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PORTLAND, ORE
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  • Post #31 - October 7th, 2010, 2:26 pm
    Post #31 - October 7th, 2010, 2:26 pm Post #31 - October 7th, 2010, 2:26 pm
    For cooked food vendors, my favorite was the artichoke heart-cojita cheese tamale from Salvador Molly's. Good salsa as well.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #32 - October 7th, 2010, 7:11 pm
    Post #32 - October 7th, 2010, 7:11 pm Post #32 - October 7th, 2010, 7:11 pm
    Great report, happy_stomach - I'm glad you had a good time.

    One thing to note - I prefer a fattier cut of pastrami as well, and have found that if you make this preference known, Kenny & Zuke's will be happy to oblige. Otherwise, you're dealing with the luck of the draw.
  • Post #33 - October 8th, 2010, 2:21 am
    Post #33 - October 8th, 2010, 2:21 am Post #33 - October 8th, 2010, 2:21 am
    TAC Crazy wrote:I am glad you posted about Biha. I am visiting Portland in December and was trying to determine which place to dine at for ramen. After seeing Biha's picture, I am more inclined to try Yuzu or Takahashi instead. I am surprised you did not stop by Voodoo Donuts. Friends of mine who recently moved there are infatuated with the place.


    "Biwa" not "Biha". The current broth is pork and chicken based. It's a lighter ramen. Haven't talked to Gabe lately and asked him what's up and why they've switched to only one broth and gotten rid of the Biwa ramen they've had since opening. Lots of people complained about it, partially because it doesn't fit into one of the main categories of ramen-ya ramen (shio, shoyu, miso, tonkotsu). I always enjoyed it though and didn't mind its uniqueness. Plus, probably the best pork belly you'd ever find in a bowl anywhere.

    Takahashi's ramen is a very homestyle chickeny thing. It's decent. Their tempura is better, probably their best thing, but their sushi is horrible, probably their worst thing. Really, though, the place is more of a cheap meal than a good meal.

    Yuzu's ramen is tasty, but it's a salt and msg bomb augmented with a lot of fat. I think it's a pretty one-dimensional tonkotsu broth. Any quality ramen house with a tonkotsu broth in LA or Silicon Valley easily surpasses it. It's cheap and available late, though. Their best items are on the rest of the menu, imo.

    I'm not sure hardcore ramen lovers in Portland are truly happy with the offerings. However, the owner of Hiroshi, one of our best sushi houses here, is getting close to opening a ramen house. I think those in the know are putting our hopes there.

    If you want noodle soup, though, Portland has lots of great Vietnamese bowls. Portland has the 13th highest Vietnamese population in the country, higher than Chicago's. I'd start with a bowl of pho from Pho An or Pho Oregon, then bun bo hue from Bun Bo Hue or Ngoc Han Bun Bo Hue, then whatever HA&VL is making that morning.

    And Voodoo is for tourists. Donut lovers go to Sesame.
  • Post #34 - October 8th, 2010, 8:37 am
    Post #34 - October 8th, 2010, 8:37 am Post #34 - October 8th, 2010, 8:37 am
    Have you tried Toshi's Ramen in Eugene, OR? They have an extensive selection. I might have my friend drive me out there during my visit.

    http://www.yelp.com/biz/toshis-ramen-eugene

    I am surprised by the customer complaints towards Biwa. I just go back from Tokyo and experimental collaborations are the hot thing right now. Tokyoites are going crazy over specialty ramen, similar to America's infatuation with specialty maki rolls. Even though I have a strong appreciation for a traditional bowl of shoyu ramen, the Green Curry Ramen and Burnt Miso Ramen were the highlights of my trip. It makes sense to me that many ramen-ya's are experimenting to stand out amongst a crowd of 4,000+ shops. Many Chefs or chains (e.g. Ippudo) are opening "concept" stores.

    Also, my friend and his gf are vegans, so Voodoo Donuts does a great job catering to their dietary restrictions.
  • Post #35 - October 8th, 2010, 12:15 pm
    Post #35 - October 8th, 2010, 12:15 pm Post #35 - October 8th, 2010, 12:15 pm
    deesher wrote:I thought I had mentioned this before but one of my favorite meals in Portland was at Podnah's BBQ. I don't remember exactly what we had (it's been a while) but I do remember that it was some of the best BBQ I've had in a long time. There must be another Portland thread floating around. Next time I make it back to Portland, I'd definitely hit this place at least twice.

    http://podnahspit.com/

    Image

    I did wonder about barbecue in Portland, but when planning my trip and trying to decide how to narrow the overwhelming range of food options, I told my hosts that I didn't need to eat any smoked meats since I ate a lot of barbecue in Chicago this past summer. Riding around Portland, it seemed like there were a lot of places serving grilled meats and calling it barbecue, but think I spied a few smokers, too. I thought I saw a smoker at the place with the the Beer BBQ sign above. The Watering Hole? The Water Tank? I can't remember the name, but it was on Fremont on the same stretch as the Grand Central Bakery-yoga complex, just east of Mississippi. More reason to return to Portland.
  • Post #36 - October 8th, 2010, 1:00 pm
    Post #36 - October 8th, 2010, 1:00 pm Post #36 - October 8th, 2010, 1:00 pm
    TAC Crazy wrote:Have you tried Toshi's Ramen in Eugene, OR? They have an extensive selection. I might have my friend drive me out there during my visit.

    http://www.yelp.com/biz/toshis-ramen-eugene

    I am surprised by the customer complaints towards Biwa. I just go back from Tokyo and experimental collaborations are the hot thing right now. Tokyoites are going crazy over specialty ramen, similar to America's infatuation with specialty maki rolls. Even though I have a strong appreciation for a traditional bowl of shoyu ramen, the Green Curry Ramen and Burnt Miso Ramen were the highlights of my trip. It makes sense to me that many ramen-ya's are experimenting to stand out amongst a crowd of 4,000+ shops. Many Chefs or chains (e.g. Ippudo) are opening "concept" stores.

    Also, my friend and his gf are vegans, so Voodoo Donuts does a great job catering to their dietary restrictions.


    Toshi's isn't worth going out of the way for. Here's a report on it I made a while back:

    The plan was Toshi's for ramen. We got in line and ordered a bowl of the shoyu chashu ($9). They have a ton of options, but basically it's broken down into shio, miso, and shoyu with a variety of options. I think the menu is overly complex. Really there are a few ingredients -- corn, butter, green beans, bamboo shoots, green onions, bean sprouts, and either nin-niku or cha-shu -- that are used in pretty much every bowl. It's just an emphasis here or there or the lack of an ingredient here or there.

    The broth was pleasant. It tasted of pork and chicken to me, plus the addition of soy. It wasn't especially complex, but it had a good meatiness and enjoyable flavor. The noodles were okay. A little better than Yuzu, I'd say, but too soft for my taste. The additions were all fine except the cha-shu which sucked. It was lean, dry, and a little chewy. You can order it at three different spice levels, too. We got ours plain so I could get a sense of it, but they had chili powder on the table. Wish it was togarashi, but I think it was just cayenne.

    Service was really slow. We waited in line about 10 minutes despite being only like three groups back. The food took close to 30 minutes to come out. They were busy, but they have almost nothing on the menu except ramen.
  • Post #37 - October 8th, 2010, 1:12 pm
    Post #37 - October 8th, 2010, 1:12 pm Post #37 - October 8th, 2010, 1:12 pm
    happy_stomach wrote:I did wonder about barbecue in Portland, but when planning my trip and trying to decide how to narrow the overwhelming range of food options, I told my hosts that I didn't need to eat any smoked meats since I ate a lot of barbecue in Chicago this past summer. Riding around Portland, it seemed like there were a lot of places serving grilled meats and calling it barbecue, but think I spied a few smokers, too. I thought I saw a smoker at the place with the the Beer BBQ sign above. The Watering Hole? The Water Tank? I can't remember the name, but it was on Fremont on the same stretch as the Grand Central Bakery-yoga complex, just east of Mississippi. More reason to return to Portland.


    Portland probably has about 50+ real BBQ joints (ie, places that smoke meat slowly). A couple years ago I was going to do a countdown on my blog and ate at all of them at least twice. Still have my notes, even, but then went and opened a restaurant. Podnah's is very good. At least as good as anything I've had in Chicago, although it's definitely central Texas-style BBQ, not midwestern BBQ or KC BBQ or African-American BBQ. There's been a huge increase in the number lately due to BBQ trucks, too. Most, of course, are mediocre. But there are some very good places around town.

    I don't think the term "BBQ" gets applied to grilled meats very often here, unless you're talking about a backyard BBQ and you say that you're going to BBQ burgers or chicken. But as far as restaurants go, I think more than the NE the distinction is maintained.
  • Post #38 - March 22nd, 2011, 2:08 pm
    Post #38 - March 22nd, 2011, 2:08 pm Post #38 - March 22nd, 2011, 2:08 pm
    I was in Portland last week and wanted to share with the board a nice little wine bar on NE Alberta - Every Day Wine.
    (((Full disclosure - the owner is a graduate of the university where I work)))

    Proprietress Beth stocks a goodly number of varietals and, as one may expect, the offerings are deep in wines of the Pacific NW. One may enjoy a glass or three and bring in food from any number of places on NE Alberta, but wine is what Beth does and knows and she knows it well.

    http://everydaywine.com/index.php
    1520 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211
    503.331.7119
    Tuesdays through Saturdays 2pm - 10pm

    Cheers,
    Davooda
    Life is a garden, Dude - DIG IT!
    -- anonymous Colorado snowboarder whizzing past me March 2010
  • Post #39 - March 29th, 2011, 10:58 am
    Post #39 - March 29th, 2011, 10:58 am Post #39 - March 29th, 2011, 10:58 am
    Was visiting niece in October and ate at:

    Clyde Common
    Gilt Club
    June
    Pine State Biscuits
    Kenny & Zuke's Deli -- over rated
    Ten 01
    Screen Door

    all very good. K and Z was good, don't get me wrong. I guess living in Chicago area I can get similar in a lot of places so it isn't as big a deal. Thought it was a bit expensive tho. We stayed at the Ace Hotel which is 'above' K and Z, so it was very convenient.

    Ace is really cool -- too cool for this old lady tho!
  • Post #40 - March 29th, 2011, 11:15 am
    Post #40 - March 29th, 2011, 11:15 am Post #40 - March 29th, 2011, 11:15 am
    aviva5675 wrote:K and Z was good, don't get me wrong. I guess living in Chicago area I can get similar in a lot of places so it isn't as big a deal.
    As good or better than K&Z? Where?

    Ronna
  • Post #41 - March 29th, 2011, 12:05 pm
    Post #41 - March 29th, 2011, 12:05 pm Post #41 - March 29th, 2011, 12:05 pm
    REB wrote:
    aviva5675 wrote:K and Z was good, don't get me wrong. I guess living in Chicago area I can get similar in a lot of places so it isn't as big a deal.
    As good or better than K&Z? Where?

    Ronna

    Yes, please tell because I've never found a deli in Chicago that even comes to close to the quality of K&Z's. The closest we have is Shapiro's, which happens to be in Indianapolis. :D

    =R=
    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

    Another beer before happy hour to put me in the mood for drinkin', uh huh huh, oh, forget thinkin' --Beaver Nelson

    I find it a matter of note that in New York or Terre Haute, school cookies always seem to be oatmeal --Mr. French
  • Post #42 - August 1st, 2011, 10:48 am
    Post #42 - August 1st, 2011, 10:48 am Post #42 - August 1st, 2011, 10:48 am
    IDID had the best sandwich of his life at Bunk. A PBC (pork belly cuban). It was utterly divine. Actually considering a move to the area based on that sammy.
    Colombian women are skalleywags.
  • Post #43 - August 4th, 2011, 11:24 am
    Post #43 - August 4th, 2011, 11:24 am Post #43 - August 4th, 2011, 11:24 am
    I can't imagine a less interesting sounding dish than chicken and rice. My wife ordered it though at Nong's Khao Man Gai and it was absolutely amazing. We spent a week in Portland and this was easily one of the top three dishes.

    http://www.foodcartsportland.com/2009/05/09/coming-soon-nongs-khao-man-gai/

    Loved our meal at Pok Pok. Eager to return to PDX
  • Post #44 - August 21st, 2012, 4:50 pm
    Post #44 - August 21st, 2012, 4:50 pm Post #44 - August 21st, 2012, 4:50 pm
    The wife and I are planning a trip to Portland and the Willamette Valley next month.

    Any recent experiences or suggestions?
  • Post #45 - August 21st, 2012, 4:58 pm
    Post #45 - August 21st, 2012, 4:58 pm Post #45 - August 21st, 2012, 4:58 pm
    I was at LePigeon recently and it was as great as I remembered a few years ago. It gets busy and the seating is communal tables, but if that doesn't bother you, check it out.

    I had a mixed opinion of Aviary. Skip it.
  • Post #46 - August 21st, 2012, 7:22 pm
    Post #46 - August 21st, 2012, 7:22 pm Post #46 - August 21st, 2012, 7:22 pm
    St. Jack is a pleasant little French restaurant in Portland with very good food.
  • Post #47 - August 23rd, 2012, 8:39 am
    Post #47 - August 23rd, 2012, 8:39 am Post #47 - August 23rd, 2012, 8:39 am
    Thanks for the suggestions, Tom and Milz.
  • Post #48 - August 23rd, 2012, 9:17 pm
    Post #48 - August 23rd, 2012, 9:17 pm Post #48 - August 23rd, 2012, 9:17 pm
    We were at Little Bird in May. It was good, but we liked Le Pigeon better. Beast was fun, we hadn't been before. If you go there, note that it is a very set menu. We always like Sympatica - both for brunch and for their weekend dinners (reservations for dinner required, and again, a very set menu). Bijoux and Mother's for breakfasts.
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #49 - August 23rd, 2012, 9:37 pm
    Post #49 - August 23rd, 2012, 9:37 pm Post #49 - August 23rd, 2012, 9:37 pm
    Has anyone been to Jake's Crawfish lately? I used to love that place.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #50 - May 12th, 2013, 1:14 pm
    Post #50 - May 12th, 2013, 1:14 pm Post #50 - May 12th, 2013, 1:14 pm
    Swingbossa and I recently visited Portland, my third visit to that delicious city. We spent most of the visit walking, eating and drinking. Actually, a lot of drinking. Between the breweries and distilleries in Portland and wineries in Willamette and the Columbia River, there is so much good drinking to be done. Apologies for very minimal details and no photos, but here’s where we ate and drank over four wonderful days:

    Food

    Junior’s
    1742 SE 12th Ave.
    503-467-4971
    This tiny breakfast/lunch place was a block from our AirBnB location. Great omelets, scrambles and as expected in Portland, delicious coffee. Potatoes were very flavorful with lots of onion.


    Gonzo
    SE 9th and Oak at Base Camp Brewery
    503-453-4340
    http://www.foodcartsportland.com/2012/06/08/gonzo/
    We brought in lunch from this Israeli street food truck to go with the beers we were enjoying at the Base Camp Brewery Tasting Room. Shawerma, hummus, Jerusalem salad were very good and worked very nicely with the beers we were tasting.


    Pok-Pok
    3226 SE. Division
    503-232-1387
    http://www.pokpokpdx.com/
    A Portland gem. Pok Pok features dishes from North and Northeast Thailand. We had papaya salad, Het Paa Naam Tok, a mushroom salad, and Da Chom’s Leap Meuang a minced pork/pork bits dish with cracklings. Everything was funky, spicy, and super flavorful.

    Tabla
    200 NE 28th Ave.
    503-238-3777
    http://www.tmbistro.com/
    A simple Mediterranean restaurant that was a great value with three courses (starter, pasta, entrée) for $30. We enjoyed a cauliflower sformato, beet and fennel salad, fettucine with mushroom ragu, ricotta cavatelli, and pork and halibut entrees. We loved every dish but the pastas were especially memorable. Lovely place and a great bargain.

    Staccato Gelato
    232 NE 28th
    503-231-7100
    http://www.staccatogelato.com/
    We stopped in hear for desert after dinner at Tabla. More traditional flavors than my beloved Black Dog, but most excellent gelato. The flavors were pure, texture quite good.

    Kenny and Zuke’s Deli Bar
    3901 N. Williams Ave.
    503-287-0782
    http://www.kennyandzukes.com/delibar/
    Part of former LTHer extramsg’s growing empire of delicious eateries. We had breakfast here before a day trip to Mt. Hood. Terrific housemade bagels, an enormous frittata with their house-made pastrami, outstanding potatoes, and a bagel sandwich were excellent and fortified us for the day.

    Bamboo Sushi
    310 SE 28th Ave.
    503-232-5255
    http://www.kennyandzukes.com/delibar/
    I only eat vegetable "sushi" so I am the wrong person to comment on a sushi restaurant. Swingbossa, who does eat all kinds of sushi, claimed it delicious - creative but not flashy. My veggie rolls were way more interesting and delicious than most vegetable rolls I’ve had. Bamboo is the first certified, sustainable sushi restaurant in the world, according to their site.

    Por Que No
    4635 SE Hawthorne
    503-954-3138
    http://www.porquenotacos.com/
    I’ve been Por Que No on each of my Portland visits because I love it so. This was my first time for brunch. Chilaquiles and breakfast tamales were as fantastic as the tacos I’ve previously had. Wonderful house made salsas including a very good chili de arbol.

    Aviary
    1733 NE Alberta St.
    503-287-2400
    http://www.aviarypdx.com/
    Aviary won the 2012 Restaurant of the Year award. A small plates restaurant with a creative cocktail menu. We thoroughly enjoyed the Charred Octopus, Beet Frisee Salad, Arctic Char with Blood Orange, Red Curry Braised Boat, Four Cup Chicken, Fluke Crudo, Butternut Squash Charlotte.


    Breweries

    I highly recommend a stop at any of these. Base Camp was my favorite, though. Swingbossa loved the sours at Cascade.

    Lucky Labrador Brew Pub
    915 SE Hawthorne
    503-236-3555
    http://www.luckylab.com/

    Base Camp Brewing
    930 SE Oak
    503-477-7479
    http://basecampbrewingco.com/

    Cascade Brewing Barrel House
    939 SE. Belmont
    503-265-8603
    http://www.cascadebrewing.com/

    Distilleries

    Eastside Distillery
    1512 SE 7th Ave.
    503-926-7060
    http://www.eastsidedistilling.com/
    Brought back a bottle of their Cherry Bomb cherry-infused bourbon, rum, and coffee liquor.


    New Deal Distillery
    900 SE Salmon
    503-234-2513
    http://www.newdealdistillery.com/
    Beautiful gins, some interesting vodkas. We brought home the No. 1 gin and the Portland Vodka.

    Vinn Distillery Tasting Room
    833 SE Main St.
    503-807-3826
    http://vinndistillery.com/
    Very interesting, rice-based liquors made from old family recipes. We loved what we tasted but ran out of room in the boxes we were shipping home!

    Stone Barn Brandyworks
    3515 SE 19th Ave.
    503-775-6747
    http://www.stonebarnbrandyworks.com/
    These folks trained with our own Koval Distillery and it shows. Brought home a Nocino (green walnut liquor) and a rye-oat whiskey. I will be hoarding the Nocino like liquid gold.
  • Post #51 - September 24th, 2013, 11:46 am
    Post #51 - September 24th, 2013, 11:46 am Post #51 - September 24th, 2013, 11:46 am
    Just got back from 3 days and 4 nights in Portland for a conference. Despite a ton of rain, no car, and being really pressed for time at the conference (talks from 10:30-6, evening events from 7pm), we did alright.

    Standout items were the Tasty & Alder breakfast sandwich, blueberry/bourbon/basil doughnut at Blue Star, pizza at Nostrana, and the barrel aged Negroni at Clyde Common.

    We also tried 3-4 different food carts (Nong's, PDX 671, Koi, Salt & Straw), and found them to be good and convenient but overall not amazing.

    Ran into friend on our flight who had a rental car reserved in Portland. Groggy and still on East Coast time, headed to Pok Pok for a late dinner around 9pm on a Wednesday. 45 minute wait for 3 people. Waited at Whiskey Soda lounge and snacked on spicy wings. Had a great pineapple drinking vinegar. Liked the wings, too. Big and meaty and spicy. Pok Pok was pretty good as well. Grilled boar neck, papaya Pok Pok, spicy water spinach, wild gulf prawns. Didn't really care for the infused water. Boar neck was the clear standout. Bottom of the papaya salad was too sweet due to the dressing. Water spinach was simple but tasty. Good meal overall.

    Next day had breakfast at Tasty & Alder. Really good biscuit sandwich with bacon. Korean fried chicken was pretty good as well, but hard to share. A little too sweet. Great service.

    Had Nong's for lunch, wanted to hit it up while the weather was still nice. The sauce really makes the dish. The broth was just kind of there. Overall, tasty and I see why people love it. It ended up being a very light lunch though and we were pretty hungry a little later.

    Stopped by Clyde Common for a punch of the day and a barrel aged Negroni. Both excellent. They weren't too slammed around 4-5pm on a Thursday surprisingly.

    Early dinner at Apizza Scholls on the recommendation of a friend. Very impressive place. Would be right at home in Brooklyn. Did half margherita and half mushroom/pepper. Great sauce where you can really taste the tomatoes. Excellent cheese as well. The combo they use kind of reminds me of Di Fara. Nice crust (good texture, springyness, good char on bottom) but the toppings felt more like the star. Really enjoyed this place and we have eaten at a lot of good pizza places in NYC.

    Afterwards, ended up doing a nightcap at Rum Club. Great little and casual spot. I had what was essentially a cachaca based pina colada. Husband had a take on the Mai Tai. Both were excellent. Very nice, low key bar. Wasn't too busy either.

    Quick breakfast this morning at Blue Star. Blueberry, bourbon, basil was amazing. Not super sweet, nice herbal finish, a little tart. Also liked the maple bacon doughnut, so fluffy and a little bit salty for balance. The old fashioned was too big and heavy. The filling made it seem very very sweet. Probably best to share this one with multiple people. Between the two of us, three doughnuts made us both sugared out for the morning.

    Quick lunch at the Koi truck in front of the conference center. Bulgogi sliders for my husband. Bulgogi rice bowl for me. Generous portions. Excellent kimchi. Liked this a lot. Sat outside and enjoyed the sun.

    Back at Tasty & Alder for breakfast. Bambino plate for me. Lovely biscuit with honey butter, slice of bacon, scrambled eggs. Husband had the breakfast sandwich and don't share. Snagged the last two open seats at 9:15am on a Saturday.

    Lunch was at PDX 671. Two fiesta plates and a side of cucumber salad. Cucumber salad was tart and refreshing. Tasted vaguely Chinese. Shrimp fritter with peas and corn was awesome! Red rice and grilled chicken nice but not amazing. Unfortunately, the kelaguen mannok was sold out. Great people working there though.

    Forgot to mention our dinner at Screen Door thanks to a friend who drove us. A party of five on a Friday night, 7:45pm, only waited about 40 minutes. Much less than I was expecting. Had a nice butter lettuce salad and a few bites of a friend's mac and cheese. Very creamy and seemed to have some mayo in it (not my preference). The fried chicken was excellent. Juicy and flavorful. Batter was also well spiced. It did take a little getting used to the boneless pieces though. The gravy for the mashed potatoes was also excellent. Collards were a bit bland. The platter was big enough to share. None of us finished ours.

    Did Nostrana for another dinner, really lovely place. Grabbed the last two seats at the bar around 6:45pm on a Saturday night. Gin Rickey the Hard Way was lovely: Hendricks gin, lime, cucumber-basil bitters, absinthe, soda carbonated to order. My husband's standard negroni was also great. Shared wood cooked padron peppers with aioli to start. Hard to dip the peppers in--this was a knife and fork operation. Husband had pizza: wild mushrooms with arugula, garlic, pecorino, and mozzarella. Really, really good. Balanced, flavorful, thin crust. I wanted to call it Mary Poppins pizza: practically perfect in every way! My pasta was also excellent. Tomato, guanciale, red onion, and "priest stranglers." Wiped the plate clean. Left completely stuffed. Excellent and super friendly service. Great bartenders too.

    For a nightcap, stopped back into Clyde Common and shared another barrel aged Negroni (so good) and a grilled cheddar with pickled jalapeño sandwich. Delightful.

    Went to the downtown Bunk for breakfast one day. Egg, cheese, sausage on a roll. Nice price and a decently sized portion. The house made sausage is excellent and the cheese perfectly gooey. But I think we were spoiled by the one at Tasty & Alder. Portland sure does know how to do biscuits.

    Lunch was Meat Cheese Bread. Great turkey sandwich with cheese, lettuce, lots of aioli and delicious crumbled bacon. Perfectly assembled. Perhaps the first turkey sandwich I've ever had that didn't have at least one dry bite. Or the bacon falling out as you ate it. Loved the heavy metal vibe as well.

    Lastly, got to try the delicious sea salt ice cream with caramel ribbons at Salt & Straw's cart. Wonderfully creamy and salty.

    Sunday night dinner at Green Dragon & breakfast at airport were forgettable.
  • Post #52 - September 23rd, 2014, 1:12 pm
    Post #52 - September 23rd, 2014, 1:12 pm Post #52 - September 23rd, 2014, 1:12 pm
    Lana and I spent 2 nights in Portland on the way to a 3 week stay in Seattle. Since we work on a computer we thought it would be a great way to see the northwest. Not sure if I would label this a staycation or workation.

    Driving from Lake Tahoe we spent our 1st night in Klamath Falls. We had a decent meal at Basin Martini Bar & Restaurant. They had a great selection of martinis and decent bacon wrapped scallops and fish and chips. The town isn't very big and this seemed like the best of the bunch.

    After a drive thru beautiful Crater Lake National Park we had 2 great dinners in Portland. Our first night was Ned Ludd. It's billed as an American craft restaurant. All ingredients are locally sourced and everything is cooked in a wood burning oven. Apps were a romano bean stew with onions and tomatoes and a to die for dish with pork noodles and pork belly that I could eat every night. Entrees were whole roasted trout and pastured hen, which is basically cornish hen. Both outstanding. Our 2nd dinner was at Ox, which is a carnivores delight with an Argentinean slant. Again, most everything was cooked over a roaring wood fire in the middle of the restaurant. Our app was hominy, pork belly, chiles, cilantro, olive oil-fried duck egg. This was rich, smokey, amazingly delicious, and very filling. We ordered a combo plate for dinner including grilled short rib, house chorizo & morcilla sausages, skirt steak, sweetbreads, fried potatoes, and green salad. The blood sausage was the tastiest item but we also enjoyed the skirt steak and sweetbreads. I think short ribs are better when braised. The potatoes, which were served with an aioli, reminded me of brabant potatoes in New Orleans and were perfectly crispy on the outside and moist inside.

    The Saturday farmers market on the PSU campus is one of the largest in the country and has an incredible array of local produce, meats, and food stands. One vendor had a portable wood burning oven serving wonderful neapolitan pizzas and flatbreads. For you pinot noir lovers, Willamette Valley is less than an hour from downtown and has a great variety of wineries to visit.

    Although it wasn't part of the plan we've decideded to make another stop here on the drive home.
    "I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day." Frank Sinatra
  • Post #53 - October 23rd, 2014, 2:13 pm
    Post #53 - October 23rd, 2014, 2:13 pm Post #53 - October 23rd, 2014, 2:13 pm
    We stopped for 1 more night in Portland and had ethereal Thai food at Pok Pok, which has been mentioned on this board. It's always a long wait but certainly worth it. This rivals Lotus of Siam in Las Vegas and should be the next pilgrimage for Thai food lovers.

    We headed to the Oregon coast driving south from Seaside and ended up in Newport, before being rained out for a 2nd night down south in Brookings. We had a surprisingly sophisticated dinner at Local Ocean, serving oyster shooters, a good cioppino like fish stew, and grilled halibut with Swiss chard, edamame, bacon, udon noodle, and ponzu sauce.

    http://www.pokpokpdx.com/
    http://localocean.net/
    "I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day." Frank Sinatra
  • Post #54 - November 30th, 2014, 6:48 pm
    Post #54 - November 30th, 2014, 6:48 pm Post #54 - November 30th, 2014, 6:48 pm
    Rev,

    I'm just shaking my head at how tempus fugits. Twenty-five years ago my then wife and I drove up from Eureka to Florence, in search of fresh sea food. The beer revolution had hit Eugene and Corvallis, just earlier, as I noted at a couple of conferences, and people were alert to good food there, so I'd reasoned that there'd be both good beer and good food on the coast. Wrongo. Budmiloors was all that was on tap, and there was nothing but deep fried frozen fish available, altho' at Bandon we *were* able to go down to the landing warehouses and buy a couple of fresh Dungeness crabs from a reluctant wholesaler. Had a good time at the dunes, but opted for burgers there.

    One of the most disappointing food pilgrimages of my life. Coastal Oregon was behind even Missouri exurbia.

    Sounds like things have improved, eh?! :)

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #55 - December 1st, 2014, 11:08 am
    Post #55 - December 1st, 2014, 11:08 am Post #55 - December 1st, 2014, 11:08 am
    Geo,

    Before this trip we were last in Portland about 25 years ago, like you. We drove to Willamette Valley for wine tasting and found only a couple wineries open to the public(I think Domaine Drouhin and Archery Summit). The only way to taste a variety of wines were in a couple tasting rooms. Most wines were underwhelming. My, how things have changed!
    "I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day." Frank Sinatra
  • Post #56 - June 1st, 2015, 2:53 pm
    Post #56 - June 1st, 2015, 2:53 pm Post #56 - June 1st, 2015, 2:53 pm
    On our recent trip to Portland we went to Multnomah Whiskey Library, Mi Mole Mero, Fenrir, Mediterranean Exploration Company, Ava Gene's, Tasty n Alder.

    Multnomah Whiskey Library doesn't have much food, but what they did have was lovely. I appreciated that you could get steak in 5 or 10 oz portions.

    Everything at Mi Mole Mero was tasty, and for it being counter service, the service was good too.

    My favorite was Mediterranean Exploration. I think this location has been a lot of things. The food was really good, small bites but big flavor. We watched them make the pita in their wood oven fresh. It's from the Toro Bravo people, which includes the Tasty restaurants as well.

    We liked Ava Gene as well, especially their wine list, though we wanted to speak with the sommelier to get some questions answered and he/she was too busy ever to stop by.
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #57 - March 2nd, 2017, 1:39 pm
    Post #57 - March 2nd, 2017, 1:39 pm Post #57 - March 2nd, 2017, 1:39 pm
    My wife and I recently made our first trek to the Pacific Northwest to celebrate my best friend's 30th, so I'm bumping this thread from way back. My buddy chose Portland because he's a big craft brewing fan, so we hit up a ton of breweries. Seeing as I don't drink, I can only say that Great Notions Brewery had the best smelling beer and Stormbreaker had a gnarly fire pit.

    I can, however, eat like a madman, so here is everything I ate and my comments:

    Day One

    Voodoo Donuts - Captain My Captain (yeast donut with vanilla icing and Crunch Berries); Viscous Hibiscus (yeast donut with hibiscus icing and sprinkles); Moon Pie (marshmallow fluff-filled yeast donut with chocolate icing and Golden Grahams)

    We had to hit up one of Portland's most famous institutions. Overall, there was a sense of disappointment from everyone in the group. The yeast dough is very good and fried well, but you will start reaching for some insulin with how overly sweet almost everything is. The Moon Pie was definitely the best of my choices with the Viscious Hibiscus as a solid second.

    Potato Champion - palak paneer fries

    Needed something savory as hell for lunch so we hit Cartopia for a double shot of food cart fare. The food cart culture in Portland is a really unique feature of the city and I wish more places would adopt it. The fries at Potato Champion were perfectly fried and the palak paneer and cilantro chutney on top were utterly delicious. Definitely the most interesting take on cheese fries I've ever had.

    Pyro Pizza - fennel sausage pizza

    After ordering the fries, I made the 20 foot walk to Pyro to gaze into their wood fire pizza oven. I asked the guy working and he said they built it from scratch first and then constructed the entire trailer around it. Super cool. Overall, the pizza was solid, though I wish I'd gotten the four cheese option instead because the sausage was a bit weak and the best bites were the ends because the crust was excellent.

    Pok Pok - kai saam yang (“chicken three ways” - mixture of chopped lemongrass, peanuts, ginger, chiles, lime, and shallots [eaten at Whiskey Soda Lounge while waiting for table]); Ike's Vietnamese fish sauce wings; muu paa kham waan (grilled boar collar with chilled mustard greens and chile garlic lime sauce); pok pok (green papaya salad); sai ua samun phrai with naam phrik num and khaep muu (Chiang Mai sausage with green chile dip and pork rinds); sticky rice; coconut ice cream sandwich (coconut-jackfruit ice cream served on a sweet bun with peanuts, sweet sticky rice, condensed milk and chocolate syrup)

    Pok Pok was my number one priority in Portland and wow did it live up to the hype. We lucked out and only had to wait about 45 minutes in the Whiskey Soda Lounge (if I drank, this would be my kind of watering hole). After jettisoning a vegan companion who just wanted pad see ew, we got down to eating as a trio. All of the flavors were right in my wheelhouse - so aggressive and uncompromising. On top of that, eating family style by just grabbing things with sticky rice is very much my jam. I fully expected for the chicken wings to be my favorite thing because I'm a wing fiend, but I think the boar was my top dish of the meal. The meat was nicely charred and the intense sauce brought out all of the gamy pork notes you would expect from boar. That plate of ice-covered greens was a revelation - sort of like the celery served with buffalo wings to tame the heat, but way colder and an essential accompaniment rather than trash to cast aside. Before tip, our bill barely broke $20 per person, which is a crazy deal for food of this quality.

    Day Two

    Edelweiss Sausage & Delicatessen - hot Hungarian sausage; smoked brat; weisswurst

    Had to sneak my friend out for some meat while the other halves were out on a run. Eating sausages while walking back to the Air BnB was a great way to feel young and carefree again. All were really good, but if I had to rank I'd go: 1) brat 2) weisswurst 3)Hungarian

    A.N.D. Cafe - Soul Bowl (biscuits and gravy topped with "meat"loaf)

    Ah yes, our vegan meal. It certainly was a thing. I'm totally fine with everyone making their own dietary choices (within reason, you chicken-breast-only monsters), but making facsimiles of meat dishes doesn't work the vast majority of the time. I'd much rather have some nicely cooked vegetables that just don't happen to have animal products. Alas, this was not the place for that. The "meat"loaf was way too sweet throughout as if someone took the glaze to be the only essential part of the flavor profile. The biscuits were nothing to write home about and the gravy, like the loaf, lacked any real savory qualities. Never have I been more glad to go into a meal not very hungry.

    Waffle Window - liege waffle

    Good mid-brewery snack. I wouldn't go out of my way to grab another one, but I didn't feel like I wasted money either.

    Ox - truffle pistachios; fennel salami; grilled lamb heart flatbread with charred onion yogurt, cilantro, preserved Meyer lemon, and chermoula; asado argentino (skirt steak, short rib, chorizo, morcilla, sweetbreads); lamb shoulder chop; fried russet potatoes with horseradish aioli and dill; green salad; fried Brussels sprouts with golden raisin vinaigrette. hazelnut dukkah, and mint; pan-roasted cabbage with chestnut cream, duck jus, poached pear, and fines herbes; pocha bean gratin with grilled broccoli, escarole, sunchoke, bagna cauda cream, and breadcrumbs; hazelnut brown butter torte, honey-chamomile ice cream, honeycomb candy

    After such a disappointing lunch, Ox really turned the day around. The huge asado grill greeted us as we entered and it looms large over the flavor of nearly every dish. The meat is obviously the star; Ox uses the highest quality local meat and it shows. The first fat-marbled bite of grilled short rib may have been one of the best bites of beef I've had. We covered an entire table for four in food and just crushed it all. Again Portland delivers on the crazy good food for an absurdly reasonable price. It was a nice departure from Chicago steakhouse sticker shock.

    Day Three

    Maurice - brioche with apples and rose; black pepper cheesecake; marshmallow stick with lovage sugar

    My wife is really into Swedish fika, so this was her choice. Very cute little place with some interesting pastries. My favorite thing was actually the marshmallow with lovage sugar. It was a really unique taste and now I want to try other herb sugars.

    Nong's Khao Man Gai- chicken and rice, fried chicken skin, chicken livers

    What can I say other than this is some of the best chicken I've ever had? Nong and her team use the best chickens they can find and just work magic when poaching them to make the best Hainanese chicken. I don't know how something can be so subtle yet such an explosion of flavor, but it is. It just is. I made sure to get there right when they opened because I've heard they sell out of chicken skin early every day. Definitely worth eating lunch literally 15 minutes after eating breakfast. I legit will return to Portland for this dish alone.

    Kenny and Zuke's - pastrami sandwich

    After a brief foray for book shopping, it was time for my third meal before 1:30 PM (not messing around on my last day). Thank you, LTH, for being dedicated to constantly finding great delis and putting this place on my radar. With gnarly ribbons of fat and a thick crust of spices, this was some praiseworthy pastrami. When I make my return trip for more Nong's, I'll be sure to also walk a block to try the pastrami cheese fries; I just didn't have space this go around.

    Salt & Straw - four half scoops in a waffle cone (top to bottom): strawberry honey balsamic with black pepper; pear and bleu cheese; sea salt with caramel ribbon; snickerdoodle

    There was quite the line, but it was totally worth it. Easily the best ice cream I've ever had. I arranged my scoops to have a mini dessert tasting from fruity palate cleanse to cheese plate to savory interlude to flat out dessert and the woman behind the counter seemed totally down with such a ridiculously overthought approach to an ice cream cone. The snickerdoodle took the gold for me the second I hit a huge chunk of actual cookie. Unreal.

    Bridgeport Brewing - buffalo wings; pretzel; brat burger with swiss cheese, apple slaw, and mustardy mayo; fries

    Apparently this is Portland's oldest brew pub or something, but don't waste your time. Nobody at our table seemed to like the beer and the food ranged from mediocre (wings) to outright bad (brat burger). My wife's brat plate was the type of supremely unpalatable dish that you have to pass around so that everyone knows why it's no bueno. The prevailing flavor of the sausage was celery salt, even over pork and garlic, which is just baffling.

    Day Four (Airport Only)

    Blue Star Donuts - passion fruit cocoa nib, raspberry rosemary buttermilk, orange olive oil cake

    Travel + Leisure named PDX the top airport for customer satisfaction the past four years running, and it's easy to see why. Nearly all of the dining options are local (including food carts set up in the airport!) and you can grab food before going through security. While waiting in line for Salt & Straw, I ran across the street to get some Blue Star to try, but they were sold out for the day. Bit of a bummer, but no big deal. The cosmic donut god and universal gluttony energy (am I Portland enough yet?) must have seen my disappointment and righted things by allowing me to grab some Blue Star on the way out of town. All were delicious but the raspberry rosemary will stick with me the most. Infusing the tart berry icing with a woodsy herbal note was genius and the buttermilk donut underneath was fried to perfection.

    Kenny and Zuke's - pastrami, egg, and cheese sandwich

    You think I was really going to pass up getting more pastrami? Please.

    That's a shitton of words to say that Portland is really rad and everyone should go.
    Last edited by gnarchief on March 2nd, 2017, 11:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #58 - March 2nd, 2017, 11:07 pm
    Post #58 - March 2nd, 2017, 11:07 pm Post #58 - March 2nd, 2017, 11:07 pm
    For the life of me, I don't get why Voodoo gets all the hype. Blue Star is just so much better it's not even close. Glad you made it there.

    Maurice was quite delightful, as well. And Pok Pok was so good we ate there twice in four days. That place actually *does* deserve its hype. (Too bad the noodle house closed).

    A couple of other recommendations: If (as the cliche goes) brunch is the official meal of Portland, then Tasty n Sons is the official restaurant of brunch in Portland. Yes, everyone goes there, but that's because it's really good (if you like Longman & Eagle, you'll love it; if you *don't* like Longman & Eagle GET OUT OF PORTLAND IMMEDIATELY). Pine State Biscuits has wonderfully messy biscuit sandwiches (Portland seems to do well with biscuits -- see also Lauretta Jean's); Kachka is (sort of) high-end (sort of) Russian; I wish Townshend's opened a teahouse here (you can get their kombucha at Whole Foods, though).
  • Post #59 - March 3rd, 2017, 5:06 am
    Post #59 - March 3rd, 2017, 5:06 am Post #59 - March 3rd, 2017, 5:06 am
    gnarchief wrote:Salt & Straw - four half scoops in a waffle cone (top to bottom): strawberry honey balsamic with black pepper; pear and bleu cheese; sea salt with caramel ribbon; snickerdoodle

    There was quite the line, but it was totally worth it. Easily the best ice cream I've ever had. I arranged my scoops to have a mini dessert tasting from fruity palate cleanse to cheese plate to savory interlude to flat out dessert and the woman behind the counter seemed totally down with such a ridiculously overthought approach to an ice cream cone. The snickerdoodle took the gold for me the second I hit a huge chunk of actual cookie. Unreal.

    I was in Portland over the summer and hit two locations of this place. Outstanding. Not to be missed.
  • Post #60 - September 13th, 2017, 4:39 pm
    Post #60 - September 13th, 2017, 4:39 pm Post #60 - September 13th, 2017, 4:39 pm
    Highlights from Portland:

    IMG_0160.JPG Little Bird Bistro Burger

    IMG_0162.JPG Difficult to cook better than that

    I went straight from the airport to Little Bird Bistro, sister restaurant of Le Pigeon, where this excellent burger was a mere $6 during happy hour. Every component of this thing was great. Beef, brie cheese, lettuce "slaw," dijonnaise, spicy ketchup, Mama Lil’s Bread and Butter pickles, and a bun from Ken’s Artisan Bakery. I was starving when I got to the restaurant so it's possible the burger isn't quite as good as I remember it, but I look forward to going back and finding out. Unless, that is, I only have time for one happy hour burger.

    rsz_1img_0167.jpg Super burger at Superbite

    rsz_img_0169.jpg

    This work of burger art is comprised of patties made from a blend of beef and shiitake mushrooms, cheddar and fontina cheese, “fancy sauce,” pickles and onions, and is served on a housemade sesame bun. Superbite will be a mandatory happy hour stop when I go back to Portland for the burger, great booze, and some other outstanding bites:

    IMG_0173.JPG Salmon crudo w/ hibiscus ponzu, pickled jalapeño, and shiso

    IMG_0171.JPG Beef tongue "spam" musubi w/ cucumber and Chinese hot mustard

    Other highlights, elaborated on by other people and which I'll add my enthusiastic endorsement of were Pok Pok, Kenny & Zuke's (pastrami, egg and cheese is just a great breakfast sandwich), and Nong's Khao Man Gai.

    Little Bird Bistro
    215 SW 6th Ave, Portland
    (503) 688-5952

    Superbite
    527 SW 12th Ave, Portland
    (503) 222-0979

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