my way-too-long Portland post

Stumptown in Portland
If I loved Portland, Oregon any more, I’d have to consider changing the name of my blog to Justcook PDX. I had a great time at the IACP conference this year. I met bloggers like Jaden, Gaby, and Amy for the first time, as well as Aida, I got to hang out with Sara-Kate, Greg, Fred, the whole team from Weldon Owen, and Peter and Bill from Chronicle, and I cheered for Rose, Alison and Jamie, and David when their books won awards. Yes, I had some fancy-shmancy meals in Portland, but you probably know I’m all about the cheap-eats. This post will be all over the place, but here it goes.
Stumptown in Portland
Stumptown in Portland
Stumptown in Portland
I’m not a coffee guy, but no trip to Portland would be complete without trying the coffee at Stumptown. Now I understad the raves. How cute is that jar of doggy treats, by the way?
food carts in Portland
food carts in Portland
What can I say about the food cart scene in Portland? They put the street food scene in every other city to shame, that’s what. Of course Nong’s Khao Man Gai was the highlight. All she serves is this dish of chicken over rice with the most amazing sauce. I love that it’s served in paper to minimize waste. I wonder if I can order that sauce online and start serving it with everything?
Voodoo Doughnut in Portland
No joke, I visted Voodoo Doughnut four times. The first and second times I tried doughnuts topped with chocolate, peanut butter, Lucky Charms, Rice Krispies, white chocolate, Oreo cookies, and more. The third time the line was down the block. And the fourth time they were completely sold out. This place is worth the hype.
Pok Pok in Portland
Pok Pok in Portland
A trip to Portland without dining at Pok Pok would be a serious mistake. This is up there with Sripraphai and Saffron as the very best Thai food you can get in America. The wings… I’m dreaming about the wings. Sorry for no food photos — I was too busy stuffing myself.
desserts in Portland
My friend Elena took me to Pix Patisserie after Pok Pok. This treat was called Maggie’s Potluck Pleaser. I’d call it a slice of everything yummy.
Rogue Brewery in Portland
Rogue Brewery in Portland
I got a little TOO excited about visiting the Rogue Brewery in person. Gypsy and Steve could have just left me there — I would have been all set. Of course I ordered a flight to try a bunch of beers, and they’ve got some yummy fried stuff to go with the brews.
Portland farmers market
Portland farmers market
Portland farmers market
Portland farmers market
The Saturday farmers market was a real treat. So much to see and taste. It’s too bad I didn’t have a kitchen in my hotel room so I could buy some of the fresh produce and start cooking. Look at those gorgeous carrots. I appreciate how they had recycling stations set up around the market. This is a very eco-minded city.
gluten-free cupcakes in Portland
Petunia’s was selling these pretty (and very yummy) gluten-free and vegan cupcakes. I love the decorative touches.
The Meadow in Portland
The Meadow in Portland
Everyone was talking about The Meadow on Mississippi Avenue. It was a trek, but I’m glad we stopped by. They specialize in salt, more than you’ve ever seen in your life, but they also had an interesting selection of chocolates, bitters, peppercorns, and more.
food carts in Portland
food carts in Portland
food carts in Portland
We found a food cart pod not far from The Meadow, and this was a good one. The Asian food from Native Bowl really hit the spot. I simply cannot get a lunch that good nearby my office — not even close. As my friend Steve said, I could eat this every day. I topped that off with a treat from The Sugar Cube. It’s called the Amy Winehouse Cupcake, and here is the description: “Boozy yellow cake, infused with copious amounts of brandy, a hint of orange zest, and then dipped in sexy bittersweet ganache. This little gem comes with a coke straw and a Colombian sugar bump. Party!” So funny…

36 thoughts on “my way-too-long Portland post

  1. I love Stumptown! I didn't realize they were from Oregon. Very cool! 🙂 Now you can drink their coffee in NYC as well! WHOA! I've never seen carrots that are colored like that. Awesome!

  2. Hey, Looks like you had a ball of a time. The minute I saw those heavenly Cupcakes, everything else from your post vanished. My eyes were glued on it like a kid at the toy store and refused to focus elsewhere.

  3. I've always wanted to visit Portland for such a long LONG time. Hopefully soon. Plus, I want some of the doughnuts from Voodoo doughnut. 🙂

  4. esther: ha, i'm not surprised. you can get everything here. still it was nice to get it lassi: ha, rightjenn: don't you live on the west coast? it can't be too far of a trip. definitely worth checking outjoanna: i feel like not many places are dog-friendly in nyc

  5. Love, Love this post. My husband and I would love to either live in Portland or Seattle one of these days. We're heading up to Portland again this August; thanks for so many awesome pictures and recommendations. We'll surely be trying them out!!

  6. Looks like a fabulous time! The farmer's market has such a promising variety. I just posted about some of Ellie's recipes from So Easy. I added a button to my sidebar that links to Amazon. Hopefully I did it right??

  7. Love the Amy Winehousey cupcakes…… Looks like you had a lot of fun. The chicken rice looks like a Singaporean Hainanese. Im not sure if thats a Balachang sauce. And oh, do you know what "PokPok" in Filipino means?? Anyway, I also love the Beer shots.. Had a couple of Ethiopian honey beer and Bangalore Chili beer a few days ago. havent posted it in blog yet… Therye great! They wont tell what spices they add, but the honey beer was brewed, of course with honey, loved loved it. you can enjoy it even if its already warm as the room temp.

  8. Portland looks like foodie heaven! One of my classmates lived in Portland for a while and she has spent a fair amount of time lauding all of its delicious and affordable restaurants. I definitely need to plan a trip…soon,

  9. kim: thanks. the sidebar is great, actually. all i was suggesting was making the book title a link in the actual post, like i do in my blog, but the cover is even better.claudia: well, i LOVE san francisco, so no. but portland would be fun too. there is a lot more to do in SF though.mhel: those beers sound good. one i tried was chipotle beer. i didn't know what pok pok meant in tagalog, but i looked it up — yikes.peachkins: yeah, the name is intriguingjoanne: right, portland people love talking about how great it is. now i have to agree with them all.

  10. Now I can start a list of the places that I need to visit in Portland as well as NYC…all based on your recommendations. Great pics and stories. Love that Amy Winehouse cupcake. Too funny!

  11. anjelikuh: oops, sorry, i accidentally deleted your comment, but thanks for visiting, and i hope you make it to portland some timekrista: yeah, i love that cupcake

  12. Awesome post Justin! Will bookmark this just in case I ever go to Portland. Voodoo donuts is definitely on my must-try list if it was good enough to warrant 4 visits! And I've remember seing Pok Pok featured on No Reservations and thinking how cool that it's just a shack in someone's back yard – glad it lived up to it's reputation. And I'm sooo jealous you got to attend the IACP conference and meet all those great bloggers 🙂

  13. phyllis: i hope you make it there some time — probably not too far from vancouver, right? there's a lot of great stuff to try.sasha: yeah, voodoo rocks. just don't go on friday or saturday night

  14. So nice to meet you in Portland, Justin, and glad I could introduce you to Jaden. Isn't it a great city? Between IACP, and the two days I spent there in March on book tour, I'm ready to move. Seriously. I've got a huge crush on Portland. The street food alone kills me. Great write up!

  15. Ahh I love Portland like there's no tomorrow! In fact, I plan on moving up there in the next five years or so. It's an amazing city. Love your recap. Thank you for reigniting my love for that place 😀

  16. Portland is great. I've lived here 30 years, and I love that you loved it too!! My fav at VooDoo is the Mango Tango–Mango filling and the icing is dipped in Tang.Next time you visit, you need to visit Cartopia on 12th & Hawthorne. Some of our most well known and beloved food carts are there…including Potato Champion (poutine) and Whiffies (fried pies).And I work for Travel Oregon, so I'm finally getting paid to know stuff about my city!

  17. r.: yeah, i can totally understand your plan to move there. i would do it too if i geek: thanks for the tips. tang doughnut… hmmm. i actually visited and dined at a lot more places than i wrote about, but i had to draw the line somewhere because the city has such a wealth of food spots. i guess it's also interesting to compare what locals think vs. what outsiders think.

  18. msmeanie: yeah, actually, we weren't sure about ordering food at all, and then another customer tipped us off about those fried chip things. they were awesome. so were the tater tots… seriously

  19. I don't even know where to begin, there's to much fabulousness here, lol… Those cupcakes look and sound amazing and Stumptown is to die for! We have a trendy coffee shop called Ritual that serves that up and my best pal that lives in Brooklyn pines for it although she was just here 2 weeks ago and said they sell it in her neck of the woods now.And I'm surprised you are not a coffee guy. Aren't all foodies coffee folks?

  20. psychedelicsister: yeah, you can apparently get Stumptown coffee here in NYC in a few places, including the Hester Street Market I've written about recently. And yes, I supposed most foodie people are coffee people. I just never acquired a taste for it, and now that most of my friends are caffeine addicts, I consider myself lucky that I'm not.

  21. Justin I do have to say you are lucky you are not a caffeine junky. As much as I worship the stuff, it sucks having to rely on it to start my day off, although I love the ritual of making it. Traveling is difficult too sometimes because so many places have such wretched coffee. Or I hate being such a snob that I refuse to drink anything of low standard, lol…

  22. Originating from Portland, and with most of my family still there, I go back every year and am always looking for new places to try out. So thanks so much for this great post! We were there in June and finally tried out Stumptown, Voodoo and Pok Pok. Hurrah!

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