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Aug 25, 2007 10:30 AM

Portland Report- many "ups" and one very big "down"

Just returned from Oregon Coast/ Portland Trip and wanted to add my two cents on what was an excellent food based trip (really, isn't that the main focus of any trip?)

The Ups: Technically not Oregon, but we spent some time in Long Beach Wa, and had wonderful seseme crusted oysters at The Port Bistro and a very good dinner at the charming 42nd Street Cafe. The highlight was the Cottage Bakery though- contrasted with the high prices of coastal bakeries (although they are very high quality!) it was lots of fun.
In Manzanita Bread and Ocean did not dissapoint, and with so many placers being closed on Tuesdays, we had a great picnic on the beach with the excellent grocery store.
Wayfarer in Cannon Beach was decent but not that memorable, we'll book the 3 course at the Stephanie Inn that sounded amazing next time.

In Portland we were thrilled with our meal at Pambiche, well worth the hour long wait, great empanadas, and have plans to really try and save room for those amazing looking and sounding desserts. I am regretting missing out on those even now.
We also had good meals at Meriwether's and Besaws (stayed near NW23rd). Best part was finally making it to the Saturday Farmer's market at the University- wow! It sure leaves ours here in vancouver for dead I am sad to say. Enjoying the heirloom tomatoes and fingerling potatos and even lemon cucombers now!

The "downs"
WILDWOOD- pretty dissapointing service, not that great food. I am always weary of a place that drown s everything in olive oil, and my grilled squash starter was drowning in it, even after I requested that they go light on it as i can't handle excessive fat. It was a hard menu to find something light and healthy on, and the waiter was sure not willing to help out. A few, but not all of the problems we encountered were:
-arriving at 6, noticing crab cakes on the 5-7 menu, and it being very difficult to order them as a starter with our dinners as we were sitting 2 feet from the lounge, even though its the same kitchen and the price was pretty consistent with the diner menu starters.
-my companion's duck was very fatty, granted its not the leanest meat was this was unusual.
-my salad consisted of inediblly stale hazelnuts
This was all manageble- the real issue and thing that runied the meal was the waiter. We watched as he was out and out rude to two pensioners who were asking for advice on the cheapest glass of wine. With us, I had requested 2 appetizers to be brought instead of a main, he brought them as appetizers. When I politley asked that they be brought with my companion's meals as I has arranged, he got very defensive and said I had never said that. He then walked away and slammed the menu he was holding down on a service table- no exageration it was this completely agressive slam, before picking up my plates and walking over to the kitchen where he pretty much threw those down too. I get that everyone has off nights but I am a pretty easy going diner and this was supposed to be our "splurge" dinner. We had much better service at the budget conscious Pambiche!
Has anyone else had similar experiences here? Needless to say, we will try Lucy's Table or maybe paley's Place for our splurge worthy dining next time.
All in all, we continue to be impressed with the range of organic produce available and the foodie mecca that is Portland!

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  1. Thanks for the report! I just came back from the PSU Farmers' Mkt and picked up melons & peaches to beat the band, not to mention some maitake which are begging to be sauted immediately. Now you know why it's my first response to out-of-towners' questions!

    Surprised & sad to hear of your Wildwood experience. That is unacceptable, and I wish you'd send it to them. I'd tip something akin to 1% for such "service", hope you did. And serving stale (rancid even?) hazelnuts in this the nation's hazelnut capital is inexcuseable. Not to blame the victim but remember that the harvest is in late Oct-Nov, so if you are eating them now they are last year's crop and that can be a gamble if they haven't been properly stored. The only people I'd buy them from now would be directly from the grower.

    1. I'd love to hear more about what you ate in Long Beach since I have a friend living there now that I'll probably be going to visit. The bakery sounds great! I'll have to check it out when I go. Thanks for posting about it. Not often we hear about Long Beach.

      2 Replies
      1. re: duckduck

        I thought Long Beach and area had lots of options- we ate in Long Beach proper, Ilwaco, Oysterville, but even faryher up the peninsula towards Ocean Shores there are great places too that we will check out next time.

        While we loved 42nd street, and heard they do a great brunch, we had our hearts set on "The Ark" but it was closed on Mondays and Tuesdays (the 2 days we were there!) Supposed to have great seafood, local ingredients, I think they grown their own produce too. Similar problem with our second choice, the Beach House (or is it Beach Inn?)- both would be my personal reccomendations if they are open speaking from a menu and what I heard around town point of view rather than personal experience. the Beach house is right on the water.We had drinks and purused the menu at the Shelbourne Inn, probably the fanciest place in town, but they have an adjacent pub that looked pretty good too- we heard from people that stayed next to us that they have an incredible burger.
        We had a great breakfast at "Laurie's"- my short stack of marionberry pancakes was excellent and too much to finish and I am a pancake fan and very pricky- most places dissapoint but this did not.
        The Bakery right on the main street is just so fun and old school- they have these things called "sailor jacks" for 75 cents and if they have them, try it!
        Of course, Astoria is less than half an hour away too to complicate things- they have some good places too- and a Danish bakery that is pretty great as well (can you tell I am a bit of a carb fan?)

        Hope you have a great time!

        1. re: Meghan

          Thanks! I'm sure I will have a great time and thank you for posting.