Porto's is in the San Fernando Valley, Burbank, where there are more sound studios and stages on corners than CVS and Walgreen's drug dispensaries. Where a professional populace originating from every corner of the world mingles, works and lives.
Dave ordered. He made sure we got potato balls, chicken empanadas, and cheese rolls. I ordered, we split, a Cubano sandwich, since this is a Cuban cafe. I tried a pina colada smoothie, and ultimately, coffee to accompany my cheese roll.
Oh Arizona, my beloved adopted state, I understand the mind set making legislators want to lock their world into a tidy pale, English-only enclave. I understand the "last frontier" mentality, and how we could all arm ourselves for hobby, education, and self protection, hunkering down for The Last Stand.
You want to open a smoothie bar attracting hordes of people like me? Probably not. But if you do, Porto's can take you to school on smoothies. Easy on the palate, sugar NOT the second ingredient after water. Truly smooth. The best smoothie of my life. The drinks at Porto's are served from a separate drink bar. If you neglect to order a drink item with your food, the food line register on the right adapts to pay for errant drink orders.
Alaska's really the Last Frontier. Compared to when Seward bought it, it's getting kind of beat up, rode hard and put away wet. I suspect that Last Stand is mostly on "The Alamo" movie, and The Duke's been dead since 1979. And all those wide open Western spaces we ride our wheels through are pretty much sold off. Subdivision will continue until vision improves.
The empanada was good, but like Dave said, "I could make a meal of the potato balls" I will not waste energy trying to figure out how perfectly round and brown balls of mashed potatoes get filled with perfect bites of deliciously seasoned meat mixture. Delightful. Porto's also makes a sandwich of them for the carbo unconscious.
Arizona's got 21 Native American Tribes, all speaking at least fragments of their own languages. Before the Gadsden Purchase some spoke Spanish, and even some English. Arizona's now also loaded with scores of people, cultures and languages from across our planet. I find the generations born in this nation great English speakers, translating for their parents and grandparents. My most recent touching intercultural non-English moment happened when a Southeast Asian woman tending the community garden in a local elementary school teared up and made me bend waaay down for a sweet little sisterly hug when I stopped early one Saturday morning to look at her garden labors and ask what Okra, lemon grass etc. were called in her language.
The Cubano, ham and pork on a medium sized, well browned soft white torta, spread with Porto's secret sauce was very good. Dave pointed out the the condiment, napkin and plasticware station where I could get some French's or Heinz mustard and ketchup packets, but I was satisfied.
I understand the Legislative view AZ, and sympathize. But don't necessarily agree. My survivalist days are decades past, my fears abated, my lovely guns and ammo sold long ago to make a mortgage, my circle of friends pretty diverse, my knowledge of their lives and lifestyles more realistic. Not agreeing is part of the glory of our American Freedom of Speech.
The cheese rolls require at least a saucer for catching sugar crystals and the pieces of flaky crust forming the body of these crunchy Caribbean cheese Danish. Tables catch crumbs well, but I've been eating these items brought to family elder "visiting circles" with nothing more than a napkin for crumb protection, which is OK at best. I don't like crumbs in my clothes. The coffee, which can be taken home in half gallon totes, was my perfect meal finish with the crunchy, flaky, sweet cream-cheesy roll. I'll add here Porto's has fresh squeezed OJ. Watch the OJ flow from the self-feeding transparent squeezing rig. It's also available in totes.
But my adopted Arizona, if you could come to Porto's bakery and restaurant for a meal you'd see what AZ may be missing. The off-shore menu, a pastries and baked goods case bursting with the sweetness of the Western Hemisphere, a sun-lit super clean dining space large and airy enough to contain the world, beautifully decorated with art, full of the energy of diversity, intelligence, tolerance and talent.
Some days my adopted Arizona, you hurt my heart.
I know. If I don't like it I can get out.
If you or a family member have been injured, or you've lost a family member due to senseless racial and cultural violence, I extend my heartfelt sympathies and condolences.
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