Portland Foodie-Goodie Part III: Downtown Adventures!

Alas, good things must come to an end. My Portland trip was only four days but it was a fun and fattening four days of awesomeness.

Now, other than the hit show Portlandia (funny show, by the way!):

and hipsters (sorry!), Portland is known for its vast majority of food carts! From falafels to fries, Portland has it all. To show the extensive variety that these food carts offer, this is just one of the various blocks (or ‘pods’) that they have in the city:

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That’s just one block FULL of choices to choose from! I’d check the Food Carts Portland website for a detailed list of the ‘pods’ and the carts within them. There’s also store hours that you should pay close attention to as some places aren’t open in the weekend.

So the one that we went to was the ‘SW 10th and Alder’ pod because it was the biggest pod with the most variety. It was still early so we wandered around to check out the sights and sounds:

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IMG_2922You can tell they’re hungry. And lost.

The food carts finally opened and we scoured. What the famjam chose was a Hawaiian cart called Island Grill:

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While I chose the Indian cart, Taste of India:

WP_20130519_007I was too hungry to take a picture of what my parents got so here’s my special of various curries and naan with a mango lassi (mango yogurt drink):

WP_20130519_008Tailgate lunch for $8(!)

For what I paid for, it was definitely ‘bang-for-your-buck’ and very tasty too! Not too salty or creamy. Just right. The naan was hot and soft (you can tell when it’s stale and this one wasn’t).

After that hefty and exotic meal, I had a peckish for some coffee and Portland is full of artisan coffee shops within downtown. One of them that stuck out was Public Domain Coffee:

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Public Domain Coffee
603 SW Broadway
Portland, OR 97205

Monday-Friday 6AM-7PM
Saturday-Sunday 7AM-7PM

Now, I’m no coffee aficionado by any means but I know enough to have a great cup of java. Also, having a buddy that knows a thing or two about coffee certainly helps the cause 😉

So I ordered and watched patiently as the barista does his magic:

WP_20130519_004Meticulousness is key, from preparation to serving. Respect.

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The end result was a cup that gave me a boost to keep going.

Next in the hit-list was this place that our very own Triple-D tour guide suggested. What is it? Well…

Yup, some good ol’ barbecue at Podnah’s Pit:

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Podnah’s Pit
1625 NE Killingsworth
Portland Oregon 97211
503 281 3700

It’s your traditional barbecue house that delivers successfully on Texas-style barbecue with slow smoking processes and using tasty firewood. Enough history. Where the meat at?!

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I ordered a traditional brisket with collard greens and black eyed pea salad. Mighty tasty! The smoke rings are visible and I felt them all against my tongue.Man, it was good. Good and tender.

I wasn’t man enough to order what my brother got though:

WP_20130518_010The Pit-Boss

So that has ribs, brisket, mac and cheese… Everything but the kitchen sink. The meals were affordable and quite filling to say the least, especially for what you get. Meat smoked since 5AM that day and it was so affordable. LOVE IT!

The dessert wasn’t that great but hey, can’t complain about banana pudding:

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You think that’s over?! NOOO WAY! This is foodie-goodie, Don Commando style. We go big or go home! We had to hit one last spot before we went back to Canada and this, was actually left to fate using the Urbanspoon app.

The parentals wanted seafood before we went and by sheer luck, we found My Brother’s Crawfish:WP_20130519_010

My Brother’s Crawfish
8220 SE Harrison St
Portland, OR 97216

Now this was in a ‘sketchy’ part of Portland; full of used car lots and this place was in a complex of pho restaurants, massage parlor, and it didn’t look very welcoming.

You enter the complex and you can’t see it distinctively. We looked around and the corner establishment just said ‘Crawfish’. That’s it.

It had to be it.

And it was.

By far, it was the best hidden gem I found in Portland. I wouldn’t say it was a ‘hole-in-the-wall’ but it was simply decorated with a southern flare. The place was small but packed. We were in for a BIG treat!

So it was happy hour and we ordered everything in a ‘sampler’ size,

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First up was the fried alligator (left) and crabcakes (right). First time trying alligator and it didn’t wow me as I thought. It was rubbery and tasted like meat. Wasn’t exotic or anything. Crabcakes were good but not enough to remember anything.

Not off to a good start.

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Then there was the seafood gumbo and the clam boil. The gumbo was spicy with enough kick but not too much that it overpowers it. The clam boil weren’t stringy and it had a garlic butter sauce which was enough to balance the tastebuds. Best clam dishes I’ve had so far.

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Next was the crawfish etoufee, which is like a crawfish stew, and chicken & sausage jambalaya. The etoufee was the powerful one and the heat mounted as the dishes came more. I was definitely feeling it and loving it!

The jambalaya just reminded me of fried rice but was filling.

Overall, I’d go back for the clam boil, the etoufee, and the gumbo. I’d definitely order a bigger portion and maybe a crawfish boil as well.

Their prices are reasonable and the seafood was fresh! That’s what makes it so great!

——————

So there you have it. Our four day trip to Portland is a part of history now.

For me, PDX is now my top favorite NW city, replacing the ever great Seattle. For me, Portland had more things to offer and I felt more comfortable. Seattle is great but Portland feels like home.

Just because this part is over doesn’t mean the fun stops here! We’re always up for random trips to eat so subscribe and you won’t be disappointed.

I hope. :/

Cheers!

– Don

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