MagoGuide Winter Tour 2014 – Week 2

The chefs of Mingo

The MagoGuide Winter Tour 2014 in Portland Oregon is underway.  This year, we’re going to update our post as we go along so that folks can follow the tour as it happens. Meals and fun activities will be posted the following day. If a restaurant or bar is exceptionally good or bad, Morgan will write a review. So check back every day or so to see where we’ve been and what we think of Portland.

Originally we thought we could write the entire winter tour on one post, but it got too long.  We’re just having too much fun.  So you can check out the first week here. Below is week two!

Want to see a cool map of the Winter Tour with all the restaurants and markets listed?  Check it out here.

Saturday Lunch on Dec. 20 – City Market & Chop

Address: 735 NW 21st Ave, Portland OR 97209— Get directions
Website: www.facebook.com/citymarketnw
Telephone: (503) 221-3007
Get more info....
Rostra rating: 4.5

It was raining cats and dogs when we got up, so we took the train over to City Market & Chop in NW to pick up supplies for lunch, dinner, and the train tomorrow.  For lunch, we finally had a chance to try Chop’s porchetta which they only serve on Fridays and Saturdays.  Throughout our stay we had been taking photographs of the process (preparing the pig, after the roast, etc.) and now we took home the final product for lunch.

The sandwiches were good, but nothing really like the porchetta that you can get in Italy from their version of the food carts.  Not only was the preparation a little different (Chop doesn’t use a whole pig), but in Italy you just get the pork and nothing else on the sandwich which let’s you concentrate on that piggitude flavor.  This sandwich was loaded down with mayo, mustard, lettuce, tomato, and marinated peppers.  It was good, just not the same thing.

Friday Dinner on Dec. 19 – St. Jack revisited

Address: 1610 Nw 23rd Ave, Portland OR 97210— Get directions
Website: www.stjackpdx.com
Telephone: (503) 360-1281
Get more info....
Rostra rating: 5

We returned to St. Jack for dinner to sit at the Chef”s counter in order to watch the magic happen.  These hard working people are coordinated like a machine, putting out some great looking and tasting food.  We had an opportunity to meet Chef Aaron Barnett as he played the expediter at the pass.  He was friendly and is obviously passionate about his product.  And it shows.  This is one instance where we are in perfect agreement with the high rating that’s given by UrbanSpoon.

Friday Lunch on Dec. 19 – Lardo

Address: 1212 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland OR 97214— Get directions
Website: www.lardopdx.com
Telephone: (503) 234-7786
Get more info....
Rostra rating: 3

Lardo was the perfect place to stop for lunch after our long walk to the southeast side of Portland. Lardo specializes in super sandwiches, soups, salads, and great side dishes.  We highly recommend the dirty fries that included fried pork scraps, marinated peppers, fried herbs, and parmesan cheese scattered on top.  Really yummy.  And they serve beer on tap as well as have a full bar.

Thursday Dinner on Dec. 18 – Olympic Provisions revisited

Address: 1632 NW Thurman Ave, Portland OR 97209— Get directions
Website: www.olympicprovisions.com
Telephone: (503) 894-8136
Get more info....
Rostra rating: 4

After we went to the movie to see the new Hobbit film in IMAX 3-D (Morgan loved it, I thought it had too much fighting), we decided to revisit Olympic Provisions for dinner to try the dishes that we had missed the other night. Everything we had on this visit was simply delicious and the service was great even though they were totally full. A favorite dish was the braised kale.  It had just a hint of honey that made it sweet indeed.

Thursday Breakfast on Dec. 18 – Daily Cafe revisited

Address: 902 NW 13th Ave, Portland OR 97209— Get directions
Website: dailyinthepearl.com/daily_cafe_in_the_pearl
Telephone: (503) 242-1916
Get more info....
Rostra rating: 2.5

We tried the Daily Cafe again.  Maybe we just ordered the wrong things the first time. No such luck. It was even more boring this visit.

Wednesday Dinner on Dec. 17 – Ataula

Address: 1818 Nw 23rd Place, Portland OR 97210— Get directions
Website: www.ataulapdx.com/
Telephone: (503) 894-8904
Get more info....
Rostra rating: 4

We just don’t understand. How can Ataula have such a bad rating in ? We had wonderful Spanish tapas that reminded us of Cal Pep, Lolita Taparia, and Cova Fumada, in other words some of the best tapas in Barcelona (see A Tale of Two Tapas and Barcelona Brouhaha for more information).  In other words, very good tapas.  We’ve given Chef Jose Story and his kitchen a coveted MagoGuide 4 1/2 rostras for our meal last evening.

Get out there.  Try it.  Then for pity give them a thumbs up on Urbanspoon.

Wednesday Breakfast on Dec. 17 – Kenny & Zukes

Address: 2376 NW Thurman St, Portland OR 97210— Get directions
Website: www.kennyandzukes.com/bagelworks/
Telephone: 503.954.1737
Get more info....
Rostra rating: 3.5

We loved everything about Kenny & Zukes Bagelworks in NW Portland. The bagels are fresh on the premises and all of the ingredients are excellent. We particularly liked the pickled onions that came with the lox and bagel platter!

Portland repairs

After breakfast we went shopping downtown.  Walking along, we went under these fellows where were fixing the lines!

Tuesday Dinner on Dec. 16 – Cooking from City Market

Address: 735 NW 21st Ave, Portland OR 97209— Get directions
Website: www.facebook.com/citymarketnw
Telephone: (503) 221-3007
Get more info....
Rostra rating: 4.5

Even though Portland is a city of great restaurants, Team Mago gets a little tired eating out every night.  In other words, Morgan has the urge to visit a great market and cook a Mago Meal.  That’s what we did last evening.  We stopped by City Market in the NW District and picked up all the ingredients that we needed to cook fish soup including squid, octopus, shrimp, and sea bass.  City Market also provided the fish soup base which saved a lot of time in the prep.  My goodness it was good.

Monday Lunch on Dec. 15 – Pok Pok

Address: 3226 SE Division St, Portland OR 97202— Get directions
Website: www.pokpokpdx.com
Telephone: (503) 232-1387
Get more info....
Rostra rating: 4

What an enigma.  Urbanspoon has this restaurant rated at 86%.  Morgan says that it’s been reviewed to death.  We went there for lunch and loved every bite.  Our waiter was particularly good at explaining not only what our options were, but how we were expected to pair them with the different types of rice and even how to eat them.  This one got a big three thumbs up.

Nice looking doughnuts

On our way to Pok Pok we saw all these people lined up along the sidewalk leading to Voodoo Doughnut.  We stopped to talk with the folks in line and asked why this was so popular.  They said that Voodoo Doughnut was way famous and everyone had to try it.  Nothing about how good the doughnuts were or were not.  But we’ll make a point to go back.  Maybe when we go to the PSU market on Saturday.

Sunday Evening on Dec. 14 – Olympic Provisions

Address: 1632 NW Thurman Ave, Portland OR 97209— Get directions
Website: www.olympicprovisions.com
Telephone: (503) 894-8136
Get more info....
Rostra rating: 4

I had my doubts while walking to Olympic Provisions in the dark.  Although it’s been at this location for over five years, the area seems to just be growing up around it.  This is called the industrial area for a reason.  But once we got inside, the atmosphere and the food were excellent.  Some of the best we’ve had since arriving for the 2014 Winter Tour.  Morgan declared his roasted chicken the best he had ever eaten, and that’s saying a lot.

Bobby and Morgan at the elephant

This is Bobby and Morgan and the elephants downtown on our way to the Saturday Market.  The market was not really our kind of thing, mainly crafts and flea market.

Sunday Breakfast on Dec. 14 – Byways Cafe Revisited

Address: 1212 NW Glisan St, Portland OR 97209— Get directions
Website: www.bywayscafe.com
Telephone: (503) 221-0011
Get more info....
Rostra rating: 3

We thought that we would take Bobby to the Bywater and give them a second chance.  It was even better than the first visit.  Someone who was leaving when we arrived recommended the Long, Long Trail omelet with extra gravy and Morgan said that it was delicious.

Saturday Evening on Dec. 13 – Bar Mingo

This was Bobby’s first night in Portland and we had a difficult time deciding where to go.  After we found out that Irving Street Kitchen was closed for a private party, we decided to walk over to Northwest and try something new. Bar Mingo had been recommended by several folks and it had some of the best bar food we’ve tried so far in Portland. The beets and lamb meatballs were particularly good.

By the way, the original posing had Caffee Mingo listed.  Ed from NW Portland pointed out the mistake.  Thanks, Ed!

Bobby in Portland

Bobby has joined us for the second week.  Yea!

Saturday Morning on Dec. 13 – PSU Farmer’s Market

Address: 1914 SW Park Ave, Portland OR 97201— Get directions
Get more info....
Rostra rating: 4.5

The PSU market was our first market of the trip and it was great.  Many, many stalls with produce, meat, honey, mushrooms, truffles, just about everything that you would expect to find at a summer-time market in December.



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Patti Hart

Patti has been traveling the world with Morgan since 1974 and loving every minute of it.  She's responsible for the photography and editing on the MagoGuide website as well as making occasional contributions.  Patti also generates the graphics and edits the MagoGuide products (e.g., the Mago Scrolls).  She recently built and published the iPhone and iPad application for MagoGuide. Finally, she is responsible for this website including code that tailors the content to what readers are interested in seeing.  In other words, a very busy lady.

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