Saturday, August 24, 2013

Vacation In Portland, Oregon

This week I've been on vacation in the beautiful state of Oregon, so I've decided to take a break from the usual recipe posting and share a bit about the food I've been eating while I'm away.  I've got LOTS to share, so I'm gonna get right to it.

{I apologize in advance for the lack of pictures for some things.  I'm still getting used to the whole take pictures of everything thing.}

We started our trip in Portland.  I'd been to Portland one other time, and there was one restaurant that I just had to visit again.  It's called The Laughing Planet and we stopped in for lunch on our first day. Everyone was starving, so I didn't catch any pictures, but I'll do my best to explain things.

My favorite thing about the laughing planet is their bowls.  They basically consist of grains (or veggies if you're paleo), a protein source, some vegetables, and a great sauce to pull it all together.  I got a Thai bowl with tofu, beans, and peanut sauce, and it was totally delicious.  I shared a vegan oatmeal cookie with my dad for dessert, and that was great as well.
Clockwise from top left: Rhubarb soda, black plum, oregon sea salt, a variety of pluot, local hot sauce, and another type of pluot

Later that day, I walked around the city a bit with my mom and we stopped into a store that carried fresh produce and locally made food products.  We picked up a bunch of stuff including black plums, plouts, rhubarb soda, and some sea salt and hot sauce to bring home to a friend.   The plums were yummy, but not unlike normal plums, and the soda was totally unique and pretty good.

I also made a quick stop at whole foods before heading to our hotel room.  There I picked up some nut butter packets to have in the road.  So far I've tried the two wild friends ones.  Both were pretty tasty, but the cinnamon raisin peanut butter was definitely my favorite.

The next morning, our whole family headed down to breakfast at the Ace Hotel, where we were staying.  If you ever stay there, the breakfast is a must.  It's so unique and sososo delicious.  Pretty much everything is made locally and it's all super fun and tasty.

Some foods they had:

  • Pickled veggies - beets, fennel, onions.  I'm not a huge fan of pickled things, but everyone else said they were really good.  And the lady behind the counter told us everything was pickled by the girl who worked there most of the time.
  • Smoked trout - I'm not usually one to have meat with breakfast (I'm more of a sweet breakfast girl), but I tried a piece of the trout and it was really good.  Like seriously tasty.
  • Bread + jams + chocolate hazelnut butter - this was pretty much my breakfast, and I loved all of it.  The bread was a great vehicle for the awesome jams (strawberry rhubarb was my favorite) and, of course, who can turn down chocolate hazelnut butter?  It was a perfect breakfast.

After that we headed out of the city to go hiking.  While on the freeway, we were met with a nice surprise.  There was a cute little fresh produce stand which had not only apples, blackberries, and tomatoes, but pick-your-own blueberries as well.  It was one of those leave your money in a box places and I couldn't help but stop.  Using the old metal cans provided, we picked blueberries from the endless blueberry patch, eating our fair share.  They were amazing blueberries.  Small, sweet, and full of blueberry flavor.  We also picked up some apples from the farm stand and those were super juicy and crisp.  I'm so glad we found that little farm because it was just so cool to pick blueberries on the side of the road. (pictures below)
That night we stopped at Clyde Common, a restaurant situated right next to the ace hotel, for dinner.  If I had to describe that place in one word, I would use the word unique.  There were dishes there that I would never in a million years come up with. From black rice to beet greens to pickled corn, there were tons of new foods to try and nothing disappointed.

I so wish I had gotten some photos because the food was gorgeous, but my phone was dead leaving me with nothing to take pictures with.  Oh well, I'll just try to describe everything to you as best I can.

I got beet green and ricotta ravioli with pickled corn.  It was really fresh and green, and probably the lightest ravioli I've ever had.  It was great because it left room for dessert (which i'll get to in a minute) which of course I was planning on getting.  That being said, it would still be satisfying if you don't plan on getting dessert, I just have a big appetite.

As for the other dishes ordered, my dad got salmon with squash, black rice, and fried oysters and my mom got pork with corn and chanterelles.  I tried bites from each and the pork was nice and juicy, and everything on the salmon dish was really good.

Next it was time for dessert.  I split a crepe with sweet corn ice cream, lemon buttermilk pudding, and strawberries with my mom.  I've been seeing sweet corn ice cream popping up a lot lately so I was excited to try it.  What surprised me most was how much it actually tasted like corn.  Sometimes with somewhat weird things like that, the weird flavor gets lost, but not with this.  Overall, all the different parts of the dessert worked really well together, despite sounding a bit strange.  My favorite thing on the plate was the lemon pudding which was just tart enough and silky smooth.

And that, my friends, is the end of my food adventures in Portland, Oregon.  I'm in Bend, Oregon right now, and I might do another food post about it so keep your eyes peeled.

Have a great day!
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