Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Pacific Northwest >
May 23, 2007 03:56 PM

PDX Portland and Hillsdale Farmers Mkts

Are there any good prepared foods to graze on at these two farmer's markets?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. There are plenty of options at the Portland farmer's market (the one at PSU, right?) including cooked to order food, plus cheese, charcuterie and bakery vendors. There are less options at the Hillsdale market but you wouldn't walk away hungry (and Baker and Spice bakery is just around the corner from them).

    At the Portland market one of my favorite things to eat is the ham and cheese croissant from Ken's Artisan Bakery. It's one of the best I've ever had, with good quality ham, real Gruyere and fresh thyme. I'm less fond of some of the other options such as the grilled sausages (I've found them bland and not salty enough) and the stuff at Tastebud farms, but other people seem to really enjoy them. I've enjoyed the heartier German style baked goods from Fressen too.


    2 Replies
    1. re: trillium

      Can you explain the types of German bread at Fressen.?..i've been on a quest to find Deutche Brot in the US for the last 6 years and always come up empty...i'm visiting pdx in august and if i know it's the real deal, i'm there before it opens.

      1. re: sixelagogo

        Well, my German friend (from Northern Germany) liked the whole grain breads from Fressen but he was offended by the name and how much he had to pay for the loaf, he thought it should be cheaper. I'm talking about the kind made primarily from rye and other non-wheat grains with sunflower and flax seeds and it kind of brickish and dense. Sometimes gets called fitness bread in English? Those are part of the selection that Fressen offers.


    2. At Hillsdale, the bagel guys make a fantastic bagel and chive cream cheese. At the same place, the lamb sausage wrapped in a bit of pastry is fantastic. Baker and Spice also has a booth at the market. There are also good tamales at the Salvator Molly's spot. No shortage of grazing at the Hillsdale Mkt...

      1. "The bagel guys" MichaelG refers to are Tastebud who Trillium says she's not a fan of. They only do the bagels at the HFM, however, but they are good. They do nice pizzas at the PFM. I think they do pitas with market fresh fillings at both. They used to do really nice lamb ribs, but I haven't seen those at either market this year. They make most of their food in a brick wood oven which adds some nice flavor.

        Little Pots and Pans is often at the Hillsdale Farmers Market. They make various savory tarts with a nice flaky crust. I prefer their open face and mini tarts because I like the proportion of crust to filling better. They usually have tastes of the fillings so you can choose what you like.

        The tamales are tasty at Salvador Molly's. That's about the only thing I'll get from them, though. They're at both markets.

        Di Carlo's sausages are decent, but lack flavor as Trillium says. However, all the freshly grilled onions and peppers on top make up for that to some degree. I never am willing to wait in line for them, though. The Fetzers sausages at the Beaverton market are better, imo. Di Carlo's is only at the PFM, not HFM.

        Baker & Spice is at both markets. They really do a good job. I like their pastries best.

        Monica's Market Gourmet has steadily improved year after year. She does some nice quichey items and some tasty tarts and sweets. She's at the PFM.

        Alma Chocolates is at the PFM. Very good chocolates. I don't think John DePaula is doing the HFM this year, unfortunately.

        Several cheese producers. Some of the better ones are Fraga, Willamette Valley, and Rogue. There's a new one I like, too, called Ancient Heritage doing sheep's milk. Places can be hit or miss (I just ate some bad ones today at the Moreland Farmers Market) so taste first. Also, a lot of the cheeses at the markets will be twice the price of often better European cheeses that you could get from a place like Pastaworks or Curds & Whey, so you have to be committed to buying local.

        Viande makes very nice pates. They're only at the PFM.

        The Smokery does smoked fishes, primarily salmon, and they're pretty good. Probably a bit smokier than what you'd get on the east coast, but I'm not complaining. They come in smallish packages, about 4 oz, pre-sliced. So if you're at the HFM you can get some lox for your Tastebud bagel with cream cheese.

        Pearl Bakery has very nice breads. Fressen is hit and miss, better with their hearty loaves than things like tarts or pretzels. Delphina has gone downhill a little from last year, imo, but some of their breads are still pretty good. (Perhaps if their owner would focus more on the quality of their product rather than suing their ex at Pearl and running of their talented bakers they'd produce something more consistent.)

        A couple warnings: unless you've got some political/ethical reasons for doing so, avoid the vegan bakeries. Lackluster is the nicest thing I can say.

        I've got some reports up on, but more importantly, I have pictures:

        Hillsdale Farmers Market

        Portland Farmers Market

        4 Replies
        1. re: extramsg

          I didn't notice Baker and Spice having a booth at Hillsdale when I've been there. Maybe it's because it was the winter season, but I didn't think they were there last Sunday either. They are just around the corner though. I'm a fan of their hand pies.

          I was disappointed in the bagels I bought from Tastebud, they were more like rolls in their shape and maybe not raised long enough, they were also cooked very unevenly with one side blackened and another undercooked and still white. If they had been a little less expensive, maybe I'd have had lower expectations, but when you pay $2 for a plain bagel, I think it should be better. Maybe I'm spoiled by the ones made in a similar style at St Viateur. I keep wanting to like the things there since it is such a nice concept, but nothing has ever really made my taste buds happy. Anyway, part of the fun for a visitor is to try things for themselves.


          1. re: trillium

            I've only been once this season. Baker & Spice weren't there then. They were there most of last season, however, so I assumed it was just anomalous. But perhaps not.

            You know, you're always going to be disappointed if you compare something to the best you've ever had. Maybe you can get to Montreal more often after you move to Wisconsin, but for me it's a $500 RT ticket, which makes $2 pretty cheap. I had Tastebud's bagels several times last year when I was working the HFM. They were inconsistent and never great. However, they seem to have improved the consistency. Yes, they're cooked in a wood oven, so one side may be darker than the other or blistered. The same thing happens with wood and coal oven pizzas, even by experienced pizza makers. Honestly, I don't mind it at all. It's why I like cast iron fried chicken more than deep-fried -- those random caramelly bits. But they're denser and chewier than they were last year with a better crust. Last year, I thought they were too much like bread rolls rather than bagels. (And they were sometimes undercooked and doughy.) This year they're bagels. They also have flavor. They're a big step up from the majority of the competition, such as Noah's, Bagel Land, Kettleman, and so on. I think you know whose bagels I think are the best, but they're not around week to week at any of the markets.

            1. re: extramsg

              Tastebud at PFM on Wednesday makes fresh pita sandwiches that are yummy. On Saturday excellent fresh fruit cobblers.

              So many cheesemakers, you can't go wrong there.

              Hot Lips at PFM Saturday.

              1. re: extramsg

                I believe that Baker and Spice is no longer doing the Hillsdale Market.