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Taking Portland Home

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Hi, PDXers!

I'm in Portland for a week, and I'm wondering if you guys can help me solve a problem regarding taking some food home. It's a little tricky, but here's my situation. I'm in town until next Tuesday, and I need food at a potluck Wednesday night. My time/space envelope is somewhat limited -- I finish a conference at PSU around lunchtime (so 2 PM by the time lunch is done) and fly to Seattle on the 7:00 (so 5:30 or so to PDX), I don't have a car, and I'm a little on the cheap side around taxis, given the high quality of public transport around here.

Whatever I take needs to:
- Pass through security (always a roll of the dice, but certainly no soups or fluid products)
- be relatively compact, since I've got a pretty full set of luggage already. If it's something that can be deformed (e.g. a bag of chips), that would help for packing.
- Survive the rigors of air travel, as well as transit and so on.
- Spend 10 hours unrefrigerated, total
- Be served cold or room temperature, with little in the way of utensils.
- Serve 8 or so, but as part of a potluck party (so

The potluck is my Spanish class' final night, so something Latin would be nice (especially Cuban, since I'm doing a presentation on Cuba). It doesn't need to be local, and, let's face it, it's an adult education language class, so it doesn't need to be super-foodie.

Sounds like Pambiche is the clear choice, but I don't really have an idea of what travel from there to the airport is like. Similarly, I read the dessert menu, but can't figure out what (if anything) might make sense -- the dessert salsa seems nice, but is it packed in a way that would trigger security? The polvorones seem enticing, but doesn't the name come from how easily crushed they are?

But that's just one idea -- I hope you guys have alternates. Thanks.

PS: First meal so far was the Italian Sub at Tribute's; admirable mix of cold cuts and veg, but it seemed a little bread-heavy.

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  1. I would call Pambiche directly (or stop by for a meal there while you are here!) and ask them what they suggest. This might be the best way because they could bake something for you that might not be in their dessert case otherwise. Or, they could possibly bake and freeze something for you so that it will survive your journey intact.

    4 Replies
    1. re: JillO

      Definitely call Pambiche--their dessert menu lists everything that they make, but it's not all available all the time, so generally you have to see what they have before ordering. Other things that would be nice would be a selection of empanadas and tostones (although that awesome banana catsup they serve with them probably couldn't go through security). I'd also be tempted by a big order of Moros & Cristianos as the black beans and white rice wouldn't be harmed in transport, but again I don't think you'd get the beans by security.

      While it's not on the MAX line, Pambiche is accessible by bus (the trimet website http://www.trimet.org says that the #19 takes you directly there). Pambiche is actually located on the airport side of town, so maybe you could get a taxi from there to the airport.

      1. re: Nettie

        Yeah, I wound up heading out there for dinner tonight, and there's no question -- Tuesday afternoon is now devoted to getting empanadas from Pambiche. Guava, I think.

        Had a wonderful meal, as well - the plato Cubano, with Moros y Cristianos; delicious. And Tres leches for dessert; man, I can barely move now. Portland's been treating me very well food-wise; everything is delicious and relatively good value. I envy you guys!

        1. re: ByeByeBaby

          Good luck with the transportation! I have only rarely been able to eat dessert there. I always have great ambitions, but the entrees at Pambiche are pretty filling. I can understand why you're having trouble moving after the plato Cubano and Tres Leches!

          1. re: Nettie

            They'll be happy to package your slice of cake to go. I have asked them to do so more than once, and it really is worth it, Nettie! ;o)

    2. Better yet look at options near where you will be in Seattle, perhaps another request on this board?

      Pambiche is not really located "travel to the airport" friendly unless you use a cab. Getting from PSU to the Airport on the MAX is going to take you roughly an hour anyhow so any other errands are going to compromise time.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Mallory

        I should have been clearer; it's just a stopover in Seattle before a later flight back to Calgary; the only thing I could pick up in Sea-Tac would be Ivar's clam chowder.