If there are two things Portland aspires to it’s a rising food scene and an ironically hipster population. The pilot episode to our city’s namesake program, “Portlandia”, clearly demonstrates and hyperbolizes the typical Portland dining experience. Within minutes, Protagonist, Fred Armisen, inquires about the origin of the chicken, scrutinizing the details to the longitudinal and latitudinal farm coordinates and the chicken’s emotional health. Although humorous, this small snippet shows Portland’s eccentric need to be organic and sustainable.
What is particularly interesting is how these environmentally conscious eating practices impact our city’s youth. We would like to think that growing up in a city filled with food carts has broadened our taste palettes extensively, and despite our own self-declared expertise, maybe it has. How many kids in the Midwest enjoy poke bowls regularly with friends, the way many of us have on Hawthorne, or try samples of fresh jams and cheeses at the downtown markets? The Pacific Northwest, specifically Seattle and Portland, are hubs for delicious local products.
Unfortunately, the catch 22 to our empty bellies is our equally empty pockets. So a new question arises: how do we justify spending money on decadent food while also trying to buy concert tickets and keep a checking balance above seven dollars?
Personally, I think the solution to balancing bank statements and hunger comes down to a few easy practices:
#1 When you treat yourself to good eats do it right.
Contrary to popular belief, order the burger with the bacon on it – even if it does cost a few extra dollars. Splurging a little now and then on that extra guac has the ability to completely enhance your dining experience; thus, your meal is now more rememberable and as a result you won’t be longing to go out as soon. It’s more fiscally responsible to spend $12 one day than to treat yourself to Babydoll for $5, four times a week: the point is to pick your perks accordingly (plus, your nine dollar Carioca Bowl looks way cuter on your snap story than McChickens anyway).
Point #2) Skip out on sodas:
Fred Meyers sells Kroger soda by the liter for 99 cents – however, the average restaurant charges around $1.25 for 8 ounces – so, if you wait to quench your thirst at home you will only spend around 2.6 cents an ounce, as opposed to 15.6 cents an ounce if you choose to dine out. For those of you that don’t take this advice I hope you realize the joke is on you because the extra change could have bought you a garlic knot.
Point #3 Learn to Cook… Kinda.
Instagram feeds are loaded with “one-pan meals” and DIY desserts, these food accounts can literally turn stomachs to point of pain. Some viewers are inspired to get into the kitchen and start cooking, but for others it exposes their lack of culinary abilities and their fear of handling food. People often lament, “I can’t cook to save my life or I burn everything”, my response to them is a resounding “get over it”. In saying this I do not mean to attack anyone who finds this skill difficult, but you can all boil water, and I believe in you. Senior, Hailee Ryan, recommends Buzzfeed’s Tasty for easy to follow recipes with pictures on how to cook delicious meals:“It’s all step by step, you just need to follow along”. It’s surprising that Buzzfeed, which was known primarily for its clickbait content, is actually killing it in the food game. Buzzfeed includes videos with every meal and encourage you to continue with other recipes. It’s clear that anyone can cook, the rewards are set aside for any who try!