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 youâd like to vote for Oregonâs official state food go here before midnight tonight.
The state: Washington, Oregonâs northern neighbor and sister state, much like Quinn was sister to Daria and Elsa sister to Anna. In Portland, weâre 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. Itâs just not especially cool these days. Once home to Nirvana, Singles and Windows 95, itâs now known for Macklemoreâs salmon-pink Air Jordans, Amazonâs 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. Seattleâs 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 âBucksberg. (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 Oregonâit's maybe worth noting here that Washington has no income tax, which matters when you're supposedly the highest-paid musician in the worldâand hangs out in Astoria where he tweets photos of old cars and DJ's on a community radio station.
The food: The Emerald Cityâs most beloved beverage, the Starbucks Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino. âMade with rich mocha sauce, vanilla syrup, and FrappuccinoÂ® chips, blended together with FrappuccinoÂ® roast, milk, and ice. Topped with chocolaty whipped cream and Chocolate Cookie Crumbles,â itâs today's Seattle in liquid form. The only way to make this experience more quintessentially âWashingtonâ 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 âThrift Shop.â If you have $20 in your pocket you could get as many as four of these. And since itâs iced, youâd be one cold-ass honky.
Other foods considered and rejected: Pumpkin Spiced Latte (not in season), regular Frappuccino, apples, a freshly steamed Caramel Apple Spice, Walla Walla sweet onions.