Urban dictionary describes epicurious as “a person who lives life in the constant pursuit of great food, drink, debauchery and open-minded adventure.” Portland is a haven for such people, for there is so much beauty to imbibe and devour. You come here hungry, and you go back well fed, culinarily speaking and otherwise.
When you are in Portland, you immediately know you are in a unique place. You just smell the difference.
If I were to describe Portland in short, it would be this. A fancy cake layered with five mouth-watering flavors – food, mountain, beer, bridge and coffee – with a big dollop of free spirit on top. Yummy!
Out of all these inviting flavors, food plays a big part in putting Portland on the global map. The city is claimed to have the world’s best street food scene, all thanks to its 700+ burgeoning food carts. These food carts are run by talented chefs whose creation will blow your mind away, and for sure broaden your palate. They don’t cook; they transform ordinary food into extraordinary fares. When you are here, it’s seriously hard to ignore these folks and what they do with their foods.
During our three-day visit, my husband and I tried to sample as much. Sometimes eating every hour, because there was so much to eat in so little time.
Below is a list of some of the foods we tried. We sampled most of them through our amazing 3-hour food tour, courtesy of Eat Adventures Food Tours. It took us to varied neighborhoods stopping at five different places for foods and drinks.
Great magic happens when Korean meets Mexican.
Koi fusion is an eclectic mix of Korean BBQ with Mexican flavors. This may sound dicey to someone who’s never been here, but it somehow works. And it works so well. I tried their beef bulgogi tacos, and clearly it was the best thing I never had! So, there it was…love at first taste. The taco’s every bite celebrated Portland’s spirit, creativity and its unique sense of humor.
GOOD FOOD HERE
Life is a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.
The name “Good Food Here” sounded pompous at first. But in actuality, it was an honest branding. “Good Food Here” is a pod. A pod is made of several food carts. This one had an exciting mix; from Scandinavian to Mexican to Italian to Hawaiian, there were around 12 of them. I tried fish tacos from Fish Box, beef tacos from Divine cafe, and Kalbi beef from Namu. The meals were good, truly living up to its name. That evening was an interesting evening of unlimited choices of true street-style goodness.
BASE CAMP BREWING CO.
Life is all beer and skittles when you are in Portland.
Featuring consistently in the best patio and dog-friendly bars, Base Camp Brewing Co. offers some really cool craft brews. Our group sampled an array of pale and dark lagers. I remember the dark lager for its fruity-floral taste, and S’more Stout for its chocolaty, smoky aroma with roasted marshmallow floating on top. I don’t always drink beer, but when I do, I like it the fanciful way!
I scream for a good, old–fashioned ice cream.
Ruby Jewel is an ice cream parlor oozing buckets of charm and character. Lending to its allure is an array of artisanal ice creams, teasing your taste and visual senses even from a distance. I tried two flavors – lemon cookie with honey lavender and chocolate cookie with salted caramel. Nibbling on the aromatic lavender dough felt like taking a walk through the breezy lavender fields…somewhere in Provence.
You may handle the etiquette of a fine dining, but can you handle a platter of absolute decadence?
They say an authentic risotto takes time to prepare. But if the end product is what I had at the luxurious Heathman hotel, I say it’s worth the wait. My risotto was creamy, elegant, and I enjoyed the richness that coated every grain of rice. I don’t remember eating risotto before, or maybe it wasn’t as memorable. My small-portioned, neatly positioned risotto on a large white plate reeked of fine dining elegance. Molto deliziosa!
Other foods worth mentioning are broiled shrimp sandwich for its uniqueness (Lazy Susan’s), and strawberry and banana crepe for its yumminess (Crepe Neptune’s). These restaurants are located in Cannon beach.
Sometimes we get so caught up with worldly duties, obligations and conventions that we become uptight, and slightly boring. At least I had become one. And in all this, I had lost the little hippie girl in me. The girl that always liked anything different and wacky. Portland helped me find her. I may be back to the daily grind, but I feel nourished, refreshed, and bursting with this heightened sense of enthusiasm for life.
I feel good.