Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Metro Portland >
Aug 31, 2012 10:49 AM

LA to PDX-Itinerary review please!

Hey PDX hounds! Solo LA hound visiting next weekend and would love to get confirmation that I have chosen well. Additionally, I have a few questions:

1) Any particularly GREAT foie dishes I should try? I am partial to seared prep but if it’s amazing, I’m open to anything. Need to get my foie fix when I’m out of state…

2) Is there a specific day of the week I should go to HA & VL?

3) Which location is less insane for Salt & Straw? Don’t want to go to the push cart, and don’t mind going early to the NW location, if they serve ice cream that early!

4) For Saturday brunch, which is better Ned Ludd or Screendoor? What are the must have dishes at both? Or is there a better option?

5) would love to try Ox but is that a good idea for a solo female who is going to be stuffing her face on so many other things?

Here is the itinerary thus far:

Arrive Fri 9:30ish AM –

Head straight to Gaufre Gourmet and take with to Spella for breakfast.

FRI Lunch –

Undecided, might want to sit down at a full service but open to a great cart as well.

FRI Dinner –

St Jack

SAT “Mini” Breakfast –

Coco Donut and Coava early

* PSU FM (or go after brunch perhaps to feel less rushed?)

SAT Brunch –

Screendoor or Ned Ludd

*one or all or combination of Salt & Straw, Sugar Cube, Pok Pok, Evoe to tide me over til dinner

SAT Dinner

Biwa (Should I go late for the burger or is it not really worth it?)

SUN breakfast

HA&VL? or some other place that is great and open 8am or earlier since I have a 10am plane to catch.

So very sorry for the length of the post, I just want to make sure I utilize my stomach space and time to the highest and best use!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Great list! Certainly a long list of hits with no weak links. Don't miss Sugar Cube, Evoe, Coco, Biwa.

    For Portland Farmers Mkt @PSU, the earlier the better as far as beating the crowd and getting the best stuff before it's gone or wilted from the heat.

    Salt & Straw cart is closed after this weekend. As for the shops, the earlier the better.

    FRI lunch: in what area will you be? Downtown carts or eastside?

    Have fun! Please report.

    1. go to biwa whenever, you can get a solid burger in LA, get after their other stuff.
      screen door brunch. long line, go early.

      as a wildcard , ide throw tanuki into the mix. cool solo eating spot and the best omakase deal. usually has some wild anime on.

      1. Tasty and Sons for brunch over Screen Door( same long lines, tho...


          I think HA and VL is much more interesting than any of the other breakfast places you've listed.

          1. I'm back from my weekend and just barely made it out alive. Hit the ground running, going to a few carts, had some great coffee at Spella, Courier. In terms of other coffee, I didn't enjoy Heart, Sterling, Ristretto as much as I was hoping though I was only able to give them all one try. Here's a bit more detail on my eats:

            Favorites: Ox(NEED to come back with friends next time!), loved the smoked tongue(though I hardly detected smoke) and sweetbread croutons and also the fried short rib terrine, lovely chimichurri. Great service at the grill bar.

            Really enjoyed Screendoor as well(ANOTHER place to come with an army!): I could only order the chicken and waffles and a side biscuit since I had a feeling ordering 2 entrees might be overkill here...ridiculous. Three pieces of fried chicken. THREE. The runner was right when he stated "good luck". It was very tasty chicken though, I got through 1 whole piece. I liked the black peppery-ness, no need for hot sauce in addition to the syrup.

            Little Big Burger: veggie burger and fries. Both were pretty damn tasty for a quick service joint, actually, better than a lot of higher end places though the fries not the best I've ever had. Wish we had something like this in LA!

            Gruner's burger was ok, maybe I got an underseasoned one or I chose the wrong cheese(fontina). The bacon was tasty but the burger, while incredibly juicy, seemed to need salt. But I won't harp on it too much at $11, no way we could get something this quality in LA for that price.

            Ha & VL was good, really satisfying when my stomach was on the fritz from eating so much rich food but I probably would not go out of my way again to eat here, having the Asian selections we have in LA.

            Salt and Straw NW was great, too. I went early in the day so they weren't busy at all though it would seem to me that they would still be as friendly and generous with the samples no matter the crowd. I think I tried almost every flavor and ended up with the almond brittle and malted plum on a waffle cone and it was delicious. I was dying to go again to get a milkshake but alas time and stomach space ran out.

            Cacao was awesome as last time, so glad I don't live nearby as I'd visit way too often.

            I was less impressed with the baked goods and other sweets I had. Cool Moon was totally disappointing, one step up from Baskin Robbins; Little T was beautiful but underwhelming in execution and flavor, Sugar Cube somewhat disappointing(I mean, really? the cupcake and the "bread pudding" have the same base?), Coco and Voodoo both provided terrible donuts but I'm realizing that I'm chasing the perfect donut that does not exist in reality.

            I might be missing one or two other places, but that's the gist of it. Couldn't hit all the places I wanted, I was at maximum capacity. I can't wait to come back again!

            1 Reply
            1. re: baloney

              Thanks for the report!

              Cacao is around the corner from my office, so I walk to and from work 3 miles each way to deal with the caloric intake! All-time fave is the Luscious Caramel by Sahagun, and I don't even like caramel as a rule. That's just how great it is.

              Ristretto deserves another try.

              Yeah, coming from LA and doing Asian food here is mostly a pointless endeavor except for Pok Pok.

              Voodoo terrible, so what else is new [yawn]. But I'm rather shocked about Coco. First negative review I've ever seen.