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Three Days in Portland

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38 replies to this topic

#31 KatieLoeb

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 05:26 PM

THIS LIST from World's Best Bar's website ought to keep you busy at Happy Hour for several days...

Katie M. Loeb
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#32 Raoul Duke

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 07:40 PM

I'd second Teardrop Lounge for a civilized adult beverage. Nostrana was worth the trip for some nice Italian inspired food and Lucca for brunch was good especially the Panettone bread (made in house) french toast.
"I drink to make other people interesting".

#33 Okanagancook

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 05:30 PM

We'll be in Portland next week. Have a reservation at Beast. Any thoughts on this? Any other 'must do's" while there.

#34 mkayahara

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 06:53 PM

Le Pigeon and/or Little Bird. Tasty and Sons for brunch.
Matthew Kayahara

#35 Garth

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 04:24 PM

Papa Haydn on 23d
El Gaucho on Broadway
Jakes Grill at the Governer hotel on 11th
Ringside on Burnside

Acropolis on McLaughlin Blvd

Blind Onion

#36 Heartsurgeon

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 09:55 PM

Bar Mingo, Cafe Mingo, Serrano, Little Bird, Luc Lac (maybe its Lac Luc?), Portland City Grill, Beast, Luce, Small Wares, nostrana, Andina, castagna, toro bravo

all winners

#37 Katie Meadow

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 03:16 PM

Any new ideas? We will be in Portland 4 nights. I've checked out the above recs and it appears you have the high-end dining covered. I know Portland has a ton of food carts and "cart pods" so suggestions for those are welcome. Also mid-priced restaurants. We will be staying in the SE near Division St), and will also spend some time in the SW/ downtown, maybe the Pearl. Also recs for cozy appealing bars, especially in the SE. Not looking for glitz!

#38 Katie Meadow

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 05:35 PM

Either very few eGers live in Portland, or they want to keep their secrets, or visitors from out of town stay with friends and don't go out much. We had terrific food in Portland, and not expensive food, either. We skipped the tony places like Beast and Little Bird and Genoa, although they all looked appealing, but my feeling is that mid-price and lower priced places in Portland are fantastic value. Maybe this sounds weird, but I found the food more fun and way better priced than here in the bay area, although I don't go out all that much. A surprise snowmageddon stopped us from too much activity in the SW, although we did get over there twice, before it became really crazy.  Anyway here's a rundown:


Lunch day one: Nong's Khao Man Gai SE store. Chicken and rice very good, bottomless gingery tea cup excellent. Fun, crowded, but we got a seat. My vote for tenderest nicest chicken breast ever.


 Dinner day one. Not overly hungry, decided on drinks and small plates near our guest house, so opted for the Sapphire Hotel. Lovely cozy place, wonderful waitstaff, great drinks. Although I didn't have either, I appreciate that the names of the drinks are funny without being impossibly stupid, such as "Not Your Real Dad" and "Winter isn't Coming." Both our cocktails were outstanding. Then I had my first taste of Bacon Wrapped Dates. In case you have never had them, Portland seems to be ground zero, and almost every place we went offered them. Pitted date is stuffed with an almond, some type of cheese and wrapped in bacon and either grilled or broiled or something. Sapphire's had blue cheese-but not too much, and rated very high. We also had salmon cakes that were delicious. Best of all was our dessert drink: Fernet Jelinek, straight up. Most interesting and addictive aperitif I ever tasted. This a well stocked bar, with generous pours. They seemed to have about 3 different types of Fernet.


Day two. Light breakfast of toast provided by the hotel. Worked up an appetite walking in a circle around the river and ended up at Zell's for lunch. Dutch pancake with hot rhubarb, very nice. But my husband and I are not really big on breakfast foods.


Dinner day two: Not too hungry, so we ate small plates at Tasty & Sons. I was practically frostbit so I ordered a hot applejack drink which was fantastic. I had two of them. House bresaola with blood oranges, port pate with fantastic toast, smoked trout with pickles, aioli that comes with a shot of aquavit. Really fun. Dessert was unbelievable: chocolate potato dumplings with creme anglaise, crispy on the outside, dense inside, and big enough so that all we needed was two of them for a total of $3.


Day three. Over to the SW. No lunch, just an early dinner at Veritable Quandary. Outstanding food! Bacon wrapped dates pretty much scored a ten, although I really don't have a lot of experience here. They were stuffed with almond and chèvre and grilled so they were dark and very crisp on the outside. Heaven. Another hot drink (by this time I was hopelessly chilled), also very good, something with bourbon. Had the rabbit pate and then split a burger. Best burger I have ever eaten, not that I eat a lot of them. In fact the only ones I've eaten have been high quality meat cooked on our own grill, and that's not typical of how we eat anyway.


Day four. Bone chilling cold (16 degrees, wind chill -3) and snow predicted, but my husband insisted on a trip to downtown Portland for museums. The snow was sticking, so we decided we needed to get back over to the east side before rush hour traffic, but it was very slow going. I was dead set on a trip to Jade Pearl teas, so we headed to the NE. Bought some terrific teas, including some mini puerh cakes. They brew you a sample of anything you want to try in unlimited numbers, and they are so very nice. By then it was mid afternoon and we hadn't eaten lunch yet, so we decided to have linner and went back to Tasty & Sons, because they have a very nice bar menu from 2:30-5. Had another great hot drink, can't remember what. The Bacon wrapped dates came in third: no cheese and an addition of maple syrup, so they were a little sweet for my taste. Potatoes braves w/aioli very good, radicchio salad excellent and then we split a burger. Also excellent. For dessert we tried a vanilla panna cotta with caramelized blood orange. Not typically my favorite dessert but sinfully good. Harrowing slow ride back to the SE quadrant since the snow was really falling and we aren't used to driving in it and nor are Portlanders. 


Day five, our last one. Woke to five inches of snow. Wasn't hungry so I skipped breakfast, had to pack and make our way to the airport for an afternoon flight, so we planned our lunch accordingly. Stopped near the airport and a Viet place called Mekha Noodles. My Pho was great, as good as my favorite place in Oakland. We decided that dessert was in order and we didn't think we would be eating until we got back home, so three snowy blocks and we hunkered down at Annie's doughnuts. Bad but familiar coffee, good plain doughnuts. Would have been very good if they were fresh baked and warm, but by then it was 2pm and almost everyone in Portland tucked away at home, except for a glamorous couple with a mama and baby husky who all looked ready for the Iditarod. Our flight to OAK was cancelled and we spent a total of ten boring hours at the airport and finally managed to get onto the last flight to SFO, also delayed four hours.


If I could move all my friends with me, I would go live in Portland. Everyone is super polite and friendly and the food is amazing. The bridges are beautiful, the coffee shops are as numerous as the stars and everyone was blown away by the snow, which never happens. Not only is the food great, but many restaurants don't close down completely between lunch and dinner or at least are open with limited bar menus, which suits my weird habits totally.

Edited by Katie Meadow, 08 February 2014 - 05:39 PM.

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#39 NadyaDuke

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 07:31 PM

One of my new favorite restaurants Imperial - the chef is Vitaly Paley, of the well regarded Paley's Place. I also just went to Mucca Osteria and all four of us found it delicious.

For bars in the SE, Slow bar is cozy and has a great burger. Bunk Bar and Dig a Pony are bigger, but appropriately dark and have good cocktails and beer lists. Have a great time!