Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Portland and Wine Country

The Wine:

Adelsheim.  Good pinots.  Kind of douchy tasting experience.  Spendy for what it is.

Erath.  What happened to this place--it used to be so nice.  Not horrible and certainly affordable, but I don't think selling to Chateau Ste Michelle/Altria (aka Phillip Morris) really helped the juice.  Sad.  But it's a fun drive up there.

WillaKenzie.  Very good and affordable compared to many of its neighbors.

Domaine Serene.  Napa bling in the Pac Northwest.  Great wine.  Super elegant tasting room.  Scary prices.

Vinopolis.  My advice--enjoy a tasting out in wine country then come here back in Portland to buy your juice.  Great selection, service, and prices.

The Food:

Red Hills Market in Dundee.  An amazing spot in wine country.  Perfect thin crust pizzas (who would have thought bresaola and peaches would work so well together), Olympic Provisions charcuterie, nice drink selection, and solid sandwiches.  Just a real gem of a place.

Clyde Common.  Was thinking that most of its popularity was due to the location by the Ace Hotel, but my meal there was ridiculously good.  Fideo stew with squid and squid ink may have been the best thing consumed on the trip, and the roasted sturgeon with clams and potatoes was prepared flawlessly.  Cocktails were good but not life changing, and considering all the local competition for food and drink business the staff hubris got tired fast, but overall a fair value in a city filled with good, reasonably priced food.  And judging by the menus around there, fideo is the new pork belly.

Navarre.  Dollar for dollar I challenge anyone to find a better meal.  And beyond the value, it's just awesome.

Carts around Alder and 10th.  My one plate of Thai food was tasty and only $5.  It would have a been a bargain at three times the price.  Good luck finding a place to sit with your food though.

Little Bird.  Made it there for happy hour and cocktails. $2 Oregon oysters and mind blowing shrimp soup.  Didn't love the Parisian gnocchi in the soup, but overall some great tastes and a really nice dining experience.  And the cocktails . . . best I had out there, and only $6 at happy hour.  A Van Cleef (bourbon, scotch rinse, smoked orange, rocks) and French Cola (Pernod, Averna, soda, lemon, rocks), not in that order.  Wish I had more time and stomach space there.

Escape from New York Pizza.  What can I say--I grew up on this style of pizza and this spot makes a great rendition of it.

Helvetia Tavern.  Out in Hillsboro.  If you're in the area I highly recommend it for burgers and beers.  Really classic place that's been doing burgers, fries, and onion rings perfectly for just about ever.  Now has a patio.

Olympic Provisions.  Stopped by the NW location for a pickled egg, terrine, and some wine.  Not bad by any means, but man the salt.

La Petite Provence.  On Alberta.  Quite the amazing bakery, and the breakfasts looked legit too.

Mother's Bistro.  Classic for a reason.  Really good.  Not really inexpensive, but solid value for really well prepared food downtown.  Good coffee situation.

Kenny and Zuke's.  Not bad for breakfast.  One can do better, one could do worse.

The Espresso (if you're a coffee geek seeing the machines out there alone is worth the trip):

Sterling Roasters.  Perfect espresso.  What more could one ask for?  Maybe an indoor spot, but even so I wouldn't change a thing.  I was really getting used the places out there where you had a choice of multiple espressos--that's a trend I'd like to see make its way out here.

Stumptown.  Location by Ace Hotel.  Consistently really good.

Barista. Pearl location.  Perfect pour.  Sparkling water back--another enjoyable trend, and most places out there were doing it.  And being able to choose espressos from different roasters was a real treat.

Public Domain.  Right downtown.  Perfectly serviceable if you're on Broadway.

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