OAK to PDX
This morning I leave OAK (Oakland) for PDX (Portland, Oregon). In Oakland it’s sunny and warm even at 0900; shadows are clear, crisp, and deep black.
I know Oregon won’t have the same weather. Here’s what I just saw described as “The 11 Seasons of Oregon”:
- Fool’s Spring
- Second Winter
- Spring of Deception
- Third Winter < == here we be
- Mud Season (T minus 14 days)
- Actual Spring
- False Autumn
- Second Summer (duration: 1 week)
- Actual Autumn
And, sure enough, as we land we’re drenched in liquid sunshine:
Dropping the luggage off at base camp
A couple of hours after I land I’ve navigated the MAX (Metropolitan Area eXpress) light rail transit, then the bus, then a few steps and I can drop off my bags and explore the area, looking mostly for keto grocery supplies.
The place I’m staying is on the border of Beaverton and Aloha (pronounced by the locals not as the Hawaiian “ah-lho-hah” but “ulowah”). I take to walking to see what foodstuffs I can scrounge up.
They’re most proud of their fritters and the Boston creme donuts. I can attest to the excellence of their coffee drinks, brewed so they don’t get bitter as they cool while sipping. A very satisfying stop indeed.
Supermercado La Guelaguetza
This is a fully-stocked centroamericano tienda which is packed from floor to ceiling with everything one could desire for making a Central American meal, or to present a party in the same style.
In the back of the store is the meat section. What popped out at me are the cases of chichurron, both the more common skin only as well as a version with chunks of meat still attached. Unbelievably savory and satisfying.
The meat case has chorizo, several kinds of pork chops, beef cuts, thin-pounded breaded chicken breasts, and a selection of more exotic parts of the animals.
Take the time to stroll the shelves. You’ll find things that you didn’t know you needed.
Aloha Halal Meat Market
This is an awesome halal Middle Eastern grocery shop, with in-your-face halal products I’ve not seen before. The first thing I noticed were the halal variants on pork bacon; pork is, of course, not halal. Here’s beef and turkey “bacon” strips.
Strolling past freezers, stocked with bags of cuts of meats, and past shelves, filled with the ingredients needed to make all kinds of Middle Eastern snacks and meals, I stumbled across several brands halal SPAM.
Continuing past racks of beans, rice, and other staples I round the corner to see both basic spices and pre-mixed seasonings for every dish I’ve heard of. Not just the basic selection of spices commonly found but about five times that number. I’m quite impressed.
Perched on the corner of the TV Highway, in what appears to be a repurposed gas station, is a wide variety of sparkling fruits and vegetables of every color in the rainbow.
Also available are some Mexican items, including guacamole and a deliciously spiced green salsa, and glassware for brewing homemade kombucha.
Nuevo Horizonte Market
The Nuevo Horizonte Market is paradoxically both similar to and yet completely unlike the nearby Supermercado La Guelaguetza.
This is less well-ordered, slightly more chaotic, and much more reminiscent of the time we spent in Costa Rica and Buenos Aires, Argentina. There’s everything from three kinds of canned tuna (but each with a different spice mix, including jalapeño) to Yerba Maté.
The rear case presents meats, cheeses, and piñatas. See? Everything you need for a party.
What I found most helpful to my search was the thinly-cut versions of beef and the thinly-pounded chicken breasts. #keto! I’m sure I’ll be back to get some chorizo for breakfasts.
The Nuevo Horizonte will, in very short order, again see the front of me!
That was my exploration of Aloha, OR. I found several sources of ethnic groceries, some of which will be my staple foods during my stay. Who knows what I’ll find tomorrow?