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portland OR september trip report

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thanks pdx chowhounds for helping me hone my list! we had a great time on our trip and learned that:
1 - portland take its drinks seriously
2 - the weekend doesn't start til friday
3 - weird is making a comeback!

*wednesday*
-stayed at the HOTEL FIFTY for one night and ate in their bistro. although the newly renovated space reminded me of many of the california establishments i've haunted, it seems as if portlanders aren't a fan. after pooh-pooh'ing eating in a hotel, my husband convinced me it would be easiest to grab a quick bite. i have the say the food was actually really good. we had the duck confit (delicious), bitter greens salad (above average) and the chef made us the most perfectly executed truffle fries we had on the entire trip.
-wednesday dinner was at TEN01 in the bar. yum. ordered a bottle of elk cove 06 pinot and proceeded to take a tour of their bar menu: mussels & clams (outstanding, cute presentation), homemade bacon tater-tots (delicious!), thai sticky ribs (very tender and nice texture with the sticky sauce and crisp peanuts), and sliders (perfect medium rare, juicy flavorful meat and rich cheese). we savored every bite!
-wanted to try dessert elsewhere to walk off dinner, so we headed over to CLYDE COMMON and had the best peach shortcake we've EVER had. outstanding! also had two of the strongest espressos (stumptown) we've ever experienced ~ woah!

*thursday*
-the other couple arrived and went to BRIDGEPORT BREWERY for lunch. the guys really loved their tasting trays and the plentiful beer offerings. beer is not my forte so i don't have much input here except that the menu items were above average for a brewpub and the space itself was pretty cool. branches of hops hung from every wooden pillar.
-dinner was at ANDINA which i wasn't overly impressed with. i thought it had the potential to be really unique and outstanding, but the food kinda fell flat for me. we shared the rellenos (no cheese to be found although the menu listed it), langostine ceviche (pretty decent), beef empanadas (above average) and quinoa crusted diver scallops (above average). although the scallops were cooked perfectly, i couldn't get past the fact that ANDINA tries to insert quinoa into nearly every dish. it was too much. everything was crusted with quinoa, or stuffed with quinoa. including one of the desserts. just meh for me overall.
-had a few drinks (kir royales) at THE GILT CLUB (great place, great bartenders!) and then headed to JIMMY MAK'S to cap off the night.

*friday*
-went to whole foods and built an awesome picnic lunch with an orzo salad, chicken salad sandwiches, roasted veggies, maytag bleu with honey drizzle, pizza and chocolate chip cookies. we went to 5 different wineries:
-ADELSHEIM ~ by far the most anticipated of the bunch and it didn't dissapoint. although they were going through a remodel, the outdoor patio had a lovely view of the vineyards. we bought a bottle of their willamette valley 06 pinot and tore into our whole foods lunch.
-PENNER-ASH ~ really beautiful space, great wines, but pretty pricey.
-DE PONTE CELLARS ~ gorgeous outdoor patio, great wines, had more of a homier feel. really loved this spot!
-FOUR GRACES ~ super cute house converted to a tasting room. reminds me of the craftsman style homes here in southern california. nice wines, in fact i don't think there was one place we visited that we didn't like!
-ARGYLE ~ a perfect way to wrap up tastings, it's nice to end on sparkling after a day of pinots! we bought a bottle of their black brut, which was reminescent of some of the sparkling shiraz's i've had before, yet not as rich and dense.
-dinner was impromptu and a former portlander friend rec'd SAUCEBOX. overally pretty decent, a lot of the sauces and flavors were really good. the sushi rolls, however, were pretty average.

*saturday*
-late bfast/early lunch at EVERETT STREET BISTRO was really good! my husband had the open face BLT with a fried egg and i had the mushroom scramble. we were pleasantly surprised at how good everything was since we sort of stumbled upon the place.
-we saved our appetites for our specially arranged tasting menu with wine pairing at CLARKLEWIS. it did not disappoint! from the minute we walked in, the wood burning oven welcomed us with a homey winter feel. the converted warehouse space, although minimalist, felt warm and cozy with the decor and candles throughout. what a great space!!! we sat next to one of the clear garage roll up doors and dug into the first course of salads. 5 different salads served family style, the most outstanding of all was the mushroom bruschetta. i still think about this dish a week later! ken's artisan bakery bread, drizzled with olive oil and topped with farmer's market chaterelles, wild baby arugula and shaved parm. OMG. next course was 4 different pasta offerings, the most notable being the orchiette with broccoli rabe. third course was a black cod and a salmon dish. both were outstanding but the black cod really shined. the meat course was pork shoulder and a lamb, both roasted. i couldn't pick a favorite of the two, they were both great. dessert was a fresh berry and homemade melon sorbet, a chocolate mousse and a black plum tarte. the homemade melon sorbet was divine and the black plum tarte was heavenly. all told our dinner was pretty tremendous, there were no dislikes between four of us. forgive me for not remembering the wine pairings ~ those got sort of hazy after the third course!
-drove back towards our condo and made a quick stop at VOODOO DONUT. holy hell this place is crazy and absurd in a good way! had a maple bacon bar (SO GOOD!) and called it a night!

*sunday*
-our breakfast was at SCREEN DOOR and you all weren't kidding when you said portlanders are serious about their bfast! we got there at 9:05 and slinked into the end of the line thinking we were doomed to wait an hour, nabbed the last inside table (it was a drizzly day). started with the ham and cheese biscuits (really good flavor, but wished they were flakier and not so dense). ordered the corn dog and fried green tomato BLT with cheese grits for my breakfast (i was going out with a bang, i felt like i had already gained 5 lbs!). the corn dog batter was awesome, but i didn't love the flavor of the sausage inside. the black pepper maple sauce paired with it was perfectly yummy. my fried green tomato BLT with traditional remoulade was PERFECT. so so delicious and just what i needed after drinking far too much wine the night prior. the cheese grits were above average and really hit the spot as well. a pretty great neighborhood gem and a great little breakfast spot!

highlights for me were ten01, clarklewis, dessert at clyde common, and winetasting. thanks portland!!!

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  1. Thanks for the report! Glad you benefited from our help.
    No, it would never occur to me to eat at Hotel 50...
    Saucebox is not what it used to be. Ten years ago it was one of our pride & joys. Now, not so much...
    Portland never stopped being weird. Took the rest of the country awhile to catch up!
    Today it is 73/sunny, tomorrow and Monday around 82.
    Sounds as if you crammed a lot in. Next time don't miss Teardrop for drinks and the farmers' mkt.

    1. Glad you had a great time. I think Ten-01 and Clyde are both clicking on all cylinders right now.

      Re: Andina. I agree with the Meh sentiment. The best thing on the food menu is the ceviche, and I ain't paying that much for ceviche, not when Puerto Marquez is a quick drive away. The bartender is supposed to be quite proficient with rum and cachaca cocktails, but so are quite a few place.

      By the way, The Linkery is one of my favorite restaurants.

      - Sauce "Went To High School In Oceanside" Supreme

      1. leonardo ~ i also learned that jimi hendrix is alive and well and makes appearances at the saturday market. yikes! and yes, saucebox was pretty meh. some flavors were memorable, but not 'knock me out of my seat' good, which is what i was hoping for. pretty pricey for just 'pretty decent'... doesn't equate.

        saucesupreme ~ i have yet to try the linkery (it's on our list!). we hit up urban solace quite a bit (just a few steps away). we do have a favorite sushi spot in oside called the fish joint. if you ever make it back, try it out if you haven't already.

        3 Replies
        1. re: beachbunnySD

          I meant Portland Farmers' Mkt http://www.portlandfarmersmarket.org/
          not Portland Saturday mkt. NOT the same thing at all!

          1. re: Leonardo

            i know ;) and i meant that mr. hendrix makes appearances at the patchouli fest/saturday market at burnside. we didn't make it to the farmer's market unfortunately...

            1. re: beachbunnySD

              OK, good to know, just being sure. Many tourists confuse the two!
              Tell us next time you're coming!