Anytime I go on vacation I am all for finding the best foods in town. I love trying local restaurants & finding foods that I can only find wherever I am. When we went to Florida we went to three local breweries & I was sure to try any specialty brew they had. Whenever I go home, I make sure to indulge in as much New Haven pizza I can get my hands on. But when we went to Portland last month, I didn’t know where to begin!
Portland is known for their craft beer, local Pinot Noir, & amazing food. It is a foodie’s paradise!
Between their hundreds of gourmet food trucks, their mom & pop coffee shops, & 5 star restaurants, everyone can find something they like in Portland, at any price.
The first time I went to Oregon I had no idea how much of an impact the food & beverage industry has there. The state has 216 craft breweries & is ranked 2nd for the amount of breweries per capita only behind Vermont. The unique & local ingredients allow chefs to truly experiment while supporting their local farmers & economy.
We were sure to try as many new things we could get our hands on & of course I need to share with you some of my favorites.
Breakfast: Babica Hen Cafe
You can find this cute little breakfast joint right off of Route 99 in Dundee in a strip mall made for the wine lover. There is a cute little Inn, and a few tasting rooms right along this amazing cafe. I was a little nervous going in. We stopped here on our way to a day of wine tasting and I knew I would have to load up on carbs and protein so I wouldn’t get drunks from the wine. I was a little nervous that this place was too cutesy and the food would be less then filling. Boy was I wrong. All of our plates were jam packed with fresh vegetables, eggs, bacon & chorizo. Every meal was beyond perfect, & did I mention their blackberry mimosas were spectacular also??
Holy burger! My eyes were definitely bigger than my stomach with this thing! (But don’t worry, I finished it off.) This monster is their Mad Andy. Topped with the usual toppings plus an egg, blue cheese, bacon & an onion ring. It was so delicious, but a little larger than I could handle. And to top it off I couldn’t leave without also trying their cheddar tots & original beer battered house fries. YUM! Next time on the list though: their tilted house fries, French fries with gravy & bacon on top! Yes please!
Dinner: A Cena
This Italian eatery is one of the best I have found on the west coast. After a day of wine tasting there is nothing better than soaking it all up with some amazing carbs, & with a lobster cream sauce on top of some homemade pasta I felt right at home. We started dinner with some fritto misto (fried calamari), a bowl of mixed olives & some fried artichokes. Wow. That right there was enough for dinner. But that is obviously not where we stopped. I had an amazingly creamy seared scallops over risotto while Chris had the dish A Cena is known for: Agnolotti. A mascarpone & corn ravioli topped with Maine lobster. AMAZING.
Ice Cream: Cool Moon
This small store front ice cream shop is located right in the heart of the Pearl District and offers 26 delicious flavors of ice cream. We tried, just about all of them but I had to go with the Thai Iced Tea. It was fabulous!
Rouge was the second brewery we stopped at on our last day there. I was so overloaded with food and drinks that I couldn’t even sit down and have a tasting, but that doesn’t mean we left empty handed. After Chris enjoyed his flight, and I finished my French fries (you didn’t really expect I had nothing did you?) we went inside and began picking what we were going to bring home. Beard Beer &the Marionberry Braggot were my two must haves. Basically I love anything with marionberries in it. Ice cream, pie, and now beer! And Beard Beer, well I will let you read about this beer yourself.