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Wednesday Food: Weekend in Portland 2010

Last summer I bought plane tickets for my sister and I to Paris.  Unfortunately as soon as I bought them she lost her job and our respective travels funds dwindled.  We exchanged the tickets for Portland, (which is like the Paris of the Pacific Northwest, right?) and stayed with a friend.  My first trip last year brought me into contact with the finest beers in town, but this year the focus shifted to wine– about which I know even less than beer.

Our first morning in town, we walked to the farmer’s market held on Portland State University’s campus.  We bought radishes and kohlrabi that would later become kohlrabi coleslaw, ground beef from Deck Family Farms, sunchoke relish, and coconut agave popsicles.  It was an exceptional tour of Oregon farms’ bounty, and revealed a cut of the population that is kind and earthy, if not somewhat homogeneous.

Miles of walking later, we stopped by Deschutes for a round of beers.  The pub was lively and spacious.  I ordered a flight and sampled the Twilight Ale, Inversion IPA, Hop Henge IPA, Obsidian Stout, Blackweiss, and Sinfully Delicious DSA.  The Blackweiss was a unique wheat/ porter combination and the DSA, a Dark Strong Belgian was a little too sweet but complex and interesting.  After Deschutes we stopped by VooDoo Doughnuts, for a classic maple bar and old dirty bastard doughnut (oreo cookie, chocolate, and peanut butter)– delicious and outrageous desserts, which are not at all overpriced, but you are guaranteed to wait in line.  The evening ended with more drinks and appetizers at Valentine’s, a bizarre arty-hipster joint in old town.

Sunday we took in coffee at Stumptown Coffee— has anybody else come across more cafés French Pressing there regular house coffee in big batches?  I’m not used to it, but highly approve.  I then took my sister to lunch at Life of Riley, the only overlap from my last trip, and afterwards we hiked up and around Washington Park.

Monday was supposed to be rainy and gloomy so we rented a car and headed southwest of the city.  Happily, the rain didn’t come until much later and we were treated to views of the Dundee Hills wine region like the one posted above.  We visited Erath, Argyle, Archery Summit, and Vista Hills wineries and vineyards.  The area is strong in Pinot Noir grapes (I’m told they like the moist climate and long growing season) and sampled different renditions at all the locations.  Erath was solid across the board, had a beautiful tasting room and knowledgeable pourer.  At Argyle we enjoyed a Black Brut sparkling Pinot Noir– why isn’t everyone making these?!  Archery Summit was the most serious and sophisticated of wineries we visited, with four Pinots on their flight, and caves dedicated to barrel storage.  But Vista Hills allowed us to buy a bottle, and “picnic” on their patio overlooking the vineyard.

Finally, Tuesday morning we ate a quick brunch at Mother’s Bistro, which served well-executed and reasonably-priced comfort food.  The cornflake encrusted French toast was a highlight, but the frittatas were also very good.  Across the street I grabbed a “Cuban” pork sandwich (there really wasn’t anything Cuban about it) with pickled jalapeños and sour orange sauce from The People’s Pig food cart, and ate it on the plane home.

Pictures after the jump.


May 12, 2010 - Posted by | Wednesday Food

1 Comment

  1. Beautiful pix! What could be better than a getaway filled with great scenery, good food and libations… and shared with your sister to boot. Thanks for the e-glimpse.

    Comment by The aunt | May 13, 2010

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