Our latest dining experience was at Bay Leaf, a vegetarian restaurant on SE Division. Bay Leaf has a very strong Asian influence, and their tea list was very nice. I ordered the Tie Quan Yin, while my husband ordered Green Plum. We both liked our teas a lot. They came in those very low, small pots that look like metal but are really dark-colored ceramic. I ordered some vegetables with fried tofu, and it came in a contraption with a covered ceramic pot on top and a metal frame underneath with a lit gas flame. I opened the lid, and the stuff was certainly being kept hot, there was no doubt at all about that. The bubbling liquid was a big tipoff. I spooned some onto a plate, and tried to figure out how to turn the flame down or out. 2 people came up to the table to help, I guess because they thought I might accidentally blow up the place. Steve, on the other hand, merely ordered an uncomplicated Pad Thai, which he liked enough to take the remainder home. I ate up every single bite of my vegies and tofu, FYI, using chopsticks. It was yummy. And there was this multi-grain rice that was not so yummy, exactly, but interesting and healthy enough to eat all of it.
The next night, my friend Gritt and I joined our friend Shirley for her Big Birthday celebration at Gloriaz Pub & Grill in Clackamas on Sunnyside Road. Shirley had sent me an email saying "Don't forget my birthday party! No pressure." Uh, yeah, OK. She writes, "We're having tacos and cake." Tacos and cake? Turns out it was absolutely true. A big spread of taco-building materials. And a many-tiered cake that was actually a bunch of piled-up cupcakes with the requisite Birthday Number on top of each. Kind of charming, and sweet. Literally. And I happen to love cupcakes. Even if there is a karaoke machine at the party to suffer through. And microbrews. I love microbrews. Especially if there is a karaoke machine at the party. Because then I can sing, too, after a pint o' brew! Happy Birthday, Shirley!