Ed Levine's Serious Diet, Week 26: Portland and San Francisco, We Have a Problem

20080306-scale.jpgI'm writing this from a hotel room in San Francisco, where my wife and I are wrapping up a six-day working vacation that included stops in Portland, Oregon; Bolinas, California; and San Francisco. Yesterday you read about my visit to the awesome Apizza Scholls in Portland. In the coming days I'll be sharing the results of my nonstop food forays in Portland, which included stops at the extraordinary Portland Farmers Market; a fantastic brunch at a catering company's kitchen that opens its doors on Sunday for breakfast; a visit to a very fine sausage-maker in the shadows of my brother's alma mater, Reed College; an early morning visit to a rock-and-roll doughnut emporium; and what might have been the most exciting restaurant meal I have had in years.

I ate all this in 36 hours in Portland. My two days in San Francisco have been even more food-packed. Portland and San Francisco, we have a problem. When I am food-exploring in places I don't often get to or I'm visiting for the first time, I launch into a manic, headlong dash to gluttonous, life-shortening oblivion.

I think to myself, What if I don't get to Portland again for a few years, and then all diet hell breaks loose. I try to just taste, to just eat a few bites at most of any one thing, but when you're eating 25 to 50 delicious things in a day, practicing portion control is an exercise in futility.

So I won't even tell you today, right now, about what I've eaten during my stay in San Francisco. I will tell you that the lovely Harbor Court Hotel (where we have a room overlooking San Francisco Bay) is only steps away from the Ferry Plaza Building, where there are more ways to get into diet trouble than any other building I know of in America. I will cop to delving into San Francisco's burgeoning ice cream culture in a four-hour blitz that included four stops.

Anyway, I know you think I'm copping out this morning, that I'm being a diet coward, but I'm not weighing in this morning. I didn't bring my scale, and though I could go next door to the beautiful YMCA and find one, I'm not going there.

There's nothing worse than letting a hungry man loose in one great food town, not to mention two. So you're just going to have to wait until next week, when I hope I will jump on the "everything in moderation" horse.

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