Summer is road-trip season, so we're taking a culinary tour of America. But because Portland is a city of immigrants from other states, we don't have to leave town to do it. We're traveling to 50 Portland restaurants to try one distinctive food from each state. Our 50 Plates tour continues with a Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino from Washington, which joined the union on November 11, 1889.
If you’d like to vote for Oregon’s official state food go here before midnight tonight.
The state: Washington, Oregon’s northern neighbor and sister state, much like Quinn was sister to Daria and Elsa sister to Anna. In Portland, we’re most familiar with Washingtonians from Vancouver U.S.A. who we know as terrible drivers in big trucks with access to legal weed. We sometimes forget that most of the state is a little more urbane, as more than half of all Washingtonians are from Seattle or its suburbs.
Seattle is big and powerful and rich and smart. It’s just not especially cool these days. Once home to Nirvana, Singles and Windows 95, it’s now known for Macklemore’s salmon-pink Air Jordans, Amazon’s controversial business tactics and whatever they call the current edition of the Windows operating system. Basically, they Basic. But, hey, at least they have decent jobs. Happily, Seattleites have mostly seemed to acknowledge and accept their new role in the region. Seattle’s city magazine had admitted Portland is cooler and when a writer for Bro blog (Brog?) Thrillist made a half-hearted attempt to defend Seattle as the cooler city he cited the green mermaid and the lack of strip clubs as reasons to favor ‘Bucksberg. (Somehow, he neglected to mention the Zune.) These days, Seattle has but a few very cool things: Richard Sherman, a branch of Stumptown coffee, KEXP and a great beer bar inside a former mortuary, which serves more beer from Oregon than from Washington.
The coolest living Seattle native, Krist Novoselic, lives just over the border from Oregon—it's maybe worth noting here that Washington has no income tax, which matters when you're supposedly the highest-paid musician in the world—and hangs out in Astoria where he tweets photos of old cars and DJ's on a community radio station.
The food: The Emerald City’s most beloved beverage, the Starbucks Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino. “Made with rich mocha sauce, vanilla syrup, and Frappuccino® chips, blended together with Frappuccino® roast, milk, and ice. Topped with chocolaty whipped cream and Chocolate Cookie Crumbles,” it’s today's Seattle in liquid form. The only way to make this experience more quintessentially “Washington” would be to order it with the Amazon app on a Windows Phone and then drink it on top of the Space Needle while listening to “Thrift Shop.” If you have $20 in your pocket you could get as many as four of these. And since it’s iced, you’d be one cold-ass honky.
Get it from: Starbucks, which operates little embassies of Seattle culture all over the city of Portland.
Click on the map to see each state's distinctive food and where to get it in Portland.