFORD
12:30pm - Hawaii (42t, 35) at Washington (NR, 42) - ROOT - HAWAII
2pm - UNLV at Washington State - No TV - WASHINGTON STATE
4:30pm - Utah (35, 29) at USC (28, NR) - Versus - USC
7pm - San Jose State at UCLA - Fox College Sports Pacific - UCLA

Who do you pick?


Go To Sunshine Tavern

Sunshine Tavern is an American place over on Division Street in Southeast Portland. Just this past weekend they started a brunch service that also features many of their dinner items. Wifey and I can't stay away from brunch and we had been meaning to check out this place anyway, so we stopped in just after 11am on a Saturday.

Maybe because it was the first day and they just opened, maybe because it was still early, or maybe because it was a holiday weekend, the place was pretty dead when we walked in (it did fill up later). Our waiter was David, who is also the co-owner with his wife, Jenn (also the head chef). They also own Lincoln, a restaurant that has been on our list for awhile but we haven't made it to yet.

The space fronts on Division Street and the entire front of the restaurant opens up to allow in the fresh air. Early on a hot day, this was pretty nice. Pok Pok is just a short distance away and the smells from their outdoor grill wafted in to mix with Sunshine's own smells from their open kitchen. Yes, it was heaven.

David dropped these buttermilk biscuits by the table first. They were complementary for the first day of brunch, and they were excellent. Light and fluffy, but still with a soft crunch and fresh out of the oven, they came with butter and a marionberry (I think) jam, which worked great for dipping. 

We didn't order biscuits and gravy (theirs comes with egg, pork gravy, and fontina), but given how good these were I'm sure it is fantastic.

Wifey ordered the fried chicken sandwich with blue cheese dressing, celery, red onion, and chili mayo. This normally comes with a side of fries, but for $3 more you get those fries topped with the pork gravy and fontina. The fries by themselves were just fantastic - nice crunch, good flavor. Definitely one of the better fries we've had in Portland. (Better than Potato Champion? Need a side by side taste test...)

We felt a little bad because this pile of fries was monstrous and we barely touched the sandwich. The logic was the sandwich would be better reheated than the fries, so we focused on eating those. David asked us at the end of the meal if it was all okay, since we didn't eat it all. David, we promise, it was phenomenal, both fresh and reheated - but we had to save room for dessert.

My entree was the pizza with two eggs, oregano, tesa, and olive oil. David asked if I might want to make that a true bacon and egg breakfast...of course I would, so upgraded from tesa to bacon. Just look at this magnificent pizza (and ignore the fact these were cell phone pictures with too much direct sunlight) - great char on the crust, wonderful presentations. The eggs were just barely done so the yolk could be popped and spread all around. The bacon was thick and smoky, the perfect complement to everything else. In short, the pizza was fantastic.

Just for fun, another view, to illustrate the sunlight.

We only ate about a third of this too; those fries were very filling (and super damn tasty). And, as I mentioned above, we wanted to save room for dessert. And why is that?

Sunshine does soft serve ice cream, a honey and vanilla combination people have raved about all over the internet. You can order it with a magic shell chocolate topping or a hazelnut crunch, but we opted for plain. The conclusion? Excellent. The honey didn't overpower the vanilla, as it can sometimes, and the ice cream has a perfect creaminess. 

The entire meal cost us $32 plus tip, which for the amount of and quality of the food (hey, we had two more meals each out of it at home) we thought was a great deal. We will absolutely be returning to Sunshine and recommend it to friends.


2011 Pacific-12 Football: Week 1

It's college football season again. Finally. Actually, it doesn't even seem like it is time for the season to begin, not with the Portland weather forecast for Saturday to hit 90 degrees. 

I don't plan to get too crazy with the football on the blog this year (and yes, I did say that last year, didn't I?). This year it will be one post per week, with the schedule, TV (for the Portland area), and predictions. Last year my predictions ended up 60-21 including the bowl season, so my goal in 2011 is to beat that. (Note: picks are straight up, not against any line.)

Occasionally I may write more if I feel inspired, but I won't force myself. I have a book to revise, after all.

So here you go, Week One of the new Pacific-12 Conference! Yep, 12 - can't forget a warm welcome to the conference for the University of Utah Utes and University of Colorado Buffaloes. Oh, and that the conference is split between North and South now, with a conference championship game in December.

Now, if that conference TV network could just get going yesterday, we'd be all good.


5pm - Montana State at Utah - No TV - UTAH
7pm - UC Davis at ASU - No TV - ASU


12:30pm - UCLA at Houston - ROOT (formerly FSNW) - HOUSTON
12:30pm - Minnesota at USC - ABC - USC
1pm - Sac State at OSU - No TV (Beaver Online) - OSU
2pm - Idaho State at Wazzu - No TV - WAZZU
2pm - SJSU at Stanford - No TV - STANFORD
4pm - Fresno State at Cal - No TV - CAL
4pm - Eastern Washington at Washington - ROOT - WASHINGTON
5pm - Oregon at LSU - ABC - OREGON
7pm - Northern Arizona at Arizona - Fox College Sports - ZONA
7:15pm - Colorado at Hawaii - ESPN2 - HAWAII

Who do you pick?