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Portland Trip Report - 4 Days of Chow-ing

  • mpken Jul 26, 2012 02:32 PM
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Portland trip report 7/20/2012 - 7/23/2012

Instead of SF this year, we opted to eat our way through Portland over our a four day stay. Without a car, we walked, took public transportation, and cabs to get around the city. It was refreshing not having to drive to get to all of our destinations. On to the food...

Friday

Coco Doughnuts
- coco (it is so good!)
- maple buttermilk bar
- apple fritter
- maple old fashion
- plain raised
- coffee
the coco doughnut and apple fritter were outstanding.

Lunch at food pods at SW10th and Alder (walked)
- Nong's Khao Man Gai piset chicken and rice
- Angel’s Cabana black bean and cheese pupusa
- The Grilled Cheesus from The Grilled Cheese Grill. Burger with grilled cheese sandwiches for the bun.
- Fried Cod and Chips from the Scottish Chip pod.
- Pierogi
After dropping our bags at the hotel, we wandered over to the food pods at SW10th and Alder. Good stuff at each of the pods we tried. A nice introduction to Portland Food Pod culture. Order, wait, then find a place to sit at O'Bryant Square park caddy corner to the pod lot and enjoy.

Dinner at Castagna (~$10 cab ride each way from city center)
-10 course tasting
-5 amuse bouche
-cocktails
I'll leave this for a follow up post. Good interesting modern food. Really good desserts.

Saturday

Brunch at PSU Farmer's Market (walked)
- Chicken and biscuit
- biscuit with pimento cheese
- breakfast burritto
- marion berry and creamed cheese pocket pie
- Freddy Guys hazelnuts
- pickled asparagus
- apple cider and apple/pear cider
- rogue creamery curds (for later)
- Olympic Provisions Saucisson d'Arles (for later)
- ginny fowl pate from Chop (for later)
- prunes (for later)
A pretty large market with a good assortment of produce stands, prepared foods, and crafts. Worth waiting in line for the chicken and biscuits and breakfast burrito. The hazelnuts are something worth bringing back as gifts for loved ones. Fresh berries at their peak abound. It was a nice start to our Saturday.

Washington Park + Japanese Gardens. (Max rail + bus)
Packed a few things from the PSU market for snacks after a long afternoon walking around the grounds. We snacked on Olympic Provisions salami, pretzel bread, bagels, hazelnuts, cheese curds, and prunes. A good tiny meal to power us to our 9pm dinner. The burley bearded bus driver was an excellent impromptu tour guide who pointed out the sites and some history of the park.

Dinner at Payley's Place (street car to, #15 bus from)
- fries with mustard aioli
- bread and butter
- beef tartar, with all the fixings: egg yolk, onion/shallots, capers, pickles, grilled bread.
- crispy sweetbreads with morels and herb spatzel
- tomato soup
- hamachi with egg yolk and ponzu dipping sauce
- soft shell crab (half portion)
- sweet corn and ricotta ravioli (full portion)
- roast pork shoulder with iberico jowl confit (half portion)
- flat iron steak (half portion)
- 3 cheeses - Rogue Creamery Flora Nella blue, an Oregon chevre, and a soft Oregon cow's milk. comes with nut bread, flat bread, and Paley bar.
- chocolate collection plate
- 3 scoops of sorbets of the day
Made reservation one month ahead for a 7pm seating on Saturday night. The Saturday reservation got recorded as a Friday at 7pm. We got it changed to Saturday, but only 9pm was available. As feared, the restaurant was packed and waited over 30 minutes, which didn't help the mood. Once seated, the salmon was gone and the featured cocktail also unavailable. Not totally surprised, but a bit disappointing. We got a comped an order of fries and enjoyed those with our drinks as we perused the menu. Everything that came down was good. Half portions are the way to go if you want to have a 3 or 4 course meal. We shared the beef tartar. I wouldn't hessitate to order any of the items again. Overall a nice meal at a fare price. We can understand why it gets the accolades that it does. Our advice is to get an early reservation. With a 9pm reservation thing are bound to run out and we got on the #15 bus near midnight for our ride downtown.

Sunday

Coffee at Ristretto Roasters (bus to Tasty N Sons, same commercial complex)
- Iced coffee
- cowboy blend and Ethopian Kaffa
- Latte
Nice medium roast on the beans excetuated the fruitiness of the coffee. Ice coffe and latte yielded a nice nutty flavor.

Brunch at Tasty N Sons
- bloody marys
- almosa
- virgin bloody
- chocolate potato doughnut w creme anglais
- breakfast board. charcuterie, beef jerky, creamy cheese with herb olive oil, bread, pickled beets,
- fried green tomato BLT
- potatoes bravas w/ over easy eggs
- Moroccan chicken hash with harissa cream & over easy eggs
- Burmese red pork stew with rice and eggs two ways
- polenta & sausage ragu with mozzarella and fried egg
A bus ride and a two block walk to get there. Upon arrival, we were warmly greated with an estimated 1.5 hour wait. We put our name down, left a phone number, and explored the building's other tenants. We sampled a few great sausages at Chop, items we didn't see at the PSU market. We had some fine coffee at Restretto. The call that our table was ready arrived not long after finishing our coffee and not the 1.5 hours expected. Once seated, we ordered a few dishes from the almost overwhelmingly mouth watering selection. Definitely get the doughnuts. Overall, not a bad dish was served and we left happy and sated. Portland seems to love brunch, certainly loves Tasty N Sons, and now we know why.

Portland Saturday and Sunday Market (bus from Tasty N Sons to the birdge at Burnside St)
Rogue Brewery Hazelnut Brown Nectar while watching SupaDupa Marimba Bros play "Bad Romance".

Looked at the lines at Voodoo Doughnuts and the Big A$$ Sandwich pod.

Coffe at Stumptown
mellow roast, nice space.

Chocolate drink flight from Cacao
- cinnamon. smooth milk chocolate with a hint of cinnamon. our favorite of the three
- rivoli. lucious dark chocolate with a sweet tang finish
- spicy. punchy spice and creamy dark chocolate.
The flight is a great way to taste the three drinks offered. Enough for a couple to share.

Dinner at Apizza Scholls (#14 bus)
- Antipasti plate. artichoke stem, roasted peppers, partially dried tomato, olives, salami, mortadella
- Apizza Amore. Margherita plus hot capicollo
- Bacon Bianca. whilte pie with house cured bacon
The hype of Apizza Scholls had me on guard for what was a great meal. The two pies arrived with perfectly charred crusts and equally fine toppings. Two pizzas are a lot for four people. We could have ordered half and half pies, but didn't know until we saw the table next to us do it. Apizza Scholls makes great pies worth the pilgrimage for the pizza obsessed. The leftovers made for a nice breakfast the next day.

Post dinner snack at Voodoo Doughnuts
We waited in line for our Voodoo Dolls. Also took home the Rappers Delight (ODB, Marshall Mathers, maple blunt) at the individual price and Grape Ape. The line wasn't too bad at the peak of the dinner hour.

Monday

Lunch at Pok Pok (#4 bus)
- Muu Paa Kham Waan. Roasted boar collar. Nice spice to go with iced mustard greens and sticky rice.
- Ike's Fish Sauce spicy wings. Nicely fried and sauced.
- Papaya Pok Pok. Papaya salad. @full spice is not overwhelmingly spicy. I would consider it Thai mild.
- Kai Yaang. Roasted game hen. Half bird. Good dipping sauces
- Sai Ua Samun Phrai. Chang Mai sausage with green chili dip, pork rinds, and vegetable crudité.
- Yam Makheua Yao. Grilled eggplant salad.
The flavors culled from the descriptions on the menu are spot on and the food was nicely executed. The coconut perfumed water that came in the pitcher was ethereal in its ability to whisk you away to a quiet part of SE Asia. Hype earned Pok Pok.

Ice cream at the Salt & Straw cart near 34th and Division.
- sea salt ice cream with caramel ribbon
- coffee and bourbon
- honey balsamic strawberry with cracked black pepper
- almond brittle with salted ganache
Good stuff. Fresh bright fruit and distinct flavors echo the descriptions.

Happy Hour dinner at Heathman Hotel bar
- sweet pea risotto
- wedge salad
- Heathman bar burger + fries
- bread + butter
We enjoyed a quiet early dinner before departing for the Max train to the airport. The Heathman provided a nice setting for our final meal of the trip.

Thanks Portland Chowhounds for providing the resources. It was a wonderful trip and we hope to visit again soon. Stay weird.

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  1. Nice report back - so glad you enjoyed yourselves here!

    1 Reply
    1. re: JillO

      Thanks. Portland is a gem of a city. I had to do this brain dump before I forgot the details. I can guess all of the walking and biking to get around town would enable more eating. What a great combination.

    2. Excellent report! I will be heading there in a week or so, and also planned on trying Coco, Cacao, and Salt & Straw. Tasty n Sons for Brunch sounds great too!

      1 Reply
      1. re: ybnormal

        Enjoy your time in Portland. The coco doughnut was so good. The cinnamon drink at Cacao was the most enjoyable for us. The Salt & Straw cart had not line and is a couple of blocks from Pok Pok, but only 4 or 5 flavors available. I wish we had more time to check out the non food places like Powell Books and ride bikes around town.