Portland: City of Restaurants

When was the last time some cried to you, “I don’t know why, but I have a raving desire for award-winning Thai street food followed by a fresh Boccone Dolce. Do you want to go down the street for some grub?” In Portland, OR, land of the foodies, this is a reality.

We live in a town practically busting at the seams with long-lived hotspots and enthusiastic newbie restaurateurs. I swear, one could go broke and gain fifty pounds within the course of a year just trying to keep up with it all. Weekly papers and magazines can hardly feature enough restaurants; I imagine their journalists typing furiously into the wee hours of the night just trying to keep a finger on the pulse. And in a pace that can only be described as a frenzy, restaurants consistently rise to the surface of the hype and linger for a year or more before making way for a new sensation.

Take for instance, Sel Gris. I was fortunate enough to get an impromptu seat at the bar of this amazing urban restaurant in Ladd’s Addition. I was so impressed with the food that night that I bought gift certificates for all of my friends. This was in December and not one person has gone yet because they can’t get in! This place is so hot that a minimum of one week is required for reservations. But is well worth the wait.

Some other fine dining favorites include Higgins, Beast, Andina, Toro Bravo, Paley’s Place, and Le Pigeon. But let us not forget about the amazing casual food Portland also offers. On many an occasion I have practically died and gone to sausage heaven while eating handmade links at Otto’s in the Southeast. No Ho’s makes wildly large portions of marinated Hawaiian chicken dishes and macaroni salad that will make you act like a caveman guarding his food. And the city is dotted with Vietnamese restaurants where you can get a piping hot, sublime bowl of pho at any hour of the day, including 7 AM.

If you have ever visited to the Portland area or in fact have the pleasure of living here, what are some of your favorite places to eat? Keep me posted – I am always on the hunt.

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