Monday, May 8, 2017

Matthew's Sakura-Con 2017 Report: Part 5 - After Con: Days Four - Six


Day Four would be primarily a travel day but had planned to stay in Medford going into that Tuesday/Day Five then go home Wednesday/Day Six.

However, before we left Seattle we went back north to our last stop on the foodie portion of Sakura-Con: a 24-hour diner called Beth's Cafe.

Of course it's been on Man vs Food, how would we known about it?

Me and Ryan immediately go for the 12 egg Southwestern omelette, full of brisket, chili, salsa, sour cream, and cheddar cheese. It also comes with a side of unlimited hash browns!

We also sampled some of their homemade raspberry jelly, which was "out of bounds." In fact, we kept a running tab of how many times we say to describe food "this is out of bounds," "get out of here," and some variation of "damn," and as you will see we'll break that count by Wednesday.

Asuna continuing to protect Miku, which also became a running gag over the weekend
We decided to take the scenic route back to Interstate 5, going on Highway 99 and cutting through Seattle via the Alaskan Way Viaduct before joining the freeway just south of Safeco Field. For all we know, that could be the one and only time we get to drive that viaduct before they open the tunnels that are safer compared to the double-decker style that are earthquake-prone (see the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and the Cypress Viaduct on I-880) and will free up the Seattle waterfront just like how dismantling CA 480 aka the Embarcadero Freeway in the early 1990s freed up that entire waterfront.

Safeco Field, home of the Mariners
I had my second crack at the Nitro Cold Brew outside of town to keep me up through the drive but Ryan didn't like as much as both Nate and I did.

Traffic wasn't as bad going through Portland but still had to deal with some stop-and-go traffic.

Our main goal was to get Medford before sundown in order to see the passes better, which we achieved. Once we got back to Ryan's house, I didn't want to do much and save up for would be his tour of his hometown the next day, prompting me to pass out early.

Once I did wake up on Tuesday it was time to take the tour of the area, see the local sights, and apparently sample the local flavors. Our first stop: Rooster's Restaurant, a family-owned breakfast and lunch spot known for their pies and cinnamon rolls. Unfortunately, when we got there they were out of cinnamon rolls but was able to try out their biscuits and gravy, which I may say was one of the best biscuits and gravy I've ever eaten especially with chunks of sausage mixed in with the gravy.

Biscuits and Gravy at Rooster's Restaurant
We then headed west to a small town called Jacksonville to stop at Gary West Smoked Meats to sample some really good beef jerky and be amazed of everything "craft" in this part of Oregon. This would be compounded with third stop: Rouge Creamery.

A welcome sign to Rogue Creamery
I am a fanatic of cheese, so I had to try out their world-renown blue cheese as well as some of their other cheeses, and this is the part of the trip where those phases "get out of here" or "this is out of bounds" start to get thrown out a lot to the point where the counter gets broken. I remember at some point that Dalton told me to move out of the way so that other people could sample their cheddar cheese.

The room where they hand-make their cheeses every day
Blue cheese on display at Rouge Creamery
I also get to try out some craft root beer and craft soda, which is made by the same brewery that made my Dead Guy Ale that I picked up at the beginning of this trip: Rouge Ales. Now the counter really starts to break.

The exterior of Rouge Creamery
Our final taste test touring spot was Harry & David, a Whole Foods-type of grocery store known for two primary things: their pears and their gourmet popcorn called "Moose Munch." I sampled both as well as some butterbeer, which at this point we could truly declare the counters broken and dead.

We quickly stopped at WinCo to pick up some lunch in the form of grinder sandwiches and head back to the house. The rest of the afternoon consisted of me taking a nap until it was time to head out to enjoy some laser tag and dinner at Noho's Hawaiian Cafe.

The laser tag, according to Ryan, opened recently at their local mall and was something that everyone in town wanted me to see. Even if it was for one game, I was able to catch a glimpse of what Medford has to offer.

Over at Noho's, I am treated to a wonderful dinner to round out my one day in Medford. Compared to something like L&L back home, this was a mom-and-pop version of your classic Hawaiian-style plate lunches. Then the waitress said something to me that got me thinking: once L&L went commercial, they lost some of their hometown flavor - which Noho's brought back.

Korean Ribs, Blalah size
I wasn't sure what I was expecting when I ordered the "Blalah" size, but for someone who can eat a lot I could not finish this all in one seating. If anything, this became breakfast the next morning.

We rounded out the evening by visiting Nick at this place, Ryan's mom over at White City, and taking the long way back home before resting up for my final half-day in Medford before going home.

Plaque commemorating the first In-N-Out in Oregon
Wednesday consisted of making Dutch Bros runs and visiting the first ever In-N-Out in Oregon, which tastes exactly like an In-N-Out in California or Arizona, before leaving around 4pm in order to catch the remaining passes through Oregon and California before sundown.

My badge hanging on my car before I moved it back down
Morgana holding my badge during a rest stop in Arbuckle
Finally, after a one week, one hour, and 45 minute adventure to a great unknown with possibly the best group I could ever have as my extended family, I made it back home.

Racked up 1713.3 miles through the seven-day trip
Other statistics: 32.1 mi/gal, including 33.76 mi/gal between Seattle and Medford coming back home which is the current best average; 35 hours and 30 minutes spent in the car; and the odometer clocking in at 50,323 miles, breaking the 50,000 mile mark and inching me closer to 50,000 true miles on this car since when I first got this car it had 4,798 miles.

Miku did its job, so it's time for me to do my job.

-Days Four, Five, and Six End-

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