Heading to Portland and the Willamette...best foodie stops?

Hi, Any suggestions for great restaurants/farmers markets/spice shops/restaurant supply stores? best off-the-beaten track vineyards? we have a day and a half in Portland (too short, I know) and three days in the Willamette. We're staying in Newburg when we head to wine country. Many thanks!!

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17 Comments

em-i-lis August 5, 2011
hi there chefjune. nick's was closed while we were in newberg- sunday/monday seems to be a tough day. but no worries, we stuffed ourselves silly with food and wine the rest of the time. laurelhurst market was fabulous- thanks HLA. also came across an amazing tamale stand at the tuesday "taste of portland" thing in pioneer square. i think i'm still stuffed and we returned two days ago. :)
 
ChefJune August 5, 2011
Oh dear! How did I miss this? Is it too late? are you back?

Tanuki in Portland has amazing Japanese food. Not sushi, not tempura. real Izakaya menu. food is the best! and In McMinnville, Nick's Italian Cafe. Looks like a nothing place, but inside it's amazing. They make their own charcuterie. All I can say is WOW.
 
davidpdx July 30, 2011
em-i-lis -- Great! Glad you are enjoying our city and countryside. Come back again soon!
 
em-i-lis July 30, 2011
Hi HLA- I hear u; wish we'd gone to gruner too but the PSA mrkt was awesome, and uprooted, a food truck in newberg was phenomenal. Went to Chehalem, brick house and Penner-ash today. Awesome. To Joel Palmer house tonight. Aran cara tmrw among others, natalie's estate Monday. The Allison is fabulous. Thanks all!
 
Amanda H. July 30, 2011
Apologies for the spam -- we're working to track down the person, so we can egg his/her house.
 
hardlikearmour July 30, 2011
Oh... you totally should've gone to Gruner instead of Higgins. The radish salad is amazing! If you get a chance go the the Pearl Bakery and get a Gibassier.
 
em-i-lis July 30, 2011
Wow, y'all! This is fabulous! Thank you so much! Wish I'd managed to change our dinner reservs for last night as Higgins was pretty avg. We will fix that for Tuesday night! Heading out soon for coffee and the PSU market, then to the willamette. Definitely planning on the painted lady and the mushroom place and have reserv at thistle! Many thanks! Em-i-lis
 
vvvanessa July 30, 2011
my latest pdx obsessions:

tasty n sons: freaking awesome. fairly straightforward preparations but exquisitely prepared. i had a boudin blanc omelette, chicken hash, baked yams with maple syrup and cumin, and the breakfast board last week and thought i might cry it was so good. it's the sister restaurant of toro bravo, as mentioned by hardlikearmour.

meat cheese bread: they have a sandwich that blows my mind: grilled green beans with bacon relish and perfectly boiled egg. when i got off the plane last week, i had my sister drive me there straight away.

simpatica: if you can get into one of their reasonably priced, fantastically seasonal prix fixe dinners on friday or saturday night, go. you have to reserve via email, so get on their mailing list to get notifications. if you are in pdx on a sunday morning GO TO BRUNCH THERE. portland is a huge breakfast town, and i have had many amazing morning meals, but there is something about simpatica that just makes me swoon.

laurelhurst market: if you're there during the day, get a sandwich at the butcher counter. porchetta if it's available or the italian meat combo. freaking delicious. i always try to take one of their sandwiches home on the plane with me. at dinner, the restaurant is a steakhouse. the fries are rad, the pork chop is ridiculous (in a good way, of course), and we had a green bean side dish that for me stole the show. it's the sister restaurant of simpatica.

alder pastry and dessert: seriously french pastries, beautifully done. also great homemade gelato. insider alert! at 11 each night, there is pastry "happy hour" where all the dry pastries (croissant, danish, financiers) are all $1!!! everything is reasonably priced already, but you can't beat a deal like that.

saturday farmers' market: it's downtown, huge, has several prepared food stands, and is lots of fun.

have fun! and bon appétit!
 
Ellmy July 29, 2011
Bar Avignon is a wonderful little restaurant off of SE Division. Their local, seasonal menu ensures that there is always something new and delicious to taste.

Pambiche on NE Glisan is a Cuban restaurant with large and flavorful portions. Try the limeade with a stalk of sugar cane!

Jade Teahouse in Sellwood has beautiful pastries and very fresh, tasty Vietnamese food. The fish sauce chicken wings are stinky, but one of my favorite dishes.

VooDoo Doughnuts is fun, if a little overrated, but Papa Haydn and Pix have beautiful desserts. And I second Albina Press as far as coffeehouses go!
 
hardlikearmour July 29, 2011
I sent this to Em-i-lis in an e-mail, but since others may be interested I'll put it here as well:

Coffee places:

http://www.stumptowncoffee.com/
http://baristapdx.com/
Albina Press

Food:

Carts - Some pods I particularly like are SW 9th and Washington/Alder & SE 12th and Hawthorne

Restaurants:
http://www.laurelhurstmarket.com/index.cfm (great, locally sourced meat & probably my favorite restaurant)
http://torobravopdx.com/ (or for breakfast try Tasty & Sons)
http://www.pokpokpdx.com/ (pokpok, whiskey soda lounge, or ping)
http://www.lovelysfiftyfifty.com/ (wood oven pizza & gelato)
http://www.pixpatisserie.com/ (dessert)
http://www.rubyjewel.net/scoopshop/ (ice cream)
http://cascadebrewingbarrelhouse.com/ (sour beer, my favorite!)

http://www.wweek.com/portland/flex-232-restaurant_guide_2010.html
http://www.portlandmonthlymag.com/eat-and-drink/articles/2010-best-restaurants-revolution-1110/4/

Miscellaneous food stuff:
http://www.portlandmonthlymag.com/eat-and-drink/articles/food-lovers-guide-0310/

Wine Country Food:
Red Fox Bakery in McMinnville
Thistle in McMinnville

Wineries I like (I love wine, but am by no means an expert!)
Bella Vida
Maysara
Witness Tree
Sokol Blosser

More Winery info:
http://blog.oregonlive.com/terryrichard/2011/07/10_oregon_wineries_where_the_v.html
http://willamettewines.com/

If you are interested in alcohol besides wine consider checking out Distillery Row and/or Clear Creek Distillery as well.
http://www.distilleryrowpdx.com/ (House Spirits has my favorite Aviation Gin!)
http://www.clearcreekdistillery.com/
 
davidpdx July 29, 2011
If in Portland on Saturdays, go to the PSU farmers market. Berry season is here and they are wonderful this year. If you are here this Friday and Saturday, the mammoth annual beer festival is going on down by the waterfront. You can't go wrong with Portland restaurants, from Bunk Sandwiches on the really casual end to places like Gruner on the higher end, with lots in between; do some research here: http://www.portlandmonthlymag.com/eat-and-drink/. And do try some food carts. I share the recommendation for Painted Lady in Newberg. Our favorite Newberg-area winery to visit is Penner-Ash; fine wines and a great view; also good for picnicing.
 
Marvin R. July 28, 2011
If you like mushrooms then Joel Palmer Hpuse in Dayton is a must. Also the Painted Lady is fabulous. For a good boutique winery, try Natalie's Estate--you will need an appointment, bit it's worth it.
 
thelittlefoodie July 28, 2011
You absolutely MUST eat at Pok Pok. Real Thai, really made from scratch. It's been featured in 3D (Diner's Drive-ins and Dives) and major food magazines, but it has all the down-to-earth qualities that keep it from taking success and making it pretentious. The chicken wings are as good as everyone says, but really you can't go wrong with anything on the menu.
And then hit Voo Doo doughnuts just for fun.
 
rapearson July 28, 2011
You should check out the Food Lovers Guide to Portland: http://www.amazon.com/Food-Lovers-Guide-Portland-Crain/dp/1570616256/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1311903534&sr=8-1
 
beyondcelery July 28, 2011
Bushwhacker Cider in Portland. If you like hard cider, it's incredibly fun and delicious.
Their website: http://bushwhackercider.com/
My blog post where I gush about the amazing cider we tasted:http://beyondcelery.blogspot.com/2011/06/portland.html
 
boulangere July 28, 2011
So glad HLA responded. Please pick her wonderful brain!
 
hardlikearmour July 28, 2011
OMG.... you can hardly go wrong. What do you like as far as food goes? I'd be happy to give some ideas.
 
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