Hello PDX Chowhounds!
Thanks again for helping me find places to eat while in Portland! I had a wonderful time in your city and can't wait to come back. I had a chance to visit many local food establishments while in Portland so I'll try to make this report brief.
My first stop was the downtown farmer's market. I couldn't resist purchasing a few different mushrooms to take back with me (chanterelle, lobster, and a few others.) I also bought some sea beans; something that I haven't had since I visited my relatives in AK over 10 years ago.
Next, we went over to Karam's for a quick falafel snack. We ordered the mesa plate and enjoyed everything on it except the falafels! I think we caught the restaurant on an off hour because it was obvious that they were not made fresh to order. Oh well, maybe I'll try them again next time.
Next, we visited the new Whole Foods, Sur La Table, and Mia Gelato. I agree, I haven't had gelato this good since I was in Florence! We tasted the pear, chocolate hazelnut, coffee, and chocolate. The portions were so large that we could barely finish! The owner/manager there was really nice and made sure to stop by to see how we were doing. He even brought over a sample of their new "Italian Hot Chocolate" which was delicious. It wasn't too sweet (which I appreciate) and it had an almost pudding-like consistency.
After taking a quick break, we headed over to Ken's Bakery where we purchased 2 loafs of bread (the apple and the country wheat.) We were also given a few chocolate croissants on the house which were delicious (they don't skimp on the chocolate at Ken's!) On the way back to our car, we stopped at the Trades Joes which was basically the same as the ones we have in Chicago except it had a few items that we can't get in the Midwest (mainly, the Scharffenberger chocolate bars for $2!)
After taking another break, we headed over to Ripe for their "family supper." On the menu was a salad of field greens, lettuce, blue cheese, and a light vinaigrette, scalloped potatoes, roasted squash, a cooked cabbage side dish (with butter and apple cider vinegar), roasted pork, and carrot cake for dessert. We didn't have the cake but everything else was superb. A few of the dishes, namely the squash, were a little too salty for my taste, but this may just be a personal preference. Everybody was very warm and welcoming which made the dining experience especially memorable.
Well, that just about sums up the culinary part of my trip. Thanks again for everything!