Some of the creatives that post their awesomeness here on CGZ Fiercely Independent Creatives, wanted to start sharing some of their favorite places to eat once a month around the areas they whether you live in their area, or you're traveling YOU'VE a recommendation!

What else are creative friends for?

First Up... Portland!

Devin James
Radio DJ/Songwriter

Foodie Recommend: Steaks 5th Avenue AKA the Philly Cheesesteaks and Burgers
Location: Pioneer Courthouse Square, 701 SW 6th Ave, Portland, OR, 97205

It’s lunchtime, and I’m in downtown Portland on a day of sunshine and just roaming the countryside. I stop off downtown in the midst of transferring trains, and I decide that I’m going to get a Philly Cheesesteak sandwich from Steaks 5thAvenue AKA the Philly Cheesesteaks and Burgers food cart in Pioneer Square. Ben, the owner, has chosen a perfect location for those in need of a hearty cheesesteak sandwich to cure their raging downtown hunger. My friend Nick, originally from Philadelphia, said that these cheesesteak sandwiches are the closest to home he’s gotten since moving out to the west coast.

The atmosphere is positive, as Ben, adorned in his signature Portland Trailblazers hat, chats up those waiting in line to order. The customers don’t mind the wait, because we know we’re getting the best cheesesteaks in the city, and we anticipate the time that it takes for quality food. Pricing is

competitive, and doesn’t fluctuate much from what I’ve seen. Ben’s specialty, of course, are the cheesesteak sandwiches, but he also makes really tasty burgers as well. Enough condiments are provided for whatever your taste buds require, and Ben is always a cut up as he’s grilling up Philly perfection. A great experience for a cheesesteak lover, and the best I’ve tasted in the city, hands down!

10:30 am - 3:30 pm

10:30 am - 3:30 pm

10:30 am - 3:30 pm

10:30 am - 3:30 pm

10:30 am - 3:30 pm




Let's Head Over to Seattle... and see what there is to eat!

Lily Steele 
Owner of NW Artist Coalition
Washington State
Foodie Recommend: Vons 1000 Spirits 1225 1ST AVENUE Seattle, Washington

Vons 1000 Spirits in Seattle is a great place to eat at! Its located down by Pikes Place Market. I stopped in there recently with a friend of mine. The atmosphere was excellent and prompt service. They have a huge record collection that you get to jam out to while you’re enjoying your meal. It was great! 
We both ordered and enjoyed the Salmon, Duxelles with Asiago cream sauce. A neighboring table ordered it and when it came to the table next to us we both looked at each other and said I want that! It came with homemade sourdough pasta. It was absolutely delicious! We followed it up with a few raspberry pressed drinks. They came with sanctified Vodka, pulverized lemon and lime, made bubbly with squirt and layered with a handcrafted raspberry coulis and a hard crack swizzle stick to swirl. 
Mmm. It was tasty! Five stars all the way! And a total must if your visiting from out of town.
  • 1225 1ST AVENUE
  • Kitty corner from the Seattle Art Museum
  • TEL: (206) 621-8667
  • FRIDAY: 11–1AM
  • SATURDAY: 11–1AM
Definite a foodie recommend! :) 

* A little Xtra background on the eatery: 

100 YEARS, 1,000 SPIRITS

As the artillery blasted his Austrian village in 1918, young Paul Firnstahl decided to get the hell out. My great, great grandfather landed in Colby, Wisconsin becoming a master cheddar maker. Son Germanus immigrated to Seattle founding the famous Sunny Jim Peanut Butter Company which grandpa JP ran for 35 years. My dad Tim stayed in the food business opening some classic joints along the way: Jakes, McRorys, Leschi, The Roaster, and Von's. Our Executive Chef, Jason Amador happens to be my brother in law who started off life sleeping on the flour sacks of his parent's bakery.

Let's Make Our Way to Phoenix

Sara Jameson
Tempe, Az.

Foodie Recommend: Aiello's East Coast Italian

NYC Must Have Missed the Phoenix Train!

Having formerly been married to a traditional Italian New York family, straight outta Hell's Kitchen, I know authentic Italian East Coast food and Aiello's East Coast Italian just missed it.  

We ordered the lunch portion ($9.00 good pricing) of spaghetti and meatballs. As we were seated by our very friendly waiter, he immediately brought us over some sliced crunchy bread and olive oil with red roasted peppers in a bowl for dipping. The bread did have a nice crunch to it, but the bread pretty much tasted the same as the dipping oil.  

Next came our side salad. A typical mixture of greens, with balsamic, a bit of purple onion, two cherry tomatoes. Standard. 

Meal came and the pasta was al dente. That is a hard trick it seems for most Italian places let along any eatery to get, but they did spot on.  The sauce however was a bland watery based tomato sauce,  no flavor.  The meatball was a nice huge size. I was really looking forward to diving into the combination of Veal and Pork. Very disappointed. The meatball had little to no flavor and it was very 'damp' so to speak. It was a wet meatball inside. I ate part of it and shoved it aside. The menu claims the meatball's to be NYC's best... no. Plus, they served the powdered form of parmesan... another big no. Although, I did use monumental amounts of it to help give the dish some flavor.

And where were the spices, the garlic, etc...?  Oh well, overall though the atmosphere is nice, service was great and food came to the table fast. 

I'd give them two out of five meatballs... and that's being generous.  Not a Foodie Recommend. Sorry.

Lunch Pasta Specials:

Lunch Pasta Special 

Served with mixed greens salad.

Spaghetti & Joe’s Famous MeatballsMy mother’s made of pork & veal, ranked best in NYC
Rigatoni Bolognese
Mimi’s favorite, a hearty meat sauce of beef, vegetables San Marzano Tomatoes & chianti
Rigatoni with Wild Mushrooms
Fresh assorted mushrooms & shallots aglio olio with a touch of cream & a hot pepper bite
Baked Ziti
Cappellini with Grilled Eggplant and Fresh Mozzarella
My Wife’s favorite, served in a light Pomodoro sauce
Ziti with Sliced Sausage and Peppers Pomodoro
Fettuccini with chicken & roasted peppers
In a pink vodka sauce with diced tomatoes and shallots

Let's see where we end up eating and recommending next month shall we!  Get out there and try different foods, don't be afraid to experiment with a variety of foods. AND take those flavors new and old and try them at home in your kitchen! Creative cooking is just another outlet to express ourselves! Bon Appetit!