Wednesday, July 13, 2011

portland: dinner highlights

So, onto the other meal we ate in Portland.  There were no lunches, since the breakfasts were so huge.  Even though we ate at a lot more breakfast spots than dinner places, the dinners we had were some of my favorite meals on our trip.


Wonderful seasonal and local dishes.  I got to try my first fiddlehead fern and huckleberries.  Seemed like sort of a Portland version of our favorite restaurants in Madison.  Great for grown-ups and kids.

special: seared halibut with morels, fingerling potatoes, fiddlehead ferns, and tarragon vinaigrette

braised pork collar over greens and potatoes with apple butter

cuban sandwich with ham, roasted pork, house-made pickles, and mustard aioli

huckleberry cheesecake

Toro Bravo

A Spanish tapas joint--my first tapas meal.  We each ordered something we thought sounded good, then shared.  It was a very nice, though dark, birthday meal for Matt.

fideos with spring vegetables and bacon

drunken grilled pork over avocado salad

braised lamb with coriander and apricots over house-made noodles 
(my personal favorite of the night)

Would definitely return for more spicy, rich, sticky Thai food.  Whiskey Soda Lounge would make a fun stop--their related bar across the street serves really intriguing Thai appetizers.

clockwise from top right:
khao soi kai - curry noodle soup
duck larb issan
sticky rice & sides
sai ua samun phrai - Ching Mai spicy sausage
Vietnamese fish sauce wings

huckleberry drinking vinegars

Monday, July 11, 2011

portland: breakfast highlights

Matt and I went to Portland in May to visit his folks.  It was a great trip.  We ate pretty much constantly, as there are so many places to eat and we only had four days.  Previously unbeknownst to me, Portland is full of great breakfast places.  I'll try to do the quickest rundown possible of a very small sampling of Portland breakfasts.

Their namesake is delicious, especially the vegetarian version, full of sage and thyme and mushrooms and reminiscent of Thanksgiving dinner.  Plus, a huge menu with lots of omelette and scramble choices, life-changing beignets, and a short walk to vintage and record shopping made this a fast favorite.

beignets with powdered sugar and maple syrup

biscuit with vegetable gravy

Everything was great here, though to be honest, I've had better chicken-fried bacon.   You really can't beat fluffy pancakes with house-made strawberry syrup and something called "pork belly benedict" (which, by the way, Matt can't stop talking about).

huevos rancheros 

 chicken-fried bacon with caramel sauce

pork belly benedict with bacon fat hollandaise

Arlita Library Cafe

A solid breakfast was had here as well.  Nice specials and, based on the coffee cake, I'd say wonderful baked goods too.

pear & fig coffee cake

scrambled eggs, asparagus, bacon, and stout cheese sauce on toast