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Trip Report Oct. 3-6

eajohnso2000 | Oct 31, 201308:59 AM

I used Chowhound quite a bit to plan a recent trip to Portland, so I thought I would return the favor by posting a trip report. DH and I spent a long weekend in Portland. Our appetites were somewhat stifled by lingering colds but we enjoyed our trip nonetheless.

Coffee: I'm not a huge coffee drinker but I did sample a cappucino at Spella, Public Domain and Stumptown. Spella was far and away the best.

Food Trucks: This endeavor was limited by our lack of appetite and that we thought the trucks would be closed on Saturday...many were open. I got dumplings from The Dump Truck: sweet potato curry, portabello mushroom, pork and ginger. The sweet potato dumplings were the best. DH got tacos and tamales from La Jarochita. These were both not good at all. They had no taste and the spice level was just heat with no flavor.

Wine: We took one day in the Willamette Valley and went to Arborbrook, Trisaetum, DePonte and Beaux Freres.

We visted the SE Wine Collective on SE Division Street in Portland proper. We loved this place and went twice. We even got to watch as grapes were being delivered and they started to sorting process. Our favorite wine from SE was a 2011 Pinot Noir from Vincent Wine Company.

We went to a small wine bar called Oregon Wines on Broadway. We really wanted to like this place. We really did. They had many wines from places we weren't able to visit in our limited time in Willamette: Patricia Green, Soter, Stoller, Brick House. Unfortunately, we felt somewhat ignored in favor of a group of about 10 or so regulars. The service and atmosphere was lacking. We ended up leaving after only a couple of tastes.

Whiskey Soda Lounge: The wait for Pok Pok was 2 hours on a Saturday night so we went with the first come, first serve lounge. We ordered the Ike's Wings, deep fried anchovies with sricha sauce, dry-roasted peanuts and Jin Tup Roht Dii (flank steak with a chile-galangal dipping sauce). We liked the steak the best. Both DH and I could only eat two of the wings; they were really salty. We weren't blown away by this meal. Maybe we should have waited for Pok Pok instead.

Lardo: Lardo Fries, Pork Meatball Bahn Mi, special of the day Turkey Dinner sandwich (turkey, stuffing, cranberry spread). I thought the pork meatballs were too sweet in the bahn mi, but that is probably just a personal preference. The turkey dinner sandwich was fine, nothing special. DH and I frequent a sandwich shop at home that does a turkey/brie/cranberry combo that is much better so I think Lardo suffered in comparison.

Pine State Biscuits at PSU Farmer's Market: The Chatfield (fried chicken, bacon, cheese, apple butter). I really liked this sandwich. The apple butter cut the grease and fat of the bacon and chicken to make a nice sweet and savory combination. Note on the biscuits: I read about the Lauretta Jean v. Pine State debate on this board. I did not try Lauretta Jean but I did note walking by that their biscuits were much fluffier and had more layers than the flatter Pine State biscuits.

Roe: Far and away the best meal in Portland and one of the better meals I've had in the past few years. DH and I did the "Guest's Choice" menu and each got something different from the four courses. I meant to take the menu with me but forgot...probably the result of the wine pairings. The best bites, however, were an appetizer that involved big eye tuna sashimi and a second course with shrimp. Sorry I can't be more descriptive. Overall, just an excellent meal.

Thanks again for all the postings. It was a great help in planning the trip.

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