We live in the sleepy coastal town of Astoria. There are many charming places to invest your time; cafes, book stores, art galleries.. the place we chose this particular morning is called the Columbian Cafe. I'm not sure how long its been open, but I now there is character in its walls and story on the shelves. Sophie and I went there breakfast. I had met Kyle (chef) the night before at a show in the Voodoo Room and decided we would pay him a visit in the morning. We made it in around 10:40am. Cozied up to the counter - we were greeted by Kyle and Tania. Water, coffee, housemade bread and jam - it isn't hard to remember why we love the Columbian. Sophie ordered the vegetarian Mercy (chef's choice) and I ordered the meat inspired Mercy option. Mercy is a beautiful thing. It allows the chef to create in a way that keeps them inspired. No guidelines beyond your general meal desire; be it meat, vegetables, fish, etc. I admire this as a menu item. We talked to Kyle about what inspires him in the kitchen and otherwise. He is from a small farming community about an hour outside of town. Now he lives here - pursuing craft and passion behind the bar in this little restaurant, in the sleepy town of Astoria. People like Kyle are why folks love it here. I am inspired to see Kyle cook and to be served a meal by his hands. To be honest I have no idea what to call the meal I was served. It was beautiful, delicious, creative, colorful, warm, spicy.. as far as ingredients I know there were eggs [scrambled and presented in a crepe-like flat], hash browns, mushroom, chorizo, cabbage, cilantro, various spices and topped with avocado. Sophie had pan seared potatoe slices, stir fried vegetables, and poached eggs, topped with green beans and beet pesto. We left the restaurant full; full of excitement, inspiration, delicious food, and a desire to create meaningful things with our hands in the same way we had been treated to during our visit to the Columbian Cafe.
Being back in Oregon is so great. The air is crisp, temperatures in the mid 60's and I can see evergreen trees around every corner. Its been a busy couple days getting back up to speed on all things home - setting up shoots, writing emails, editing two months of personal work.. I am spent. So.. on this rainy March 11th, my wife made apple pie. The apples were brought to us by some friends from church and the flowers were picked off a tree that I'm pretty sure is growing wild in our back yard. Oregon is refreshing.