Jan 2014

Portland Odds & Sods: Pine State Biscuits, Olympic Provisions, Le Pigeon, Nuvrei, Tasty n Alder

White Stag Sign - Portland

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 BakeshopBlue StarPok PokNong’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 - Portland State University Farmers' Market - Portland

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.

Pine State Biscuits - Portland State University Farmers' Market - Portland

We dug into “The Reggie,” a fried chicken, bacon, and cheese situation, topped with a whole lot of gravy.

Pine State Biscuits - Portland State University Farmers' Market - Portland

We also shared a buttermilk biscuit with marionberry jam.

We collectively have sky-high biscuit standards, and we found these specimens mostly lacking. Perhaps there was something in the damp air that kept the biscuits from reaching their flaky, buttery potential this morning…

Olympic Provisions

Olympic Provisions - Portland

On the other hand, our sky-high charcuterie standards were exceeded at Olympic Provisions, Oregon’s first USDA-approved meat-curing facility. Here at this unassuming salumeria, Elias Cairo butchers, cures, ferments, stuffs, dries, cooks, and smokes almost every cut of pork imaginable.

Olympic Provisions - Portland

We dropped in during happy hour and took advantage of specially priced meat and cheese boards. We selected the French-themed meat board piled with rilettes, salami, and pate served with crostini, housemade pickles, and wholegrain mustard.

Olympic Provisions - Portland

The Spanish-themed cheese board included a selection of soft, hard, and runny queso, as well as a sweet, jammy condiment. A few rounds of wine rounded out our happy hour.

Le Pigeon

Le Pigeon - Portland

I made a reservation at Le Pigeon just as soon as we booked our flights to Portland. Here, Chef Gabriel Rucker, James Beard 2011 Rising Star Chef of the Year, prepares his signature haute comfort cuisine.

Le Pigeon - Portland

The restaurant is comprised of a large open kitchen, seven tables, and a chef’s counter. Our group was too large for the chef’s counter, so we were seated at a communal table next to a trio of gruff locals. Next time, chef’s counter or bust.

Le Pigeon - Portland

The menu here is wonderfully short and sweet—half a dozen appetizers and half a dozen entrees. There are also two tasting menus.

We ordered a la cart and shared a number of spectacular dishes, including glazed eels with figs and unagi custard, and pillowy potato gnocchi in a curried tomato sauce. Le Pigeon’s famous burger, adorned with butter lettuce and blue cheese dressing, was nothing short of beefy bliss.

Nuvrei Patisserie & Café

Nuvrei Patisserie & Café - Portland

Rather than twiddle our thumbs while waiting for our names to be called for brunch, we moseyed over to Marius Pop’s seriously stupendous bakery, Nuvrei, which he opened in 2004. Nuvrei means “‘Would you like to have?” in French Romanian.

Nuvrei Patisserie & Café - Portland

I selected a cheddar, jalapeno, and asiago bagel, which is hand-made daily with Nuvrei’s signature pretzel dough. Chewy and cheesy, this bagel was rockin’.

Nuvrei Patisserie & Café - Portland

Hourie selected the “Chewy Chocolate Walnut,” a flourless cookie that lived up to its chewy and chocolaty billing. She brought a few cookies back for friends in Los Angeles—it was that good.

Tasty n Adler

Tasty N Alder - Portland

We brunched at Tasty n Alder for our final meal in Portland on Sunday. It is the sister restaurant to perpetually packed brunch haven Tasty n Sons.

Tasty N Alder - Portland

We were all in a nibbly mood this morning, so we shared a cheese board, as well as “Josh’s Meat Board” featuring Toro Bravo charcuterie. The pate tasted like the stuff that’s smeared on Vietnamese sandwiches—mmm!

Tasty N Alder - Portland
I insisted on the smoked trout, which was served with pickled beets, a hard boiled egg, creme friache, a celery salad, and rye bread. Simple, clean, and satisfying.

Tasty N Alder - Portland

To round out our spread, an order of “Tasty ​Steak and Cheddar Eggs” served​​​ ​with a cornmeal pancake and jalapeno butter.


the loudest, giggliest umbrella-using (gone inside out) Angeleno chicks in peaceful Portland. – @lientigre

It was a really good trip.

Pine State Biscuits at Portland Farmers Market
Portland State University
South Park Blocks between SW Hall & SW Montgomery

Olympic Provisions
107 SE Washington Street
Portland, OR 97214
Phone: 503-954-3663

Le Pigeon
738 E Burnside Street
Portland, OR 97214
Phone: 503-546-8796

404 NW 10th Avenue
Portland, OR 97209
Phone: 503-972-1700

Tasty n Alder
580 SW 12th Avenue
Portland, OR
Phone: 503-621-9251

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3 thoughts on “Portland Odds & Sods: Pine State Biscuits, Olympic Provisions, Le Pigeon, Nuvrei, Tasty n Alder

  1. I love this so much. I was a lucky girl to split that Le Pigeon burger with you, cc!

    **FYI, any Angelenos wishing to taste Olympic Provisions cured things, the new DTLA Cheese in Grand Central Market is selling a small selection.

  2. Nuvrei is Romanian not French 🙂 However, those cookies are seared into my retinas and I can never be happy until I have at least half a dozen!

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