Burger Quest: The Tannery

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Burger #68 on the #KKburgerquest was at The Tannery in Portland, OR! Here’s my review:

Meat: 9/10
Grass-fed beef, amazing moist texture, yet not too drippy. Delicious flavor.

Bun: 7/10
I wasn’t totally crazy about the bun – it didn’t taste as fresh as I would have liked and fell apart easily.

Burger:bun ratio: 7/10
This was a little off – at first sight, it looks pretty even, but the meat was a solid patty and the bun fell apart pretty easily which made the ratio a little off. I wouldn’t change anything about the meat, I would replace the bun with a sturdier, breadier bun. (:

Toppings: 9/10
Delicious. Goat milk cheddar, sweet onion compound, bacon, lettuce and a little dill pickle to top it off. Loved the toppings!

Condiments: 8/10
Special sauce and ketchup that didn’t taste too sugary.

Logistics: 7/10
This is where this burger takes a hit! This was very much a vertical burger and while the stature made for a great presentation, it was pretty difficult to eat without making a giant mess.

Fries: 10/10
I loved the fries! Not too mushy, not too crispy, not too salty, not too bland, not too big, not too small. They were delicious!

Total: 57/70

For a compilation of burger quest reviews to-date, click here.

Burger Quest: Lardo PDX

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Today we took the Burger Quest to the east side to Lardo!

Meat 7 / 10
Double patty plus porkstrami. The flavor was good, but it was just too much meat for me. I’m a fan of the single patty and no other meat on the burger. The menu didn’t list if the burger is grass-fed beef or not and for me, this is important to know!

Bun – 7 / 10
I like that the bun tasted slightly toasted but wish it was a little smaller – too much bread for my taste!

Burger : bun ration – 6 / 10
While there was a ton of meat and a ton of bun on this burger, the bun still outweighed the patty in terms of ratio. Wish it was a little closer to 1:1!

Toppings – 7 / 10
Tasted great, good ratio of toppings to the rest of the burger. I would have loved for the menu to list whether the toppings were organic, local, etc. I like the added pickle on top. (:

Condiments – 6 / 10
Nothing that stood out in either direction.

Logistics – 6 / 10
This burger was a bit of a logistical challenge! I prefer more horizontal burgers to the vertical burgers, even though the vertical burgers look neat. (: Between the double patty and giant bun and shredded lettuce, this burger got a wee bit messy, but nothing any decent burger connoisseur couldn’t handle. (:

Fries – 6/10
Not too large, not too small, perfect size! A *tiny* bit on the too crispy side, but they were tasty. I could have done with a little less rosemary, but let’s keep in mind I’m a burger and fry purist so I like things as traditional as possible when it comes to my burgers and fries. (:

Total score: 45 / 70

Burger Quest: Mr. Bento

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This week, we took the Burger Quest to the ‘burbs – Mr. Bento!

Meat 5 / 10
Not too dry, juicy or drippy. The meat was decently flavored, maybe even a little on a plain side. Because ingredients aren’t listed on the menu and as having grass-fed and local meat is a really important factor for me, I unfortunately had to take off a point for this! Nice sized burger – not too thick and not too thin! If I had it my way, I’d have the burger a little bit more on the medium-well done, this one seemed a little on the well-done side.

Bun – 5 / 10
I liked the size of the bun – medium sized and perfectly toasted. The bun was a sweet roll and I’m not a fan of sweet rolls on burgers but that’s just a personal preference.

Burger : bun ration – 9 / 10
Great ratio. Many times the bun hangs waaaayyy over the meat and, well, that’s no bueno. The idea burger one one that when you take the first bite, you get a taste of meat AND bun.

Toppings – 5 / 10
I enjoyed the pickled (fermented?) onions but had to take some points off for the arugula – I like the taste of lettuce way more!

Condiments – 6/10
Nothing that stood out in either direction.

Logistics – 8/10
This burger stayed together well, down to the last bite. Nothing fell apart, no soggy bun, etc.

Fries – 6/10
Not too large, not too small, crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. The only thing I didn’t like was that they were a little too salty for my taste.

Total score: 44 / 70

West Coast Best Coast

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From San Fran, I flew to Seattle.

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From Seattle, I drove straight to eastern Washington. It was a nice enough drive and I was able to fulfill my Pacific NW beautiful fir tree fix (for the first 10 minutes, anyway); however, if/when I do this trip again, I’ll fly. On this route, the landscape pretty quickly transitions from beautiful fir trees to farmland. And after the 357th farm…well, there’s only so much excitement a field of barley can evoke.
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After a few days in eastern Washington, I headed back to California – LA this time. Here’s a view from the Getty:
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and Santa Monica beach:

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Adding this to my dream board:

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After LA came Portland – felt great to be home, especially during the most beautiful time of year in the Pac NW! Courtesy of my social media stalking tendencies, I discovered that my good friend Tracy happened to be visiting Portland the same weekend as me. Although I haven’t seen Tracy in five years, we were able to pick up right where we left off. Friendships like these truly are few & far between and, well, I feel quite lucky.

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En route to Portland, I realized I hadn’t been home in 8 months – since Christmas! Luckily, work brought me home and I was able to extend my trip for a few extra days by working remotely. Felt great to be back and have time with friends/family.

…and on that note…

You know you’re Greek when you go home & wind up stuffing grape leaves for 2 hrs on Friday night. …and to you, this seems completely normal.

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The day before heading back to Austin, I went to the Vancouver Farmer’s Market with my parents. Check out these incredible veggies! Perhaps the best type of sensory overload one can have…

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Spent my final Portland afternoon watching the Duck game with friends, followed by a beautiful sunny Oregon fall afternoon at The Fields Park in downtown Portland.

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Lady Gaga

One of the things I love about going home is of course being able to spend time with family & friends. I love love love Austin, but nothing can replace time spent with these people!

As I’ve mentioned, many of the friends I have back home I met through various music groups. Because we’re friends through music, when we get to hang out now, we usually end up doing something music-related.

…which means, when I was home a few months back, my friends and I ended up going out to karaoke. (yes, karaoke can be used as a verb)

My friend Ben opted to sing “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga. The truth is, I really do not like much of today’s pop. “music” (I quote music, as I don’t think much of today’s music qualifies as real music). However, Ben completely rocked his rendition of “Bad Romance” and for this, I momentarily enjoyed the song. Here’s Ben:

A Quick Trip To Portland

I returned from Argentina on Monday & left for Portland four days later. Arrived into PDX quite late on Friday, took the Max, grabbed a quick bite to eat and CRASHED.

Saturday! It was such a beautiful day – I guess it was the first day of sunshine after 327 years of drizzly gray cloudy skies, meaning EVERYONE was outside. It reminded me of that 1st “warm” (60 degrees) sunny day at UO. the population of students on campus seemed to quadrupled as everyone was outside, literally just sitting there on the lawns/benches/sidewalks/patios/anywhere, soaking in the sunshiney goodness.

ANYWAY, we began the day off with breakfast at Mother’s. I had the best reuben sandwich of my life:

David had a pretty bomb.com waffle:

After breakfast, we walked down to the Saturday market! It’s funny how you don’t do certain (really awesome) things when you live in a place…I suppose the novelty isn’t quite there…but still! I had almost forgotten how awesome the Portland Saturday Market was…hadn’t been since I was a kid!

Lots of hand-made stuff, art, food, solid people watching, and the heart in Oregon sticker booth!!!

Also passed this guy. Oh, Portlanders:

Jamison Square Park. Like a said…first sunny day and people come out of the woodworks:

Passed one of the Portland Loos (a series of solar-paneled public toilets in the downtown area):

Got on the street car a few blocks later (have I yet mentioned how much I love Portland public transportation?? Austin…take note!). Anyway, a stop after we got on, a lady got on the street car pulling a basket…with two poodle looking dogs. Interesting:

How can you not love downtown Portland?

Burgers! Some of you might be aware of my mild obsession with hamburgers – we ate here at Little Big Burger and it was pretty good.

However, the real reason for taking this picture, the man wearing a ninja turtle backpack:

Anyway, spent the evening Saturday and all day Sunday with family & friends. By Monday, we were already back on a plane to Austin! Short but solid weekend.

Final COLAB Eval

I still can’t believe COLAB is over!!

As this was the first year, I am extremely impressed with the program as a whole – congrats to the COLAB board for bringing such a great idea to life!

With that said, and with a few days to let it all sink in, here’s my evaluation:

COLAB Programexcellent!!!! – the best way to meet a ridiculous amount of industry professionals, fellow students, network like crazy, see the inside of multiple agencies and create a campaign with fellow interns – in six weeks.

Length- Longer, please. (: 9 weeks would be ideal instead of 6, as it was challenging to take on projects at the agencies with only 8 days. Aside from that, with all the networking events, get togethers, parties, etc. – there’s not enough time to take it all in in six weeks…

Time Commitment- Interns need to know the commitment they will be making with this program – between work, interviews, networking events, intern project, etc. – let’s just say, your plate will be very full. (: 

Team– I spent a ridiculous amount of time with Kiwi, but did not have much opportunity to interact with Lattice – next year it would be nice to have more organized events to bring both teams together.

Intern Roles: an idea for next year’s positions:

Account Manager

Brand Strategist

Media Buyer (if there is a budget)

Art Director

Copywriter

In terms of the intern project…

First and foremost, I couldn’t have asked for a better company to create a campaign for. We had so much fun. (:

Because this year the team project vision was a bit ambiguous,  both teams ended up building totally different campaigns in that it seems Kiwi built more of an awareness campaign while Lattice built more of an advertising campaign.

Overall, I  am of both Kiwi and Lattice – everyone worked extremely hard and produced exceptional work. Beyond that, it is not only our work, our time and our effort, but that of everyone who took time to help us at all of the agencies. Without them, their ideas, their workspace and their dedication to making this internship a success, we wouldn’t have been able to have the experience that we did.

Specifically regarding my team…I truly loved working with them all. Everyone pulled their weight, we were all dedicated and worked together [even though that frequently took longer than necessary due to our tangents and inability to focus for more than five minutes (= ] We made sacrifices and helped each other out so that we could create the best campaign possible. We all have extremely different ideas and backgrounds which at first I have to say I felt might be a problem; however, on the contrary, we were able to take our strengths and put them together in order to get the best out of everyone’s specialties. Communication, dedication, and commitment, respect and most importantly the spirit of COLAB was there with everyone on team Kiwi which made all the difference in the world. Whether or not we knew how to do something or find some sort of information, from the initial brainstorming, to the research and strategy, to the artwork and photography, and recap final video – everything was done by the five of us and I’m really impressed with all the skills that were brought to the team by each team member.

Thank to you all my fellow interns, agencies, Jamie, as well as Bram and Amber for keeping track of us during these crazy six weeks!

Free Time

I think my fellow COLABers will agree that free time has been rare these past three weeks and I can’t imagine that changing any time soon! COLAB continues to impress me, regardless of the infinite time commitment and I’m still so thankful for this internship.

In the little free time we have:

Bram and Amber interviewed Christine and I for their podcast:

We’ve also been enjoying the great city of Portland:

 More soon.


COLAB 2nd Rotation

This week I began my second COLAB rotation at Anvil. It’s been great thus far – I’ve learned so much…which I suppose is good, seeing as I knew little to nothing about SEO and SEM before COLAB.  I’m really grateful for this experience because this is all stuff I want/need to know, and what better way than to have hands on experience with experts? Everyone at Anvil has been so welcoming and resourceful and I’m excited for my few weeks here!

In other news, I took a nice walk around the neighborhood the other night. It’s getting difficult to not fall in love with this city.

 

Week Two

I had a fabulous 2 weeks at eROI and was actually quite sad to say goodbye. I really appreciate the generosity and willingness to include me and hopefully they enjoyed me as much as I enjoyed them!

Today was action packed. After work, I headed over to dMob with some other COLABers. It was up a Tabor Park which is a beautiful place. 

COLABers Unite!!

This will be short and sweet: the CoLab-ers all got together last night at the PDX mindshare event – quite the experience and fabulous way to network, make contacts, etc.  Aftewards, Allison (project manager from Lattice) and I had a quick meeting to compare and share research results both teams have gathered thus far.  Aftewards, we all got dinner at ChaChaCha’s (good food, I was super excited for pastor meat…it was alright…def. nothing like my beloved Queretaro Pastor, but not bad)…we went to a nearby park to eat and then split our separate ways for team meetings!

Everything with Kiwi is going well, we have a plan of action for out meeting tomorrow and go from there!  After the meeting, Christine and I “worked” which of course we didn’t because after a long day, focusing becomes a struggle.

Interesting sidenote though, we passed a ton of police horse…people? again last night – still weird for me – I am still trying to figure out, what do the police officers do if they are trying to stop someone but the person runs?  Do they chase after them on horseback?  Tie the horse to a pole???  Does anyone know??

Anyway, ponder that while you look at some pictures from the evening…


Takeaways

Since the second I walked into the Turnbull Center for the COLAB orientation, my mind has pretty much been a giant whirlwind of information, experiences, insights, advice and realizations.

Here are a few things I’m been thinking about/learning during the past 1 1/2 weeks:

Portland Discoveries:

21st & 23rd streets

Acai smoothies

The Mississippi Street Fair

Continually discovering that it’s the smallest world out there, I have the strangest connections with the most random people, and again, I have this habit of running into the most random people in the most unlikely places.

There is never a dull moment in Portland – festivals, fairs, concerts, lectures, art shows, sporting events, networking events, etc.

Revalations/Realizations:

Take your camera with you wherever you go.

Never miss an opportunity to talk with someone and hear what he/she has to say.

A Power Book doesn’t seem heavy until you tote it around Portland on a daily basis.

After living in Linfield dorms, I’ve confired that UO officially has the worse dorms.

Surround yourself with people/things that are inspiring. If it’s not inspired or pushed to do great things, you probably need a change.

Jumping in with both feet is the best way to learn and only way you’re going to get better. Take risks, act first, apologize later (I liked this one), don’t be afraid to say no, in the end, everything is relative, and the earlier you can be organized and find a balance, the sooner you will succeed.

Read anything and everything.

Take time to travel. Never put yourself into a situation where you can say, I wish I would have done _____, I wish I would have tried_____, I wish I would have said____, etc. AKA Take time to do what’s most important to you.

Always be curious and ask questions.

Networking is huge. Knowing people is just as important to producing great work.

Have fun, but be responsible and gain the trust of those around you.

Use your resources and don’t burn bridges, as everyone knows everyone in this industry.

CoLab week 2 realizations

A frequent dream of novice hopefuls in the advertising profession is to work at a large agency in New York City, creating work for “big” clients such as Burger King and Nike. Sounds promising, yes?

If I’ve learned one thing thus far during my CoLab experience (don’t worry, I’ve learned more than one thing…), HOWEVER, the one thing I continue to think about is the importance of finding the right match between individual and agency. I suppose you could almost compare it to dating or relationships in that the individual and the agency (plus everything it encompasses) must be compatible and have that instant chemistry or else the relationship is either A) bound to fail or B) one or both parties will be unhappy.

Advertising is a demanding career, but if you love what you do, where you work, who you work with, and believe in/are passionate about what you’re doing, then it’s completely worth it. Of course it can be rigorous and challenging, but at the same time, it’s one of the only careers (provided you are in the right place with the right people) where you are paid to be yourself and ultimately understand the world around you – it’s about real life, everyday things – people, their habits, passions, etc. I love that in this career you are expected to work hard and put in 150% effort 200% of the time, but you are also expected and encouraged to live life, be interesting/interested, be curious, ask questions, go out and do things, read, observe, travel…and ultimately make a career out of it!

Today at eROI, I was able to sit down with a handful of the employees to pick their brains. Taking all of the great words of wisdom, I think Dylan sums it up best:

– Change is good and you need to explore everything

– Coming to work stupid everyday in an agency will make you a better listener and a better agency person

– If you stop enjoying your job, it’s time to move on

eROI, day 2

The unique thing about an agency like eROI is that not only are there the designers creating the designs, but there are also the tech guys who deal with the behind the scenes/technical/digital/coding. etc.Then you have the account people, strategists and accounting/finance people.It’s the biggest left brain/right brain/collaboration/brainstorming/integration/opposite ends of the spectrum, however needs to come together and align perfectly in order to run successfully type of agency.Technical people need to think creatively, creative people need to think technically and both technical and creative people need to have good collaboration and communication skills in order for clients to understand their process, what they’re doing/why they’re doing it, etc.

Interesting, huh?

Anyway, I went around the office yesterday and took some pictures that I’ll be post throughout the next week or so…here are a few!!

This is a nice area to work at eROI (If you look in the background, you can see there are whiteboards in the offices) – love it!

This is upstairs! Behind that glass panel on the left is the SKY meeting room:

This is Donald. And one of two scooters I’ve seen in the office thus far:

This is Charles and Chris. Charles is on the account side and Chris is an intern/ fellow UO student!

And…here is Kiwi! We met after work for our first official COLABoration/brainstorming session.