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Need dining help and recommendations for a quick Pacific NW trip

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Never been to the Pacific NW and have 5 days to explore after my wife concludes a business trip to Seattle

Hoping to get some ideas from those of you who have been there or live there and after searching this board there doesn't look like alot of activity on this board but I thought I'd put it out there since this trip is in a week and we just found out today were going.

Likely destinations on our list are:

Seattle- will be going to Pike Place Market for sure. any fav's?

Everett- The posts about Aligator Soul looks intriguing

La Conner- Going up for Tulip Festial


Portland area

Oregon Wine country south west of Portland

Columbia River Gorge- planning on travelling a couple hours east of I-5 on I-84 then likely coming back on 14

I know thats a broad request without parameters but we love trying regional cuisine and love casual, hidden gems, local hidden treasures (egullet has helped me scout a number of those). We can do more fancy if necessary and are open to all international cuisines...love paella, french, Cajun or creole, and anything inbetween pretty much.

Thanks for any light you can shed on helping us make good dining choices on a hastily planned mini vacation.

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For Portland, Beast is amazing, I also really like Paley's Place, great seasonal, local food. Also the food carts downtown are a must if you're there during the work week. On the west side of the city (Beaverton) I really like DeCarli and Mingo. Wildwood is really good as well, as is Fenouil for french bistro-type food. In the Pearl District, Andina is good (peruvian) although kind of expensive.

On a different note, we moved here from Franklin...I miss all the Greek Restaurants! And they just don't have the same appreciation for deep fried cheese here that they have back home!

I haven't had a lot of luck on the oregon coast at all, I think that there isn't the same motivation to have quality food when you know that you'll have a whole new group of people coming into the restaurant each weekend...although the restaurant at the Stephanie Inn at Cannon Beach is supposed to be really good.

PM me if you have any other questions about foodie stuff in PDX, it's kind of my hobby!



If you ate pasta and antipasto, would you still be hungry? ~Author Unknown

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I can make a couple of suggestions for your trip up to tulip country.

Calico Cupboard has three locations--La Conner, Mount Vernon, and Anacortes. I've only been to the Mount Vernon one, but I imagine they're all similar--great baked goodies, sandwiches, and house-made soups. Check their hours--they don't do dinner, only breakfast and lunch.

Rhododendron Café in Bow is lovely--casual, homey, and the food is excellent. The menu changes weekly, so check the website just before you go for what's on it then. I just had my birthday brunch there a couple of weekends ago.

You can go up one way on I-5, see the tulips, and then come back south to Seattle over Whidbey Island--it's a great day trip. The bridge over Deception Pass is spectacular--well worth a stop. On the island, Greenbank Farm has a wine shop and tasting room that also sells loganberry preserves and other local goodies. The ferry at the south end of the island will take you back to Mukilteo, and you can just follow the signs back to I-5.


Edited by MaryMc (log)


Seattle, WA

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Sad to hear about Aligator Soul.. looked promising .. So far we went to Matts at Pikes Place market but were underimpressed with the service that we cut things short at appetizers and a bottle of wine. That said the ceviche appetizer was spectacular. The grilled calamari with their homade spanish style chorizo had a great flavor integration but it was too strong a flavor for Calomary as the dish overpowered the calamari and I've never had grilled calamari before but I get the sense that it isn't optimal to grill and was tough but flavorful.

We bent over to the crap pot and while its unique and notorious for the shooting of man vs food there It is overrated as there seafood was ok but nothing spectacular.

Thinking of trying El Gaucho... any thoughts?

Thanks again

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I wasn't super blown away by El Gaucho when I was there, it's your typical standard steakhouse, and pretty expensive. If you're looking for Steak, and aren't worried about staying on a budget, Urban Farmer is supposed to be amazing.

Let me know where you went (and what you had!) when your trip's over! It's always interesting to get another impression of restaurants I've eaten at...

If you ate pasta and antipasto, would you still be hungry? ~Author Unknown

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Will post more when we get home but fantastic helpful imnformation here... did the whidby island and stoped at Toby's for Mussels (they don't get much fresher)

loved everything.. We have tonight that will either be at the market or I may try to see if I can talk the wife into urban farmer.

Thanks a ton everyone.

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