Portland

By mandalam

Star 5

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Straight from the rental car to this spot for some refreshments.

This was my first introduction to salumists - thank you to all the lovely folks at Olympic Provisions who devote themselves to the perfection of cured meats. My happy hour sampling included:

Pistachio terrine
Pork rillettes
House salami

paired with

Pickled rhubarb
House Pickles
Mount tam
Comte

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The Nines was all booked (but after checking it out in person decided it would have been too sceney for us anyway).

Next best option looked like The Benson, every president since Taft has stayed here along with Madonna. They must have spectacular presidential suites b/c the plebeian rooms were pretty dated. But clean which is what I care the most about.

I think next time we'll just do the Ace even though it makes us feel like the ultimate hipster cliche. Either that or we might try the Monaco if we can get a deal.

Star 5

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Grownup flavors, beignet-style batter. Read lots of hype on Voodoo Doughnuts, but I was way more excited about this place (and all the locals who saw my box of doughnuts at the airport seconded Blue Star's superiority).

I was torn between salted caramel, lemon poppyseed, and the one I landed on was blueberry bourbon basil. Good ol' glazed for Ryan. Mine is heavenly, just enough tartness, a slight kick from the basil but not too herby.

Ryan says: original glazed all the way. Who wants to grow up?

Star 2

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Shockingly delicious, I'm not a big wheat germ/non-fat person, but both of our meals were both super tasty and our bodies are feeling a lot better after the 24-hour fat and carb binge. I would skip the chai. It sounded awesome, Alberta chai tea with coconut milk and wild honey. Kind of underwhelming in reality. We'll definitely be back for the food again before we leave though! Documenting the ingredients in detail so we can try and replicate at home.

El Dorado salad
Spinach and greens with yam rice, walnut taco crumbles, avocado, sun dried tomato, scallions, cilantro, jalapeno cashew cheese, and red chili vinaigrette

Ryan got the:

Kali bowl
Quinoa, garnet yam vegetable curry, kale, slow cooked mango chutney, and cilantro

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Here we go again, but with 1200 reviews and 4.5 stars on Yelp, feels like we are obligated to pay a visit.

The hype definitely outlived the food. I think the vegetable sides at night are what the critics love about this place. Ryan's gravy was pretty bland, my oatmeal was cooked with water, and the drool-inducing description of the praline candied bacon was not the least bit crispy and waaay too sweet.

Breakfast corndog and hush puppies with maple cane sugar glaze sounded lovely but was also so-so.

Cool presentation on the chicken and waffles but it looked a little dry and we didn't see any eye-rolling ecstasy from the diners around us who ordered it.

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Boutique speed shopping continues...

Frances Mae
My favorite assortment, reminds me of boutiques in Williamsburg in Brooklyn.

Lots of Raquel Allegra, Wood wood (new brand for me. I picked up the softest, thinnest black merino sweater from them. And 15% off b/c they were doing a Memorial Day block party sale)

Addendum, love my sweater even more now that I looked up the brand and see they're from Denmark!

Woonwinkel
Fun collection of home accessories and children's things.

Tender Loving Empire
Card press galore, turn around and gawk at the life size cardboard ape sculpture over the door.

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Ryan was clever enough to download a few episodes of King of Thrones from iTunes while we had our high speed downtown hotel connection.

Settling in for the night with some fancy popcorn we picked up from a food truck in the city. And some Pellegrino we grabbed while still in civilization.

Sweet jalapeño lime popcorn and a bottle of fizzy water. Money.

Addendum:
Btw Portland has an unreal food truck scene, 600 of these little trailer hitches sprinkled across the city.

Star 1

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Headed into town center this morning. Slight wine hangover. And overshot our turn. A quick 1.6 mile drive turned into 4. Whoops.

Doppio is a double espresso shot if you were curious.

Pleasantly surprised that downtown is packed with cute things. We thought we were in the middle of nowhere from the Yelp searches and TripAdvisor reviews. The clothing boutiques actually have great assortments (alas only time for window shopping) and lots of coffee/bakery options.

Golden triangle granola was super tasty (but would
advise skipping the fruit in syrup). The fresh berries in my bowl are donated from my loving husband's breakfast.

Star 1

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Housemade lavash and baguette.

Ordered a stubborn mule -- Cock and Bull ginger beer and lime juice (really limey, which is nice with my food but maybe not for everyone)

Ryan is having a dirty martini, no vermouth.

Much angst over what to order, so many great options. Porcini Mushroom bread pudding in broth, what?

Starting with locally farmed kale salad with house-cured anchovies, sugared olives, lemon vinaigrette. Tasty, but I wish we had three times as much and they should skip the weird mayo thing at the bottom of the bowl. Easy enough to eat around but we weren't sure what they were going for flavor wise, and the kale was already nicely dressed.

Ryan says: first experience with anchovies since a rather unpleasant and embarrassing encounter in the 5th grade. Overall -- it went really well. Highly recommend.

Then on to the hanger steak since we had popcorn and Pringles for lunch.

It was guaranteed to come on a mound of vegetables. Every fruit and vegetable we've had since coming to town has been insanely flavorful so we're trying to get as much as we can during our short sojourn here.

Ryan's paella not very successful. My hanger steak was ridiculously good. Had an awesome crust, just the right amount of char and salt. Au jus was plate-licking worthy, roasted potatoes were brilliant, tasty, tasty skin. Only rec is to tell them easy on the blue cheese. There was a LOT.

Rhubarb tart was quite tasty, Ryan's volcano chocolate cake was also yummy. Coffee is Stumptown and GREAT. Such a perfect end to the day. So sad to leave tomorrow, and already planning our next visit.

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