Portland Day 4

Sunday is our culinary tour with Eat Adventures and we’ve all been looking forward to this day! We jump in the van promptly at 10:30 am. I’m starving, but told there is tea and a pastry waiting for me in the car.

Our first stop is The Rendezvous Grill in Welches and they stuff us. I was not expecting three courses at 11:30am, but what the heck, I’m on a food tour. To start, locally foraged chanterelles with a garlic and marsala wine sauce over toasted bread. The mushrooms taste amazing! Next course, a Crucolo fondue with bread, apples, and chicken sausage. Normally, I’m not a fan of chicken sausage (texture is usually off), but this one was great. Then, for dessert (it’s barely 12pm), a huckleberry parfait. It was fantastic, but I left feeling stuffed and hoping that our next stop was very far away.

Off to Mount Hood’s  Timberline Lodge, and it’s snowing. October is a bit early for snow in my book, but it definitely adds to the ambiance of the lodge. Inside, it’s warm and inviting, the fireplaces are crackling, and I’d love to plop down on a couch and take a nap, but no, we must eat.


Ram’s Head Bar – First, they bring out this wonderful bread (almost like potato bread, but lighter and fluffier). Then, the pièce de résistance, see below. Totally incredible!! I was stuffed and now I’m uncomfortably stuffed.


TumaloTomme, honey, Apres Ski Fondue (a blend of Melted Raclette, Swiss, Fontina & White Cheddar Cheeses with Roasted Garlic & Ice Axe IPA), Olympic Provisions Charcuterie (Saucisson d’Alsace, Mortadella, Pork Rillette, Liver Mousse with Ice Axe Mustard Seeds & Caraway Pickled Onions), and a slice of Huckleberry cheesecake.

Nora’s Table is our final bite and it’s fantastic. We start with the house-cured and smoked Oregon salmon tostados on house-made masa tortillas with lime tequila slaw and avocado peach pico de gallo. This changed my mind completely about salmon, they tasted out of control good. The two other dishes we had were specials, one was scallops and the other pork belly. Again, delicious, you could taste the love and care the kitchen put into all the dishes.

Portland Day 3

What to eat? Brunch is delightful, but I can’t tolerate lines. Saturday in Portland, a brunch city, I decide it’s best to lay low and avoid the crowds. Bunk Sandwiches fits the bill perfectly. It’s a super tiny spot, seems to be mostly takeout and quick bites. There are a few tables and a bar counter if you choose to dine in. This may have been one of the best cups of coffee I had in Portland (Stumptown beans with a nice coffee to water ratio) and I found out eating potato chips for breakfast is not that weird. The pork belly sandwich (the special that day!) is definitely going to be recreated in my very own kitchen.


Chalkboard menu at Bunk


Pork Belly al Pastor w/pineapple, pintos, and cotija cheese (left), Egg, Cheese, Bacon on a hard roll (right)

20131011-132353.jpgIt’s chilly and raining all day so obviously we want ice cream. Well, not really, but you can’t walk by Salt & Straw and not get ice cream!! A well-deserved line has formed which gives me time to decide the flavor I want (or do I want 2, or a split scoop?). They encourage sampling and work very hard to get you the perfect sample bite (this applies to flavors with fixings). I try the coffee and bourbon and one of the chef’s specials, coconut milk with cashew brittle and pandan (created by Departure’s Gregory Gourdet). Coconut all the way! Creamy, not too sweet, just the right amount of heat from the chilies; it was perfection (and I was so excited to eat it that I didn’t bother snapping a picture).

Shopping can be tiring and frustrating; paired with drenching rain these feelings are exacerbated. It was pouring when we left Lizard Lounge. Luckily, Irving Street Kitchen was just next door and we made it just in time for Happy Hour. The space is large, airy, and modern. The food smells and looks great, but we save our appetites for Screen Door.


Irving Street Kitchen

We arrive, wet and cold, at Screen Door. The wait is about thirty minutes, but we end up with a table in five minutes since nobody wanted the patio table with the broken heater. We do!


20131011-140121.jpgFried oysters – good, oysters are huge

*devoured them, but wanted to capture the last one*




20131011-140132.jpgFried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Collards – Chicken is great, sides are just okay. In the end I wish I had the choice of potato salad instead. Nothing on the plate really stood out to me.



20131011-140148.jpgBrisket, Green Bean Casserole, Potato Salad, Fried Onions – Brisket is delicious, green bean casserole is overcooked for my taste, potato salad is good, fried onions are a tasty accompaniment. This dish was definitely more exciting than the chicken.



20131011-140049.jpgDessert: Chocolate cake – decadent, we are happy and full!


Portland – Day 1

In order to avoid eating overpriced and unsavory airport fare, we started off our trip with the Brazilian Hangover Helper from Dave’s Fresh Pasta (mortadella, provolone piccante, red onion, dill pickle, hot peppers, mayo). I’m not sure about the hangover part, since I was not, but nonetheless it was delicious and made me want to incorporate more provolone cheese into my diet.

Dave's Fresh Pasta - Brazilian Hangover Helper

Dave’s Fresh Pasta – Brazilian Hangover Helper

After a long ride, we finally arrive in Portland. Our first stop is Lardo (eastside location) for dirty fries and a pork meatball bahn mi. Total win here, everything was amazing! The sandwich was a bit on the small side in my opinion, but with a pile of fries it didn’t really matter.

Lardo - Pork Meatball Bahn Mi & Dirty Fries (pork scraps, marinated peppers, fried herbs and parmesan)

Lardo – Pork Meatball Bahn Mi & Dirty Fries (pork scraps, marinated peppers, fried herbs and parmesan)

Directly across the street is a pod* called Cartopia (SE 12th and Hawthorne). Most of the carts are open until 3am and they have enough variety to please just about anyone. We ended up with a “plain old peach” pie from Whiffies. If only I hadn’t pigged out at Lardo, I might have been able to get a sammie from PBJ’s Grilled. Quick tip, PBJ’s Grilled is not open every day so beware! Sadly, I never got to try one during the trip since they were closed on Monday. My heart was broken, but that’s beside the point.

After the pie we headed off to Roadside Attraction (1000 SE 12th Ave) for a few drinks. Coming from Boston, the establishment felt really unique and after further bar hopping in Portland, nothing came close in quirk and coziness. I don’t have the words to portray an accurate picture, but perhaps Wes Anderson set meets Quentin Tarantino set might do it justice. I can’t speak to the food, but if you’re in the mood for a smoke by the fire or an intimate porch swing conversation, it’s worth stopping by.

Food Vocab

Pod – “surface lots with more than a few carts” definition from foodcartsportland.com