Monday, December 7, 2009

An Evening in Portland: Dinner at Lovely Hula Hands

I woke up early on Sunday with a start. The cats were cozied in with Dolly-girl--nobody wanted to get out of bed 'cause of the fact that for Stumptown, it was freezing. Literally. Thirty-two degrees. Maybe a little colder. OK, so that's above zero, but this is Stumptown and we didn't sign up for Siberia, you know. We can't see it from our house and we sure as hell don't want to feel it.

Anyway, I hopped out of bed and started the joe perking on the Tappan because it was Dolly-girl's compleanno. She looks as young as the day I laid my blue boys on her greenies.

Back a coupla weeks ago, me and Dolly-girl were perambulating up on Alberta and she laid eyes on a piece of art made out of maps and nails and wood and it looked like a heart--even I recognized that. Well, I made note and then snuck back and picked it up for her. Turns out some realtor chiquita name of Kim Hamblin makes that art. I'm thinking art and real estate are probably about the same these days in terms of earning potential. Wait, I bought some art...

Well, Dolly-girl's greenies did a dance when she unwrapped the heart and it got me the sorta look through the wave that I like. We decided to take the birthday dinner out, so I got Kitty on the blower and we picked Lovely Hula Hands, a joint Dolly-girl had been to with her friend Blueberry, but me and Kitty had never darkened the door. When Dolly-girl was telling me about the place she was doing the hula thing with her mitts. She gave it the up-and-down and it turns out she was right on.

We set the brake and the three of us walked in. Didn't look to me like trouble was out on this Sunday night, so we took a table upstairs, me with my back to the room. I won't make that mistake again. I missed too much good sight-seeing, like people gnawing on meat..

There was stuff hanging on the walls and some old lights and other things that Dolly-girl calls "period" or "art." It just looks to me like they grabbed some grandma's leftovers and put them around the room

Missy brought the whaddya-drinking but we didn't pay it no nevermind. No beer on tap so the three of us were drinking skid-row. Me and Kitty went for the rosso while Dolly-girl was chasing down the bianco. Me and Kitty should've split a bottle, but we didn't think of it. They had the new one from France and it was tapping on my shoulder.

Missy showed up with the skid-row and Bull Run all around. She parked and said, "What-le-it-be?"

I told her to bring around an order of oil in the flesh--you know, the green-and-blacks. Dolly-girl said, "Cow feed--stack it high and bring us three plates. We'll split it up." Kitty nodded--she was game.

Missy was back in about four shakes. I'm thinking the up and down is keeping her gams skinny and her face long. Plus, come to find out, the joint is closing up while they "re-invent" themselves, whatever that means, in a new hash house next door. Anyway, the feed was as described and we packed it down.

We did a twice over on the whadda-ya-want and settled on what-we're-having. Dolly-girl went back to the old country and had some Chef Boyardees with Hansel and Gretel croutons in a bowl. Kitty called for clucker. Dress it with flour and fat and sprinkle some leaves on it. The clucker was so exciting I couldn't even hold the camera still...

Me, a burger was playing the National Anthem and I stood at attention. When it rolled around, it was like the Fourth of July with all the ooos and ahhs floating around my burger and fried up murphies. But, that clucker was top notch. It had a sauce that would make your ticker stand still like molasses on a frosty morning. The Chefs were the real thing--Dolly-girl had no regrets about flipping the calendar over another year if this was the reward.

Well, we made fast work of those feed bags and then Dolly-girl put down her finger. "Don't you guys be telling anyone this is the day I first saw the light back there in that coal mining town!" "Not us Dolly-girl," purred Kitty. But, I'd already put in the word with Missy. We looked at the shouldn't-have-it-but-we-will and I knew whatever came out would be on fire.

Missy made good on the request and the a chunk of Gretel and Hansel showed up, swimming in caramel and topped with a whipped up baby. No doubt about it, it was worth blowing at a candle.

Missy brought the check. I looked it over and didn't complain. Yeah, it was more than you'd expect to pay at a burger joint, but then I was the only Hamilton--Perry and Della had Jacksons. The feedbags were real tasty, the skid-row top-notch, and shouldn't-have-had-it--well, we shouldn't have had it but we were glad-we-did.

Four sawbucks a piece got us down the stairs and out the door with a "Glad you could make it," from Missy. Too bad the place is closing. But I'm guessing the new joint, "Lovely 50-50" will be just as good and worth every 8 bits you drop in there. We'll be there.

We headed out the door, the three of us. I patted my heater and fired a Lucky. Kitty and I sang the birthday song, and Dolly-girl hooked her arm through mine, turned the collar on her Persian Lamb up to the wind, and hummed Poker Face..." Another Sunday night in Stumptown.


Karen said...

Sounds like a great birthday! Can't wait to see the art. :-)

Kim Hamblin said...

Haha! Thanks for the art purchase and the mention! Hope she loves it and is adequately surprised. Art and real estate are both actually ok, surprisingly. Maybe I'm just lucky!