I got back from Portland a few weeks ago and have ever since been A.) Dreaming of the delicious pastrami sandwich I had and, B.) Dreaming of telling you about the delicious pastrami sandwich I had. That’s what sticks out in my mind so we’ll start there. Kenny & Zuke’s! If you’re in Portland and are a deli-deprived Jew like me, or a deli-deprived anybody, then make a stop there. I was only in Portland for three full days (which would mean three lunches) and I ate two of them at Kenny & Zuke’s. Thankfully I was with my foodie friend Laura so we could split multiple menu items. In the middle photograph notice the tuna melt, cole slaw, lox, pickle AND knish.
You couldn’t go to Portland without visiting VooDoo Doughnuts. Their doughnuts are delicious and come in three different styles: cake, traditional or vegan. I had a vegan doughnut! A cream filled, maple glaze vegan doughnut. You would never know the difference! Laura had an ‘Old Dirty Bastard’ (non-vegan), which was a doughnut with chocolate icing, crumbled oreo cookies and peanut butter icing drizzle. I felt a little bad shouting across the store “Laura, you’re getting an Old Dirty Bastard?” in front of families. But what could I do? It’s the name of the doughnut!
The thing about these doughnuts is that they are huge! Note the overwhelmed look on my face in the top picture, but the very satisfied look below. Side story: we did not order enough doughnuts to warrant getting one of those big, bright pink boxes. Instead, sitting outside the shop, there was a trashcan filled with hardly touched boxes. So I admit that we did a very shallow doughnut dumpster dive to include the box in this photo. That’s how far we go for good doughnuts and pictures.
Besides putting birds on things, what else do you think about when you think of Portland? Coffee, right? Every morning I would walk a few blocks from the hotel to get Floyd’s coffee. Floyd’s is a grab and go window situation, which was perfect so I could get back to the conference (my reason for being in Portland) before the morning sessions. They served Stumptown Coffee which originated in Portland and just opened a store in Raleigh! Now Portland coffee is no more than drive away.
Oh, look! More coffee! This is a cortado (a new favorite espresso drink of mine) at a coffee shop called ‘Barista’ in the Pearl District. It shared a foyer/sitting area with an awesome store called ‘hunt&gather’ where I got a fabulous art deco-style decanter. #PrettyLatteArt
On our last night in Portland, Laura and I took a cab to a Thai restaurant called Pok Pok. When we got there we faced an hour-and-a-half wait! Not wanting to wait and having driven by several other good looking restaurants, we started walking down the street. We found this place and I don’t even remember the name. I do remember sitting at the bar and watching the line cooks prepare the food. We struck up a conversation with the dessert chef who gave us fresh madeline cookies. Yumm.
You might be wondering – what’s the deal with the water bottle? All water at all restaurants we went to served water this way. They never had a pitcher. They would bring you a bottle. It’s not mind blowing or even culturally significant or life changing, just a small difference I noticed and felt compelled to document.
Well…that’s it! There’s my brief overview. What it doesn’t include: an evening reception at the conference catered by five different Portland food trucks; the smoked Salmon pot pie from a food cart or the delicious biscuit I bought (legally) for $1 from the backdoor of a restaurant.