Woah, where has the time gone?! How is it Memorial Day weekend already? But don’t get me wrong, I’m real jazzed about the long weekend. What’s on your agenda?
Assuming the weather cooperates (c’mon Oregon!!), I’ll be hitting up the opening of 19th Hole, the amazingly fun summer pop-up putt putt at Hotel Deluxe (read more from last year’s post). And then getting in delicious eats at places like Ava Gene’s with my friend Michelle who’s back in town visiting. Good thing there is also the annual Crossfit tradition of doing the insane workout “Murph” to offset all the eating and drinking!
With all that’s been going on, I haven’t done one of these monthly recaps in quite some time, so this will be a mish-mash of what I’ve been loving the last few months. What have new spots, go-to places or recipes are you digging these days?
New Restaurant Finds:
Coquine: It took me an absurdly long time to get to this cute little restaurant in SE, but now I’m hooked. I was so impressed by how beautiful the dishes were, perfectly seasoned everything was and also how affordable it was. Guess that’s what you get when you trek out to Mt Tabor! And those cookies with dark chocolate and smoked almonds?! Swoon.
Lechon: Holy cow, talk about one of the best new places in downtown. This Argentinean restaurant has knocked it out of the park. The happy hour deals were outstanding with surprisingly large dishes for the price, their space is gorgeous with a fish tank full of little jellyfish at the bar and great decor, plus tons of vegetarian options. The star of the night was the forest mushrooms and caramelized onion puree served atop a slice of toasted brioche, with a over easy farm egg aged parmesan, and herbs. So good I have two more visits planned in the next week, making it three times in 10 days. Yup that good.
Common Law at Pine Street Market: I am completely loving this new food hall in downtown Portland. While somewhat crowded throughout the day and evening, it is a great spot for friends or just when you want to do a food crawl without having to go very far. From Israeli eats from Shalom Y’all to delicious ramen from the Japanese-based Marukin (which even has vegan ramen!!), there is something for everyone. Order from whatever suits your fancy, grab a seat at any of the communal tables and enjoy. That being said, I am completely smitten by Common Law. Their Eggplant Bahn Mi was insane. We started with one order but it was so good, a second was quickly ordered. (I have heard their beef tongue bahn mi is equally fabulous, which I don’t doubt given the level of flavors and high execution with the eggplant version.)
New Kitchen Finds:
Red Ridge Apero Passion Fruit Vinegar: I loved trying this new vinegar from the Oregon company that also owns Oregon Olive Mill. It is much more viscous than a regular balsamic vinegar, but has a great fruity flavor perfect for a vinagrette – as it already is really sweet, you don’t need to add any additional honey or maple syrup to your salad dressing recipe, or for topping grilled veggies. But my favorite was taking a tip from my friend Alex‘s playbook and drizzling it over a cracker with a slice of brie. Yum.
T Project and Mizuba Teaa: I attended a really great class with Portland Culinary Alliance on tea blending with Teri of the T Project based in NW Portland, which makes me love her small hand-crafted teas even more now that I know how difficult it is to get a well balanced, flavorful blend. We also learned all about matcha with Lauren of Mizuba Tea. I am a huge fan of this powdered green tea and especially love the kind Lauren imports from a small farm in Japan. I bought a small jar that I’ve been regularly having with breakfast. I didn’t realize that you could “cold brew” matcha in an air-tight water bottle, just throw a teaspoon of matcha, some cold water, ice into a bottle like Klean Kanteen and shake away. Sure, it isn’t as traditional as using a chawan and chasen whisk, but it is way easier and equally as tasty.