With just 40 hours in Portland, my girlfriends and I managed to cram in 10 solid dining destinations without a hitch. From Friday evening to Sunday afternoon, we filled our drizzly days with savories, sweets, and seemingly everything in between. Not to mention lots of walking to balance everything all out, or so we hoped.
While Bakeshop, Blue Star, Pok Pok, Nong’s Khao Man Gai, and Salt & Straw delighted me most this trip, these five spots had their charms as well: Pine State Biscuits, Olympic Provisions, Le Pigeon, Nuvrei, and Tasty n Alder. The best of the rest—PDX style:
Pine State Biscuits
Pine State Biscuits launched their kitchen at the Portland Farmers Market in 2006. Even with a brick and mortar location on Belmont Avenue, which opened in 2008, the trio behind the operation continues to lug their stoves to the farmers market each Saturday to feed the hoards of hungry fans.
We dug into “The Reggie,” a fried chicken, bacon, and cheese situation, topped with a whole lot of gravy.
Continue reading ‘Portland Odds & Sods: Pine State Biscuits, Olympic Provisions, Le Pigeon, Nuvrei, Tasty n Alder’
Our second day in Portland was as wet and cold as the first, but we hardly noticed while spending the morning inside Kim Boyce’s warm and fuzzy Bakeshop.
Boyce moved from Los Angeles to Portland in 2010 and opened her retail and wholesale bakery in the northeast part of the city not too long after. Prior to making her mark in the Pacific Northwest, she worked for years at Campanile and Spago in Los Angeles and wrote the James Beard award-winning cookbook, Good to the Grain.
The specialty here is whole grain pastries. It takes a brilliant baker to transform hefty flours like amaranth, barley, and kamut into tender and light baked goods, but Kim Boyce succeeds in creating the loveliest textures and flavors.
Between the four of us gals, we purchased nine goodies to devour. Each one was wholesome and superb.
Continue reading ‘Bakeshop – Portland’
The birthday girl usually gets what she wants, but Sunday brunch at Cortez just wasn’t meant to be last week. As we approached the usually bustling scene, we were greeted with dimmed lights, chair-topped tables, and a short but effective note stating that the owners had high-tailed it out of town in celebration of the restaurant’s first anniversary. Congrats to them, too bad for us.
Needless to say, alternative plans had to be made on the spot.
We briefly considered getting down at Guisados or popping into Xoia, but the birthday girl desired sweet nothings and savory somethings from Valerie, so that’s just what we had.
Valerie Gordon and Stan Weightman Jr. opened this Echo Park outlet earlier this summer following the launch of their lunch counter inside Downtown’s Grand Central Market.
The food and drink served here is a “less precious” take on traditional afternoon tea. Y’all know how I feel about afternoon tea…
Continue reading ‘Valerie Echo Park – Los Angeles (Echo Park)’
It’s been a banner year for Valerie Gordon and Stan Weightman Jr., the husband and wife team behind Valerie Confections. The dynamic duo, who first introduced L.A. to their outrageously good toffee, jams, and petit fours in 2004 with their storefront in Silver Lake, have expanded to Downtown’s Grand Central Market and most recently, to Echo Park.
Valerie GCM opened in late May with weekday breakfast and lunch service, and introduced weekend brunch a few weeks later.
Whereas the Silver Lake shop is squarely focused on sweets, with the occasional savory hand pie available on weekends, Valerie GCM offers an updated take on the classic lunch counter slash coffee shop experience, fitting of its vintage environs.
On the two occasions that The Astronomer and I visited Valerie’s, the counter was humming but not bustling, which made finding a seat a breeze and service very much on point.
Continue reading ‘Valerie Grand Central Market – Los Angeles (Downtown)’