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Best Restaurants in Portland for Long Weekend--Please Help

m
milodog Mar 22, 2010 02:49 PM

Dear Husband (DH) and I will be in Portland for a long weekend to celebrate being without our toddler for the 2nd time and my 40th birthday. We are Oakland CA refugees currently living in ("the culinary wasteland" is too strong....perhaps, "emerging food scene of") Spokane WA.
We will be in Portland from Friday lunch through Monday lunch. We will be staying near Powells and won't have a car, but are very happy with public transportation and cabs, if necessary.

We both love good, local food. And while I can't say money is no object, this is our "big" trip this year and (did I mention?) my 40th birthday.
However, we don't care if it's fancy, just that it's good. As for preferences: I like meat, but tend towards vegetables, DH is the opposite. Neither of us can do variety meats, so unfortunately Le Pigeon is out. DH has tried very hard but doesn't like Japanese food particularly, and actively dislikes Vietnamese food--so sad, as they are two of my favorites. We both love French, Spanish, Thai, Mexican, Chinese (all sorts), Italian, and etc. I would love to get some oysters and/or crab. Communal dining is not a big favorite for either of us.

I've done quite a bit of research and have decided we must go to:

Pok Pok
Toro Bravo
Beast

Depending on time and hunger, we may go to

Laurelhurst Market
Cafe Castagna
Farm Cafe
10-01 (happy hour)
Beaker and Flask (happy hour)

However, now I'm worried I'm not making the best choices. Any other suggestions? What about:
Higgins
Nostrana
Navarre
Patanegra
Meat Cheese Bread
Accanto
Kenny and Zukes
Fenouil

What are your favorite food carts? Any food-related advice most gratefully received.

-----
Nostrana
1401 SE Morrison St, Portland, OR 97214

Pok Pok
3226 SE Division St, Portland, OR

Le Pigeon
738 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214

Laurelhurst Market
3155 East Burnside Street, Portland, OR 97232

Fenouil
900 NW 11th Avenue, Portland, OR 97209

Cafe Castagna
1758 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97214

Patanegra
1818 NW 23rd Pl, Portland, OR 97210

Toro Bravo
120 NE Russell St Ste A, Portland, OR 97212

Meat Cheese Bread
1406 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97214

  1. s
    syrahgirl Mar 22, 2010 02:52 PM

    Higgins and Fenouil are both excellent choices. Park Kitchen, Ten 01 and Bluehour are some other favorites of ours. Too bad about Le Pigeon, we loved it there! You may also want to consider Paley's Place or Wildwood in the Nob Hill area of Portland. :)

    -----
    Park Kitchen
    422 NW 8th Ave, Portland, OR 97209

    Le Pigeon
    738 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214

    Bluehour
    250 NW 13th Avenue, Portland, OR 97209

    Ten 01
    1001 NW Couch, Portland, OR 97209

    Fenouil
    900 NW 11th Avenue, Portland, OR 97209

    Paley's Place
    1204 NW 21st Ave, Portland, OR 97209

    1. l
      Leonardo Mar 22, 2010 11:15 PM

      Navarre is a wonderful idea. I love it. It's my go-to!

      I'd take Fenouil & Patanegra off the list, only because you have so many far better options for such a short trip.

      Carts: Give Pizza a Chance (Friday until 3:30 pm only) or their eastside location Pyro Pizza. http://www.foodcartsportland.com/category/cuisine/pizza-cuisine/
      Sat. AM check out Portland Farmers' Mkt for a variety of cart choices including Tastebud Farms' mobile wood oven treats and Pine State Biscuits. http://www.portlandfarmersmarket.org/

      Your "must-go" places sound about right, as do your happy hour choices. Consider adding Kenny & Zuke's, and Davis St. Tavern to happy hour.

      I've heard Accanto is just outstanding, yet haven't made it yet.

      If you're chocolate-obsessed you must try the best hot chocolate ever or some handmade single-origin truffles at Sahagun. http://www.sahagunchocolates.com/

      Have fun. Please report back!

      1. j
        JayinPortland Mar 23, 2010 12:19 AM

        Kenny & Zuke's = GO, Many times!

        Well okay, I know others tastes may vary, but I'm originally from Newark, NJ myself and I can tell you right now that Kenny & Zuke's is without a doubt some of the best Jewish Deli in the US. I get hungry just thinking about it!

        I've never been to the Farm Cafe, but have wanted to go for quite a while. Meat Cheese Bread is awesome - Cuban Pulled Pork. Laurelhurst Market is another great choice.

        As for food carts? All of them. Heh...

        Well okay, I'll list some faves roughly in order -

        Ziba's Pitas (SW 10th & Alder)
        Wolf & Bear's (SE 20th & Morrison)
        Taqueria Los Gorditos (SE 50th & Division)
        Whiffie's Fried Pies (SE 12th & Hawthorne)
        Euro Dish (SW 0th & Alder)
        DC Vegetarian (SW 3rd & Oak)
        Beez Neez Sausages (SW 3rd & Oak)
        Give Pizza A Chance (SW 5th & Stark)
        Sonny Bowl (SW 3rd & Washington)

        You can check out many others here -

        http://www.foodcartsportland.com/

        Enjoy Portland!

        -----
        Laurelhurst Market
        3155 East Burnside Street, Portland, OR 97232

        Meat Cheese Bread
        1406 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97214

        1. s
          Starlag Mar 24, 2010 12:33 PM

          Yes, BEAST! (Excellent choice for breakfast, as well.) Pok Pok is also a must; however, if you don't have the ability to get to them on the east side, you can go to their second restaurant Ping. It doesn't have the lore, but it is by the same folks (Local tip: go early enough to hang out at the whiskey bar across the street).

          Breakfast within walking distance: Stumptown + VooDoo Donuts, Veritable Quandary (King's Breakfast), Pearl Bakery.

          Lunch: Kenny and Zukes, carts as mentioned, Nicolas (middle eastern off Grand just over the Burnside bridge - cash only).

          Dinner: I'd delete Higgins (too much $$ for what you get), Nostrana (strip mall) and Cafe Castagna from your list, I think those are the weakest of the crew. I'd also consider adding Ned Ludd, Andina and Noble Rot. Farm is excellent, but it has never stood out to me. If you do head over to E Burnside, check out Doug Fir after you eat - for $10-$15 you can go listen to some emerging artists in the basement.

          Happy hour: 10-01 is good for happy hour, so is Vault. Davis St is one of my local favs, but I wouldn't refer you there.

          Have fun! And let us know where you went and what you liked!

          -----
          Nostrana
          1401 SE Morrison St, Portland, OR 97214

          Pok Pok
          3226 SE Division St, Portland, OR

          Stumptown
          4525 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97206

          Andina Restaurant
          1314 NW Glisan, Portland, OR 97209

          Veritable Quandary
          1220 SW 1st Ave, Portland, OR 97204

          Noble Rot
          2724 SE Ankeny St, Portland, OR 97214

          Cafe Castagna
          1758 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97214

          Doug Fir Restaurant
          830 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214

          1. v
            velour24 Mar 24, 2010 04:50 PM

            EaT: An Oyster Bar on N Williams for fresh raw oysters and delicious oyster po'boys. Also the fried dill pickles are the best.

            1. m
              milodog Mar 25, 2010 02:26 PM

              Thanks everyone for the thoughtful replies. Will report back after the big weekend--which starts tomorrow! Hooray!

              1 Reply
              1. re: milodog
                j
                JayinPortland Mar 25, 2010 11:03 PM

                Oh, a tip...

                Most of the food carts Downtown are closed on weekends (although a growing number of downtown carts are opening late nights on weekends for the bar crowd), but if youze are in the mood for a cart lunch (or dinner!) on Saturday or Sunday, there's plenty to be found just across the river at 'Cartopia' (SE 12th & Hawthorne) or up at one of the North Portland cart pods, which are accessible via bus.

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