Chicago chowhound here, and in need of help! First of all, I apologize if my post is a little all over the place... I hope it doesn't seem like too much rambling. Here goes...
I'm going to Portland for Thanksgiving, and am staying for Thursday, Friday, and half of Saturday. I've never been, but can tell that it's my kind of city: I love wine, microbreweries, charming shops, local/seasonal food, B&B's, the outdoors/staying active, etc... a more European lifestyle, and also clean and friendly. I've been reading up where to go and what to do, and am a little overwhelmed with the amount of time I have to do it all! Since I'm having Thanksgiving in Portland, I don't want to travel too far, but would still like to explore the scenery, the wine country, and Portland.
Now the food/wine questions: given the amount of time I have, where are some key restaurants and wineries I should visit that will let me explore (and that I will be able to intertwine with my visit) but won't have me going all around Oregon? I've never been, but OR is obviously an emerging culinary force, and I want to make sure I take advantage of that, and of course the wine/beer. Now, some background about my likes in terms of food... I don't eat meat, but love seafood. I generally don't enjoy heavy food such as pastas, risottos, or extremely rich creamy sauces. French/Italian food then is limited along the lines of crudo, seafood, etc... also not a fan of Chinese, and not a big breakfast person (pancakes, french toast, etc don't really do it for me). And I LOVE veggies of any kind. Japanese/sushi is probably one of my favorites, as well as Cal/Am Contemporary, Middle Eastern, Spanish, South American (mmm ceviche!) Thai, Vietnamese, some Mexican (contemporary, ceviches, etc)... I think you get the idea... but I am willing to explore more unusual or unique fare. I like good, clean food, whether elaborate or simple. Creativity is always a plus--eating something you can't just get anywhere. On the other hand, I can't deny a meal that is less creative, but that is done so well that you can't miss it. I don't really have a budget either, which I know makes it harder to narrow down. I just want to experience in OR what I've been hearing so much about!
I told you I tend to ramble, sorry! So taking all of that in context, what restaurants and wineries would you recommend I visit (we will have a car to travel the Valley), in Portland and in Wine Country? Keep in mind, we really only have 2 full days, but will probably have half a day and time for lunch on Saturday. If there are other suggestions that are doable in this amount of time that are beyond these regions, I'm open to that as well. We don't have any accommodations booked yet, either.
Any advice would be much appreciate, and thank you in advance!!