Thanks for all the info. I went to Laurelhurst Market for the first dinner. The food was pretty good, the service was kinda off that night. Not terrible, just slow. My steak was a little overcooked, but I was too hungry to send it back. It was medium rare, not rare. The fingerling potatoes weren't soft enough, when I explained they were undercooked, instead of cooking them longer, I was told that fingerlings taste like that and I should order something else. I've had soft-cooked fingerlings a million times, I know they aren't crunchy by nature, but I was fine with switching to fries. The flavors were all good. The prices were reasonable and I liked the cuisine, so I would recommend despite these bumps.
Lunch next day was at the Good Food Here pods at Belmont and 43rd. It was a sunday, so a few carts were closed. We had chorizo wrapped in pie crust from a pie cart (oops, name?) and that was was quite tasty. Then we Short Ribs from the hawaiin/korean fusion truck, very tasty. Then we drove to the nearby Sugar Cube cart and had the amazing Twisted Tollhouse with banana ice cream, salted caramel between two choc hazelnut cookies. The Sugar Cube was a major highlight. It was huge though, I couldn't eat all of the cookies. The cart pods were FUN. We were sad that Viking Soul Food was closed for Sunday though.
Dinner that night was at Clyde Common. This was our most disappointing meal. The atmosphere, for one, was not up my mom's alley. It was very loud and dark and service lacking. We had to wait a long time to sit at this big communal table where the seats had been empty since we arrived...The salad and cauliflower gratin sides we shared as appetizers were tasty, but the mushroom and ricotta ravioli was just okay. The pasta was too thick and glutinous, the mushrooms were almost raw. The whole meal was kind of awkward, and I shouldn't have brought my mom. I don't even think I would have enjoyed this meal if I had been with a friend or boyfriend instead.
Lunch the next day was a combination of the two biggest downtown pods. The one at Alder and the one at Stark. Wow, so overwhelming! There weren't as many creative carts as I would have expected, most were fairly straight forward (a large percentage were thai food), but it was wicked impressive the variety and sheer number. We ended up sharing a schnitzelwich from Tabor and fried chicken and a waffle. The food was filling and fun. Oh and I had a Thai Iced tea to drink, how fun to mix that in.
Dinner the last night was at Aviary, which was pretty great. The atmosphere was conducive to talking and the service extremely friendly. We started at the happy hour in the bar, getting a great deal on local white wine and brussel sprout nachos, which were delicious. The bartender was super nice. At the table we split basil french toast with Heirloom tomatoes, and I had the pig ears with chinese sausage, coconut rice, avocado and asian salad. Everything was intensely flavorful and quite interesting. This place definitely pushes the envelope more than the other spots we tried. Mom enjoyed her lamb dish. Would definitely go back, and the happy hour had an amazing array of food deals.
The trip felt way too short to get the PDX foodie experience, so I'll be back!