Elephant Ears

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It’s very shawarma out.

I’m sweating and elbowing my way through the throng at Portland’s Saturday Market, headed back to Cassie’s riverfront apartment.

I realize I have sugary elephant ears all over my mouth and chin.

I calculate how long ago I’d eaten the sweet street food and it had been a while.

I lick my lips and wipe with my hand what I can’t reach with my tongue.

I’m a sophisticate.

Portland is a foodie town of the highest order. From food carts to food trucks to brick and mortar eateries, it is the place to be if you want to eat well. You can have Baghdad shawarma, then walk three feet and have biryani at the Transylvania Express.

I mean, one could.

A person should really take advantage of this plethora of choice, you know? Get crazy, try all sorts of foods, be adventurous. And If you’re at a food cart or truck, you can do it on the cheap. A yumminess cornucopia; a pammy utopia.

In theory, it is always my plan to take advantage of the options. To seize the variety. But when faced with selection pressure, I almost always choose what I know I love. And it makes me mad. I want to be standing in line at Chez Dodo ordering Mauritian Dholl pori, but in truth, where would someone find me? Shaking the red pepper flakes onto my slice of pepperoni and cheese. Argggghh, I put the pepper shaker down and shake my fist at myself, “You food fool!”

I want to eat the exotic stuff; I do. But I love comfort food. Case in point, I’ve been on a quest to compare all the mac and cheese on Portland’s Thrilllist http://www.thrillist.com/eat/portland/best-mac-cheese-in-portland I’ve had pizza at the birthplace of pizza in Naples, Italy, and I want to find the best pizza in Portland. What’s wrong with me. And I write that devoid a question mark because there’s no question.

I’m just a little girl from Oakdale who likes her grilled cheese.

If I like something, I can eat it over and over. And over. If one time is good, ten times can be ten times better. You do the math.

I should know better. I shunned sushi until about five years ago and now I am a freak for the stuff. We’re weekend regulars at Gen Kai. http://www.sushiorangecounty.com Like Cheers, they know our names. We’re John-san and Pam-san. Now I think about all those years I missed out on sushi sessions and I want to shake my fist at myself.

I’ll think harder about trying more scary food.

Until then, I just want to take a comfy nap on an elephant ear river raft, a giant piece of soft, fried dough drenched in cinnamon and sugar. Under the shawarma sun, I’ll float down the Williamette, waking only to gnaw on the crisp edges of my raft, wiping my mouth where I can’t reach with my tongue.