San Francisco Hound Coming to Portland...Please Critique My List For Your Wonderful Food City!!!
Greetings Portland! I am so excited to be visiting your beautiful city in 2 weeks for a total of 5 days/ 5 nights. I've been once before 2 years ago (in the winter so there were no roses in the Rose Garden then) and had an excellent time at Pok Pok, Apizza Scholls, Higgins, Bunk Sandwiches, Nong's Kao Man Gai, Potato Champion, cocktails at Ten 01, and beer tastings at Deschutes, Tugboat, Lucky Lab, and Widmer.
Since then I've found a love for espresso and drip coffee thanks to the Blue Bottles and Four Barrels here in San Francisco...so that is a huge mission for sampling this trip to Portland too.
My idea for the 5 days is sort of a lunch, dinner, and special pastry or ice cream snacks here and there, and pretend as if we'll do one cocktail or bar and one brewery tasting each day...we'll keep the trip flexible. The only repeat I really want to do is at Pok Pok, but to try lunch there this time around.
Thanks to your all of your wonderful recommendations on other threads with helpful suggestions, these are the ideas I've come up with:
Dinners (5): Le Pigeon, Beast, Ken's Artisan Pizza, St. Jack, and Paley's Place
Contenders: Clyde Common, Beaker & Flask, Biwa, Toro Bravo, Larelhurst Market, Nostrana, Portobello, and Natural Selection
Lunch (5): Olympic Provisions, Gruner, Tasty n Sons, Pok Pok, and Broder
Snacks/Breakfast if we feel like it: Salt n Straw, Voodoo Doughnuts, Waffle Window, PB & J Cart, schnitzelwich at Tabor, Pine St.
Breweries: Hair of the Dog, Cascade Barrel House, HUB Organic, Bridgeport, and Upright (unique blend of old and new, small and bigger is the goal)
Cocktails: Kask, Clyde Common, Teardrop, Rum Club, Beaker & Flask
Contenders: Bunk Bar, Bent Brick, cocktails at Wafu
Other Bars/Pubs: wine at Bar Avignon, tasting at Clear Creek Distillery, Horseshoe Pub
Coffee: Coava, Heart, Ristretto, Spella, Barista, Stumptown, Sterling, Coffeehouse Five
Please let me know your thoughts, I'm sure the list will be a little trimmed once we arrive, but it just shows how exciting it is to visit and dine and drink in Portland! Thank you so much!!!
Good on you for doing your research and bringing the questions! I don't even reply anymore to people who can't be bothered to do some poking around on their own.
I'd trade Amnesia for Bridgeport, Flavor Spot for Waffle Window, Coco Donuts for Voodoo (you want great donuts or interesting ones?). Do Pine State Biscuit at Portland Farmers Mkt at PSU. Check out Distillery Row. http://www.distilleryrowpdx.com/
Also consider Tanuki.
That's a great list. The only suggestion I'm going to make is to ditch Coffeehouse Five. It's a nice little coffee shop, but it serves Coava, so you may as well just go there.
I know Beast is moving from their current locale. I don't really go there so I don't know if the moving out part has taken place yet or not. I do think with Pigeon, Beast, St. Jack and Paley's while you don't necessarily have overlap you do have some rich to super rich food lined up against one another. I freaking love Biwa. The food is amazing, the restaurant has great energy, it smells amazing and it is pretty unique (at least to Portland). Took my girlfriend's sister and her restaurant owning boyfriend there when they came to town a couple of weeks ago and they were completely thrilled. Beaker has had a chef change but I would definitely still consider for later night/cocktails along with Rum Club. Toro Bravo is awesome but time does not have to be a factor to you because you are going to wait to get in unless you go insanely early. I might throw Nostrana into the lunch category as it is easier to get into, service tends to be better and I like their food for that meal but that's just a personal preference. Kask is very nifty. Small. Get there early or at around 7:45 when they have some turn over. I like Bent Brick but it can be quiet in there. Bar Avignon is terrific and triples as wine bar, cocktails (not the best in town but they aren't shooting to be a cocktail bar but what they do is solid) and good dinner fare. Relaxed atmosphere with an upscale tone. Voodoo is, well, we won't go there. It's hard to miss on coffee but I agree with chalmers. Personally I favor Barista and Heart but it's an embarrassment of riches really.
I had the same thought about such rich food for multiple dinners. Natural Selection/Portobello are good choices to change it up. Or Chiang Mai. I love that place. And I also recently had a great meal at BIWA, too.
AVIARY might be some place to consider as well - I haven't been but only hear good things about an interesting menu.
the DH and I may be the only people in the world that think Ken's is 'meh' (but we make our own). I'd swap that out for Biwa and think seriously about making the time for Toro Bravo. If we go here, we typically arrive at 4:45pm to get 5pm to get seating. Drinks at Secret Society next door can dull the pain of waiting. Brunch at Tasty n Son's is nothing short of amazing.