The Things We Did (Ate) in Portland

It’s official…Portland is awesome! As I mentioned last Friday, I spent this past weekend in Portland with two of my besties for a girls getaway. I’ve actually been to Portland a handful of times (several years ago with the same two friends and a few times since then for work), and I swear it just keeps getting better and better with every visit. The food is just incredible, and it seems with every turn we kept discovering the most charming neighborhoods with the coolest restaurants and bars. It’s pretty clear that the Portland food scene is on fire! There are endless places I still need to try, but here are some of the highlights that we managed to squeeze in over the  weekend…

 

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Olympic Provisions \\

The weekend got off to a fantastic start with a lunch visit to Olympic Provisions, which is tucked away in the city’s Industrial District. And when they say “industrial”, the do mean industrial. It was in a pretty no frills part of town, but so worth the trip. When you walk into the restaurant, your eye is immediately drawn to the ultra hip “meat” sign hovering over the kitchen proudly boasting their specialty, which is turning out some of the finest salumi in all of Portland. Unfortunately for us, we weren’t starving so we had to keep things fairly light, but I will definitely be back to try a charcuterie plate in the future! We split the the “Mortadella”, their version of an Italian sub, and “The Randy”, a delicious creamy combo of blue cheese, apples and toasty hazelnuts (and no meat! I know, what were we thinking, but it was sooo good!).

 

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olympic-provisions

 

Little Bird \\

Our second meal of the trip was our “fancy dinner” for the weekend. For this we went to Little Bird, which is the more casual concept from the team behind Le Pigeon, but I would say, with it’s white tablecloths and fine cuisine, it’s still pretty fancy by most measures. We had a very lovely and cozy meal here. My favorite dish of the meal was the bone marrow (I know, shocker) not only because the marrow was its usual sinfully delicious self, but it also came with some excellent crispy, herbaceous flatbread that I couldn’t get enough of! That’s the bone marrow not photographing well on the right below, along with the slighty more photogenic gnocchi.

 

little-bird

 

Clyde Common \\

After dinner, we headed to Clyde Common, a restaurant with a lively bar scene at the ever so hip Ace Hotel . My only photo is pretty bleak, but just think hand-crafted, bourbon-laden concoctions courtesy of your favorite tattooed mixologist. And obviously a few hipsters milling about…after all, the Portland Ace is the backdrop of hipster spoof, Portlandia. It’s a perfect stop for drinks, if you’re in the downtown area (great food as well, which I tried on a previous visit).

 

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Besaw’s \\

For the perfect calorie-packed lazy morning brunch, look no further than Besaw’s for a comfort food-filled meal. It’s the perfect stop to carb up before heading out for some great shopping on 23rd Street. Danielle and I split the croque madame and eggs benedict, and the croque was the clear winner for me. We were also eyeing some of the pretty cocktails we saw whizzing by on trays, but we weren’t quite ready for cocktail indulgence at that hour…that came a bit later in the day.

 

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Southland Whiskey Kitchen \\

Speaking of those drinks we skipped at breakfast, it wasn’t too long till they found their way to our lips. After tiring ourselves out with some strenuous shopping (ok, so we strolled up and down a few streets for a bit), we were lured into the Southland Whiskey Station by their fun mural on the wall outside and their honkey-tonk chic decor on the inside. We went in specifically for drinks, but it didn’t take long for our eyes to veer to their small bites menu. And I have to say, the mac & cheese and fried grits sticks definitely stole the show. I would go back just for those in a heartbeat!

 

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southland-whiskey-station

 

Pok Pok \\

The grand finale of our trip was a visit to Pok Pok for their highly coveted streetfood style Thai food. When we started mapping out our plans for the weekend, this was my only “must do” request.  The girls kindly went along with my plan, which involved a cab ride across town and a nearly two hour wait for  this reservation-less spot. But when a place is dubbed one of the 20 most important restaurants in America, these are the lengths you go to. Luckily they’ll call your cell when your table’s ready so you can kill time consuming far too many cocktails at a nearby bar while you wait (hmmm, is that a good thing or a bad thing?)  We finally made it to our table and had a fun dinner in this kitschy spot. Of course, we had to order their famous chicken wings, which were insanely crispy, caramelized, sticky and delicious…I think I may have accidentally (on purpose) hogged that dish.

 

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pok-pok-chicken

 

My only regret for the weekend is that we didn’t get a chance to try the local favorite Salt & Straw ice cream. The line was wrapped around the corner, and we just didn’t have it in us to wait. Alas, it will have to wait till next time!  Can’t wait for the next trip ladies!  xoxo

 

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Friday Round-up // Week 32

I’m  heading to Portland today! I’m off for a quick girls weekend with a couple of my favorite gals, and I could not be more thrilled. Portland is such a fun and funky town, with great food and no sales tax! That means two things…I’ll definitely be eating too much and shopping too much during my short time there…exactly what every girls weekend should entail (oh, forgot to mention wine…there will be plenty of that as well).

 

We’ve got quite a great line-up of yummy eats in store, and I’ll be sure to share all my favorites next week. Till then, enjoy a few of my favorite links for the week…

 

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 \\ beautiful scenery from a recent trip to Stinson Beach //

 

 

Bon Appetite nominated 50 Best New Restaurants

 

 

And here are the 10 winners.

 

 

Speaking of restaurants, this one was such and depressing addition to San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf.

 

 

I finally ate cioppino! I had it at Salito’s Crab House in Sausalito, which is delicious and adorable with breathtaking views (and insanely good bread).

 

 

So bummed to see Russell Jackson didn’t win Next Food Network Star, but very excited to attend the covert dinner he’s hosting later this month.

 

 

I snagged my Alt SLC 2014 ticket yesterday! Who else will be there?

 

 

Have a great weekend!

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DIY Burlap Placemats

I’m over a My Thirty Spot today sharing the easiest DIY involving burlap and a pair of scissors…come say hi!

 

burlap-placemat

 

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On Being a Food Tourist

I’ve been recently scouring about a million different websites for every little detail I can possibly consume re: our upcoming trip to the Amalfi Coast. In my searches, I stumbled across an interesting term…Food Tourism (aka Culinary Tourism). Essentially it means experiencing a city’s culture through memorable food experiences. I guess I’ve always known in my heart that I did this, but now I know it has a name. In fact, it even has its own Wikipedia page so it’s pretty much a thing now.

 

Of course, there are varying levels of food tourism, and I’m trying to decide where to draw the line with our Italy trip. Should we spend a whole day visiting a buffalo mozzarella farm? Should we detour in Naples for several hours to experience an epic pizza tour? Should we splurge on cooking classes and learn to make pasta as the Italians do?

 

The challenge is finding the balance between getting my foodie geek fix, but still finding time to experience “Dolce Far Niente“.

 

If you’re a Food Tourist yourself, you might enjoy some of these resources I’ve found useful:

 

Viator, for interesting excursions.

SlatShaker for underground dining destinations.

BA Travel guides often have unique suggestions.

Food & Wine has some great travel guides as well.

Cross check everything against TripAdvisor reviews.

 

 

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What are some of your most memorable culinary travel experiences?

 

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