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Anything in Portland unique to a Bay Area visitor?


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#21 Leonardo

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Posted 14 October 2006 - 05:42 PM

As someone who lived in SF (not the Bay Area, SF) for more than a decade... the places I would suggest (all mentioned before) are:
- saturday market


You're kidding, right? I hope you mean Farmers' Mkt at PSU on Saturday, not Portland Saturday Mkt, home of upscale carny food? :huh:
Homer, upon seeing an ear of corn at a market: "Interesting...it reminds me of a corndog, only without the dog!"

Thanks to http://kawaiinot.com/icons.php for the avatar.

#22 malachi

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Posted 14 October 2006 - 07:42 PM

Obviously.

#23 Sabra

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Posted 15 October 2006 - 06:29 AM

Unique to Portland? I also recommend Simpatica. Not like many others!

#24 ExtraMSG

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Posted 15 October 2006 - 08:16 AM

Okay, I'd suggest steering away from places that try to be fancy at all. While I think that Bluehour, Fenouil, Paley's, Carlyle, Hurley's, et al make very good food, possibly better than some of the less expensive places, you're going to have a higher check (though perhaps not pay more per pound of food) and higher expectations for all the formalities of a fine dining meal that just can't compete with SF. So that in mind, I would go with:

Le Pigeon
clarklewis
Park Kitchen
Simpatica

Now, if you're going to sneak in something a little finer, I would go with Wildwood because the menu is so local-oriented. Maybe share an entree and eat a lot of apps.

Some people don't think pizza is nice enough, but I agree with all the recs for Apizza Scholls, of course. Ken's Artisan and Nostrana are both going to be as good as anything I've had in the bay area, but there are places, such as A16 or Pizzetta 211, doing the same style at a high level.

For snacks or side-trips, I would go to Alma Chocolates and/or Sahagun. Both are doing Day of the Dead chocolates right now, I believe. Pix, Di Prima Dolci, Ken's Artisan, Pearl Bakery, etc.

For lunches or ethnic options, I think Pok Pok, Pambiche, Aladdin's, Karam, La Bonita, Kenny & Zuke's (ehem), LOW BBQ, Lagniappe, Autentica, Michael's, and a myriad of others can hold their own in any town. If you get out to Beaverton, I'd add Chennai Masala to this list, the only Indian I would be willing to feed someone from the Bay Area, besides, perhaps, Vindalho, if I chose their menu.

Do what I do: print out the tip sheet and carry it with you in your car or on your person as you travel around:

http://www.extramsg....d_tipsheet.html

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

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Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#25 Leonardo

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Posted 15 October 2006 - 08:55 AM

Alma & Sahagun are indeed doing Day of the Dead skeletons & skulls now. I saw them Friday and they are quite lovely. Skulls with flowered sombreros, etc.

I agree about avoiding the fancy-pants places. Nothing you won't find in Bay Area.


The question wasn't "What is comparable to Bay Area?" It was more akin to "What can one find here that one can't get there".
Homer, upon seeing an ear of corn at a market: "Interesting...it reminds me of a corndog, only without the dog!"

Thanks to http://kawaiinot.com/icons.php for the avatar.

#26 Flynn

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Posted 15 October 2006 - 09:02 AM

I think way too much is made of the 'Oh no, they're from the BAY AREA, we can't take them anywhere' mentality. I think there are certain food types to try and talk her out of (malachi had a good list), but there's good options for lots of food types depending on what she wants to eat. I'm skeptical that Pho Van or Bahn Cuon Tanh Dinh would bum her out for vietnamese food, or Murata would for sushi. I'd avoid thai (pok pok notwithstanding), indian and chinese, and the Bluehour/Hurley/Carlyles.

If you're considering clarklewis, you're in the Paley's/Higgins/Wildwood price range as well as expectation level. I'd consider any of those for a meal that does the local ingredients thing. If she's a SF foodie, it shouldn't ping her radar as fine dining for price, scene, or service. I think any of those four would work, I'd rank them Wildwood/clarklewis/Paley's/Higgins. Maybe eating at the bar at Higgins would count as a very Portland experience, especially given the legendary beer selection. And you've got a 76% chance of meeting Angelhair!

I really like the Lagniappe idea. I can't recall any memorable NOLA food in SF or the bay.

Apizza Scholls easily compares in quality to a place like A16, of which I'm a huge fan. They're very different styles though. A16 is knife and fork neopolitan style to the max.

#27 ExtraMSG

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Posted 15 October 2006 - 09:05 AM

I don't think clarklewis does cut too closely to the Paley's/Higgins/Wildwood genre. First, they have the small plates option that keeps the check down. Second, the place is way more casual feeling with it's semi-industrial space. And they have the pastas, too, which can keep the check down. I'd say Park Kitchen is closer to these others in many ways.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#28 Flynn

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Posted 15 October 2006 - 09:11 AM

It's definitely a different feel than Paley's, which is much more formal and intimate.

We usually go for broke when I eat there, and the food quality is usually excellent. Maybe I should try the 'keeping the check down' method.

I'm currently giving Park Kitchen a time-out, so it can think about it's bad behavior.

#29 foodfight

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Posted 15 October 2006 - 10:31 AM

I must agree with:

* Park Kitchen (lunch)
* Le Pigeon
* Clarklewis

I will also add:

*Alberta Street Oyster Bar and Grill on to this list. Because what is more NW than oysters, not taking anything away from the rest of the menu.

These all are a great representation of the NEW Portland food scene. The use of local NW products in exciting and creative ways.

#30 ExtraMSG

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Posted 15 October 2006 - 03:40 PM

I agree. Alberta Street should be added to that list, too. However, I will add this caveat, partially because it's true and partially because I know there's a lurker out there who truly appreciates it: beware the desserts and the french fries.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#31 LoveToEat

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 05:47 PM

We've been able to impress our Bay Area visitors... I order a leg of lamb from Nizich farms (www.blueribbonorganics.com). I pick up fresh oysters, vegetables and cheese at the Hollywood Farmers market. We have dinner at our place with some wine and don't have to worry about who will be driving. Also, we've had very good salmon just from Fred Meyer (decide if it looks good).

If your sister likes beer, there are great breweries here. We went with a group to too many breweries one day. We had a lot of great beers that day. Also, one pairing that we would recommend is a Space Stout brew with Space Stout chocolate cake.

#32 SarahWS

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 07:37 PM

My parents split their time between SF and Sonoma and are pretty frequent visitors to Portland. I would avoid all Portland Chinese (even tourista central Yang Sing in SF is better dim sum than Wong King's). My parents (and various other friends/relatives) have been wowed by the following:

clarklewis (sadly solely the food, the only one willing to go back had his food to go)
Park Kitchen
Higgins (only when Greg Higgins is cooking - the wine list is amazing always)
Oregon Wines on Broadway (wine lovers only, no real food)
Lauro (last time wasn't as impressive)
Pix Patisserie
Pho Van
Pok Pok
Pambiche (everyone I've taken here has absolutely loved it, all the Cuban food in SF is much weaker)
Ken's Artisan Bakery
Carlyle (i've noticed people either love or hate it, we had a 12 person dinner for my graduation ( 3 people weren't really impressed, the other 9 said it was as equally interesting as meals they had at the French Laundry without the hassle) I would not take anyone who does not enjoy braised dishes or rich sauces)
Caffe Mingo (the penne of course)
Simpatica Brunch (they usually send me to sit in front at 8:30am in my folding chair)
Saturday Deli at Ken's (all the decent Jewish delis closed over 20 years in SF and the bagel situation isn't much better)
Bewon (SF doesn't have a high-end Korean restaurant like this)

SF has lost a lot of the old school ethnic delis as rents have risen and the 3rd and 4th generation just isn't interested. I bring food down from the Edelweiss Deli all the time and it's always LOVED. The Polish festival or the cafe at the Polish church would be pretty unique.

Sarah