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48 hours in Portland

Windy Jul 20, 2010 10:34 PM

Like every other poster on this board, I'll be in Portland for a weekend next month. Flying to Eugene from San Francisco and then driving to McMinnville.

Friday includes lunch at Baguette in Corvallis, a winery stop, and my one splurgy dinner at Thistle. Saturday a.m.: McMinnville market and another winery on the way north.

This leaves two lunches, two dinners, five espresso drinks, and assorted snacks in your fine town. (Breakfast is included at my hotel near Lloyd Center.)

Possible stops:
Saturday lunch: Mississippi Marketplace or another cart pod. So sad to miss Tabor.

The Red E or Barista followed by Sahagun Chocolates

Tanuki for happy hour/early dinner

Somewhere walkable for drinks, dessert, and people watching. Pour?

Sunday:
Broder or Little T or Pambiche for breakfast? Or just a great place to curl up with a cappuccino and a Sunday paper

Meeting an old friend at the train and heading to the Saturday market. Eat lunch there or at Kenny and Zuke's? Maybe squeeze in a happy hour snack before she gets on the train home.

Sunday dinner: Pok Pok, or anywhere in Southeast worth getting in the car for.

What's missing?

Especially curious about anything not available in California (small batch chocolate, cheese, wine), or that's better in Portland.

I'll be on my own most of the time (so no whole pizzas, or romantic spots required). More interested in fun and creativity than upscale. I like everything but beer.

Thanks for any pointers! I've saved JillO's posts on wineries and wish I had time to visit more of them.

-----
Pok Pok
3226 SE Division St, Portland, OR

Tanuki
413 NW 21st Ave, Portland, OR 97209

Pambiche
2811 NE Glisan St, Portland, OR 97232

  1. n
    nkeane Jul 21, 2010 12:33 AM

    a little known secret is that a solo diner at Apizza Scholls can sit at the counter and get one of a handful of personal pizzas that they have available on any given night.

    AS and Tanuki are two places you shouldnt miss if you are a serious food nerd. good travels!

    -----
    Tanuki
    413 NW 21st Ave, Portland, OR 97209

    Apizza Scholls
    4741 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97215

    1 Reply
    1. re: nkeane
      Windy Jul 21, 2010 07:49 AM

      I had no idea. Thanks!

    2. j
      JayinPortland Jul 21, 2010 01:30 AM

      For your Sunday lunch - the food at Saturday Market isn't much to write home about. A couple decent food carts, but if you're trying to decide between those and K&Z? Do K&Z, definitely.

      Oh, and enjoy Mississippi Marketplace! Garden State, highly recommended. I'm sad for you having to miss Tabor, as well. ;)

      1 Reply
      1. re: JayinPortland
        Windy Jul 21, 2010 07:53 AM

        Yeah, I suspected that about the Saturday market from my old friend Limster's trip notes. Not that I ever need an excuse to eat pastrami.

        Will look up Garden State. Just the idea of New Jersey cuisine is enough to pique my curiosity.

      2. l
        Leonardo Jul 21, 2010 08:39 AM

        Great post. Yours is the perfect example of how to write an "I'm visiting Portland soon" post in a way that will get responses. You actually took some time, did your homework, and are asking specific answerable questions!

        Pok Pok is a great idea. Don't even think about eating at Portland Saturday Mkt. K & Z is a far better choice. Excellent small batch cheese tasting at Portland Farmers' Mkt at PSU Saturday AM. Hard-to-find deep dish cornmeal crust by the slice at Dove Vivi Pizza.

        Walkable people watching would be good on NE Alberta (Creperie) or N Mississippi (Blue Gardenia or FlavorSpot Waffle cart).

        An alternative to Tanuki you may want to consider is Biwa. Far better quality IMHO, and more authentic. I've been to Japan many times, and my Japanese guests have always been mighty pleased.

        Have fun. Please report back!

        4 Replies
        1. re: Leonardo
          Windy Jul 21, 2010 07:03 PM

          Yeah, we get a lot of requests on the SF board to read the minds of tourists and design custom itineraries.

          Unfortunately I've done enough research for a month's worth of meals...which is a great excuse to come back.

          I don't think I'll be in Portland before the PSU market closes, but cheese tastings might motivate me to drive faster. How do you feel about Cheese Bar? Will look into Biwa too. And the waffle cart.

          -----
          Biwa
          215 SE 9th Ave Ste 102, Portland, OR 97214

          1. re: Windy
            j
            JayinPortland Jul 21, 2010 07:20 PM

            I love Cheese Bar, but I can't say I'm too familiar with the cheeses. Great selection, though. Good sandwiches. I go there mainly for Oregon Olive Oil, myself.

            If you have time on Sunday, there are some other good farmers' markets as well. Definitely smaller, and more neighborhood-type affairs, but you can still find a few of the vendors and others (Rogue, Jacobs Creamery, Fraga Farms Goat Cheese) from PSU there with the same product selections.

            Sunday Hillsdale in SW Portland is great (check out Ayers Creek Farm's booth there for all kinds of great and unusual stuff - frikeh, heirloom popcorn, the best grits outside the South, etc...), Milwaukie and King are two other good Sunday markets I regularly attend.

            Here's a whole listing in case you're interested -

            http://oregonfarmersmarkets.org/direc...

            1. re: JayinPortland
              j
              JayinPortland Jul 21, 2010 07:46 PM

              Also, if your main thing is cheese tasting I'd recommend Sunday Milwaukie out of those three farmers' markets above as having the best and widest selection - Alsea Acres (goat cheeses), Black Sheep (sheep cheeses), Rogue Creamery (same exact selection as you'd find at Saturday PSU) and Jacobs Creamery (ditto).

              1. re: JayinPortland
                Windy Jul 21, 2010 08:04 PM

                Cheese opens a whole other world of possibility. Not to mention local olive oil.

                Love love love Rogue Creamery. I drove a pound of Rogue River Blue home from Central Point last time I was there, and savored every bite.

                Thanks!

          2. c
            cheeseisheaven Jul 21, 2010 09:28 PM

            The Cheese Bar is fun, and they have a nice selection...and be sure to try Ancient Heritage @ Saturday Farmers market...the Adelle is so, so good. Alma Chocolate is also there.
            Be sure to have something at the Sugar Cube cart@ MMarketplace...
            you may want to try the calzone at Al Forno Ferruzza on Alberta and 29th while people watching..or the Malo Mono tapas cart..along with some arepas on Alberta@23rd
            Ehjoy!
            Tanuki is worth going to.

            -----
            Tanuki
            413 NW 21st Ave, Portland, OR 97209

            2 Replies
            1. re: cheeseisheaven
              Windy Jul 21, 2010 11:55 PM

              I did mention I'm on a diet, right? (Just kidding. Although I will need one after all the cheese and cupcakes.)

              1. re: Windy
                c
                cheeseisheaven Jul 22, 2010 07:34 AM

                I wouldn't want you to leave our beautiful city hungry....

            2. Windy Jul 27, 2010 07:59 PM

              BTW if anyone's interested in coming out for dinner at Pok Pok Sunday night, August 29, I'd be happy to organize a chowdown.

              (Otherwise I'll be the one with the khao soi and mango with sticky rice.)

              Send an email to itswindy(at)pacbell(dot)net.

              -----
              Pok Pok
              3226 SE Division St, Portland, OR

              1. v
                venya Jul 28, 2010 12:46 AM

                Great itinerary Windy!

                Mississippi Marketplace, Sahagun, and Pok Pok should be definites. I highly recommend ordering omakase at Tanuki. You will be amazed at the variety of delicious dishes that arrive on your table for $20.

                For your somewhere walkable for Saturday drinks--are you looking for somewhere near your hotel or just somewhere in a walkable neighborhood? Just curious since you mentioned Pour (which is close to your hotel, but I doubt would measure up to your other choices). My favorite wine bar, Kir (NE), isn't far from your hotel, but it wouldn't make a great walk. Its tiny, and I really enjoy going there alone. It usually has a dessert or two and a well chosen wine list.

                Two things you might be missing, depending on your taste: charcuterie and cocktails.

                Olympic Provisions is making some pretty outstanding cured meats. The Cheese Bar features it on their charcuterie plate and also sells chubs.

                For a city our size, we have some really talented bartenders and small batch distillers. House Spirits (SE) is fun for a distillery tour or just sample the apothecary line. My favorite cocktail bars are Beaker & Flask (SE), Clyde Common (SW), and Teardrop (NW). Clyde is probably best for people watching and neighborhood walking. It's near Powell's on the same street as Kenny & Zuke's. Beaker & Flask is pretty close to your hotel, but not great for walking.

                Pambiche is awesome. Sit outside with your paper, drink lots of the tiny strong coffees, and eat empanadas. IMO, service and consistency are also much better at Pambiche than the other two.

                -----
                Clyde Common
                1014 SW Stark St, Portland, OR 97205

                Pok Pok
                3226 SE Division St, Portland, OR

                Tanuki
                413 NW 21st Ave, Portland, OR 97209

                Pambiche
                2811 NE Glisan St, Portland, OR 97232

                5 Replies
                1. re: venya
                  Windy Jul 28, 2010 08:23 AM

                  Fantastic, thanks Venya, especially the bars.

                  Saturday I'm looking for somewhere between Tanuki and Lloyd Center area, so I can walk or take MAX rather than drive. Kir sounds great.

                  Charcuterie is less important to me than cheese or cocktails. We've had kind of a craze down here in the Bay Area too, and it's one food group where I'm always concerned about health. You're not the first person to recommend Clyde Common though.

                  -----
                  Tanuki
                  413 NW 21st Ave, Portland, OR 97209

                  Clyde Common
                  , Portland, OR 97201

                  1. re: Windy
                    n
                    nkeane Jul 28, 2010 09:48 AM

                    while not saying you'd want to walk the distance in the summer heat, but the actual distance/walking time between Tanuki and Lloyd center is less than 3 miles/about an hour at a fairly leisurely pace. It looks like a ton more on a map, but you have to remember how small PDX blocks are. Right around 20 blocks per mile.

                    enjoy your trip!

                    -----
                    Tanuki
                    413 NW 21st Ave, Portland, OR 97209

                    1. re: nkeane
                      j
                      JayinPortland Jul 28, 2010 10:49 AM

                      Lloyd Center to Tanuki would also be just a 6-minute MAX ride (get off at Skidmore Fountain and head up the stairs to Burnside), and a 5-minute bus ride on the 20 (get off at 21st, and walk 4 blocks north), as well...

                      1. re: JayinPortland
                        Windy Jul 28, 2010 08:43 PM

                        Thanks. Oh, absolutely I'm walking that stretch, at least in one direction. Unless there's a sudden thunderstorm.

                        I need some way to burn off the calories from chocolate, cheese, coffee, and omakaze. One block per bite?

                        1. re: Windy
                          j
                          JayinPortland Jul 29, 2010 04:32 AM

                          Heh, well maybe three. Our blocks are small. ;)

                          You're definitely not gonna hit a thunderstorm (or any rain whatsoever, for that matter) here next month...

                          Definitely a doable walk, btw. I used to make that walk regularly when I was living on W. Burnside & 22nd and working at the Convention Center. We'd get out of work usually around 1:30 AM, naturally, a few minutes after the last train left so my options were walk ~2 miles or take a taxi, I walked. Over the Steel Bridge, through Old Town and down Burnside. Nice walk during the day, great sights and a bunch of beautiful old cast-iron buildings in Old Town, etc...

                          A few decent spots to grab a beer along the way, as well! ;)

                2. Windy Aug 25, 2010 01:05 PM

                  Bumping this in case anyone wants to come out to Pok Pok this Sunday (8/29) for dinner.

                  Send an email to itswindy(at)pacbell(dot)net.

                  Otherwise I'll report back next week on what I find.

                  -----
                  Pok Pok
                  3226 SE Division St, Portland, OR

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Windy
                    l
                    Leonardo Aug 25, 2010 06:47 PM

                    That address doesn't work.

                    1. re: Leonardo
                      Windy Aug 25, 2010 09:41 PM

                      Truly, it should. Replace the @ and . (it's pacbell.net not pacbell.com)

                  2. l
                    littlemiho Aug 27, 2010 11:25 AM

                    Windy:

                    FYI, Sagahun (much to my dismay) shut down it's retail storefront last weekend. You can find her stuff at Cacao or Cheese Bar (if you can find the caramels -- oh, gawd -- as well as the Kapow Bar, you're in for a treat). Anything made by Xocolatl de David (foitella, salted caramel bar, etc.) is also worth a try. Also at Cacao and Cheese Bar.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: littlemiho
                      l
                      Leonardo Aug 27, 2010 12:13 PM

                      Sahagun chocolates are at Cacao, Cheese Bar, Extracto, Ristretto, and Water Avenue Coffee. Don't miss them.

                      I still can't reach you on your email, Windy. I typed it right.

                      1. re: Leonardo
                        Windy Aug 27, 2010 06:56 PM

                        Thank you both. I did see the news on Eater and will see if Cacao has any KaPow bars left.

                        Leonardo, my account itswindy@pacbell.net is receiving messages if you're free for Pok Pok Sunday.

                        Sorry for any confusion.

                        I'm off to Thistle.

                        -----
                        Pok Pok
                        3226 SE Division St, Portland, OR

                    2. Windy Aug 30, 2010 07:50 PM

                      A quick report back, and a big thank you for steering me in the right direction.

                      I'm south of the border again, although I did fill up a suitcase with wine (Eyrie and Anne Amie), blueberries, cheese (a pyramid from Juniper Grove and horseradish havarti from ?), and Ka-Pow bars.

                      Highlights:
                      Pastrami at Kenny & Zuke's was as amazing as promised. I liked it better than Katz's. My friend and i shared a Kenny's special with chopped liver. Next time I'd stick to plain. Great selection of ginger ales. A nice corner for watching the world go by.

                      Omakase at Tanuki. I will be thinking about those dried squid noodles and spicy cinnamon tea egg and Korean beef with kim chi for a long time. And the gorgeous sakes. Skip the sake sangria.

                      Wild boar collar and khao soi at Pok Pok. And grilled corn with coconut creek. Those drinking vinegars are incredible--I had blackberry. I hadn't realized most seating is outside. Bring a jacket. As much as I enjoyed the food at Pok Pok, I didn't find it especially like anything I ate in Thailand.

                      I also had an exceptional dinner at Thistle in McMinnville. Will write up on the NW board if I have time. It's not far from Portland. Just go, to see a really talented chef living his dream.

                      Lesser lights:
                      I loved walking into the heat and music at Pambiche on a Sunday morning. The cafe con leche turned out to be a so so latte. My picadillo was tasty, although sweeter than I make it. I'd definitely return, as much for the atmosphere as the food.

                      A flight of drinking cocoas at Cacao kept us entertained. Interestingly, we couldn't finish them. The dark spicy one was the winner.

                      An Italian sausage with peppers at the PSU market was very satisfying for $5 and thankfully not huge. The people I shared a lunch table with were deconstructing the biscuits and gravy and grits from Pine State.

                      Still searching:
                      for the perfect Portland cookie. I really wanted to try more bakeries, but was worn out from eating and drinking and walking all day. I had a cute looking but awful chocolate sandwich cookie at Extracto, a decent cannele at Ken's Artisan Bakery, and a very untraditional but tasty lavender peach (?) macaron at Pearl Bakery.

                      Sadly I was too worn out from 10 a.m. wine tasting for cocktails. Another time.

                      Worse, I couldn't do the carts justice. I really wanted to hit Mississippi Marketplace and Sugar Cube, but got waylaid at North Station. Where i was so hot and not hungry that all I had was a carrot ginger soup (served cold) and a perfect fluffy biscuit from Kettle Kitchen.

                      I loved the scene--a modern food court, with patrons and proprietors of all ages, backgrounds, persuasions, enjoying the weekend. Just wish I'd been hungrier.

                      Was amused by the hordes lined up at Dynamo Donuts. This was the only place in Portland I saw a crowd, including rush hour on Highway 5.

                      I'm sure I'm missing something. I picked up the September Portland Monthly at the airport, as if anyone needs more cart reviews. Everyone I met added 3 more restaurants to my list. As promised, Portland is a very friendly place.

                      Next time, I'll bring home hazelnuts and foietella and make sure I'm around during the week for happy hour.

                      -----
                      Pok Pok
                      3226 SE Division St, Portland, OR

                      Tanuki
                      413 NW 21st Ave, Portland, OR 97209

                      Ken's Artisan Bakery
                      338 NW 21st Ave, Portland, OR 97209

                      Pambiche
                      2811 NE Glisan St, Portland, OR 97232

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Windy
                        l
                        Leonardo Aug 30, 2010 08:50 PM

                        Thanks for the extensive report!
                        Suggestions for cookies: 2 Tarts and Sugar Cube. Interestingly, the owner of the latter was briefly a partner of the former.
                        The hazelnut harvest is sometime in late October. Any nuts you buy now are nearly a year old.
                        Regarding Pok Pok: have you been to northern Thailand?

                        -----
                        Pok Pok
                        3226 SE Division St, Portland, OR

                        1. re: Leonardo
                          Windy Aug 30, 2010 09:05 PM

                          Yes, I've been to northern Thailand and Laos. That's good to know about the hazelnut season.

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