Our neighborhood has dozens of eateries, pubs, bars, pizzerias and taquerias. That’s one of the reasons we bought this house…. Walkability to all sorts of goodies!
But the pandemic shuttered many of them. Some, like The Nerd Out, closed up shop for good. Others, like the Taqueria Los Punales, opened amidst the craziness and have done well with take out and outdoor seating.
But The HobNob was special. It served good casual food and drinks. It is super close (our Real Estate agent called it “staggering distance”). But mostly, the people were friendly, funny, and welcoming. It was Our Place.
With the pandemic it shut down, then tried to open again. The owner, Jason, got sick. The doors were closed and locked for months. We were worried.
And now, da Nob is back! Sunday evening, dozens of our neighbors collected at the outdoor tables (some under a newly-built patio on SE 34th) to eat, drink, and socialize.
Jason greeted everyone like old friends, Megan brought us drinks and food, and the world felt better.
I know the city is still messed up. Crazy people, both the powerful and the powerless, make things complicated and scary. But having a place to meet with friends, and seeing small businesses succeeding, gives me hope.
After a few really rainy days, we had a cold, clear Friday. Fridays are the evenings we try and give some business to our local restaurants, as well as giving me the night off from cooking.
Sadly, some of our favorite places have closed, at least for the duration of the pandemic. The Hob Nob and the Belmont Inn just around the corner, and the Rocking Frog down the way, just weren’t able to make business work with only take out or delivery.
But in a city with thousands of people who love to eat out, there will always be something. Last night we ordered take out online from The Egyptian Brothers, a food truck at the food cart pod at 28th and Ash. On the walk over to pick it up, we enjoyed the sunset colored clouds and the patterns made by power lines, and the parade of folks walking their dogs to Laurelhurst Park and home again.
The Food Court has metal fire pits and some outdoor heaters set up in the middle of carts featuring Tobiko Bowl Japanese food, Wolf and Bear Lebanese, FOMO Chicken, and the Crepe place, make for a cheerful atmosphere. Quite a few folks were seated around the fire or at tables, socially distanced, but not very masked.
It was refreshing to see people talking and laughing, having some beer or wine with friends. It felt almost normal. But it didn’t feel like I wanted to stick around.
Our dinner was ready when we got there, smelling delicious. We headed home in the gathering dark, getting hungrier by the minute. Grandpa Nelson had opened a bottle of Columbia Crest Red Blend, and we enjoyed our lamb gyros with tzitziki sauce and wine before our Scrabble game.
Grandpa Nelson won handily, Auntie Bridgett came in second, but I think I had as much fun as anyone. Happy Friday! Welcome to your weekend!