Bacon truffles?

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I took my friend Kayt Sukel, a Germany-based freelance writer covering travel and food (She travels with her son Chet and contributes to TravelSavvyMom, check it out, among other places) on a foodie tour of Portland’s East End, yesterday, stopping in at my favorite haunts.

We began with lunch at Duckfat: fries (of course!). Now Kayt’s a worldly traveler, and she thought these among the best she’s ever tasted. “It’s the seasoning,” she said. And I agree. It’s just perfect.In addition,  I had the tomato-fennel soup, Kayt the smoked squash soup special (which she proclaimed I must have the next time it’s on the menu–consider that an in-the- know recommendation).

Next stop, DeansSweets, across the street. We sampled an in-the-testing-stage bacon truffle. Dean thinks it needs more smokiness, perhaps more salt. We agreed on the smokiness, not sure about the salt. Most of Dean’s truffles are not only nut free (actually all are nut free), but also gluten free, which allowed Kayt to buy some for a gluten-sensitive relative who always seems to miss out on the goodies.

Then we perused Rabelais‘ books, where I requested For all the Tea in China, by friend Sarah Rose and due out in March. It’s an industrial espionage story about tea (I kid you not). Should be a good read; watch for it.

Off to Two Cats: Me, a chocolate-chip cookie (of course); Kayt, a whoppie pie.

From there, we waddled off to Micucci‘s, where the line for Stephen’s pizza rivaled that for Duckfat’s fries. I stocked up on some necessities (prosciutto—is this the only place in the state that knows how to slice it?) and purchased some right-of-the-oven luna bread for each of us to take home (love that stuff).

Final tour stop: Homegrown Herb and Tea. I love this li’l place that’s so clearly without either a caffeine or sugar buzz. It exudes good karma. R.E.L.A.X., sip, enjoy, chill. And do order the kava kava January special made with lavendar and coconut milk and cocoa and too many other good tastes. Mmmmm. And home we went, me armed with Bresca blend tea and lavender shortbread and Kayt with a sniffle remedy for a Saturday bride with a red nose. Sarah can whip up a tea for any malady; I swear by her migraine tea.