One thing you may not know about Portland - it is a foodie town. I had the opportunity to visit a while ago and although I was short on time and not able to do any of the tourist things, I had enough time for three (sometimes two) meals a day. Before my trip, I reached out to the blogging community (read: stalked multiple instagram pages - ooops) for recommendations of where to eat and had a list of ten options. As great as those were, nothing beats recommendations by local. In between meetings and interacting with hotel staff, I added a few more options to the list. All I was missing were strecthy pants and time. The Portland food scene is legit and there is not one spot that was lacking, we had one great meal after another. I was tempted to stay put in Portland - but that constant rain business is not for me.
Harlow. I wanted something healthy and I needed space to do some work before my morning meetings kicked off at 9:30 a.m. Harlow delivered with early opening; work friendly space and ah-mazing healthy options. The mixed berry chai bowl topped with bananas, toasted walnut and coconut (gawd !). If all healthy food tasted that good, I will be ten pounds lighter. The menu also had gluten-free, vegeterian and vegan options. Plus, the staff is super friendly and service is quick. I was there right when they opened, it was quiet and I got a ton of work done over breakfast.
Sweedeedee. The cutest restaurant, ever! Located in the Alberta neighborhood. It has this southern flare that is inviting and made me feel like I was dining in the home of an old friend. It was a difficult choice between the pie options and the corn cakes plate. In the end, I went with the Corn cakes served with swiss chard and perfectly crisped bacon. The place was packed so it took a little bit to get my food but it was worth the wait. [open for breakfast and lunch].
Tasty n Alder. Located in the downtown area (on SW 12th). Oh my gosh - One of the best meals ever. I sat at the bar overlooking the kitchen and saw them churn out orders of the chocolate potato donut so naturally I had to order some (for research purposes). If that is all I had, I will have been fully satisfied, but then the korean fried chicken caught my attention (so good !). The family style set up lets you try a few things on the menu, but the portion size is not so huge that a party of one like myself will feel overwhelmed. Show up early because they don't take reservations and there is a line to get in for brunch. [open daily for Brunch and lunch]
Blue Star Donut. Their slogan is "donuts for adults" - Could not agree more. I found a location just a block from Tasty n Alder (there are several locations in the Portland area including one just before the security check at PDX). This was another spot with a line. I got the Cointreau Creme Brulee and the PB&J donut and life was good. It was so good, I stopped by the location at PDX for extras before heading home.
Porque , no. Don't leave Portland without getting a meal here. As a ex-Texas dweller, I am always skeptical to try Mexican outside of Texas. If they make 'em as good as Por que, no - apprehension nipped in the bud. I had Bryan's bowl - a combo of guac, crema, bean, rice, protein of choice, salsa. Life Changed !
Papa Haydn. This was a recommendation from the hotel concierge. He said "I don't care where you go for dinner, but finish up with dessert at Papa Haydn." On my last night in Portland, I decided to head there for dinner and dessert. The dessert menu is three time longer than the dinner menu and everything sounded great. Because I wanted to have room for dessert, I ordered the nicoise salad with trout and picked eggs (oh ! my ! Salad !). Then it was time for dessert. I ordered the Boccone Dolce which I am told is a Papa Haydn's classic. It was sooooo good. Even typing this up, I am having a moment. I completely understand why ]a trip to Papa Haydn was recommended.
Lardo's. The guy that took my order told me they had over 100 sandwiches on reserve and they switch them out often. Hopefully, these recommedations are on the menu when you visit. The Lardo egg sandwich will change the way you sandwich. My friends ordered the Pork meatball Banh Mi and Korean pork shoulder and had great feedback on those as well.
Salt and Straw. I found one on my way to the airport and decided to stop in. Best decision made on the trip. Their scoops are huge - you have been warned. I am grateful they can do a split flavor for each scoop. I got one split scoop with foie gras oatmeal raisin cream pie and Almond brittle with salted ganache. I don't know if there is Ice cream as delish as the foie gras oatmeal raisin cream pie. It was excellent ice cream. Sadly, it is currently a January new year's indulgence and might not make return to the menu. The staff let you get a taste of all the flavors before you decide. Two flavors from the classic menu that I loved - the almond brittle with salted ganache and the honey lavender.
For Caffeine Fix. Portland has no shortage of coffee shops. There are so many good local coffee shops with personality and incredible menu- I am surprised starbucks even has a presence. The ones I tried (and loved) were Stumptown coffee ; Taste coffee and Coava coffee.
A few other plaaces that were recommended, but I did not get to try - Tasty n Sons / VooDoo donuts / Ruby Jewel scoops / Cool Moon Ice cream / Milk glass market / Luc Lac Vietnamese kitchen.
Now over to you, have you visited Portland ? Any additional recommendations ?