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[PDX] Trip Report

senor hamachi | Nov 17, 200505:41 PM

We came up last weekend and got a healthy dose of rain on Friday and Saturday. It hadn't rained on our previous two visits, so we were due.

Friday night we had a late dinner in the bistro at Higgins. I had the charcuterie plate with very thin slices of various salami and other meats. My favorite was the fatback, salted and seasoned with juniper berries (I think), on a piece of chunky, crusty, rustic bread. My wife had the pastrami, which she was gracious enough to share because the charcuterie didn’t fill me up. It was nothing like any pastrami I have ever had (in a good way). It wasn’t sloppy or greasy, and it had a nice texture so that you could actually tell it was beef.

Breakfast the next day was with friends at Gravy on N. Mississippi. We had to wait forever for a table, and even longer for our food to arrive, but when it came I was very satisfied. Huge portions of scrambled eggs and hash browns with a very crispy top layer. My scramble had sausage, provolone and a number of different color peppers. It was served piping hot and it really hit the spot.

Lunch was Rogue Creamery Crater Lake blue cheese and Viande goose/chantarelle terrine from the farmers market. I absolutely love everything I from Viande.

Dinner was Hot Lips Pizza. I wasn’t feeling great, so wanted something simple. The omnivore pizza had some interesting toppings, including thin crispy bacon, but I didn’t find it night and day better than other pizzas I have had. (I have never been to Apizza Scholls, but plan to go on my next trip). The homemade blackberry soda was really good. It was quite sweet, maybe a little too sweet, with tiny chunks of blackberry floating on the top. It was very viscous. Kind of the consistency of pulpy orange juice, but lightly carbonated. I nearly finished it before the pizza came, but there was no way I could have had another one. I would have died of sugar overload.

Brunch the next morning at Gotham Building Tavern was disappointing. I had a scramble with chard and goat cheese, but I didn’t actually taste any goat cheese. It was lukewarm and kind of skimpy. My wife’s French toast was undercooked, to the point of being soggy in the middle. We have had dinner at GBT and loved it, so I was surprised. I was also turned off by the boxes of Thomas’s English muffins I saw in the kitchen. What are those doing in this kind of restaurant?

We stopped by Jim Dixon’s garage sale for some olive oil. Among other things we bought a couple bottles of the fresh-pressed California Olive Ranch oil. When we got home we realized that the bottle is exactly the same as a bottle of California Olive Oil from Trader Joes. Both are from arbequina olives. I’m pretty sure they’re from the exact same producer. The TJs one isn’t the fresh-pressed, but it’s also about 1/3 the price of the fresh-pressed.

Had an early dinner at Burgerville on the way to the airport. I couldn’t really tell that the beef was better than at other places, although I liked the tillamook cheese on my burger. The pumpkin shake was heavily spiced, thick and rich.

Another great trip to PDX. Looking forward to coming back next month!

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