Portland Foodie-Goodie I: Introduction & Pok Pok

Ah yes, so it’s been a while since I’ve done this and I’ll let you into a little secret I discovered: Portland is awesome.

With my second famjam roadtrip in the books for 2013, I thought I’d share what I discovered in the West’s underrated gem. My first trip was Vancouver/Seattle, which was uneventful to say the least and not to mention, getting discombobulated by a pothole in the middle of Highway 2. Curse you, road!:

The famjam and my poor Golf had to go on donut tire mode for about what seemed to be an eternity to Golden, British Columbia which (luckily) had one tire in stock in my size. The entire city had only one though. Scary.

But back to business. With Vancouver/Seattle already done this year, I thought we should try a new city and Portland is roughly the same distance. The last time we went there, it was only for a day. With a long weekend on the horizon, we hit the road and went 4 day crazy in “The City of Roses”!

We left Calgary after 7PM Thursday and arrived in Portland on Friday afternoon-ish.

Along the way, I saw this bank and thought of this,

“Stuntin’ is a habit. So should taking care of your investments.”

+1 internetz if you get that. I did some investigating before this trip and made a bucket list of things to do (mostly eat) when I’m there. We got peckish from our 12+ hour drive so we quickly hit things off at Pok Pok:

  • Pok Pok
  • 11:30am – 10:00pm, 7 days a week
  • 3226 SE Division Street, Portland Oregon
  • 503 232 1387

Guy Fieri went bananas in Triple D for this so I had to go and check them out:

Hungry yet? Well, here it comes:

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“I’ll have everything, please.”

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So here’s a list of what we got (more descriptive menu here):

Papaya Pok Pok (papaya salad)- Yam Makheua Yao (eggplant salad with shrimp and other veggie goodness)
Whole Kai Yaang (whole roasted game hen with Thai stuffing)
Kung Op Wun Sen (Baked shrimp with pork belly over bean thread noodles)
Muu Paa Kham Waan (Grilled Boar collar meat with mustard leaves)
Kaeng Hung Leh (Pork belly and shoulder curry)

I will say this (and this may cause great debate) but it is the best Thai meal I’ve ever had in my life on this side of the world, hands down. It tasted so authentic, coupled with how the restaurant is set up, it felt like I was in Thailand, having a great time. The smorgasbord of flavors were outstanding and I couldn’t stop the day there.

What’s more to like than to wash that deliciousness down with some ‘drinking vinegar’. WHAT?!
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It’s called som and it was epic. Here you see is a tamarind som and its’ double-punch sourness is to my liking. I had to get two.

To cap off the best lunch I’ve had, you gotta have dessert:

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Khao Niaw Mamuang (Yellow mango with pandan sticky rice)
Coconut-Jackfruit(!) Ice Cream Sandwich (self-explanatory)

I don’t know what else you want to know but I’d be happy to tell you as much as I can. Parking is so-so; gotta hunt one down but there is a parking lot nearby.

All in all, I was happy with the experience I received at Pok Pok. It was delicious, authentic, and if this is how Portland is going to start, I’m still for a helluva good time.

There’s more to come but I’m just gathering photos right now, so stay tuned!

Click me for Part II!

– Don

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