Shaving Off Degrees of Separation

Driving the cab is like spinning a roulette wheel, if not a pistol cylinder. You never know where, or in what, you’ll land. Last night I was fortunate enough to have been dispatched to pick up Daniel Mondok, the owner and executive chef at one of Portland’s newer and more highly esteemed eateries, Sel Gris. As we discussed the issues surrounding small scale farming, sustainability, and the privileged access that we, as Portlanders, have to fresh and highly valued produce, he let slip that Sel Gris has a beef, lamb, and foie gras burger served with pommes frites finished in duck fat. Watch for my review to soon follow over at Portland Hamburgers. I just hope I don’t get scooped.

Spin the wheel again and whom do I get but Megan, an effervescent and absolutely enthusiastic new server over at the Miss Delta on North Mississippi. I knew, but had forgotten, about this location. It seems Anastasia Corya sold her Delta Cafe of Woodstock Ave fame and opened this culinary paean to the American South back in August. I’ll need to stop in for some jambalaya, a dish from a warmer, more humid, climate that works oh so well in Portland’s misty winters.

There is no six-degrees of separation in Portland. To be removed any further than three degrees would mean dwelling in cave. That’s one of the more attractive aspects of living here. It’s where this deeply ingrained and perpetually nourished idea of high-density development within the urban core of the city is both encouraged and rewarded. Individually, we may not always acknowledge it, but collectively, we reap the benefits daily. It helps if one is both ready to tell his or her own story and still be willing to listen to the stories of others.

Now, everyone, together; Kumbaya, my Lord, kumbaya…

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