Howdy, blogging friends!!! I thought I would pop back in and finally share my post on our trip to Portland Oregon this past January. We liked Portland so much we are actually going back this month! So needless to say we loved our trip in January. I’m actually so glad we went in January (the off-season), it was a lovely trip and I got Voodoo Doughnuts (original location) with NO wait ? The weather wasn’t too bad either, we actually had some sunshine, and overall it was not too cold. Of course the trip was ALL about the FOOD and BOOZE, like we seriously did not do anything else. We did stop by Powell’s books, which I fully intent to pay a longer visit to on our trip back and that was about it other than walking or riding to our next bar or meal.
My favorite first! Beast was AMAZING, I highly recommend it. Do the late seating (they only do two seatings a night) and get the wine pairing. The food was great and we enjoyed the overall experience. The seating is communal and you are all served at the same time, our table mates were so friendly and all around our age. There are no menu choices, other than drinks and you get six courses. I thought it was well worth the price. Pictures are in order of courses, the second being my favorite course, the foie gras truffle is in the far back with the square gel on top (so good).
This is considered a Portland foodie destination, and it was certainly good, but Beast won out if I had to choose just one. With that said we did have a very good meal. Le Pigeon went on the must-go-to list as soon as I read that they had Foie Gras profiteroles. We enjoyed the 5-course chef tasting menu, all our dishes were lovely and huge. I could never have made it through the 7-course. My favorite course was the first one, the scallop crudo. It’s a very small space, with communal tables, not exactly a relaxed fine dining experience, it’s a bit uncomfortable to get in and out of the tables. The profiteroles were good and unique but I would have liked a little more saltiness than sweetness. The foie gras truffle we had at Beast was better. I’m very happy we got to say we tried Le Pigeon and add it to our foodie passport.
Some of the dishes were really good, some were pretty blah, continuing down to the dessert being just terrible. It’s hard to leave with a good perspective on the overall meal when the final dish is SO terrible. No flavor, the pear was undercooked, the whole dish was ill-conceived. If you don’t want to come up with a decent dessert than just offer cheese and be done with it. The scallops that started our meal were amazing, though. This is one of those places you can walk away with an amazing meal or a blah meal, just depending on what you choose to order. Pictured below the best dish and the worst dish.
Breakfast/Lunch/And In Between
Just look at that biscuit sandwich and bloody marys, the picture says it all. In need of a cure for (maybe) overindulging the night before? This is your spot. We went for breakfast, but I’m sure their dinner would not disappoint.
Voodoo Doughnuts vs Blue Star Donut
The Portland donut/doughnut smack down. While I’ve wanted to try Voodoo Doughnuts FOREVER, I’m ruling in favor of Blue Star Donuts. I’ve been ruined by our neighborhood donut shop,Nomads and just prefer the less sticky sweet version of the yeasty breakfast bite. Again, glad I got to check Voodoo Doughnuts off my food bucket list, but it’s not on the revisit list. Blue Star Donut’s fancy flavor combinations won me over.
Olympic Provisions (Southeast)
Such a cool interior, and of course you can’t keep me away from any place that the central theme is cured meats. We stopped in for a later lunch, where neither one of us were all that hungry. So we opted for the cheese and meat plates, both great. The sandwiches looked amazing, and I wished we had more stomach space to try one.
This was a last minute change to the itinerary based on our Lyft driver’s suggestion. He won us over to change directions by his description of over 10 varieties of bloody marys. The food was good, in a laid back kitchen cafe vibe. I liked my bloody mary from Tasty N Son a bit more, but not bad and such variety!
Beer & Booze
I’m sharing my two favorites first.
Exceptionally done Belgian style beers and cheese, what more could you ask for. Oh and a big, open space, they still felt warm…perfection. I just HAD to order a cheese plate, even though we had dinner in less than 2 hours. I love cheese and cheese with good beer is hard to beat. Very friendly staff. This is on our revisit list!
A bar that serves only ham…how could we not go here?!? Very friendly, funny bartender, beautiful interior and one of the more memorable cocktails I’ve had. Trumper’s Revenge, house-infused horseradish vodka, mint and fresh carrot juice, OMG so good. This and the Dream Weaver (from Husk in Charleston) are two of my top cocktails ever. This is also on our revisit list!!
My favorite space award for a brewery goes to Baerlic, really cool, well designed, and well lit tasting room. The beer was good too, but I just really liked how bright and fresh their space felt. It’s tucked away in a neighborhood which only added to it’s cool factor (not that anywhere in Portland would try to be cool or anything).
This is one of the original breweries of Portland, so we just had to go. I’ve never been a huge fan of their beer, but it was neat to visit their space and get to try a wider variety. We stopped here before walking over to Taylor Railworks for dinner. We had a little fun on the way while waiting on a train to pass.
This was our very first stop for a bite and beer when we landed in Portland! It was a great choice, the food and beer were both great. Cool space to boot, that filled up quickly as people started to get off work.
A very open, warehouse style brewery. Cool space and nice variety of beer, I especially liked that one of my tasters came with a toasted marshmallow. We are actually staying in this neighborhood on our return trip this month.
Home of a million beers. We got every single one of their beers as a taster (15 beers!). Not my favorite brewery of the trip, but very friendly staff and worth a stop in (just maybe stick to a few tasters at first to see how you like it).
We stayed at the River’s Edge Hotel. I would not recommend it, it’s a bit out of the way and the rooms were clean but not overly nice. We did the Priceline Name Your Own Price, and it was the one that was furthest away from downtown. We got a good deal so I don’t have too much to complain about, but if I was paying what the asking rate was I would have been disappointed. Really we didn’t mind the location too much because so many of our destinations were on the other side of the river anyway, and we would have been calling a car even if we were closer to downtown. Portland is fairly spread out and while they have public transportation (which we did use for some trips), it’s not that convenient/quick to get from neighborhood to neighborhood and requires a quite a bit of walking to get to stops. Lyft/Uber rides were readily available so no problem there, just be prepared to do some car rides unless you are only concentrating on downtown for your itinerary.
I’m looking forward to reporting back on our Portland adventure this month, hopefully, it will not take me 6 months to get it published ? We have decided to do AirBNB for this trip that way we can stay in more of a neighborhood area. I will let you know how that works out for us.
Finally Thoughts: I highly recommend visiting Portland in the off-season, our trip in January was awesome!
Have you been to Portland, Oregon? If so, what was your favorite stop?