We’ve survived Portland without getting run over by bicycles. And given how much food/drink there is in this city, we could have risked our lives for a few more weeks and still had more to cover. A big highlight was Gabriel Rucker’s food at Le Pigeon—surprising, fun, and served in a really approachable space. It was no surprise to see that he was just nominated for a James Beard Award for Rising Star Chef.
We've written about some of the great Asian restaurants in Portland like Ha VL, where we ate amazing pho ga, and Biwa, with its subterranean izakaya vibe and tender grilled chicken hearts. For this video, we checked in with two more chefs doing their own twists on Asian small plates. WATCH THE VIDEO
Walking into Ned Ludd is a little like walking into someone’s super-tricked-out barn. There are high exposed-wood ceilings, funky old brass chandeliers, and earthy colors everywhere. Except, that is, for the lime green wall where the heart of the restaurant resides: a wood-burning oven in which Jason French cooks all the food on the menu. Really, all the food: They don’t have a stove, just a couple of portable burners in the back that they use to do a few things like boil water. READ MORE
The question is not who recommended we go to Ken’s Artisan Bakery, it’s who didn’t. Ken Forkish’s bakery in northwest Portland is the predecessor of his famous pizza place, Ken’s Artisan Pizza, and it is home to fresh and excellent pastries. READ MORE
We went to Gabriel Rucker’s French restaurant Le Pigeon knowing it was going to be a good meal (we were accompanied by Andrea Slonecker, executive director of the Portland Culinary Alliance, who had mentioned it was a favorite of hers). But I didn’t expect it to be so fun and surprising to eat there—perhaps because the menu is written so simply, I was picturing uncomplicated, homey French preparations, but each dish that came out had a twist. READ MORE
Cascade Brewing makes some of my favorite domestically produced sour ales, so visiting their tasting room was at the top of my to-do list in Portland. Some highlights:
• Glueh Kriek: A sour cherry ale served warm after being mulled with spices and wild flower honey. It was the ideal rainy day beer.
We could only shoot with two carts for our video segment (coming soon!), but there are hundreds of other great carts to eat at in Portland, so we tried to stop at as many as possible along our trip. A few favorites we hit downtown were: READ MORE
Many of Portland’s finest chefs, like Andy Ricker of Pok Pok/Whiskey Soda Lounge and John Gorham of Toro Bravo/Tasty n Sons, told us that one of their favorite spots to grab breakfast is a Vietnamese restaurant called Ha VL, purveyor of labor-intensive homemade noodle soups. So we listened up and went to eat a bowl of 8 a.m. noodles. READ MORE
Portland, Oregon, has the DIY scene down when it comes to food, so we are looking forward to heading north and filming for the CHOW Tour: Handmade.
We’re going to check out the cocktail scene (where bartenders are making everything from smoked ice to their own tonic water), as well as the booming microdistillery trend. Rad sandwiches will be on the bill, as we bring you a look at how local salumi and corned beef is being made.
And of course we’ll film some of the top-notch food trailers. Should it be the homemade poutine at Potato Champion? English muffins at Brunch Box? Let us know which ones you think do the best homemade foods and we’ll try to get them on board!