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Sep 11, 2008 09:25 AM

Portland this weekend

My wife and I are heading down to P-town from Seattle tommorow night, Friday. We anticipate arriving around 9-9:30 and looking for dinner. On saturday we will have breakfast/brunch, possibly lunch, and dinner; timing is generally flexible. There is a small chance of an early dinner on Sunday as well.

So what to do? I haven't visited Portland since Summer 2006. My preliminary ideas were Apizza Scholls, Pok Pok, and Le Pigeon and/or Sel Gris. Would appreciate understanding how these might fit into the schedule I propose in light of timing, reservations and wait times, etc. Are these all accesible by public transit?

A consideration is cost--we are with people who aren't food fanatical and, as far as I know, Le Pigeon and Sel Gris would probably be the limits of high end for them. Am I overlooking more affordable and attractive options that are unique to Portland as opposed to Seattle?

We moved to Seattle from the NYC area and greatly miss NY style pizza. I read in a recent post debating Portland's best pies that Scholls is most representative of the NY style. Do you agree?

Thank you very much.

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  1. I love Ken's Artisan Pizza, for what it's worth. Like Apizza, closed Sunday.
    If cost is a consideration and your friends aren't food fanatics, perhaps Sel Gris can wait for another time.
    Late dinner Friday you won't find much in the way of wait times.
    All are easily accessible by bus. Le P you can just walk across Burnside Bridge from downtown.

    Also you could consider Toro Bravo.

    1. As a New Yorker, I think Scholls is at least as good as 99% of the pies in NYC.

      But if I were you, I'd consider Toro Bravo.

      2 Replies
      1. re: MichaelG

        Will I need/can I get a res for Toro Bravo on Saturday night?

        Is Pok Pok a good option for Saturday lunch?

        1. re: equinoise

          No reservation for Toro Bravo unless you're a party of 6 or more, I believe.

      2. Apizza scholls for sure! NY pizza, honestly, has yet to prove itself for me. Apizza Scholls is the best outside of Italy.

        Here's a fun event happening this weekend -

        I might look into the beer + chocolate pairings myself!

        1. Look at some of the restaurants on NE 28th Ave- Pambiche, Tabla, Navarre (they are all up the street from Ken's). Its a fun area and there are many bars (including wine bars) along the street.
          Pambiche has a late night Happy Hour (that is delicious) starting at 10pm on Friday.
          Tabla has a prix fixe menu for $25, their site is down so call to confirm.

          1. So I came in too late Friday to eat in P-town (La Tarasca was closing so went with Norma's in Nisqually--more 'meh' than my last visit--burger overcooked and thin).

            Went to VooDoo Donuts in the morning. I thought it was a cool kitschy spot but quality-wise Top Pot and Mighty-O in Seattle have it beat. VooDoo has quirky stuff like froot loops and bacon on their goods. Planning to visit some local wineries that day, we had hoped to get some things at the Saturday market to take on the road, envisioning a farmer's market. But we didn't do our homework and failed to note that this market apparently only sells generic fair food e.g. greasy noodles, gyros, egg rolls, etc. Did I miss some cloistered area? I stopped off at the Thai Basil cart and got some pad ki mao--great deal at $5 w/ tea. Portland's street cart scene puts Seattle to shame.

            We tasted at Ponzi, then got bottles and drank them at Adelsheim and Torii Mor. Best bottles overall were the Ponzi 2006 reserve Pinot and Torii Mor's single vineyard bottle. (These sorts of wines are $60 now?) Also tried to visit a smaller vintner I usually enjoy, Prive, but they were unavailable. The afternoon was idyllic, sipping quality Pinot outside on a perfect Saturday. Total bliss.

            Returned to Portland and went to Toro Bravo, as a concensus recommendation had emerged on this board and from tips courtesy of other cognoscenti. The wait was 45, so we went upstairs to Secret Society (?) and had some cocktail fetish/revival drinks of excellent quality. The absinthe in my "corpse reviver" ultimately got the better of me that evening I beleive--with a name like that, who could know?

            Toro Bravo is a true asset. Not super authentic by any means (intentionally so i gather) but they executed tapas favorites like patatas bravas really well. I loved the chicken with ham, n. african lamb sausage with fries, the cod fritters, and other things I can't now recall--no menu online. Serious values on food--and wine. A truly enjoyable place, so long as you don't mind the communal table aspect and an atmosphere tilting toward party. I typically don't.

            We ended up at the Milwuakie farmer's market on sunday and got a few things: Rogue cheese and large cookies from someone who sells about 30 varieties but manages to keep at least 5 of them tasting fresh.

            Thanks for all the tips. Next time I'm shooting for Pok pok, Sel Gris and/or Le Pigeon. Maybe Andina and the Ace hotel joint later on.

            3 Replies
            1. re: equinoise

              You're right about VooDoo - it's more about the kitsch and late-night scene. It looks like you got the Saturday Market and Farmer's Market confused... 2 very different things. You're right to try the ones you've missed in your original post.

              1. re: equinoise

                Thanks for the report.
                It is a common error for visitors to confuse Portland Sat. Mkt (where you went unfortunately) with Portland Farmers' Mkt, which was named by Eating Well magazine as among the top 5 such mkts in the country. No connection to each other, and geographically distant too. Don't miss it next time, both for raw foods and ready-to-eat.

                1. re: equinoise

                  Felt I didn't do right by TB not remembering everything I had. I found this June menu online. It wasn't exactly the same as this past weekend, but reminded me that the seared scallops with romesco were silly good!

                  There was some fish fillet combination dish that was incredible that does not appear on the June menu...any ideas?