We wanted so badly to love Salt and Straw. Everybody loves Salt and Straw! It’s the ice cream darling of Portland and full of mugs festooned with little animal drawings, lesbians scooping ice cream, a garbage can informing you that “We compost everything here.” (Of course you do.)
But honestly? It was icy and tasted like it was made with skim milk. This isn’t Yogurtland, mama needs dat CREAM.
Sistercation! Nellie just got on her plane and I already miss her so much. Portland was gorgeous. We happily hiked, shopped (matching Baggu backpacks, precious) and ate our way through the city starting with Tasty n’ Alder’s homemade cottage cheese and pineapple jam, then the flakiest fried-chicken biscuit of all time, divinely buttery and crumbly.
(Full disclosure ahead: we had a brief dalliance with a McDonald’s snack wrap at some point, which mostly ended up on Nellie’s yoga pants.)
Fried Green Tomato BLT with house-cured bacon and remoulade, at Tasty ‘n Sons in Portland. Also, we just swept our 20,000th follower into the fold! Hey, you! Anyway, we are excited. It’s been fun getting Internet-fat with you. Look out for a goodies giveaway later this week.
Le Tray Fat Pigeon 7 Course Tasting Menu, Portland
Drew and I went to Portland the weekend before last, mostly to eat. We’re pretty spoiled food-wise in the East Bay (which is Oakland, Berkeley, etc), but we don’t really eat out all that much since I cook at home most nights.
The full list of Portland eats: Voodoo Doughnuts (meh), Cafe Yumm (good), Olympic Provisions (great/insane), Pine State Biscuits (good), Two Tarts at the PDX farmers market (great/insane), chocolate milk at the farmer’s market (decent), Le Pigeon (great), Tasty & Sons (great) and Clyde Common (good/great).
I wanted to treat Drew to a tasting course, since neither of us have ever signed up for that kind of dining whirlwind before. Based on the rave reviews I’d heard about Le Pigeon, we decided just to go for it. It was super fun - not something I would do frequently; but maybe once a year after a glass of rose and a black currant hefeweizen. Le Pigeon is on Burnside Ave and has been nominated for a few James Beards awards, according to my casual and useless Googling. We sat at the bar, so we got to see all the action. Photos and descriptions below.
Pork Carpaccio with Some Sort of Soft Cheese, Apricots & Apricot Puree
You’re going to have to forgive my descriptions. This was delicious and one of my favorite courses. Microgreens were super popular in the Netherlands last summer, so it was fun to see them used “meaningfully” here (I am guessing this is what Anthony Bourdain talks about when he talks about microgreen haircuts, but they provided a welcome bit of spicy freshness paired with the sweet pork and the bright flavor of the apricots).
Some Kind of a Play on Bacon and Eggs
Beef tongue bacon, some kind of delightful little pickle confetti, perfectly hard-boiled egg, cilantro, toast with… duck fat? I think? This was pretty good — I thought the bacon was really tasty, but it seemed like a lot of effort for not that much of a departure from straight-up eggs and bacon. I’m probably thinking too much about it.
Made it to Portland! Here are some Voodoo Donuts in our hotel room. They are practicing the corporal wizardry known as monumental weight gain on my body right now. I was very excited the first time I came here in 2010, but now I mainly recognize that we are talking about Oreos covered in drizzles shellacked onto life buoys of yeast dough. Still pretty tasty with some Stumptown Coffee. Cafe Yumm or grilled cheese food truck for lunch! Onwards and fatwards!
Nellie’s going to Portland this weekend! She could forage for berries in the woods like this young lass (she likes a variation on a semi-poisonous butterfly hair clip), but she’d prefer to get your recommendation on where to eat! Where should she go? What are the most awesome places to eat in Portland? She has three dinners, three lunches, and three breakfasts to fill up.
(P.S. Berry syrup is ok)
(P.P.S. I felt like 3rd person was the way to write this, now I realize it’s not, and I have to go catch a plane).