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…
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!).
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.
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).
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.
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!
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.
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