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Sep 27, 2012 05:39 PM

Trip report; 4 days in October

Just returned from my first trip to Portland. All the tips on this board were so helpful in planning that I have to report back. Made a few bad choices but overall I had a great time!

PSU Farmers Market:
Alma Chocolates: chevre and rosemary truffles. Latter was too strongly spiced for my taste.
Pearl Bakery: croissant. Flaky but not buttery enough and a bit underbaked
Suzanne's Chocolates: coffee truffle had very strong deep flavour. Honey lavender truffle shell was super-thin and crackly.
Pine State Biscuits: made a mistake in ordering as I was trying to get something healthy. Biscuit with egg and cheese was fine but nothing special.
Chop: picked up a couple of sticks of chorizo and oregano and coriander salami for later. Excellent.
Two Tarts: mini macaron. Way too sweet for me.

Carts: I didn't get to as many of these as expected.
Noodle House: handpulled noodles with hot bean sauce and soft creamy tofu. Comfort food.
Bombay Chaat House: pani puri and an enormous platter of very creamy navratan korma.

Baked goods:
Nuvrei: best of all the pastries I sampled. Excellent crusty, flaky chocolate croissant with generous dark bittersweet chocolate. Passionfruit macaron: chewy shell and good albeit somewhat subtle passionfruit flavour.
Little T's: kouign aman. First time I've tried this pastry and this was great. Flaky on top with slightly sweet caramelized bottom.
Ken's Artisan bakery: chocolate hazelnut macaron was at least 2 inches thick and had an empty air pocket when I bit into it. Odd. The cannelle made up for it with its chewy and great texture. Would have liked to have tried some of their beautiful-looking cakes but only had so much stomach room.
Petite Provence: opera cake was presented on a beautifully decorated plate with caramel sauce and cocoa. Chilled cake was slightly dry but very rich.
Pacific Pie Company: bacon, egg and cheese pie and sausage roll. Puff pastry was excellent but the sausage was oddly spiced. I grew up on sausage rolls and had been looking forward to this. Good but not the sausage roll of my childhood.

Pho Van: mi quang was pretty tasteless but looked good.
Kenny and Zuke's: chopped liver was so rich, I was grateful for the pickles and vegetables.
Tasty and Sons: Burmese pork stew. Reminded me of the tau ewe bak (braised pork belly) my mother used to make. Fine but I was hoping for something more interesting.

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  1. An amazing bakery tour...thank you for the write-up!

    1. Interesting comment on the pork stew at Tasty's. I've been warned off it by a Calgary Hound who's taste I trust as well. I heart Nuvrei! Next time check out their orange cinammon Danish -- it's the love child of a Danish and a donut. Their savoury pretzel croissants are high on my list also.

      2 Replies
      1. re: grayelf

        Greyelf, your pastry and coffee write ups helped me a lot on this trip.
        The Burmese pork stew was a very good rendition but I wasn't expecting or wanting something so "boring". Not a fan of cinnamon so will probably skip the danish but definitely loved Nuvrei.

        1. re: jadec

          Oh that's great, so glad! I also avoid too much cinammon on anything, and the SO actively dislikes it. When we ordered the first one it was at Coava and the sign just said danish or we would have missed out on this lusciousness. Not sure why cinnamon is even in the name as it is so subtle. You deffo taste the orange and the crackly "icing" the most, along with the gorgeous pastry of course.