Category Archives: Oregon

More Portland Grub

Medical issues necessitated that my wife and I spend 5 weeks recently in Portland. While most of that time was spent in two area hospitals, we did have the opportunity to visit some new eateries, as well as revisit some others. 

Reel M Inn

A classic dive bar, this was not only a must-stop for the fried chicken, but because our adventure daughter, Claudia (IG: @claudiafabbrini) tends bar there. Cheap beer, unbelievable fried chicken and jojos, and a lively atmosphere fueled by neighborhood patrons are a hallmark of this pub in Portland’s SE side. It’s takes about 55 minutes on average to get your chicken, as the bar has only one small fryer, but it is worth the wait. Incidentally, Bon Appétit magazine just featured Reel M Inn in a web post this past week.

Reel M Inn is at 2430 SE Division Street.

Fried chicken & jojos at Reel M Inn

Palio Dessert & Espresso House

Just located 5 minutes from the Reel M Inn in the Ladd’s Addition neighborhood, Palio is a cozy and unassuming coffee house offering an assortment of salads, paninis, and most importantly, desserts. Open until 11 pm nightly, this is a great place worth the drive from anywhere in the metro area to share a dessert and conversation with a friend or partner.

You can find Palio at 1996 SE Ladd Avenue.

From top to bottom: vanilla buttercream icing, cheesecake, chocolate cake, & chocolate shavings on the backside 

Tamale Boy

Unbelievable Mexican food. Period. Having lived in Tucson for 12 years, and traveled in Mexico, what I sampled here I’ll put up against anything I’ve eaten in the Southwest or Mexico. Tamale Boy features textures and tastes from southern Mexico, so it will surprise you if you are used to a more Baja or Sonoran style. The location on Dekum (one of two shops)  where we ate has a food truck ambiance, which derives from Tamale Boy’s food truck catering business. 

Dekum location: 1764 NE Dekum Street

Tacos on the left, burrito on the right, here I am, stuck in the middle of a choice. 

Petite Provence

We went here for dessert (a reoccurring theme in my life). Located in the Alberta Street District of Portland, one could order a wonderful French bistro-inspired breakfast or lunch, but why? when so many wonderful pastries and cakes are waiting  to be consumed. 

1824 NE Alberta Street. Arrange a great day of gallery and boutique shopping on Alberta Street around your meal stop at Petite Provence.

Resistance is futile. 

Papa Haydn

Dessert. Again. Our first experience with Papa Haydn was several years ago at their 23rd Avenue location in Portland’s Nob Hill neighborhood. This trip, we stopped at the original location on the SE side. With a more neighborhood vibe than it’s uptown sister location, it’s the perfect spot on a rainy PDX day to enjoy a hot beverage and a piece of cake. And then another piece.

Find Papa Haydn East at 5829 SE Milwaukie Avenue.

Triple chocolate cake at Papa Haydn.

Salt & Straw

There’s a bunch of locations in Portland and on the West Coast. The one I frequented is on NE 23rd Avenue, a couple of blocks down from Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital, where my wife spent two weeks at the Rehabilitation Institute of Oregon (an absolutely phenomenal facility). Salt & Straw creates wildly imaginative ice cream flavor combinations, with corresponding wildly imaginative names (Freckled Woodblock Chocolate, Avocado & Oaxacan Chocolate Fudge, Black Olive Brittle & Goat Cheese). I fell for the middle-of-the-road Sea Salt with Caramel Ribbons, a superb creamy vanilla ice cream with a satisfying amount of caramel and sea salt. Note: the lines get long for a cone or cup. Fortunately, pints are conveniently located at the register. Yes, I justified eating a pint, since it wasn’t much more than a double scoop in a waffle cone, and I didn’t have to wait 20 minutes.

We visited Salt & Straw at 828 NW 23rd Avenue, but there are several more in PDX, including one on the Alberta Street District.

Sea salt with caramel ribbons.

Original Hotcake House

Breakfast. 24 hours. Steak and eggs. Pancakes the size of tectonic plates. Need I say more? Just go. Indulge your breakfast desires at 1002 SE Powell Boulevard.

Tectonic plates disguised as pancakes.


Original Hotcake House.

NOTE: see an earlier post “Portland Notes” for more food experiences

Portland Notes

There is no shortage of good desserts in Portland

My wife and I had to go to Portland, Oregon, earlier this week for two days to address some medical issues. Here are a few notes from that trip.

Hotel: we stayed at the Park Lane Suites & Inn, located in the Goose Hollow neighborhood at the west side of the downtown area. It’s a hotel with outside entrances to the rooms; however, you can only access the rooms by first going through a lobby entrance. The room was clean and bright – we had a suite with a kitchen area and dining table. WiFi is provided. Numerous restaurants, as well as a Starbucks, Walgreens, and Fred Meyers are within 5 minutes walking distance. We booked our room on Priceline for $90 per night – a deal considering most hotels in the downtown area are double that.

Good Eats: dinner our first night was at Tapalaya, a Creole/Cajun tapas eatery with a Vietnamese twist in the east side Laurelhurst neighborhood. My wife and I split popcorn shrimp ($12), followed by seafood gumbo ($14) for her, and a crab cake for me ($14). But I really went for the beignets ($6). Served with a bourbon dipping sauce, they are guaranteed to induce a culinary orgasm.  They are as good or even better than Cafe Du Monde’s.

Beignets

The second night we ate at Oven and Shaker in the Pearl District. After a long day spent at Oregon Health Sciences Center, a simple pizza dinner was all we were looking for. Disappointed we were not, as we had a wonderful Neopolitan style Margherita (tomato, basil, mozzarella) pizza ($13), preceded by lamb sugo served over a crispy polenta, and followed by layered budino, a parfait of  chocolate ganache, whipped cream, cajeta caramel, and cookie crumble ($7). I could have easily oredered a second of everything.

Layered budino

And one must not forget donuts. One of Coco Donuts’ three locations is a five minute walk from the Park Lane, at 709 SW 17th. Classic donuts and great coffee.

Pure joy at Coco Donuts