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Portland Brewfest - Where to eat?


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A group of us from Vancouver, BC are planning a road trip to the Brewfest July 23-5 in Portland. While i'm sure we can get the usual nibblies on the festival site, we're interested in enjoying a couple of your city's restaurants.

A couple things to keep in mind:

1) As of right now, our Canadian dollar will buy about 72 cents US ... in other words the tab will be about 40% more for us. We'd like to keep the tab to around $20-$30 US per person, wine n/incl. (hopefully we'll have had our fill duirng the day)

2) Think local ... ingredients, chefs, cuisines ... definitely not looking for a chain restaurant.

Any help Portland egulleters can offer will be appreciated and returned in kind for any of you coming to Vancouver!

DA

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  • 2 weeks later...

You could spend one night between Noble Rot and Navarre, both wine-bar-small-plate places within walking distance of each other near 28th and East Burnside. Depeneding on how many of you are here, a few could take a a table at each place and you could gradually swap places.

Portland's current hot spot, clarklewis (1001 SE Water, an easy walkacross the river from the festival at Waterfront Park), deserves a visit. The food is Italian-ish, in the sense that the emphasis is on the ingredients (and really good olive oil is key....I'm biased, of course, since they buy most of it from me). A reservation is essential.

Park Kitchen would be another good option.

Jim

olive oil + salt

Real Good Food

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Jim,

Thanks for the input ... and as it turns out there will only be my wife and I going, so it makes moving around from place to place a bit simpler.

Been reading lots about clarklewis ... am looking forward to the olive oil :wink:

I may have more questions if you Portlanders are up for it?

Nice website btw Jim ... may be talking to you in a couple years about Tuscany.

DA

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As dated as it seems I still love Jakes up there on ...is it 12th & Stark? Near the HW Brewery. Never had a bad meal there and the service is good too! :)

"...It is said that without the culinary arts, the crudeness of reality would be unbearable..." Leopold

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Daddy, at least your dollar will go a bit further here in OR as you'll only be paying tax on your hotel room, not on your food and other purchases!

I hear your plea and understand about the exchange rate...

You should definitely go to the PSU Farmer's Market on Saturday morning. It is an amazing bounty and there are lots of great things to eat there. Find the LOW BBQ stand and prepare to have your eyes roll up in your head in ecstasy, their meat is that good - beef brisket, pork ribs and lamb ribs. If you only want a snack and not a meal, they'll even sell you one rib! If you need some sweets and don't end up going to Pix Patisserie across the river (not just fabulous desserts, but great dessert drinks, incl. Lambics - on SE Division around SE 33rd) one night you're in town, stop by their place in the market...get a big strawberry with creme brulee in the center - two bites of heaven!

The 28th and E Burnside intersection that Jim mentioned, in about a 2-3 block radius also includes: Tabla (nice for wines and small plates too, great duck!) and Pambiche (Cuban, very reasonable, the best empanadas and fabulous desserts) and Staccato Gelato.

Another place that has great food and is a great deal is Daily Cafe (in the Pearl, on the W side - NW 13th and Kearney). I've only been for dinner, but I hear that they do a great brunch on weekends. Two can have a very good meal with local ingredients for about $50 + tip. There's even a great burger with yummy, copious amounts of fries on the menu for under $10. A short wine list has wines around $5-6/glass and between $20-25/bottle (or there are quaffs like a big bottle of Arrogant Bastard here, if you haven't had enough beer by then ;o) and the desserts here are pretty darn good too.

Pho Van in the Pearl (W side) is a nice upscale Pho house (Vietnamese beef noodle soup and other specialties) that's pretty easy on the wallet and has good food if you are looking for an Asian option on the W side.

Every one of these places is worth your hard-earned Canadian money, and we do thank you very kindly for choosing to spend it here. Just have plenty of dim sum before you leave BC, because there is no good dim sum down here. Period.

Feel free to ask away, Daddy-A!

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Besides the excellent recommends so far....

For really cheap eats that uses local ingredients (he goes to the farmer's market for veggie pizza toppings and buys local cheese and wheat, the pepperoni is made from good quality meats) I recommend Hot Lips Pizza. Sometimes they even have a house brew (organic!) that isn't half bad (but probably not as good as you're gonna get at the fest). I'm partial to the location near Portland State University, I like the vibe better, and they're happier then at the location in the Pearl.

If you get to the farmer's market (which is a great suggestion) also check out Ken's Artisan Bakery for some of the best bread this side of the pond.

regards,

trillium

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I agree with Trillium - Hot Lips is really good pizza. I'm from Brooklyn, NY and spent about 5 years in Chicago...and I'm REALLY picky about my pizza. (...and no, Nick, I STILL haven't been to Escape from NY!)

BTW, Hot Lips has a new place on the E side now, on Hawthorne near SE 22nd (closer to us, trillium - yay!). Has anyone been there yet? Although I haven't been to the one in the Pearl, I agree about the folks at the PSU location - really nice and cheery.

If you frequent Hot Lips, ask for a punch card (they don't automatically give you one) - with every ten slices you buy, you get one free!

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Hot Lips is good but Escape From NY is still better.

Pamela Wilkinson

www.portlandfood.org

Life is a rush into the unknown. You can duck down and hope nothing hits you, or you can stand tall, show it your teeth and say "Dish it up, Baby, and don't skimp on the jalapeños."

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Hot Lips is good but Escape From NY is still better.

Ahhh. I disagree. I loved Escape from NY in San Francisco (I guess they're brothers), it was an undergrad staple, but I detest the one here. The whole fake NY rudeness the owner cops annoyed the hell out of me and I found the crust to have more of the low-and-slow-rise taste at Hot Lips. Plus, I think the quality of the ingredients aren't that great at Escape from NY. I mostly go for non-meat seasonal stuff or the house made pepperoni, so that may have something to do with it!

regards,

trillium

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Wow! 2 Months to wait, and my mouth is watering already!

I don't know if this will change any of your GREAT recs, but we've booked at room at The Inns at Trillium Station. Any of these places near there?

(I will plead complete ignorance of your city, but I can read a map and "The Pearl" & "Knob Hill" are on it. I can fake it :wink: )

Every one of these places is worth your hard-earned Canadian money, and we do thank you very kindly for choosing to spend it here.  Just have plenty of dim sum before you leave BC, because there is no good dim sum down here. Period.

I hear that! We have pretty darn good Pho too! We'll be missing our local Farmer's Market that weekend, so we'll be sure to visit yours! There was a picture on extramsg.com of a mountain of morels ... get me a pan and some butter!

Something tells me I'm going to gain weight this trip ... are US pounds worth more or less than Canadian kilograms??

DA

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OK, I've only lived in Portland 2-3 years...where the heck is The Inns at Trillium Station?? Where is Trillium Station for that matter?

Anyone else know?

Daddy-A, where is this place?

...and how did you find it?! ;o)

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Umm ... not sure where "Trillium" came from. It's actually Northrup Station. Really cool place ... check it out here.

As for finding it ... my wife is a Google-guru :smile:

DA

Edited to make the damn URL work!

Edited by Daddy-A (log)
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Umm ... not sure where "Trillium" came from.  It's actually Northrup Station.  Really cool place ... check it out here.

As for finding it ... my wife is a Google-guru  :smile:

DA

Try this link here instead.

:smile:

(Edited to make the freakin' code work) :raz:

Edited by bbqer (log)

Sacred cows make the best hamburger.

- Mark Twain, 1835 - 1910

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Well, that's different, then, eh?! ;o)

heh.

You're in a fabulous spot.

Here's something to help you with your mapping: on the WEST side (the side you'll be on, the side where downtown and the Pearl are) north of Burnside the streets are alphabetically arranged (Burnside, Couch (pronounced cooch...um, yeah...), Davis, Everett, etc.) and you will be on NW (west of river, north of Burnside) Northrup near NW 20th.

The Daily Cafe is about 10 blocks from your hotel and you are right near the Portland Streetcar line which will bring you right to the PSU Farmers' Market on Saturday. It is also close to a couple of restaurant-laden strips (I mean that in a good way) close by on NW 21st and NW 23rd.

This city is very negotiable. Nothing is all that far away - you'll find yourself walking to most places, public transport is great, and the folks here are always willing to point you in the right direction. Our transit system's site is hereTrimet Transit if you want to get an idea of it before July.

Oh yeah, and Powell's City of Books (the best bookstore anywhere) is on W Burnside and 10th...make time to stop by either there or at their Books for Cooks and Gardeners store on SE Hawthorne around SE 37th. FYI, as a service Nick has been posting their food-related sale books on his site at ExtraMSG

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I don't know if anyone has mentioned it, but familiarize yourself with the Portland Streetcar.

http://www.portlandstreetcar.org/

Here are a few things I'd recommend not too far from where you're staying:

Casanis: Simple preparations, but often not simple food. A bit noisy, but a very good value. Bistro food.

Papa Haydn: Just go for the dessert counter. They primarily make cakes and if you've been there as many times as I have, you might be a little bored with it. But it's a dessert wonderland the first dozen times. It's very busy, so just walk up to the case and get it to go.

Escape from NY Pizza: I like it for a slice now and then. It's not out of this world good, but if you don't have decent NY pizza in Vancouver, then it's a very good option.

Pizzicato: A local gourmet pizza chain. They also have huge salads for cheap.

Mio Gelato: Right next to Powell's and Sur La Table. Very good gelato. It's on the streetcar route.

NW 21st Italian row: There are four good Italian places, none of which has many entrees over $20. They're Serrato, Cafe Mingo, Tuscany Grill, and Basta's. Each has their advantages, but I probably like Tuscany Grill and Basta's the best.

Noah's Bagels: The chain has an outlet in NW (Nob Hill).

Besaw's: A decent breakfast place.

Daily Cafe: A good casual fine dining place that I've mostly tried for their very good Sunday brunches. (Two locations. You'll want the one in the Pearl.)

Park Kitchen: Only half a dozen blocks, maybe, from Powell's. Very good food with NW leanings. Few entrees over $20 and some of the best food in Portland.

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I don't know if anyone has mentioned it, but familiarize yourself with the Portland Streetcar.

http://www.portlandstreetcar.org/

I was on the site last night ... cool to watch the map with the little icons showing where the cars are!

I think that's the third rec for Park (LOVE the quote on their web site!), and the umpteenth for the Daily. Both are on the list.

Jim also mentioned clarklewis ... is it worth the buzz? I gotta admitt, the Carpaccio of Halibut & Artichoke at Park Kitchen looks awfully tempting!

Any thoughts on Oba? Seems to come up a lot on places like portland.citysearch.com.

DA

ps. please let me return the favour should any of you venure up north!

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I'm actually coming up to Vancouver this month...I need to get on the boards when I figure out my itinerary. I might be in Victoria more.

I'd highly recommend Daily Cafe, then, for brunch on the 25th. I'd choose Park Kitchen over clarklewis, but at this point you may be just treading in the realm of personal preference.

Oba's decent, but I'm generally not as much a fan of Nuevo Latino or Pan-Latin as I am specific cuisines. There's a tendency to offer a variety, but not be able to do anything truly great. Also, places like Oba have a tendency to put some sort of sweet and spicy glaze or sauce on a lot of stuff. Not too far away is Andina, which is a bit more expensive, but does a few things really good (but some things not so good). I'd get the ceviches at Andina and eat as many of those little rolls as they'll keep bringing out. Otherwise, for Latin, I'd cross the river for Taqueria Nueve or Nuestra Cocina (both Mexican with an emphasis on the Yucatan and coastal/regional Mexican).

Also, I wouldn't trust the individual reviews on Citysearch. Many of the editorial reviews can be quite useful (I know Ivy Manning, eg, and trust her very critical palate), but otherwise, stick with the people at Chowhound.com and here.

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Can't you hit clarklewis for lunch, though, Jim?

No worries ... we're coming down early on a Friday. I think we'll do Park Kitchen one night, clarklewis the other.

See? Everyone's happy! :biggrin: (We Canucks are good at diplomacy)

DA

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  • 1 year later...

Time For Road Trip 2005!!

Yes, the Canucks are back for the Oregon Brewers Festival. We arrive it Portland on July 29th, and leave on August 1 (which is a holiday for us in the Great White North).

I've brought this thread back to the surface rather than starting a new one since there were so many good rec's my first time around. The full report of our trip last year can be found HERE. To summarize: we ate at Park Kitchen, The Delta Cafe, The Daily, and visited the Farmers' Market at PSU.

We'd like to return to Park Kitchen, and will be trying clarkelewis this time around as well. The Canuck buck is a lot healthier this year, so the exchange is not as big an issue.

Where else do we need to visit? Paley's has been mentioned a few times, and is really close to our hotel at Northrup Station. I also heard Low's no longer does the BBQ thing at the market. MAJOR DOWNER! Any alternatives??

Any and all help is appreciated, and as always, I'll be happy to return the favour should any of you come to visit us in Vancouver, BC.

A.

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Depending on how late you're leaving on Aug 1 (a Monday?), LOW BBQ serves out of Apizza Scholls on Mondays starting at 5pm. It's better than ever, too, since they don't have to reheat. Apizza Scholls is open other days except Tue same hours and makes possibly the best pizza west of the Mississippi. Probalby the only new place since you were last here is Gotham Bldg Tavern owned by the same people as clarklewis and as good or better (and in a little better place, imo, and on the Max).

Enjoyed meeting you last time. If you'd like to meet up again, PM me.

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