PDX-Specific Foods, Dishes, Brands?
My girlfriend and I are going to be visiting Portland for the first time in a few weeks and I was wondering if we should be on the lookout for any Portland specialty dishes. For example, in New York you'd get pizza or a bagel, Philly has cheesesteaks, hoagies, and soft pretzels, Chicago has deep dish pizza and the Chicago hot dog.
Anything PDX is known for? Or any local brands of common things that are really great and we should watch out for?
Stump Town Coffee is the place to go for java, or so many rave. As another poster said, the microbrew scene is not to be missed; my favorite is Tugboat Brewing on Broadway. Otherwise, it is really the food cart/wagon scene that is not to be missed. There are several lots full of these food wagons (with all different sorts of ethnic foods and such) in downtown; however, I can't tell you the specific street corners. There is also one on the east side at 12th and Hawthorne (walkable from downtown). Something else to consider is the Saturday Market by the Burnside Bridge (is actually Sat. and Sun.); more food carts as well as arts and crafts stuff.
It's not food (although they have a coffee shop), but Powell's Books is not to be missed if you at all like books)).
Some may tell you to go to Burgerville USA as a quintessential Portland burger joint. I say skip it.
8218 NE Glisan St, Portland, OR 97220
Eating local is a big deal here - restaurants make a point of mentioning the area farms/purveyors of their foodstuffs. Check out the Saturday Farmers Market at Portland State Univ (PSU) in the South Park Blocks and you'll find fixings for a nice picnic. Strawberries in Oregon are like nothing else I've ever tasted.
Also agree about the foodcarts, coffee (stumptown and other local roasters), and I'll add breakfast to the list...breakfast is a big deal in this town - I like Simpatica (sundays only) and Broder. And wine. Can't forget the wine.