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Food recommendations - 1 week in Portland(Hillsboro) with day trips to Seattle and elsewhere

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Later this week, we will be heading out of Boston, MA to stay with a friend in Hillsboro, OR for a week. Originally, we had been planning to do the entire week in the Portland area, but have just recently decided to spend a night in Seattle and a night somewhere on the Northern Oregon coast. We will also be doing a day trip to Mt. Hood and along the Columbia River. We're a mid-20's couple that loves to eat and cook fresh foods, with a strong orientation towards healthy food, although we believe that unhealthy foods are great in moderation.

I'm an adventurous eater who eats basically everything, with the exception of a couple meats/seafood that I haven't been able to develop a taste for yet(veal and clams, specifically). My girlfriend is an extremely limited eater who is primarily a vegetarian(but doesn't eat mushrooms or eggs). She does eat chicken, turkey, or haddock, but only in a nicer restaurant where she trusts that it won't be undercooked. She is also lactose intolerant(so no milk or cream dishes) and eats an extremely low fat diet, so nothing overly fried.

We're looking to do mostly lower to middle-priced restaurants($8-14 per entree), but want to also do one nicer meal, a great pizza dinner, and cook some nice meals at home with local ingredients. We'll probably also eat at a bunch of food carts as we walk around the city. Also, when we are at restaurants, we rarely order drinks, so that does not have to fit into the equation.

For Portland, we found the following(mostly through searching this board!), and have not been able to make a decision as to where to go.

Apizza Scholls OR Ken's Artisan Pizza - 1 pizza meal
Park Kitchen OR Toro Bravo OR Wildwood OR Higgins Portland - 1 nicer meal

Other restaurants:
The Farm Cafe
Por Que No?
Bijou Cafe - jazz brunch
Biwa Restaurant
Pok Pok OR Ping OR Typhoon Thai food
The Parish
Oven & Shaker
Delicate Palate
Fenouilin the Pearl

Any thoughts on the aforementioned restaurants? We haven't had a chance to look into Seattle(lunch, dinner, and breakfast), The Oregon Coast(lunch on the upper coast(or lower WA coast) and then dinner and breakfast near a hotel(likely Seaside), and our day trip out to Mt. Hood and Columbia River Gorge(dinner?).

Thanks for all your help. We can't wait to get out there!

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  1. Portland and Seattle have their own boards, but all else you mentioned is discussed here.
    You might just copy this to those 2 boards.

    1. For Hillsboro: Ate here and it was delish: www.thaielephant.us - Thai food. Nice outdoor patio. Also been to Izgara Middle Eastern Restaurant in nearby Forest Grove-Nice area. Home of Pacific University.

      While in Portland proper. DO NOT miss the downtown food trucks incl Pok Pok. 50th and Division. A MUST! Hubby and I had food from three different countries in one meal. It was so fun and really delish. (Thai, Ethiopian and Vietnamese pumpkin soup). Chocolate: Verdun Chocolates. www.verdunchocolates.com VERY SPECIAL. Owner is Lebanese and makes all his own from the imported chocolate. OMG!

      For some place special: Toro Bravo Tapas Restaurant located in a residential area behind the Convention Center. 70$ for 2. Sister restaurant: Tasty and Sons http://tastynsons.com

      For a coastal stay: We went to Astoria. Not too much in the way of fab restaurants. If your headed to Seattle from there, make sure you stop in Shelton, a small logging town just outside Olympia. Eat at Xinh's Clam and Oyster House. You'll dream of her food after the fact. Esp the Oysters.

      Have a great trip. Some of my favorite driving is through the PNW! :)