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Trip Report - Honeymooning Foodies

I forgot to mention that we also ordered the hazelnut powdered doughnuts at gruner, which were absolutely out of this world. do not miss!

Sep 28, 2012
esculent in Metro Portland

Trip Report - Honeymooning Foodies

i think the best way to describe them are pickled deviled eggs. try them if the have them...they were delicious!

Sep 28, 2012
esculent in Metro Portland

Trip Report - Honeymooning Foodies

Well we've returned from a fantastic trip to Portland. Thank you again for all of your fabulous suggestions. We had a great time dining in Portland, to the chagrin of our waistlines! Here's the rundown

We landed Thursday morning, checked in at The Nines, and immediately headed to lunch. This was the first and last time that we were hungry during out entire trip!

Thursday

Lunch: Gruner
We shared the beet-picked eggs to start; they were fantastic!
I ordered the spaetzle with ham & fava beans, which was delicious. SO ordered the "gru-ben" with house-made pickled sauerkraut. As much as I liked the spaetzle, I'd say hubby's gruben was better. Cocktails were great. I was a fan of my Stahl Viola (light, refreshing, and just right for a slightly warm day) while his Albatros was also quite nice.

Drinks: Teardrop Lounge
We met up with a friend of mine for Happy Hour at the Teardrop Lounge. This ended up being one of our favorite cocktail places on the list (thanks for the rec everyone) and we had perfectly passable snacks as well. Drinks: a custom spicy/lime-y mezcal drink & whatever the SO ordered (which i can't remember)

Dinner: Nostrana
We had booked a late night dinner at Nostrana, so we crossed the bridge after drinks ready for some more good eating. We ordered the Salumi pizza to start and OMG was it *&%$*@# amazing! the honey on top of the pizza blew us out of the water. We split the gnocchi with arugula pesto (gnocchi itself was pillowy and good, arugula pesto was too harsh and raw-garlic-y for my taste) and the king salmon (delicious) but both mains paled compared to the pizza. We couldn't stop talking about it for the rest of the weekend! We ordered Cathy's homage to Mozza's butterscotch budino (one of my favorite desserts). It was close, but not quite Mozza's. Drinks: a passable piedmontese red wine

Friday

Breakfast: Urban Farmer
Ready for a long day of eating, we began our day at Urban farmer where we shared the benedict (biscuit & tails & trotters ham, oh my!) and a waffle with honey and fruit compote (fabulous). Everything was delightful...by this point we had come to REALLY like Portland.

Lunch: Nong's Khao Man Gai
We split 1 order of the chicken & rice at Nong's Khai Man Gai. Simple and delicious! And that sauce! We greatly enjoyed.

Happy Hour: Clyde Common
After a couple hours of walking around, we decided to stop for drinks and snacks at Clyde Common. ordered: daily punch (good), Nasturium (way too perfumed and sweet for my taste), heavy petting (fine). Our snacks were fine, nothing special. Overall, we felt underwhelmed by Clyde Common...perhaps we ordered wrong?

Happy Hour Part 2: Jake's Famous Crawfish
moving on from Clyde Common, we stopped at Jake's Famous Crawfish for some oysters. These were fine, but we found ourselves leaving as quickly as we could. Drinks: lousy. We wouldn't go back

Happy Hour Part 3: Oven & Shaker
Totally unable to think about anything but last night's pizza, we stopped off at oven & shaker for a pre-dinner snack (by now we had totally outlasted happy hour). Thank you for pointing out this place...we adored it! We ordered the zucchini fries (yummy) and the pizze bianca (terrific). This is just the type of spot I wish was in our neighborhood! Drinks: Pineapple Trainwreck (good), Canteloupe Cucumber Sour (very good)

Dinner: Little Bird
Admittedly, we were really full by this point, but we decided to go for our late-night dinner at Little Bird regardless. Being too full to order anything else, we decided on a dozen assorted oysters and the pate/terrine/sausage platter to share. The oysters were fantastic and the pates great as well. Honestly, I'm not too big a fan of french cuisine (much of it is far too right for my palate), so I doubt we'd go back. The place was hopping at 10pm on a Friday night, though!

Saturday

Breakfast: Coco's Doughnuts
On our walk to the PSU farmer's market, we stopped off for a doughnut at Coco's. These were good but nothing out of this world, especially compared to all the other great dining we had been doing up to that point.

Breakfast-y: PSU Farmer's Market
We nibbled on things around the market (how beautiful and amazing is that place, btw...i wanted to kick the hollywood farmer's market when I got home) but were unable to stop at Pine State Biscuit due to the incredibly long line. We picked up some smoked salmon & cheese to take back home and wandered back to the hotel.

Coffee: Public Domain
Two great cups of coffee at public domain & a fabulous pretzel!

Lunch: Pok Pok
Still not really hungry at all, but feeling the need to try more places on our list, we headed to Pok Pok. We ordered Ike's Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings (oh man, you weren't kidding...these are delicious), the Boar Collar (Muu Paa Kham Waan) which was great, if spicy, and the Coconut rice (which i would have married if I could). Drinks: Hunny (great), Tamarind Whiskey Sour (great), Seasonal Ginger Drinking Vinegar cocktail (just OK)

Afternoon Coffee: Stumptown
We walked through the neighborhood, eventually finding our way to Stumptown where we enjoyed sitting back with two more cups of coffee.

Dinner: Luce
After a walk through town, we put our names on the list for Luce, that new hot spot highlighted by Bon Appetit. The wait was about an hour, but given that we hadn't been hungry for two days, we were fine with the wait! We ordered a couple antipasti, the foccaccia, the pasta with dried chiles. and the hangar steak (in brodo, i think?). Ultimately, none of it really blew us away and unless we lived in the neighborhood, i don't think we'd be back.

Sunday:

Breakfast: Imperial
For our last meal we walked to the nearby Imperial for breakfast. I ordered the Semolina Corn Cake, hubby the Fry-bread with scrambled eggs, and the bacon-cheddar cornbread and oysters to start. The semolina corn cakes were yummy, but hubby's fry-bread was better IMO. The oysters were great and very fresh. Unable to eat any more, this ended up our last meal of the trip!

Thank you again Portlanders! We had a fabulous time and can't wait to go back!

Sep 27, 2012
esculent in Metro Portland

Honeymooning foodies from LA--->PDX: Help us narrow down our choices!

Thank you, everyone for your great suggestions! We can't wait to eat our way through Portland & will report back

Sep 12, 2012
esculent in Metro Portland

Honeymooning foodies from LA--->PDX: Help us narrow down our choices!

This is really helpful! Thanks for the advice re: pok pok. we love the thai restaurants in LA, so good to know that it might not be a "must do." Will definitely check out the PSU farmer's market, (especially for hazelnuts which we can't get at the farmer's markets in LA). What mushrooms are coming into season up there?

We're not huge beer drinkers, but we'd definitely try a place or two, especially if they are exceptional. I'll add yours to our hit list.

I'm a big fan of pizzeria mozza, so will definitely add Apizza schools on there.

Any recs for great oysters in Portland?...this is what my husband is most yearning for.

Any breakfast suggestions for friday &sunday mornings since we might be at Toro Bravo instead of Tasty n Sons and Pine State biscuits is at the market on saturday?

Thanks for reminding me about Aviation gin! I'm a big gin drinker and totally forgot that it was from that region.

Sep 08, 2012
esculent in Metro Portland

Honeymooning foodies from LA--->PDX: Help us narrow down our choices!

Thanks! That's probably because I'm not sure which one to go to. Everyone I know says go to the Portland Farmer's Market on Saturdays...is that the PSU one? or another one? I'll admit, I've been totally confused.

Sep 07, 2012
esculent in Metro Portland

Honeymooning foodies from LA--->PDX: Help us narrow down our choices!

Traveling to Portland next week (Thurs-Sunday) with my new husband and we're feeling overwhelmed with all the great dining choices. Please review our itinerary and let us know what we should pare down to. We don't have anything planned other than eating and wandering around, so activity suggestions also appreciated. Due to unforeseen circumstances, this weekend trip has now become our actual mini-honeymoon, so we can splurge on meals as needed.

Location: We'll be staying at The Nines and can rent a car, if needed.

What we eat: Everything (except broccoli)

What we love: Well-crafted market-driven cocktails, great happy hours, great coffee, locally grown and expertly-prepared foods. We like just about all ethnic cuisines from carts to fine dining, so bring it on!

What we're looking for: 3 Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Happy-Hour, and late-night drinking spots (we're planning to go to the PDX farmer's market on Saturday, so any stall recs there are also appreciated). We'd also particularly appreciate any recommendations for great oysters, which we love dearly.

When we started doing our research, we quickly found a lot of really yummy looking restaurants. Help us narrow down and let us know which places are better for lunch or dinner. We're not huge fans of lines unless absolutely necessary, so we'd prefer that the majority of places take reservations.

Hit List

Lunch/Dinner (Do any of these have a great Happy Hour?)
Pok Pok (heard lunch might be least-crazy time to go)
Gruner
Beast
Toro Bravo
Little Bird (is this better than Le Pigeon?)
Nostrana
Ox
Castagna
Bunk Sandwiches (for lunch)
EaT: An Oyster Bar (how similar is Parish for Oysters?)
Lincoln
DOC
Woodsman Tavern
Sunshine Tavern (for drinks/HH?)

Breakfast/Brunch
Tasty n Sons
Pine St Biscuits (?)
Saturday Farmer's Market
Coco Donuts (snack)

Drinks
Teardrop Lounge
Clyde Common
Rum Club
Riffle

As you can see...we've amassed way too many choices and would greatly appreciate your feedback to help us have a yummy trip to Portland! Thanks all!

Sep 07, 2012
esculent in Metro Portland

Have car, will travel: truffle festivals this fall?

I'd love to go to Acqualanga, but due to time constraints, I think we will have to concentrate in the Tuscany area. Do you recommend San Miniato or San Giovanni D'Asso for Truffles? Is there anywhere we shouldn't miss?

Oct 14, 2008
esculent in Italy

Have car, will travel: truffle festivals this fall?

Thank you! Do you find the festivals to be too crowded?

Sep 22, 2008
esculent in Italy

Have car, will travel: truffle festivals this fall?

My boyfriend and I will be in Italy from Nov 15-21st and I'm dying for tartufo bianco. We are planning to spend a couple days in Rome, and heading to Florence for a few days. Our itinerary is very flexible, so we can go where the truffles take us. Staying in the Piedmont is fine with us, as is moving Rome to the end of the trip if need be. I looked around on the internet but it seems most truffle festivals are ending before we get there. Any advice on festivals that we must see?

Recommendations for restaurants with fabulous truffle dishes, and local truffle vendors are greatly appreciated too!

Sep 19, 2008
esculent in Italy

Best Pancakes Ever? (For Dinner!)

The hotcakes at Honey's Kettle Fried Chicken in Culver City astound me. Personally, I prefer to overdo it by ordering both hotcakes AND biscuits.

Jun 17, 2008
esculent in Los Angeles Area

Halloween Treats?

FYI, I saw the Vosges skulls at Alcove Cafe in Los Feliz last week. Joan's on Third also has candy corn and I think some other Halloween treats.

Oct 19, 2007
esculent in Los Angeles Area

Best Hansen's Cake Flavors?

seconded. the chocolate cake with the white chocolate chocolate chip filling is also pretty good.

Oct 02, 2007
esculent in Los Angeles Area

Under-rated/Under-hyped

Total agreement. Mike (Mohammad) truly takes care in what he does. Also, try the tuna falafel, which is a falafel sandwich with his special, mayoless, tuna and tabouli salad.

Sep 03, 2007
esculent in Los Angeles Area

father's office

I ususally just ask people if they are wrapping up. I'll also ask people if they mind if i share a table with them. Most of the time people are happy to share and I've met some great people in LA that way. Just remember to return the favor once you get the table all to yourself!

Jun 22, 2007
esculent in Los Angeles Area

father's office

i have to be honest here. i enjoy father's office. i find the burger and sweet potato fries are utterly delicious and i usually just kick back and have a great time. that said, in all the years that i've been going, i've never had a problem with a table until this last time. here's the thing. At FO, I'm accustomed to sharing tables with total strangers. I've met some really interesting people that way. I'll always share my table if I have the room, and I've found others to behave in the same way, that is, until recently when no less than three seperate tables of couples refused to share their table. I found it a little strange, and depressing, but dealt with it.

I guess for me FO is more of a communal experience than a one-on-one dining experience (a'la providence or something else).

Jun 14, 2007
esculent in Los Angeles Area

What's your most recent WOW! Moment at an LA restaurant?

ditto...that wow-ed me too...even with all the hype

Jun 14, 2007
esculent in Los Angeles Area

What's your most recent WOW! Moment at an LA restaurant?

our total w/out tip (incl 1 sake, 1 asahi and 1 tea) came to about $130. I asked how much omakase is there and they said $100pp which is too steep for my budget, so I was just honest and told the chef that I would love to have omakase, but couldn't afford it. They treated us very respectfully and Eddie brought out his best for us while not completely killing our budget. We did get terrified that we got into a $300 meal halfway through...then I tasted the Mana Katsuo and all was worth it.

Jun 13, 2007
esculent in Los Angeles Area

What's your most recent WOW! Moment at an LA restaurant?

my most recent WOW was at Sushi Iki in Tarzana last weekend. I just asked for best fish they had (as i have never been before) and everything was fantastic. however, the most transcendent moment was with a piece of Mana Katsuo with a wonderful lemony sauce. Eddie makes all of his sauces and dressings in house (he even makes the sorbet they served for dessert).

Jun 12, 2007
esculent in Los Angeles Area

father's office

i didn't think that craftsman was bottling yet. please tell me i'm wrong!

http://www.laist.com/2007/05/04/laist...

Jun 07, 2007
esculent in Los Angeles Area

Robertson/Burton Way- Favorite Restaurants?

oh thank goodness. i'm looking for another thai restaurant (i live in the area) and was hoping it wasn't Natalee

May 31, 2007
esculent in Los Angeles Area

Breakfast with a 'twist'!

i second the brunch at Simon LA

May 31, 2007
esculent in Los Angeles Area

$2 and under

You can also get two tacos at Sabor a Mexico from their weekend Taco table, or two tacos from the taco truck on Lincoln and Rose.

May 31, 2007
esculent in Los Angeles Area

Sunday Challenge HELP!

How about the Redwood Bar & Grill? I haven't been, but recall hearing some pretty good things on this board. Plus it's downtown, open late, most entrees are around $13 and it's got vegetarian items.

http://www.theredwoodbar.com/Menu.html

May 31, 2007
esculent in Los Angeles Area

Great wine for gift (around $100)?

i realized that the '05 were futures shortly after posting. i guess if i knew that the person was a real Bordeaux fanatic I might spring for that, but I'm just not certain.

May 31, 2007
esculent in Wine

Dinner/LA/Friday night

If sushi's your thing, I'd suggest heading down to Ventura Blvd in Studio City for some great sushi. Nozawa is hotly debated on this board but has its fans. My personal favorite, however, is Tama Sushi.

May 31, 2007
esculent in Los Angeles Area

Great wine for gift (around $100)?

thanks for all your help!

May 31, 2007
esculent in Wine

Robertson/Burton Way- Favorite Restaurants?

I think you're thinking of Natalee Thai which is in the mini-mall on olympic & robertson across the street from the fancy gas station.

I also rec the 3rd stop.

May 31, 2007
esculent in Los Angeles Area

Great wine for gift (around $100)?

i was leaning towards a red, possibly italian. i'd also consider a great california wine since i'm in california, or a 2005 bordeaux since they're getting so much hype

May 31, 2007
esculent in Wine

$2 and under

You can get 2 samosas from India Sweet House (Pico & Fairfax) and still have 50 cents left over.

May 31, 2007
esculent in Los Angeles Area