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Mar 25, 2009 01:33 PM

Help me with my Portland choices

We will be in Portland in two weeks(Thu-Sun) and will be staying at Hotel Nines. I have reserarched for a while and need your help with my choices. I need two lunches, two nice dinners, one casual dinner and two brunches. What do you think of this:

Ten-01 - Lunch or nice dinner, although I read that the chef is leaving at the end of the month(what a luck)
Bluehour - Lunch or brunch
Fenouil - Brunch
Sel Gris - Nice dinner, how far a cab ride is it from Nines?
Nicholas restaurant for casual lunch or dinner
Beast - Brunch
I also need one breakfast. I was thinking of Ken's bakery for Fri.
For coffee I was thinking of Coffeehouse Northwest and Stumptown.
Chocolate - Sahagun and maybe Cocoa
French pastry - Pix, although, I have read some mix reviews. Any others?
Gelato - Is Mio any good? if not looking for good gelato or ice cream with unique flavors

I also read about Beast for dinner(don't like communal at that price point), Le Pigeon( the menu seemed very basic),Paley's(menu items were not creative), Toro bravo, Pok Pok, park kitchen, Carlyle and Olea. Please help me, so many choices and not enough time. We are coming from Orange County, CA and I did notice Saucesupreme from the LA board has moved to Portland.

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  1. For pastry I'd go Ken's Artisan Bakery first choice, second La Petite Provence.
    I'm not crazy about Mio Gelato. I prefer Staccato or Via Delizia.
    Sahagun Chocolate for hot chocolate and handmade truffles: don't miss it, it will change your life! Closed Sunday. Cacao[sic] does not make their own truffles.
    By coffee do you mean coffeehouses or roasters? For roasters look for Spella or Ristretto. Coffeehouses, well, there are too many, let's see...Random Order (great pie too!), Albina Press, Fresh Pot...
    My favorite breakfast/brunch places are Bijou & Zell's. More worth it than Fenouil.
    Ten01 is a great lunch idea.
    Definitely Sel Gris. It's a ten-minute drive, also an easy ride on the #14 bus.
    I love Pok Pok. If you are at all adventurous and like trying dishes you've not seen before, everything is great you can't go wrong, you must go...this is a top priority!
    Big "yes" to Toro Bravo, Carlyle, and Olea. Sounds as if your trip will be short and busy!

    Yes, SS moved here for the food.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Leonardo

      Thank you Leonardo. I can't believe no one else is helping out. Where is the love Portland board.

    2. I'd consider DAVIS STREET TAVERN (NW 5/Davis) as a casual lunch/dinner option. They've got a good happy hour.

      All your choices are pretty solid - I'd go to Karam over Nicholas (but its a completely different vibe - sitdown vs hole-in-the-wall).

      1 Reply
      1. re: MyNextMeal

        Thank you for the Karam suggestion. It looks like , it is very close to our hotel. I can't believe how big their menu is. What are your favorites there?

      2. The original comment has been removed
        1. Yeah, I visited on food-vacation and never really left.

          The Ten01 kitchen has known about Chef Yoss sabbatical for a while now, and in fact the new chef and his sous were already spotted there. I would be surprised if they even skip a beat -- they're definitely one of the better options around town. I like them either for lunch or dinner, with their Power Lunch offering really nice value.

          My favorite lunch, though, has to be Bunk Sandwiches. Here's my blog post and some pics:

          My favorite gelato is Via Delizia in the Pearl, but I also prefer straight ice cream to gelato, which puts me at Cool Moon Ice Cream more often. Much more unique flavors there, including my favorite kulfi (cardamom and rice).

          For pastries, I go to Ken's Artisan and I don't really look back. They do breakfast, but not much in terms of savory options other than a quiche. My favorite breakfast & brunch: Border (Scandinavian). Underrated for both: Pambiche (Cuban).

          For coffee, I'd actually pay a vist to the Stumptown Annex on Belmont. Great foodie activity almost akin to a wine tasting. If you're not that serious into coffee, then nearby there are lots of great coffeehouses around. You mentioned Coffeehouse NW, but there's also Spella (in the Food Cart area of 10th and Alder which you *must not miss*) as well as the brand new Barista.

          Pok Pok is unlike anything I've seen in Thai Town or Orange County. Definitely worthwhile. I would actually pass on Park Kitchen and Carlyle; if you're going to go upscale New American cuisine, just go to Ten01, Sel Gris or Beast.

          3 Replies
          1. re: SauceSupreme

            Bunk is a great could I forget? I love the caramelized onion/fontina/mushroom sandwich. Just over the river, take the #14 or 15 bus. Hang onto transfer for the trip back.

            Spella cart is right on the corner of SW 9/Alder, very close to hotel.

            1. re: SauceSupreme

              I wanted to clarify, the food cart area is the *not miss*. Spella, I could live with or without. I'm much more of a Stumptown Annex man, though lately I've been finding myself either at Coffeehouse NW or Ristretto on N Williams (right next to EaT).

              1. re: SauceSupreme

                Thank you SS. You are lucky to move to such a great food city. I think I will pick Sel Gris for one dinner and now I have to decide on the second one. There is too many choices. I am getting dizzy reading so much!!! I also heard about Saint Honore bakery. The pictures look great, but how good is the place?

              2. Your Hotel should have a copy of the March issue of Portland Monthly which was all about breakfast! It also has asearch engine on their site to find places by location, cuisine and features. If you're at the Nines check out Mother's 409 SW Second Ave for a great breakfast you can walk there from the hotel. Touche' in the Pearl has a great Happy Hour and dinner specials and you can get there from the hotel by walking too. Higgins is at 1239 SW Broadway also not far from your hotel.