Review of weekend in Portland
Thanks so much to everyone who gave suggestions and recommendations for my recent weekend trip here - it was incredibly helpful. Unfortunately, given circumstance, we weren't able to hit up as many dining establishments as desired.
Friday night, we got in 2 hours late, courtesy of airline delays. By the time we'd checked into our hotel, it was 10:30pm, we were tired and wanted food Right Then. Given the late hour and our general fatigue, we ended up at Saucebox, close to our hotel, which was recommended in my friend's guidebook. I don't know if I'd return to eat (by that hour, we were also limited to the bar menu) - nothing stood out, but the drinks were rather good.
Saturday, refreshed, we ended up going to Le Pigeon for brunch. We got there around 9:30 and sat at the bar/countertop, which afforded a great view of the people cooking. The restaurant was perhaps about half-full when we got there, and maybe closer to three-quarters full when we left nearly ninety minutes later. Yes, brunch lasted nearly ninety minutes - it was just incredibly slow. Thankfully, we were entertained by the people cooking, and guessing which dish was what. My friend got the breakfast sandwiches - two biscuits with bacon, egg, and cheese, while I got the scramble with leeks and mushrooms, along with a side of bacon. Both dishes were really good. For dessert, we ordered the almond lemon tart, which was spectacular. I'd have liked to have gone for dinner, but that just wasn't in the cards this weekend.
For dinner, we'd planned to go to Wildwood, but luckily never got around to making reservations. Luckily, because Saturday afternoon, we went to the Indie Wine Festival, which consisted of 3 hours of drinking, some small snacks (from Wildwood, Celilo, Simpatica Catering, Tastebud Farms, and Touché, to name a few).. resulting in us, who had spent the time between brunch and the tasting walking around and shopping, becoming very very tired and passing out as soon as we got back to the hotel, not waking up until 9:30pm. By that time, we were in a similar situation to the night before, stuck trying to figure out who nearby would serve dinner at that late hour. We ended up at Fenouil, and ordered several appetizers to share - the escargots, lobster beignets (perhaps the most disappointing of the trio, as they weren't beignets so much as vaguely lobster fritters), and a fresh seafood platter. I did like the interior of the restaurant, and wish I'd had more of an appetite so I could have ordered a real entrée.
Sunday morning, we thought we'd woken up early, but when we got to Mother's Bistro at 9:45 am there was a 45 minute wait for two.... or, "you can check out the counter," the host said, where the turnover was much rapider. We did so, and ordered eggs benedict, which came out very promptly. (And yes, I did get the French press coffee, which was excellent.) The waitress behind the counter was very friendly, and when I asked for a to-go cup for the rest of my coffee, offered to top it off with some drip coffee. Perhaps not the best combination of coffee, but it was a nice gesture.
After walking from the International Rose Test Garden (no roses yet, which perhaps I should have known, but still, it would've been nice if one of the many people we asked for directions had told us they weren't in bloom) down 23rd Street, we made our way over to Saint Cupcake for a treat. And indeed, a treat it was - we each got one cupcake there and one to go. I can't remember what I ordered for there, but in the airport, when I had my second cupcake (you know, when we encountered ANOTHER 2 hour delay due to "weather problems", thanks United!), with cheery pink frosting and chocolate chips embedded into the top of the vanilla cupcake, I was glad of our incredible foresight.
Finally, after more walking around, before returning to our hotel, we stopped in at Everett Street Bistro for a late light lunch of clam chowder (New England style). It was made with whole clams, and the chunks of bacon in the broth were most definitely welcome.
Next time, more food. There were so many recommendations and places I wanted to check out, but unfortunately, we weren't there long enough to check out every place. But I did enjoy the places we did end up visiting.