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Portland/Willamette Valley Trip


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Restaurants & Bars

Portland/Willamette Valley Trip

vanillagorilla | Sep 30, 2009 10:04 AM

My wife and I just completed a long weekend trip from Seattle to Portland and the Willamette Valley. Here's what we did:

Friday night we got to Portland rather late, and just ate a quick dinner at Whiffie's Fried Pies. We had the chicken pot pie, the bbq beef pie, the cherry pie, and the apple cheddar pie. The pastry on the pies was outstanding, but the fillings only so-so. But for the price we paid, you can't really complain.

Saturday morning we at a quick breakfast at Ken's Artisan Bakery before heading to Clear Creek distillery. I had a sausage quiche there that was extremely good. Very custardy texture, and a perfect crust.

Saturday for lunch we went to Bunk Sandwiches. I have to say that I enjoyed my sandwich here more than any sandwich I've had at either Paseo or the Baguette Box in Seattle. I had the meatball sandwich, and the meatballs were some of the best meatballs I've had anywhere. My wife had a roast beef po'boy that had the most amazing pickled green tomatoes.

Saturday dinner was our big night out and we went to Le Pigeon. My wife started with a lettuce salad that was extremely tasty. I was surprised at how much flavor was in that small simple looking plate. I had the foie gras terrine. It was tasty, and the brioche toast that was with it was the best toast I've ever had. The only complaint I had was that the portion was just too big for one person. For our entrees, I had the beef cheek bourguignon. It was perfectly seasoned and executed and I loved it. If I had to complain about it at all, it would be that it was not the most creative thing I've ever had. My wife's dish on the other hand was easily one of the best things I've ever tasted. She had the lamb neck with macaroni. I'm not sure exactly how the macoroni was prepared (I know it had chanterelles, corn, and Parmesan) but it was heavenly. For dessert we split a corn meal cake with maple syrup, bacon, and maple ice cream. It was a perfect combination of sweet and salty, and the best bacon I've ever had (it tasted almost identical to my home made bacon). To top it off we had a great wine that I've been curious to try ever since the 2007 vintage caused all sorts of problems with the AOC in France. We had the 2008 bottle of L’Ancien, Vieilles Vignes by Jean-Paul Brun , you can read about the troubles here:

Sunday we got an early start because we had to be at our first appointment at a winery at 11:30. We stopped at Pine State Biscuits before we left town. The biscuits were great. I had a country ham, egg and cheese and my wife had the Reggie. We split a plain biscuit with apple butter (the apple butter was out of this world). The ambiance of the place left a little to be desired though. I didn't mind waiting in line, and was more than willing to get the food to go, but the other customers didn't seem to be playing as nice. I'd love to eat their food again, but I think it might be better to arrive early than we did (just after 8 AM).

We spent most of the day Sunday driving through the Willamette valley hitting wineries. We tasted at Brooks, Panther Creek, Eyrie, Winter's Hill, Anne Amie, and White Rose. There were some hits and misses, but in general the quality of the wine was quite high.

We had originally planned at eating lunch at Nick's Italian Cafe, but after our Saturday night dinner, the heavy biscuit breakfast, and all the wine; neither of us thought like eating such a big meal. We ended up eating some quick taco's at Muchas Gracias. Not great, but nothing bad either.

Sunday dinner and Monday morning breakfast were both provided at the Hotel Oregon as part of our package stay there. If you've ever eaten at a McMenamins, you know how the food is. At least the beer was good, and the biscuits and gravy in the morning were surprisingly good.

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