Duck eggs ….

imagePortland is its own place, that is, a place where the book store is a still a hangout and where people dress and think differently than in other places. They are called “hipsters,” some of them anyway. I don’t know how to define them, but do recognize them when I see them.

When we were looking for houses in Colorado, I made it a point to check out book shelves to see what people read, to get a sense of the current owners who wanted us to buy their house. Most houses had no book shelves and few books and so I got no sense of the people who lived within. In Portland there are books and shelves and ideas and attitudes. The TV show Portlandia captures it I suppose, but understand this: There would be no TV show unless they grasped that something is different about this place.

It’s an attitude about life, optimism and possibilities … people seem to think that acting together to achieve common goals matters, so there are constant efforts at organizing. It is on signs and repurposed buildings. Silly little fools they are, they want to matter. They know some things. They redefine the American, and the new citizen speaks up and out, does not bow before power. He demands a different response from compromised government officials and the greedy corporations who also occupy this space.

Maybe it is all silliness – it is hard to navigate this place for all of the bike paths, green lanes, trains – it is as if the roads are designed for everything but cars, but cars dominate. Portlandia wants to be different, and there is a critical mass of people here who can make things different. It really does work that way. So power, though deeply embedded here (the Oregonian is as devoid of content as any newspaper anywhere in this land), is more masked than in other places.

All if this leads to my complaint, and this is serious: Where we live in Colorado we are given two options for pizza: Anthony’s, and Madoff’s. Neither are good. We could go down the hill to Old Chicago, but that is a thirty minute drive, or an hour of our life with the beer buzz worn off by the time we get home. So we live without pizza.

Pizza matters, and so while in Portland, given this opportunity, I Want Pizza! We found a place on Sunday evening, Hot Lips. They know what pizza is. We were going back there last night, but nooooooo … I am told that Oven and Shaker has the best pizza, so we go there.

There is no pepperoni. I am not kidding, and what I am about to tell you will shock you, so gird your loins: One of the ingredients they offered was duck eggs. Duck eggs! I end up having sausage and fennel. It is the only ingredient that I am certain is meat. I forsook the arugula.

People of Portland! That is not pizza! That is tapas! If I wanted mascarpone and yellow foot and hedgehog mushrooms, speck, leeks, chives, and fricking duck eggs, I would go out to the local commune and mingle with the hipsters and learn the names of the animals while holding hands and singing Kumbaya! Or I would go to the continent and lean against a railing and spend two euros for a little blob of God only knows, fish eggs or the like with some cheese I cannot pronounce.

It’s simple: dough, sauce, spices, cheese, and pepperoni. Portland, when did you lose your way?

18 thoughts on “Duck eggs ….

  1. Ahh, but Portland does have you talking about, thinking about, and writing about pizza. That is the result of innovation, progress, and yes, change!

    As you well remember, there was a time when there was virtually no pizza anywhere except for NYC or Chicago. and each town was certain the other had lost their way in regards to pizza. Then came the march of the the pie into cities and towns and ‘burbs across this land, both frozen and chain outlet and mom and pop eatery. Now it’s ubiquitous.

    I find Pepperoni is overrated. Calamari is where it’s at, even if, as my brother informs me, calamari mean “bait” in Italian.

    As for Portlandia me and my baby are just waiting for the 4th season. Maybe the Mayor will address the pizza issue?


  2. I am slightly troubled by calamari as a pizza ingredient, and think that pepperoni is no more “overrated” as a pizza topping than “oxygen” as a breathing element. I like cheese steak and onions, and if Philly PDX refrains from adding duck eggs to its sandwiches, I’m sure they are good. Duck eggs! Duck eggs as a pizza ingredient! It’s beyond comment.


          1. If memory serves, Audrey’s is Manny’s, evolved so to speak. Manny’s was a downtown joint featuring a New York style crust, right? Audrey Anderson started working there in the early ’60’s and then bought the joint in ’68 – ’69 ? She retired in ’96 and the place closed shortly after that, and shortly before she died in, I think, ’97. Anyway, some guy bought the name and the recipe for dough (which remains unchanged) and reopened Audrey’s Pizza Oven on Peach Street about 5 years ago. And the pie is magnificent.


          2. Manny’s (Burger Inn) was a greasy spoon, art deco-style diner across the alley from the Molly Brown. No pizza there. Had 10 stools, and people would line up 4-5 deep behind them and out the door waiting to eat, with Manny cooking for the next person in line so the plate was ready when the person sitting finished–10 minute turnaround max, or the person behind you would start eating his plate leaning over you. Big heaping plates of greasy food: burgers, fries, eggs, hash browns, bacon/sausage and pancakes and bad coffee; cheap prices (under $2/plate in those days). You could wash dishes or “clean” for a meal if you were broke. and the place looked and reeked like it was cleaned by broke college students, drunks and addicts.

            Many of us had the first major layer of cholesterol in our arteries laid down there. Wouldn’t have missed the experience for all of the lattes and nouveau dishes just getting going in the Bay area. Performance cooking art and eating at its best. Never a dull moment, the place was often open till the after-closing hour bar crowd dissipated.

            Ceramics prof. Mike Peed did a most awesomely detailed photo study and architectural sculpture of the place, before it was closed and torn down in the early 80s–it’ll probably end up in the Smithsonian some day. Manny was the brother of ceramics legend Peter Voulkos. So if you don’t know anything about what I’m talking about, then you don’t know shit about Bozeman before the trustafarians and yuppies took it over from the hippies and cowboys 35 years ago, and ruined the town.


  3. Portland may have lost her way but maybe there’s hope on the horizon.

    “An Oregon county commission has ordered an incinerator to stop accepting boxed medical waste to generate electricity after learning the waste it’s been burning may include tissue from aborted fetuses from British Columbia.”


      1. It is shocking Swede, just shocking, I know, but we have to make unpleasant choices in life, and one is that sometimes we allow women to make a mistake and then undo it. The other choice, to force them to have an unwanted child, one: doesn’t work, as they find a way to have an abortion illegally, and two: is unfair to them, saying that they are chattel, and that their lives are unimportant.

        I know this shocks you Swede, as you want it clean, good/bad, black/white/ you made a mistake live with it bitch, but life is unclean. Lots of grays, like you know, when you righties attack a country and kill good guys and bad guys alike by the mass grave body count. You just don’t get good clean killing of bad guys like in the movies. You call it “collateral damage,” so think of those fetusus as that and we’ll both be on the same moral high ground.


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