MagoGuide Winter Tour 2014 – Week 1

Booths inside Andina

The MagoGuide Winter Tour 2014 in Portland Oregon is underway.  This year, we’re going to update this 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 (see Featured Reviews below). 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 second week here.  Below is week one!

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

Featured Reviews:

Friday Evening on Dec. 12 – St. Jack

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

Everything that we ate at St. Jack was delicious.  Morgan especially enjoyed the fried pork rinds and marrow bone which he claimed was a smooth as butter.  And that was just the bar food.  We’re planning on returning for dinner.

Friday Evening on Dec. 12 – The Abbey Bar

Address: 716 NW 21st Ave, Portland OR 97209— Get directions
Website: www.theabbeybar.com
Get more info....
Rostra rating: 3

This bar wasn’t even on our list, but we passed it by at a thirsty moment and stopped in. And we’re certainly glad that we did. We tested out six of their excellent Belgium beers on draft, the sour ones being our favorites.  They have over 250 bottled beers and the sliders were good too.

Friday Morning on Dec. 12 – Throne Barber Shop

What do you get when you combine a barber shop, a bar, and a big screen TV?  Throne. They call themselves a traditional barber shop serving traditional booze. It’s a concept that works. We found it by the old fashioned method of walking around and seeing something interesting. They’ve been open for just a week. Morgan got an excellent haircut and I spent my time with the manager getting local tips for bars and restaurants. Really… our kind of place.

Friday Breakfast on Dec. 12 – Kornblatt’s Deli

Address: 628 NW 23rd Ave, Portland OR 97210— Get directions
Website: www.kornblattsdelipdx.com
Telephone: (503) 242-0055
Get more info....
Rostra rating: 2

We’re getting closer all the time to that platonic ideal of breakfast in Portland.  Kornblatt’s Deli in the NW District was better than anything that we’ve tried so far.  The coffee was good, Morgan’s NY deli breakfast was good, and my oatmeal was well cooked and hot (which isn’t always the case).  We recommend this place and are looking forward to going back and trying it for lunch before we leave.

Thursday Lunch on Dec. 11 – Food Cart Pod on SW 5th

Address: 462-498 SW Stark St, Portland OR 97204— Get directions
Website: www.travelportland.com/article/food-cart-pods/
Get more info....
Rostra rating: 3.5

Food cart pods are scattered around the city, sometimes 20-30 going around a block or sometimes just a few on the corner.  In all cases, there’s lots of choices. Today we ate at Bulkogi at the SW 5th Avenue Pod which is a fusion cuisine of Mexican and Korean. This was our first experience eating at a food cart and it was delicious.

Thursday Breakfast on Dec. 11 – The Daily Cafe in the Pearl

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 went to the daily cafe for breakfast and it was good.  The eggs and bacon were especially good and there appeared to be several vegetarian offerings on hand.  The coffee may have been a little weak, something that we don’t run into often in this city of good coffee.  It’s a good spot for breakfast in a pinch, but we’re still looking for that breakfast place that’s going to wow us.

Wednesday Afternoon on Dec. 10 – Happy Hours

Happy hour seems to be a big deal in Portland and MagoGuide approves 100%. Rather than eating a sit down meal at a restaurant on Wednesday, we opted to visit a couple of bars that had been recommended and try out their happy hour food and drink.

Bluehour

Address: 250 NW 13th Ave, Portland OR 97209— Get directions
Website: www.bluehouronline.com
Telephone: (503) 226-3394
Get more info....
Rostra rating: 3

We went to Bluehour for happy hour and thought the red wine poured was better than average and the happy hour food, although very small plates, excellent little bites.  While we were there the staff had to handle a situation at the bar, someone either very drunk or on drugs, and they did so with discretion and kindness.  The place was filling up, the bartenders was swapping out kegs, and the manager was quietly taking care of this fellow, seeing him out the door.  Well done.

Irving Street Kitchen

Address: 701 NW 13th Ave., Portland OR 97209— Get directions
Website: www.irvingstreetkitchen.com
Telephone: (503) 343-9440
Get more info....
Rostra rating: 3

We stopped by Irving Street Kitchen for happy hour and enjoyed both the wine, happy hour bar food, and especially the atmosphere.  We got to sit at the bar with our backs to the fireplace and watch the staff set up for dinner.  We’ll try to get back here for dinner before we leave Portland.

Wednesday Afternoon on Dec. 10 – City Market and 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

This afternoon we marched from the Pearl District to NW 21st Avenue in the driving rain to visit the City Market and Chop butcher shop that is inside.  It was well worth the visit.  We found meats, cheese, vegetables, and wine that made our mouths water. We bought smelly, runny cheese, two kinds of salumi, and wine to take back to the apartment.  We also found out that they serve porchetta on Friday and Saturdays. We’ll be back.

Wednesday Breakfast on Dec. 10 – Fuller’s Coffee Shop

Address: 136 NW 9th Ave, Portland OR 97209— Get directions
Telephone: (503) 222-5608
Get more info....
Rostra rating: 2

We went to Fuller’s Coffee Shop for breakfast on the recommendation of a local and because it got such a high rating in Urbanspoon. We obviously ordered the wrong thing.  Although the wait staff was friendly, the breakfast orders we made were merely ordinary.  Hummmm.  It was also very hot and crowded, so that may have had something to do with our lack of enthusiasm for the food.

They did have the best hash browns that I’ve ever tasted, though.

Delivering soup

This is such a foodie town.  On the way back from breakfast we saw this young lady delivering soup on a bike… in the rain.

Tuesday Dinner on Dec. 9 – Oven & Shaker

Address: 1134 NW Everett St, Portland OR 97209— Get directions
Website: www.ovenandshaker.com
Telephone: (503) 241-1600
Get more info....
Rostra rating: 2

Over & Shaker was a solid pick for dinner.  The salad we ordered was fresh and huge, easily large enough for two people to share.  And the pizza was good.  It’s oven baked with a thin crust which reminded us of Rome.  And the ingredients on top were interesting.  We would certainly go back.

Knitting ladies

We were returning to our apartment from dinner and looked through a lighted store window to see this group of ladies busily knitting.  So cute!

Tuesday Before Dinner on Dec. 9 – Bridgeport Brewpub

Address: 1313 NW Marshall St, Portland OR— Get directions
Website: www.bridgeportbrew.com
Telephone: (503) 241-3612
Get more info....
Rostra rating: 3

We stopped by for some beer and fries.  Both were excellent and we’ll be back for burgers as soon as time permits.  While we were there we met the nicest locals who gave us all sorts of recommendations, including the Fuller Diner for breakfast.

Tuesday Lunch on Dec. 9 – Wong’s King for Dim Sum

We have been hungering for Dim Sum since the MagoGuide 2013 Winter Tour and Monsoon in Seattle. We also wanted to see if we could figure out what by reputation is an excellent transit system in Portland.  So we headed out on the Green line to SE Division St. and Wong’s King Restaurant.

At Wong’s King we found good, although limited, dim sum being served in the authentic way… young ladies pushing around the carts.  Although some of the dishes had obviously been on the carts doing their rounds for too long, in other words cold, the flavors were good and many of the traditional dishes that we know and love were included. If you want dim sum, then you could do worse than Wong’s King Restaurant.

We walked along the river and downtown in order to get oriented to the Portland topography.  Everyone downtown was busy shopping, getting into the Christmas spirit.

Monday Breakfast on Dec. 8 – Byways Cafe

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

Byways Cafe is this cute, typical diner found in the heart of Portland’s Pearl District. Our breakfast was good and the staff very friendly.  The coffee was particularly good, but we’ve not really found bad coffee yet in Portland. They serve breakfast until 11AM except for Saturday and Sundays when they serve breakfast all day.  Good idea!

Sunday Dinner on Dec. 7 – Deschutes Brewery

Address: 210 NW 11th Ave., Portland OR 97209— Get directions
Website: www.deschutesbrewery.com/locations/portland
Telephone: 503-296-4906
Get more info....
Rostra rating: 3

We were still full from lunch so headed to Deschutes Brewery for some salads and beer.  Both were great, but the most interesting thing that we tried was the deep fried pickled purple cauliflower.  Although some of them were a bit over breaded, it was certainly something that we thought we would like to try at home.

Sunday Lunch on Dec. 7 – Andina

Address: 1314 NW Glisan St, Portland OR 97209 OR 97209— Get directions
Website: www.andinarestaurant.com
Telephone: 503-228-9535
Email: info@andinarestaurant.com
Get more info....
Rostra rating: 3.5

We began the 2014 Winter Tour at Andina.  We found this place by looking confused on a street corner and asking where we should eat lunch nearby.  Two nice ladies took pity on us and sent us to Andina. Good choice. Andina is a Peruvian restaurant that serves wonderful small plates including some great seafood choices.  Here is Morgan’s excellent post of this interesting restaurant.



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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.

2 thoughts on “MagoGuide Winter Tour 2014 – Week 1

  1. I leave close to downtown Portland, we have so much for you to see.
    Powell Book Store is ever, great restaurants, Good music, call me 503 708 5847

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