Trip Report - Honeymooning Foodies
Well we've returned from a fantastic trip to Portland. Thank you again for all of your fabulous suggestions. We had a great time dining in Portland, to the chagrin of our waistlines! Here's the rundown
We landed Thursday morning, checked in at The Nines, and immediately headed to lunch. This was the first and last time that we were hungry during out entire trip!
We shared the beet-picked eggs to start; they were fantastic!
I ordered the spaetzle with ham & fava beans, which was delicious. SO ordered the "gru-ben" with house-made pickled sauerkraut. As much as I liked the spaetzle, I'd say hubby's gruben was better. Cocktails were great. I was a fan of my Stahl Viola (light, refreshing, and just right for a slightly warm day) while his Albatros was also quite nice.
Drinks: Teardrop Lounge
We met up with a friend of mine for Happy Hour at the Teardrop Lounge. This ended up being one of our favorite cocktail places on the list (thanks for the rec everyone) and we had perfectly passable snacks as well. Drinks: a custom spicy/lime-y mezcal drink & whatever the SO ordered (which i can't remember)
We had booked a late night dinner at Nostrana, so we crossed the bridge after drinks ready for some more good eating. We ordered the Salumi pizza to start and OMG was it *&%$*@# amazing! the honey on top of the pizza blew us out of the water. We split the gnocchi with arugula pesto (gnocchi itself was pillowy and good, arugula pesto was too harsh and raw-garlic-y for my taste) and the king salmon (delicious) but both mains paled compared to the pizza. We couldn't stop talking about it for the rest of the weekend! We ordered Cathy's homage to Mozza's butterscotch budino (one of my favorite desserts). It was close, but not quite Mozza's. Drinks: a passable piedmontese red wine
Breakfast: Urban Farmer
Ready for a long day of eating, we began our day at Urban farmer where we shared the benedict (biscuit & tails & trotters ham, oh my!) and a waffle with honey and fruit compote (fabulous). Everything was delightful...by this point we had come to REALLY like Portland.
Lunch: Nong's Khao Man Gai
We split 1 order of the chicken & rice at Nong's Khai Man Gai. Simple and delicious! And that sauce! We greatly enjoyed.
Happy Hour: Clyde Common
After a couple hours of walking around, we decided to stop for drinks and snacks at Clyde Common. ordered: daily punch (good), Nasturium (way too perfumed and sweet for my taste), heavy petting (fine). Our snacks were fine, nothing special. Overall, we felt underwhelmed by Clyde Common...perhaps we ordered wrong?
Happy Hour Part 2: Jake's Famous Crawfish
moving on from Clyde Common, we stopped at Jake's Famous Crawfish for some oysters. These were fine, but we found ourselves leaving as quickly as we could. Drinks: lousy. We wouldn't go back
Happy Hour Part 3: Oven & Shaker
Totally unable to think about anything but last night's pizza, we stopped off at oven & shaker for a pre-dinner snack (by now we had totally outlasted happy hour). Thank you for pointing out this place...we adored it! We ordered the zucchini fries (yummy) and the pizze bianca (terrific). This is just the type of spot I wish was in our neighborhood! Drinks: Pineapple Trainwreck (good), Canteloupe Cucumber Sour (very good)
Dinner: Little Bird
Admittedly, we were really full by this point, but we decided to go for our late-night dinner at Little Bird regardless. Being too full to order anything else, we decided on a dozen assorted oysters and the pate/terrine/sausage platter to share. The oysters were fantastic and the pates great as well. Honestly, I'm not too big a fan of french cuisine (much of it is far too right for my palate), so I doubt we'd go back. The place was hopping at 10pm on a Friday night, though!
Breakfast: Coco's Doughnuts
On our walk to the PSU farmer's market, we stopped off for a doughnut at Coco's. These were good but nothing out of this world, especially compared to all the other great dining we had been doing up to that point.
Breakfast-y: PSU Farmer's Market
We nibbled on things around the market (how beautiful and amazing is that place, btw...i wanted to kick the hollywood farmer's market when I got home) but were unable to stop at Pine State Biscuit due to the incredibly long line. We picked up some smoked salmon & cheese to take back home and wandered back to the hotel.
Coffee: Public Domain
Two great cups of coffee at public domain & a fabulous pretzel!
Lunch: Pok Pok
Still not really hungry at all, but feeling the need to try more places on our list, we headed to Pok Pok. We ordered Ike's Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings (oh man, you weren't kidding...these are delicious), the Boar Collar (Muu Paa Kham Waan) which was great, if spicy, and the Coconut rice (which i would have married if I could). Drinks: Hunny (great), Tamarind Whiskey Sour (great), Seasonal Ginger Drinking Vinegar cocktail (just OK)
Afternoon Coffee: Stumptown
We walked through the neighborhood, eventually finding our way to Stumptown where we enjoyed sitting back with two more cups of coffee.
After a walk through town, we put our names on the list for Luce, that new hot spot highlighted by Bon Appetit. The wait was about an hour, but given that we hadn't been hungry for two days, we were fine with the wait! We ordered a couple antipasti, the foccaccia, the pasta with dried chiles. and the hangar steak (in brodo, i think?). Ultimately, none of it really blew us away and unless we lived in the neighborhood, i don't think we'd be back.
For our last meal we walked to the nearby Imperial for breakfast. I ordered the Semolina Corn Cake, hubby the Fry-bread with scrambled eggs, and the bacon-cheddar cornbread and oysters to start. The semolina corn cakes were yummy, but hubby's fry-bread was better IMO. The oysters were great and very fresh. Unable to eat any more, this ended up our last meal of the trip!
Thank you again Portlanders! We had a fabulous time and can't wait to go back!
Beet pickled eggs are deviled eggs where the egg has been pickled in pickled beet juice before being 'deviled' - they are gorgeous as well as delicious, here's a pic I found via Google: http://www.flickr.com/photos/drave/7007645625/
If you love burgers, don't give up on Gruner's burger for lunch, it really is one of the very best in town (and I assume that you now realize how much weight that statement carries in a town of awesome food).
I am not a Luce fan, either. I have been twice and haven't been all that impressed.
There's a new place across the street, Bar Vivace, a traditional tapas bar combined with Pix desserts - can't miss it - huge cut out of a bull on the roof...supposed to be awesome. Haven't been yet myself, but reports have been so good from folks I trust that I am putting it out there for ya.
Also, had an absoulutely amazing experience at Racion last week. It was so good, that my GF made a reservation for tomorrow night...while we were still eating dinner there last Friday. It is a pop-up, only Fri and Sat. dinner, multi-course, molecular gastronomy bent (but focused on flavor/texture - no foams for the sake of foams or just to be cool - it all makes sense and it is all delicious), wine pairings/hors d'oeuvres/cocktail included (gratuity not included) - all for $75pp. Only 20 seats per night. The chef is Anthony Cafiero and he is awesome - he's trying out dishes for the real version of this restaurant and having a ball doing it. It is in a restaurant space that had a high profile place not make it after only about 2 months, so the setting is a bit odd, but who cares. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
What a gorgeous photo! Thanks for the explanation (should googled myself). We will try them, the burger (I am determined) and the doughnuts for sure, and maybe even the gruben :-). When we went for dinner at Gruner I sadly left more than half my main as the portion was HUGE.
Fingers crossed we can get into Racion at this late date. If not, the real resto will be on the list for when it opens. Sad story re Corazon...