Rather belated but thanks to a little nudge from zinfanatic, here we go with an extended report on our 16th trip to Portland! Despite my angst about crossing the border for the first time since November 2016, we sailed through to our now traditional stop in Seattle at Vientiane Market for Lao food. Just nem khao or rice ball salad (now $7), and "E-sarn" sour sausages ($10) which were excellent with lots of funk and huge with a side of sticky rice, but still couldn't finish it all. Got a green Thai drink that tasted just like cream soda for $2.
Arrived in Portland about 3:30, stopping in the Alberta for our third visit to Great Notion Brewing. The chicharrones weren't quite as stellar as last time and the prices still seem high here, but it was slammed by the time we left an hour later. Tried a couple of NE style IPAs, the Juice Jr and the Ripe. The former won a beer best of 2016 and was pretty outstanding. Next stop, Mr Green Beans to load up on unroasted coffee and pop into Land.
After checking into the hotel, we moseyed over to Verdigris and took advantage of their great-value $29 menu for Dining Month -- we could choose any three items from the entire menu, something not many restaurants do during such events. Started off well with a good glass of white for the SO and tangy Hibuscus Gimlet for me, ably concocted by our affable server. After a slightly strange amuse of English style pea soup, and a tasty house made bun, we both enjoyed our appetizers of frisee salad and octopus, followed by very good mains of boeuf bourgignon and trout with Puy lentils. Dessert was solid as well, a chocolate mousse and a chocolate cake. The portion sizes were slightly smaller than usual but that suited us perfectly when eating three courses. They were slammed and rightly so but the French bistro atmosphere was still lively instead of loud. Recommended.
Large image: chicharrones at Great Notion; below: chocolate cake at Verdigris