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A few days in and around Portland - a quick review

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Pete S Nov 14, 2010 11:18 AM

Thanks to the PDX based chowhounds who made suggestions for what has become my annual visit - i like the place so much.

As usual, there wasn't enough time to go everywhere I would have liked, but this is what I managed.

First night, I went to Indish as it was near my hotel and had been mentioned in the recommendations. I spoke with the personable owner (originally from England), he describes the food as fairly typical Indian home cooking with a twist. It was certainly not like any Indian food I've ever had in a restaurant here in the UK, but it was very good and nicely presented. I particularly enjoyed the mango and coconut cheesecake

I went with some friends who live in Portland to Bamboo for sushi. Apart from all the good stuff concerning sustainability and so on that the restaurant prides itself on, the sushi / sashimi was amongst the best I've ever had. I had the chefs choice sashimi, the crab being especially delicious.

I had a breakfast at Broder and really enjoyed that. Good food, simple unpretentious feeling to the restaurant (and I'm really into all things Scandinavian so I was pre-disposed to enjoy it I guess). I had the apple pancakes with ham. I'm sure Broder would become a local favourite of mine if I lived in that area

One night before going to see a film, I had a dinner in Higgins bar, solid and dependable as ever with a lively atmosphere. I had to get a cup of the chilli honey hazelnuts as well, which I remembered from a previous visit (and which someone there was kind enough to email me the recipe)

Outside Portland, I ate at Wet Dog brewery in Astoria, I had the cioppino, some elements of which were slightly overcooked, but the Marionberry wheat beer was very nice

Also ate a lunch at Nicks Italian Cafe in McMinnville - i had a shellfish dish to start and a pannini. Both were very good. If the restaurant offered bread as a matter of course, that would have been a nice touch, but they don't.

Found a couple of good coffee places in McMinnville too, on the main street but sadly I can't remember their names. One of them also did roasting. I get the feeling that anyone serving less than stellar coffee in the PDX region would soon go out of business.

Back in Portland, my friends took me to lunch at Olympic Provisions as they are friends with the chef / owner (?) Elias. The lunch was great, including a plate of charcuterie, some bean soup served with crispy bacon and a dessert of chocolate chip bread and butter pudding with chocolate sauce and hazelnuts. Although service was good and professional everywhere I went, I think Olympic Provisions was the most charming. I loved the industrial warehouse setting in a former cereal mill.

We were late getting to Alberta and so ended up choosing a restaurant near the theatre. It was Bernie's Southern Bistro and it turned out to be good. I had the tea brined pork chop with mashed yams and wilted swiss chard (an excellent side dish) and a friend had the gumbo which also impressed.

Other places visited included Barista, and cocktails and appetisers at the Bankcorp tower (great views) . Of course I also had to have my annual Bacon Maple Bar from Voodoo.

Can't wait to come back again.

Thanks

Pete

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Bernie's Southern Bistro
2904 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211