Portland living is the gift that keeps on giving. I mean, I challenge you to find a better fit for this trio than Portland. We appreciate Portland for its kind, quirky, wondrous ways and never grow tired of wandering its neighborhoods. Even though it doesn't break the top 20 biggest cities in the States, it has the shopping, dining, and cultural scene of a major metropolitan area (and the traffic, if I'm being honest).
Although we have established some favorites, each meal out or weekend afternoon spent wandering yields new and unexplored gems. I posted some initial favorites last year, but now that we are seasoned Portlandians, it's time to continue the series. (Best of Portland Part I and Part II.)
1// Pine State Biscuits // Four locations // We came to know the deliciousness that is Pine State Biscuits via their food tent at the Portland Farmer's Market, and later learned of their brick and mortar locations throughout the city. Dude. Their food is off. the. hook. Two of our favorites, shown here, are the Reggie Deluxe (fried chicken, bacon, cheese, egg and gravy) and The Wedgie (fried chicken, fried green tomato, iceberg wedge and blue cheese dressing). Their hash browns are pretty swoon-worthy, too. (Kiddo eats their biscuits plain and dry. They're that good.)
2// Po'shines // 8139 N. Denver Ave // While seeking a place for a casual lunch date one day, Mario came across this mecca for Southern fare. I had the shrimp po'boy and he opted for something manly and meaty sandwiched between bread. Together we shared an order of hush puppies drizzled with honey. Some people have Paris, we'll always have Po'shines.
3// Mimosa Studios // 1718 NE Alberta St // Although Kiddo is getting older, I still crave our long-standing mother-son dates. Last month I set up an activity which ended sooner than we'd hoped (and was a bit lackluster), and was in search of something else to do. This darling paint-your-own pottery studio to the rescue! We each picked a little figurine and set about being artists. The staff was so sweet and the studio quaint (but not cramped). We had a great afternoon and, for the first time in my life, my project looked like someone over the age of two had painted it. (An artist, I am not.) My little gnome now sits on my windowsill and I've been pondering the idea of a reoccurring date in order to build a gnome army of my very own.
4// Salt & Straw // 3 locations // If you live in or around Portland, you've probably heard of or had Salt & Straw ice cream. It's unique, creamy cold goodness. Dare I say the best ice cream I've ever had? This coming from a girl who has to be really careful about her dairy intake and therefore chooses her milky indulgences wisely. In other words, it's got to be good. The seasonal flavors change regularly, but some favorites have been (from top): Meyer Lemon Meringue (me), Black Licorice (him), Pots of Gold and Rainbows (Lucky Charms!!), and Coconut with Salted Caramel Bars (vegan!). They also have a really cool story of how they came to be.
5// Pok Pok // 3226 SE Division St // This is a new one for us, but from what we understand, Pok Pok is a Portland staple. Something about putting Division Street on the map? The building is whimsical and fun, and the food is authentic Thai. We sat in a romantic little corner table for two; I ordered a coconut curry bowl which came with a side of fried anchovies, pickled garlic and soft boiled egg. The soup, with its abundance of Thai chilies, served to clear out my pores and nasal passages, but not in a necessarily unpleasant way. We sampled one of their signature Drinking Vinegars (Meyer Lemon), but the jury is still out for Mario. I quite enjoyed it, but I also down raw ACV and drink pickle juice and in general like a good shiver up my spine. It was a rather enjoyable lunch and overall experience. I'll be baaack.
That's all she wrote. But certainly not all she ate/drank. Until next time...