Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Portland: Eat this, Not that

hipster hellmouth

Hello, hello, baby, you called? I can’t hear a thing...sometimes I wonder if my lyric drops are lost on deaf ears :) I'm sure you are all sick of seeing the banana cream pie? Yes Taro, the sister relayed your message. 

So what’s happened since October? Not much. I was feeling uninspired due to mental exhaustion. Seriously. See normally I can come home from work and spend a few minutes to blog, but the past six months took its toll. My brain asked me to leave her alone. She wanted a break. She needed a break and well, she’s not sorry she took one.

Since I can’t make it up to you or change the past all I can do is tell you about it.

I went to Portland for the first time. And if I’m honest (when am I not?) it wasn’t one of my favourite cities. It’s beautiful, one point Oregon. It’s close to Vancouver, plus one. It smells like hipster spirit. Minus two. Guess we broke even. The service put it back on the board - best service in stores, restaurants, and bars. But considering the bar for food was set high and not everything was as good as they say. Back to zero.


Must eats:

Salt & Straw. Yes, yes and oh yes. Delicious, creamy and inventive. Momma GG got blue cheese and pear – I know right? That came out of nowhere. Go Momma GG! I went more traditional with lavender and coffee-rum.

Salt & Straw on Urbanspoon

Mother’s Bistro & Bar. The sister will be surprised. You might be too what with its average reviews but you know what – sometimes average is awesome. I knew Momma GG would love it and she did. A casual café set-up with a wide ranging menu boasting a host of familiar breakfast goodies.

Mother's Bistro & Bar on Urbanspoon

Stumptown. I get great enjoyment from the basics. Like a good cup of coffee. Simplicity is delicious. Couture coffee in blue collar city – how can you say no? It’s just like Vancouver but without annoying conversations about gluten, yoga or rain.

Stumptown Coffee Roasters on Urbanspoon

Tasty N Alder. Loved this place. Amazing service and true comfort food. Two words: FRIED CHICKEN.

DELICIOUS...the pickles too....
Now back to that chicken. Juicy, crispy, perfect.

Tasty n Alder on Urbanspoon

And since you take the good, you take the bad, you put 'em together and there you have...the DE FACTO NOs, i.e. I would not eat this (again):

VoodooDoughnuts. I’m normally good at weeding out tourist traps but respected sources said I’d like it. Nope. Short line (5 man strong). Ordered two. Took a bite. Threw it out. Took a bite. Threw it out. Voodoo and the pink box and what’s inside is like buying a jar of maple syrup when visiting Canada. Don’t do it. Ever.

Don't eat this.
Voodoo Doughnut on Urbanspoon

AvaGenes. Popular, acclaimed, yet entirely average. Great interior, good service but sadly the food was okay. I expected more – especially if you take into account its reputation and the fact Portland is supposedly on another level. The pumpkin salad with brown butter and their non traditional garlic bread were standouts but the pastas were bland and the arancini balls didn’t even break my top 10. Course I’ve had some stellar ones so they had big balls to fill.

Don't eat this either.
Ava Gene's on Urbanspoon

Besaws. Disappointing but in a great neighbourhood.

You could eat this but why?
Besaw's on Urbanspoon

Departure. Very cool resto, expensive yet not necessarily delicious.

Too terrible to eat.
Departure on Urbanspoon

Food trucks. If you like the novelty, sure, after all it’s a Portland staple but FYI, not ideal for mothers. Momma GG didn’t enjoy the experience. I would recommend doing your research before you go otherwise you will waste your time circling and circling. Nong’s is famous – but I skipped it lieu of trying Grinds. And try I did…I asked them for every protein but I’d only call the fried chicken good because it had the flavours of chicken karaage but where was the crunch? 

Grinds 808. Fine, you can eat this.

To end on a positive note...oogle the colours of creamy delight:

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