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Recs for Portland 'Babymoon' over Memorial Day Weekend

gamene | Apr 7, 201601:12 PM

Hi Portland CHers,

First of all, big thanks to the dedicated CHers who have already populated this board with so much great info (in particular greyelf and stevewi)! I've spent the last week reviewing old threads and feel like I'm already in a great position to do some good eating based on those.

My husband and I will be headed to Portland over Memorial Day weekend (May 26-30) from Brooklyn for our "babymoon" -- last trip before I pop out our kiddo.


Relevant info about us:

- I'll be about 7 months pregnant, so hopefully still pretty mobile (I was a half-marathoner before the pregnancy, and I have been fairly active since finding out, though not at half-marathon level!). We are big walkers in Brooklyn and excited for the pedestrian-accessible nature of Portland; we also ride bikes in Brooklyn and may rent in Portland.

- We'll likely be staying at an AirBnB in the Northwest neighborhood. Not sure we'll get a car, so although we do plan to explore as much of the city as possible, we need things that are pretty public transport (MAX) accessible.

- I'm pescatarian with a big emphasis on veggies, but husband is a *huge* meat-eater (pretty meat-and-potatoes, or the Korean version of that, actually - meat and white rice!). I have a huge sweet tooth; husband does not. So our palates are already normally pretty far apart, but add pregnancy-related eating restrictions on top of that (no unpasteurized cheese, no sushi or smoked fish, etc.) and we're really going to need places with *VARIETY* in order for us to both be happy. (That said, he's not the one carrying around a living cantaloupe inside his body, so he'll have to be a good sport and come along for the ride if there's something special that tickles only my fancy.)

- Out of the two of us, I'm the more cocktail/wine focused, though this trip will (SADLY) not allow for me to imbibe. (July can't get here soon enough!) Although I know Portland has amazing breweries etc., husband is pretty much a cheap-canned-bear kinda guy... so our eating excursions will really be exclusively food focused, we're not concerned about pairings or gastropubs or breweries with good food, unless the food is good enough to be a destination *without* the beer.

- We occasionally do true fine dining (e.g. Le Bernardin, Chez Panisse) but are totally fine with cheap street grub, casual no-reservations joints, etc. We definitely want to explore the trucks -- we have some good ones here in NYC, but they don't tend to be clustered the way they are in Portland!


Based on my CH research, I've booked the following dinner reservations:

- Thurs. May 26: Besaw's

- Fri. May 27: Higgins

- Sat. May 28: Coquine

- Sun. May 29: Ava Gene's

Is this a solid line-up, or should I be switching out one of these for Paley's Place, or maybe switch out Ava Gene's for Caffe Mingo (both Paley's and Mingo are walkable from where we're staying)?? For dessert, Papa Haydn is in the Northwest, too, so an easy stop before bed... but are there any great dessert spots nearby my dinner picks that should be on my radar??

For breakfast/brunch, we'll want to definitely be walkable from our accommodations (not to get TMI, but pregnant people use the bathroom a LOT, so it doesn't make sense for us to be away from home base all day from the crack of dawn each day... better to go out for the first meal, then head back "home" before going out again) -- so I figure we'll hit up places like Cafe Nell and Meriwether's (though I do have Cheryl's on my list for if we end up downtown for a museum first thing in the morning before eating, etc.).

We'll definitely be checking out arts stuff in the Pearl district (I'm an arts industry professional), and so Courier Coffee is on my list for a pit-stop in that area. And I'm thinking lunches will be simple stop-ins while we are in other neighborhoods for attractions, e.g. near the Saturday Market -- I'm not particularly fussed about planning those out in great detail. Any standouts I should know about though, easy grab-n-go places like Chk-Chk (which is in Northwest, where we are not likely to be at mid-day)? Maybe this is where the food trucks come in?

Any other tips for refining this basic plan?

My sincere thanks in advance!
:-) Megan

Ava Gene's,
Paley's Place Bistro & Bar,
Caffe Mingo,
Cafe Nell,
Cheryl's on 12th & As Good As It Gets Catering - Restaurant & Catering,
Courier Coffee,
Papa Haydn
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