Food Adventures in Portland

Being so close, Portland called to us many a time from Seattle – and so we decided to head down there on the Memorial Day long weekend!

And of course, being married to someone like Esh, the trip was mostly about FOOD! Oh, and drinks.

But first: There was traffic. We left on the Friday afternoon. It was meant to be a 3 hour drive, but it ended up taking us 5 hours! Thanks to an accident on the I5. But hey, all is good when you’re in the US and going on a road trip.


Eventually, we arrived at the Hilton and after a bit of stuffing around, checked in.

Day 1 – Biscuits, Pepe Le Moko & Corn Dogs at the Fair!

Our first port of call the next day was the Portland Farmers Market at Portland University.

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This place was filled with fresh produce and queues. We lined up to get an infamous ‘biscuit’ and gravy from Pine State Biscuits.


Tastier than it looks! But extremely unhealthy (you only live once!). I had the breakfast version. FYI a ‘biscuit’ is kind of like a savoury scone.


Portland is also known for its awesome cocktail bars and in this way, it is kind of similar to Melbourne (but smaller, with much fewer people). We hit up Pepe Le Moko, which was situated underground.


The cocktails here were great, and the food was delicious too. The oysters were incredibly fresh, as you can see from the girl in the photo shucking them in the entrance!






Afterwards, it was back out into the daylight. There was a real all-American fair on in town for Memorial Day, which we totally had to check out (even just to see real Carnies).



We didn’t do any of the rides (Esh reckons he was too tall and I was too short), but we did manage to get beers and a classic corn dog! An American end to an American day.



Voodoo Doughnut – The Magic Is In the Hole

The next day, it was all about the famed Voodoo Doughnut! For you foodies, this place was visited by Adam Richman in Man vs. Food and Andrew Zimmern in Bizarre Foods.


As you can imagine, the queue here was insane. We lined up for about 1 hour.


Inside, with metal music blasting (rahhhh! \m/) we ordered our pick of doughnuts, including the classic Voodoo Doll. A couple of them were really amazing, but the rest were a little dry and overrated. They look nice though, don’t they!



Little Bird, Ground Kontrol, Bailey’s Taproom

For dinner that night, we headed to French bistro Little Bird. To start with, Esh had the lamb tongue salad and I had the roasted marrow bones. Both were divine! Unfortunately, the mains, er… sorry, entrees (Esh: Cassoulet, Me: Platter Board) were a little disappointing. Oh well.

Next – it was beers and games at Ground Kontrol!! This place is basically an old-school arcade that had been upgraded to include a bar. It was, by far, one of the most fun places we’ve ever seen for grown ups!


“The Galleria?”



Most awesomely, the machines all have special beer cup holders so that you can store your beer while you play. And yes, all the games took quarters! Our fingers were sore by the end of it.


Later, we wound up at another popular local brewery, Bailey’s Taproom.


Which had a radical digital board of beers to choose from.

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The Last Day – Food Trucks, Olympic Provisions & Pok Pok

And then, of course, there were the food trucks. Whole streets lined with them, selling everything from Thai, Viet and Chinese to Gyros (Kebabs) and German food. We had breakfast here on our last day.



Before heading back, we made a quick stop at another famous place – Olympic Provisions (also from Bizarre Foods) to grab some cured salami sausages. Yummo!

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(Here’s dinner about a week later. Cool chopping board huh!)


And finally, our last Portland meal: Pok Pok is an amazing Thai place with traditional Thai dishes (like the actual ones you get in Thailand, not the sloppy faux Thai you usually get).

Again, there was about a 20-30min wait, but it was worth it.


This was probably the most authentic Asian meal we’ve had since arriving. Plus, it was actually spicy and delicious. Fancy finding that in the middle of the Pacific Northwest!

Final Portlandia Thoughts

There is definitely a bit more going on in Portland than in Seattle and the culture is a bit more cosmopolitan. And apparently ‘hipster’ (though nothing compared to Newtown!).

Overall, we loved it there, had loads of fun together and would go back again for a little getaway … but alas, Seattle is still ‘home!’



4 thoughts on “Food Adventures in Portland

  1. What happened to the other F in Cliff on that ride! Or am i missing something?! I like that Man Vs. Food show… you should visit all the places he has. But just don’t end up being as tubby as him 😉


    1. Probably the same thing that happened to their U’s in other words like ‘humour’ or ‘honour’! Haha yeah we def have to do the Crab Pot and Red Mill Burgers in Seattle, but I dunno about that omelette place… :p

      PS. Adam Richman is skinny now!


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