runnin’roundmofo: bagdad pub & nicholas lebanese

As I’ve got out-of-town guests this week, I’ve been running around Portland and eating out a ton more than usual. So while I haven’t been able to work on my Tater Tot taco shell project, I have been able to eat some old favorites and try some new stuff.

bagdad_pub_paintingWe ended up at Bagdad Theater & Pub because we were doing Hawthorne gifty shopping and had a 40-minute window to grab some food before my brother and cousin’s tattoo appointments. Hey, look across the street—food! I’d had a pizza, hold the cheese, there while watching some movie or another, but going to the pub never occurred to me. But it’s neat. There are crazy scenes painted on all the walls, so you can drift off and stare at them and make people uncomfortable because they think you’re staring at them. Good stuff.


I ordered these Cajun-spiced Tater Tots. And they were fried. Like, in oil. It had been ages since I had fried Tots. I forgot how much better they are, all extra crisp and light and amazing. And the spice on them was pretty legit—you know, when that tingle starts to build from the cayenne. They normally come with Ranch dressing, and the server really didn’t want to not bring me the dressing. “Well, it comes on the side.” Light argument ensued.

Later on, we had some old friends come over so we ordered just a bunch of modular Lebanese stuff from Nicholas. It’s one of my favorite places for food in Portland, period. Just so consistently fresh and delicious and all those things you look for in a food.


Here we’ve got hummus, tabouli, and a nice little stack of pita. For whatever reason, when you order a gazillion things, even though each one comes with its own pita, you don’t get enough unless you say something along the lines of “I need a whole mess of pita.”


I know, my depth of field is off in this photo, but you can see the important stuff: manakish (or zataar), a flatbread pizza with oregano, lemon, and sesame—one of my favorite things on the planet—and a piece of spinach pie, an almost-sweet dough with onion, spinach, lemon, and pine nuts. Wave to the lone falafel ball in the back. Hello, falafel ball! I still love you even though you aren’t in focus!


A bunch of food, a stack of plates (collected from the various Chinatowns of the various cities I’ve lived in), and swapping memories with friends and family. Not a bad little Wednesday.

And thank you, Crystal, for the cookies made with love!

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