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PDX Labor Day weekend itinerary

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My wife and I are coming out to Portland from New York for Labor Day weekend (arrive Saturday early AM, leave Monday night late). We have a few distinct things we want to do generally: probably a day's worth of hiking, a day of wine tasting, and another day to just hang out around town.

We are hoping to try out as much of the food/wine scene as we can. Most important focus is the best food with the best local ingredients - that means if it's a high-end restaurant, great, if it's not, great.

I hear great things about Le Pigeon, which seems pretty flexible as far as doing lunch or dinner. Other places I've read about are Paley's Place, Wildwood, Higgins, Genoa, Clyde Common and Sel Gris.

So, three questions:

1. Assuming you had three dinners (one being pretty early since our flight is at 930pm on Monday), which three places (the above list, or others) would you go, and in what order? Currently we are leaning toward: Sat: Paley's Place, Sun: Wildwood, Mon: early dinner at Le Pigeon (or hit it up for lunch)

2. With the wine tasting component, is Sat, Sun or Mon best day to do that? I know in some places, Sunday and/or Monday things can be closed.

3. Are there any places in the Willamette Valley that are particularly good for lunch? If there is somewhere truly exceptional out there for dinner, we could stay out there for one dinner, too.

4. Any particularly good breakfast places near our hotel (we're at the Westin Portland)?

5. Any recommendations on lunch spots (anywhere in the city)?

Your help is much appreciated! Looking forward to seeing your beautiful and much-talked about city for the first time. Thanks for all the help.

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  1. ALSO, (I forgot) any recommendations for relaxing wine/beer bars (esp if they have lots of local brews) would also be great. We're late 20s/early 30s so most things should be appropriate.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jonasblank

      What ever you do decide please call everyone to make sure they're open. I'm sure many are but a few maybe closed for their holiday too

    2. Assuming all these places are open...

      For dinner, on the fine dining end of the spectrum , I would say Sel Gris, Le Pigeon and Alberta Street Oyster Bar & Grill in some order.

      I think the food at Paley's is great, but some call the atmosphere cozy, I call it stuffy.

      Wildwood and Clyde Common are also open for lunch. I'd also add Pok Pok and Kenny & Zukes Deli. K&Z is also my favorite breakfast spot.

      1 Reply
      1. re: SauceSupreme

        Thank you - that is very helpful!

      2. I was in Portland last weekend and had great dinners at Le Pigeon and Bluehour and breakfast at K&Z.
        Le Pigeon:
        Grilled Romaine
        Skate with pork belly, arugula and white beans
        Blue corn bread with maple ice cream
        All were delicious and we enjoyed the communal seating.
        Bluehour, loved their cocktails (lavender infused gin gimlet) and we had an excellent server...he knew the food and wine list and matched them up well.
        Dungeness crab souffle
        Bacon wrapped scallops
        Grilled rabbit
        And my favorite dessert was on their menu..pavlova with berries and sorbet.
        KZ..one word, pastrami. Granted, you are coming from NY where jewish deli food is common. In Seattle, we are longing for a good bowl of soup and corned beef sandwich. Don't get me started on decent pizza and a knish. However, KZ filled the food void that really only Brooklyn can fill.

        1. I don't think that Le Pigeon is open for lunch, I think it is dinner only.

          I'd do a Sat. or Mon. lunch at Wildwood (best crab cakes ever, yummy mussels, great pan-fried oyster salad, terrific burger) and look for dinner at Sel Gris, Carlyle, ten-01, (my top 3) and also Le Pigeon and Clyde Common (which others like more than I).

          I'd bring a picnic lunch to wine country on Sunday (put it together at the Sat. Farmers' Market downtown, Whole Foods, Martinotti's - all walking distance from the Westin, depending on how much you walk) and eat at one of the wineries with a bottle from there. Almost all of them have tables you can have a quick bite at and most places open to the public are open Sat. and Sun. There are a few threads around here with lots of OR/Willamette Valley wine country info.

          Best breakfast near your hotel is easily Kenny & Zuke's.

          Good lunches can be had at Kenny & Zuke's, Pambiche, Pok Pok, Wildwood, ten-01 (which also has a great happy hour, even on Sat.), Clyde Common (on Mon.). Check to see who is going to be open on the holiday weekend.

          Also near your hotel is OR Wines on Broadway, where you can taste many wines without going to each place out in wine country: http://www.oregonwinesonbroadway.com/

          1 Reply
          1. re: JillO

            Thank you for the great recommendations! It looks like most places won't take reservations this far out, but I will start making the calls soon! Thanks again to you and the poster above.

          2. If you want to visit an oyster bar, Dan and Louis oyster bar is a must. It has been in Portland since forever. They serve the freshest oysters. It is not a fancy place to eat but very good oysters!!!! Portland City Grill is also an awesome place to eat. It overlooks portland and if you can get a seat by the windows, even better. Excellent food and service very upscale place. A must. A good fun place for after dinner drink is Hubers, order a spanish coffee there. Watching them make it as fun as drinking it. Good luck and Good Eats!!!!!!!!!

            1. When we visit PDX, we head straight for Pok Pok. It is thai street food, and has some v. interesting offerings. The other place I love going, and it is such a NWsty place in its own way, is the Country Cat. It is southern, but with local twists. Totally unpretentious and excellent.