Well Portland Oregon and sloe gin fizz
If that ain’t love then tell me what is
Well I lost my heart it didn’t take no time
But that ain’t all. I lost my mind in Oregon
“Portland Oregon” by Loretta Lynn
We just got back from Oregon and we had a blast. As per most vacations (and my life) it revolved around food. The trip consisted of one day in Medford, two days in Portland, two days in Bend, and one day in Chico.
Standing Stone Brewing Company
It was hard to get the fumes of the local meth labs out of our noses, so we made an excellent decision to dine in Ashland. Ashland is a cool little town south of Medford that is famous for hosting the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. We decided that our long trip to southern Oregon deserved a pitcher of beer. We tried the Standing Stone beer sampler and unanimously decided that their Double IPA was outstanding (standing get it?). The food was pretty overpriced and forgettable, except for the wood fired pretzel with spicy marionberry hefeweisen mustard.
We met up with our friends Joel and Amanda and had an amazing dinner here. Pok Pok was Oregon’s Restaurant of the Year in 2007, the meal I had easily explained why. First, my cocktail, a refreshing whiskey sour with tamarind, it was so good I could have had a couple of gallons. I had a great pork dish and Elissa had calamari salad, which was solid. The highlight of the meal for me was Ike’s Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings which are “fresh natural chicken wings marinated in fish sauce, garlic and sugar, deep fried, tossed in caramelized Phu Quoc fish sauce and garlic and served with Vietnamese table salad”, these were freakin’ awesome.
After an eventful job fair, we went to the Clear Creek distillery because I wanted to try their whiskey. Sadly, they had long been sold out of their whiskey but I tried some other excellent stuff including pear eau de vie, apple brandy, grappa, and Douglass Fir eau de vie which is “inspired by an obscure Alsatian distillate called Eau de Vie de Bourgeons de Sapin”. I left with a bottle of pear eau de vie and apple brandy.
We didn’t really want to go fancy but we saw they had a bar menu. Once we got seated, we found out that Monday’s and Tuesday’s were all day happy hour, score! There is only one thing that I am going to write about from this restaurant…three words…duck…fat…fries. They were as good as I hoped they would be, the duck fat give them a flavor that tasted like turkey skin.
Arleta Library Bakery Café
Our last stop in Portland was for breakfast, this place was highly regarded by Joel, Amanda and my old preschool buddy Mark R. First, they served Stumptown coffee which is always a good way to start off a meal. Second, it was a cute little place, only two people working, one waitress, one cook. I had the Portlander which was “three eggs scrambled with wild mushrooms,Tillamook cheddar cheese, and crumbled bacon”. The meal was nicely balanced, not too much egg, not too much cheese, not too much bacon, not too much veggies, just nicely balanced.
They had some solid enchiladas and some great salsa. I had enchiladas del Mar “prawns, tomatoes, onions, and cilantro sautéed in white wine and Mexican spices, wrapped in two corn
tortillas and topped with green sauce, Monterey cheese, sour cream, and avocado” Overall, great food, a little spendy but I would definitely go back.
This is my favorite brewery right now. Elissa and I visited for the first time over last Thanksgiving and fell in love. The food was solid as usual and the beer was superb. I got to guzzle a couple of pints of my favorite brew, Bachelor ESB.