WANT Summer Fellows: Reviews

The WANT summer journalism fellowship is in full swing. We have brought together 12 fabulous aspiring journalists from across Portland who will be producing amazing content daily. Today, they were given a crash course in entertainment journalism and writing reviews. They then had 40 minutes to write a comprehensive review about their experience. Here is what they came up with.

_____________________________________________________________________

By Caroline Diamond

Cleveland High School

On the corner of Fremont and Vancouver, tucked between various uninhabited buildings and colorful food carts, some producing goods, and others not, a signless, red and white cart sells authentic thai food. Upon further inspection, one learns that they have arrived at Lai Thai, a slightly run down food cart, owned by a single lady.

Pasted to the outside of the cart are 30 pictures of homemade dishes available with informative and cheerful descriptions, like, “House Curry: You must try this! Red curry & peanut sauce w/ choice of meat, bell pepper, carrot, broccoli, and served with jasmine rice.” After much deliberation, I resorted to my usual order at thai restaurants, Pad Se Ew with chicken and a Thai Iced Tea, costing me a total of $9.00.

Since Lai Thai only has one employee, I came prepared for a long wait, with music and a notebook, but was pleasantly surprised when my food was ready within 10 minutes. Outside Lai Thai, there is one picnic table, angled to catch the sunlight.  There, I sat and enjoyed my classic noodle dish, which was mildly spiced to accommodate my sensitive palate. The lightly peppered noodles were accompanied by fresh bean sprouts to add a satisfying crunch, along with well cooked broccoli, carrots, and chicken. With the addition of a Thai Iced Tea, my lunch experience was complete, as I watched the people walk down Fremont Street, and smelled the delicious aromas of other thai dishes being created Lai Thai.

_____________________________________________________________________

By Adelina Bajrami

Sunset High School

On the corner of Fremont and Vancouver, tucked between various uninhabited buildings and colorful food carts, some producing goods, and others not, a signless, red and white cart sells authentic thai food. Upon further inspection, one learns that they have arrived at Lai Thai, a slightly run down food cart, owned by a single lady.

Pasted to the outside of the cart are 30 pictures of homemade dishes available with informative and cheerful descriptions, like, “House Curry: You must try this! Red curry & peanut sauce w/ choice of meat, bell pepper, carrot, broccoli, and served with jasmine rice.” After much deliberation, I resorted to my usual order at thai restaurants, Pad Se Ew with chicken and a Thai Iced Tea, costing me a total of $9.00.

Since Lai Thai only has one employee, I came prepared for a long wait, with music and a notebook, but was pleasantly surprised when my food was ready within 10 minutes. Outside Lai Thai, there is one picnic table, angled to catch the sunlight.  There, I sat and enjoyed my classic noodle dish, which was mildly spiced to accommodate my sensitive palate. The lightly peppered noodles were accompanied by fresh bean sprouts to add a satisfying crunch, along with well cooked broccoli, carrots, and chicken. With the addition of a Thai Iced Tea, my lunch experience was complete, as I watched the people walk down Fremont Street, and smelled the delicious aromas of other thai dishes being created Lai Thai.

_____________________________________________________________________

By Gillian Foley

Northwest Academy

From the moment Grace mentioned lunch I knew where I was going. Whole Bowl, of course. I’d seen it this morning, in the tired trudge to camp. I love Whole Bowl; it’s my favorite restaurant, cheap and delicious. I’ve rarely been to this part of town, and I smiled when I saw it. A slice of home.

I might never have been to this location before, but it doesn’t matter. There are no surprises. Whole Bowl is a unique restaurant duplicated in a few locations across town. The name perfectly fits the product. It’s a shining manifestation of everything that makes Portland so famously quirky. It’s also delicious, needless to say. My friend jokes that I would never come there, if not for the trendiness.

Whole Bowl, for anyone who hasn’t been there, is very unique. I call it a restaurant for lack of a better word. An ultra-healthy drive-in, maybe? Whole boy has little service or sit-down area. They serve only one dish: beans, avocado, salsa, olives, magical tali sauce (the special ingredient) and a splash of sour cream. Charming fake-wood signs display this throughout the restaurant. I take a secret comfort in the sameness.

I order from a woman I’ve never met. Her granola smile seems friendly and familiar. I order the same as always; no olives or salsa, extra avocado. I recite this thoughtlessly, out of habit.

This Whole Bowl location doesn’t have chairs. With nowhere to sit, I grab my food and wander down the street. The paper cup is too small, per usual; I attempt to mix the ingredients and beans splash across my hand. I lick it off, checking quickly to see if anyone noticed.

But for some reason, Whole Bowl didn’t taste as good today. It’s very flat. I struggle to distribute the ingredients evenly. I finish off my avocado too quickly, then swallow too much sour cream in one bite. Everything tastes dry and wrong. My stomach churns, empty and angry. But I’m not hungry enough to finish this. I’m sure that I will come back soon, however. Maybe it’ll be better then.

_________________________________________________________________________________

By Ihsaan Ali

Woodrow Wilson High School

When I first walked into New Seasons, the aroma of cooking food gently slapped me in the face.I knew right then that I was going to love this place.  The atmosphere seemed nice and relaxed and everyone was either milling around shopping, or grabbing lunch while on their break. They had many lunch options to pick from: a bakery, a hot wok station, a salad bar, a hot lunch station, and last but not least the one I chose, the sandwich bar. The sandwich bar had two parts: a build-your-own ‘wich bar, or a grab and go section with ready made sandwiches. I decided to make my own sandwich in order to give them a fair chance at making my tastebuds happy. Unfortunately they did not have tuna available, so I went with the roasted turkey breast, some swiss cheese, veggies, and penjo mayonnaise on rye bread. Fortunately for me, the mayo provided some flavor to the otherwise tastelessly bland sandwich. Unfortunately for them, the mayo was not sufficient enough to make the sandwich wonderfull. However, it was still a pretty great sandwich. The combination of guacamole and turkey is always a great one and it filled me up pretty nicely. I think the best part was the dining area. Once you pay, you can sit down in a cafe-type area with friends and just enjoy your meal. Overall I give it 3.5/5 stars

_________________________________________________________________________________

By Manya Jain

Westview High School

Locating good food can be quite a struggle to do in the mess of shops and food carts around the city. Making the decision of what type of cuisine you want, if the atmosphere of the shop looks acceptable, whether you will like the food or not can all be very difficult.

At precisely 11:45 I meandered around the street and came to a stop at a familiar setting, New Seasons. The New Seasons Market seemed like the safest choice in comparison to the food carts, which I had never tried before. There I looked around for a few minutes debating over a sandwich or mac and cheese. I asked the man behind the buffet counter if I could sample some of the mac and cheese. I tentatively raised the spoon to my mouth. The mac and cheese had just the right amount of cheese so I decided to go with that. The whole process of getting the food was a little confusing because I wasn’t sure of where to pay at first and I couldn’t find where they kept the spoons. But eventually I payed for the mac and cheese and sat down at a small table and got a glass of water. The table area was clean and not too crowded or noisy. Overall the staff at New Seasons were helpful and friendly. Since the food was already made I can not say anything about if the service was slow or not. The pricing was also pretty reasonable. The food was acceptable, a little bland but not too bad. As compared to other mac and cheeses I’ve had in the past this one was pretty average. One thing I really liked was that at the self serve buffet you could just pay by the pound, so you could get however little or as much food you wanted. Generally speaking the whole experience went pretty well but if offered a different choice I would probably not come here again. New Seasons is a great place if you want to stick to a safe familiar taste with their wide selection of self serve foods and salads and a build your own sandwich bar.

_________________________________________________________________________________

By Clara Liebert

De La Salle North Catholic High School

Stoopid Burger is a food cart. It does not feel like the best place to be getting food, as it is in a rough parking lot with some gravel and holes. They have painted their logo on the side of their cart that is next to the sidewalk. It looked nice from how colorful it was, and told you what the food cart was.

It was not the easiest to find where to order, as they had a big window, and then a wall next to it, and the ordering line was behind the wall. Their sign to show where to order was a paper bag with marker written on it that said the line was on the other side of wall, that was taped to the post of the wall. It was not easily noticeable. However, the gentleman running it were nice. They directed us to where the order window was. They handed us menus, and the menus were nicely organized, very easy to understand. This is always a good sign because you know the prices; you know what is included in each item on the menu; and it does not take too long to read through and decide what you want.

Once I ordered, it took longer than they had said it would take to make the food. I was told about 8 minutes, but it ended up being closer to 15 minutes. They had limited seating of two picnic tables, but there were a number of other picnic tables in the food cart area. At around noon, it was not a very busy place. They did have a cover over the tables to help with different weather. I was not sure if there burger would be worth the $5 I spent on it. It was a good burger. The meat was cooked well, and it included tomato, lettuce, onion, pickle, and a sauce. It tasted good, and is not a burger I would turn down. The menu had the typical burgers, chicken strips, and hot dogs that grill places have. If you do not like these types of food, you should not even try going there. There was as well a kids menu, which would make it nicer for families. All in all, I had a fairly good experience with Stoopid Burger.

_________________________________________________________________________________

By Lauren Woodhouse-Laskonis

Cleveland High School

When in Portland, it’s not difficult to find a good cup of coffee. Whether you’re running late to work and rush in for your morning cup or you’re enjoying a good book in a cafe on a rainy day, there’s a coffee shop to fit whatever mood you’re in.

Today, I found myself with ten dollars to burn and an energy so low even Sleepy the Dwarf from Snow White would seem like a peppy cheerleader in comparison. So, I decided to use my lunch time to stop at New Seasons and get a good old fashioned black coffee. As a fifteen year old, I don’t have much knowledge of coffee. I could care less if the beans were roasted or its cold-brew or where it’s from- as long as it gets me through the day, I’ll be drinking it. That’s the mood I was in this particular day. Thankfully, I walked not even a block to get there as it was mildy chilly and I made the mistake of not checking the weather report when I was getting dressed.

Whenever I enter a New Seasons, no matter the location, there’s always a sense of familiarity. Produce, bakery and the frozen section always in the same place. Muscle memory took over and I walked over to the drip coffee. If I remember correctly, the coffee I chose made promise of “toffee” and “caramel” flavor. I don’t know if I have screwed up taste buds, but I almost never taste the sugary words they use. It was the same bitter-ish (forgive my made up words) flavor I always taste, burning my tongue on the first sip.

I paid, then made my way out of the store to sit at their outdoor seating area in the sun and caught up on a little reading. Outside of New Seasons was pristine and sharp like most all of the stores are. Distracted by my book, I didn’t notice the small drip of coffee coming from the side of the cup until it burned my hand. I quickly set it on the table and smashed the lid down till it was finally secure. After about 15 minutes, I put my book away and enjoyed sips on my walk back to The Center.

Overall, New Seasons coffee was neither bad nor good. The same as every other cup I’ve had, but not in a negative way. Just a familiar taste, I guess and I’ve been energized ever since.

_________________________________________________________________________________

By Iman Pearce

De La Salle North Catholic High School

We’ve all trusted someone. Some of us have been betrayed using the same things we felt so comfortable sharing: our heart, our friendship, our secrets, by those same people we felt so comfortable sharing with. Kat, Lillia and Mary know betrayal all too well. Now they want to get even. As the saying goes; Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, Burn for Burn.

When I started reading Burn for Burn, I knew it would be about betrayal and revenge, but I was still given the impression that the book would be innocent. If you have ever seen any of those corny teen movies or read those trivial teen books you know how cliche these story lines can be. It always goes something like this; Someone commits some petty betrayal on someone else, so the other person proceeds to play some petty pranks on the first person ruining their social life. The book ends with closure and a corny “they all lived happily ever” after chapter. Burn for Burn is not one of those books.

Don’t get me wrong, Burn for Burn does show a lot of basic teenage drama with sexual relationships and friendships, but over all it is much more interesting than it seems at first. The book also deals with dis-heartening subjects like suicide, bullying, date rape, the death of a parent and underage intoxication. This book shows how our emotions give us so many layers. Characters that seem tough are also shown being very vulnerable, and betrayal turned some of the most innocent into people willing to go all the way for revenges sake.

Over all, I truly enjoyed this book and I do recommend it for people in grades 9-12.

_________________________________________________________________________________

By Caroline Cook

Catlin Gabel High School

Living up the street from a New Seasons Market I go two to three times a week. This Pacific Northwest based market strives on bringing fresh, local food from farmers, ranchers, producers, and fishermen to the communities around them and because of this I always return home from the store with a great selection of delicious and healthy foods.

As well a delivering local foods and grocery classics, such as fruit loops and potato chips, New Seasons Market has devoted one side of each grocery store to act as a restaurant of sorts. There you can order food from a full functioning wok, sandwich, taco and soup bar. If you are in a hurry you can pick up food from the grab and go aisle and if you need food for a big group you can pick up house made item from the deli case. The food here is nothing special but it is a nice option to have if you need a quick, healthy lunch at a reasonable price.

Not only does this wonderful market provide families with delicious food, they also donate 10% of their after-tax profits to local non-profit organization. With the focuses of fighting hunger, supporting local schools, and promoting environmental conservation they make quite a difference in my community.

With wonderful food, great prices, and a meaningful purpose, New Seasons Market is my go to grocery store. 

_________________________________________________________________________________Photo Credit: Henrik Johansson

About Grace Masback

Grace Masback, 17, aspires to give voice to the voiceless and holds the modest ambition of becoming the voice of Gen Z. Frustrated by the dearth of impactful platforms for teen journalists, she founded WANT, a news, sports, and entertainment website that aggregates the best in high school journalism from school newspapers and teen bloggers around the world (www.wantnewsforteens.com).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s