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Pok Pok Grilled Corn + Hawaiian Miles = Weekly Love

07.04.12

Happy Birthday, America!

This Week:

Pok Pok grilled corn – It’s back in season folks — Pok Pok is serving their grilled corn again. A summer favorite. I could eat a cornfield of these.

coffee shop work – Crema, sunshine, iced coffee. This:

Firestone Walker “Wookey Jack” Black Rye IPA – I won a 22oz bottle of this at beer trivia night a few weeks ago, and then ‘randomly’ ordered it at Green Dragon this week. Doh. A new favorite, for sure.

Canteen – after continually passing by the almost-finished, new shop from one of my favorite Portland juice carts (Sip), they’ve finally opened! I tried the tasty Portland bowl, and the standard ginger berry smoothie. I’ll definitely be back in here.

Portland Dining Month at Brix Tavern – Every June, Downtown Portland puts on Portland Dining Month, where you get a 3-course meal for $25 at tons of Portland restaurants. I snagged a freebie on KloutPerks, and got a nice little gift certificate in the mail for Brix Tavern. It was fun to try out a restaurant I hadn’t been to, and they have a great happy hour menu!

Moonrise Kingdom – It’s been a while since I went to a ‘real’ movie theater. I finally used my $5 Fandango movie coupon to go see the new Wes Anderson film. Loved. Perfect way to spend a rainy June night.

Hawaiian Airlines 35,000 miles offer - I’m always on the lookout for credit cards offering miles deals, and since my bff moved to Hawaii, I decided to get the Hawaiian Airlines card, which gives you 35,000 miles. You just have to spend $1,000 in 4 months — pretty easy if you use it for bills, dining out, groceries etc. This will be my card of choice for the next few months. Plus you get a coupon code for 25% off 2 roundtrip tickets. Prepare the guest room, friend!

Oregon Humane Society kitties – I stumbled across my Oregon Humane Society cat adoption papers recently. Adorable to re-read Emily Essa’s one-page sell sheet. :)

What are you happy about this week?

New Portland Favs: Rum Club & Via Tribunali + 50 more

12.08.11

Another three months, another 52 restaurants it seems. I had a little help this time from my trips to New Orleans and Florida.

I’ve been focused more on cooking at home this month, but there are loads of new restaurants that opened in the last month or so here in Portland, and I’m anxious to start checking more off my list. In time, in time. So without further ado, here are 52 new restaurants I’ve checked out lately:

  1. Sweet Hereafter – Crowwwded, but fun new places by The Bye and Bye folks
  2. Straight from New York Pizza – also newish
  3. Nuestra Cocina – I almost just typed cocaine. Fantastic fish. And best house margaritas in Portland. Been back a few times since this. :)
  4. Pie Spot food cart
  5. Thai Peacock
  6. Ruby Jewels Scoops
  7. Prost!
  8. Euro Trash food cart
  9. Sontum Gai Yang food cart
  10. Batavia – Indonesian food cart
  11. Da-Pressed Coffee Cart
  12. Bar Mingo – atmosphere when we were there was so-so, cheese plate was delicious
  13. Vivace – mmm crepes!
  14. Everybody’s Brewing, White Salmon, Washington
  15. Jimmy John’s – apparently this is a newish chain in Portland. I was waiting for the MAX and ran across the street. They were horrifyingly quick.
  16. The Ruby Slipper, New Orleans – quick breakfast service if you sit at the bar
  17. JAX Brewery
  18. Apple Barrel Bar, New Orleans – sooo smoky, but fun because it’s a different vibe than most of the bars on Frenchman St
  19. Capdeville, New Orleans
  20. d.b.a. Frenchmen Street, New Orleans – best sazerac in NOLA!
  21. Cafe du Monde, New Orleans – a required experience I suppose :)
  22. Stanley, New Orleans – seriously tasty breakfast and great location by St Louis Cathedral on Jackson Square (also of note, they have a “Service Bar” next store so you can get coffee while you wait. Kind of like a more formal version of how most breakfast places in Portland offer coffee while you wait).
  23. Johnny’s Po-Boys, New Orleans – one of these could feed a small village
  24. Three Muses, New Orleans – my first French75 + amazing Gorgonzola cheese fries
  25. La Davina Gelateria, New Orleans
  26. Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, New Orleans – the original dive bar
  27. Gumbo Shop, New Orleans – late night mashed potatoes
  28. CC’s Community Coffee House
  29. 13, New Orleans – so Portland. I’m a little embarrassed that I went back later for the tachos after more Frenchman Street music.
  30. Juan’s Flying Burrito, New Orleans – After taking the St Charles streetcar line to the end, we wandered around Magazine Street and decided on Mexican food. :)
  31. The Carousel Bar & Lounge, New Orleans – the rotating bar in NOLA
  32. The Spotted Cat Music Club, New Orleans – superb music, ok drinks
  33. Antoine’s Annex, New Orleans – cute little coffee shop tucked in an alleyway
  34. El Gato Negro, New Orleans – more Mexican? Well I wanted breakfast, and settled for tacos and a margarita.
  35. Cascade Burger @ Cartlandia – amazing burger, and the owner is a riot
  36. Just Thai
  37. Burnside Brewing Co – fun newish brew pub in PDX
  38. Bamboo Sushi – 5 stars! my new favorite sushi spot in Portland. I have dreams about the Green Machine roll and black cod
  39. Rum Club – new spot by Beaker & Flask (and it’s next door) Best Old Fashioned in Portland, in my book
  40. Floyd’s Coffee (a new location, this totally counts!) – love this new location though perfect corner window to get coffee, right next to NedSpace on 3rd
  41. Kettlemen Bagel Company – not sure how I managed to avoide Kettlemen’s for so long. I get overwhelmed in bagel shops. Too many options.
  42. Cascade Brewing Barrel House
  43. Trader Vic’s – I attended a Yelp Elite event here. The Mai Tais were nice and strong
  44. Monsoon Thai Cuisine
  45. Tonic Lounge
  46. Roost – newish breakfast place on Belmont
  47. Rain or Shine Coffee House
  48. Via Tribunali – best new pizza place in PDX? Word. Also $5 pizza Margarita for Happy Hour (I’m cheating on Pyro pizza now)
  49. Tijuana Flats, St Petersburg, Florida
  50. Pizzaria & Cafe, Tampa, Florida – so descriptive
  51. The Castle, Ybor, Tampa, Florida – hilarious
  52. Central Cafe & Organics, St Petersburg – I was really hoping to like this place, but they seemed a bit put off by people coming in to order things. Tasty granola anyway. :)

How it all started: I had a goal to visit one new restaurant a week.
1-52: Go To 52 New Restaurants – 30 Before 30 List
53-103: 52 [More] New Restaurants
104-156: 156 New Portland Restaurants, Bars, Coffee Shops in 299 Days
157-208: 208 New Places in One Year
209-260: 52 More New Restaurants: Portland, San Juans & Vancouver, BC
261-312: New Restaurant Fatigue #312!
What new restaurants have you been to lately?

New Restaurant Fatigue: #312!

The new restaurant quest continues. I visited 52 more new restaurants and bars since July. Most of them are Portland establishments, with a little help from Oregon wine country and Seattle. So without further ado, here are my likes and dislikes (with a few “meh” thrown in).

  1. Viking Soul Food – tasty handmade lefse awaits at this Norwegian food cart. (they’re over at the Green Castle Food Court pod now on NE 19th/NE Everett)
  2. Green Beans Coffee
  3. The Burrito Bar
  4. Pok Pok Noi – does a new Pok Pok location count? Yes. The grilled corn is one of my favorite things.
  5. Extracto Coffeehouse
  6. Fonda Rosa – I’ve walked past this place so many times. It exceeded my expectations.
  7. Kesone Thai Lao Bistro
  8. Little Bird Bistro – Le Pigeon’s little sister. It was tasty. They give you a mini-macaron with your bill.
  9. Guadalajara Taco Shop – Seaside, Oregon This place was horrible. Anytime I drive through Seaside, I try to stop at The Stand (amazing!). Alas, The Stand was closed, so we decided to chance it on the Mexican place next door. Bad decision Sunday.
  10. Dig a Pony – love it.
  11. Kitchen Dances – best vegan food cart in Portland? Yes.
  12. Tapalaya – great happy hour
  13. Utopia Cafe
  14. Navarre – Next time, I will order just the cheese board, bread, Spanish tortilla, and wine. Nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
  15. Someday Lounge
  16. Aybla Mediterranean Cart at Good Food Here pod – yum
  17. D’s bar - diiiiiiiiive
  18. Spunky Monkey House of Coffee – great breakfast sandwiches
  19. PBJs – got the Spicy Thai to go to take to Sauvi Island. Reminded me of the PBJ fries at Potato Champion. Good sandwich.
  20. Rip City Grill – I got the Portabella mushroom ‘Bacon & blue’ burger. Way exceeded my expectations.
  21. Sonny Bowl – DC Vegetarian is my go-to at the SW 3rd & Washington carts, but I finally tried Sonny Bowl — a good bowl option.
  22. Hotel Oregon Rooftop Bar, McMinnville, Oregon – cajun tots! (& excellent views)
  23. Crescent Cafe, McMinnville, Oregon – I think this might be the best breakfast place in McMinnville. Food and service was spectacular. Perfect for fueling up for biking wine country.
  24. Bergstrom Wines
  25. Brick House – such a cool winery
  26. Penner-Ash – awesome view & picnic space
  27. Nick’s Italian Cafe – Hostess:”Welcome, we’re all full, let me see if we can find a spot” *We look around, notice only three tables are filled. She returns* “It looks like some tables might be clearing up, let me put you on the [non-existent] wait list.” Seriously? I understand the whole wine country reputation, but as long as I can still see, don’t pretend there are invisible people dining. le sigh.
  28. Community Plate – good light breakfast option, but appears to be yet another McMinnville restaurant with a service problem.
  29. Anne Amie Vineyards – *Oprah voice* “Look under your seeeeat! Haaaaaaaamocks!”
  30. Solena Grand Cru Estates – a quiet option
  31. Sokol Blosser – lovely vineyard
  32. Voicebox Karaoke – sake!
  33. Arleta Library Cafe – this one has been on my breakfast to-do list for quite some time. Underwhelming.
  34. Hopworks Bike Bar (N Williams) – finally checked out the new Hopworks on N Williams. Love the outdoor seating option in the front.
  35. Let’s Eat Thai food cart
  36. Happy Grillmore food cart – the Shooter McGavin was tasty (another great SW 3rd & Washington veg option)
  37. Dixon’s Rib Pit – (part of Dishcrawl PDX) I can’t vouch for the ribs
  38. Yogio – the bibimbap was good
  39. Cafe Hibiscus – Swiss dressing was great!
  40. Cruzroom – I was so full from Dishcrawl that I only had one taco at Cruzroom.
  41. South Waterfront Farm Stand – It’s not a restaurant, but there’s a farm stand in the park now, and if you eat a carton of raspberries while there I think it should count as a new place.
  42. Enso Winery – a Portland winery (part of PDX Urban Wineries). Very cool space
  43. Cactus, Seattle, Washington – what appears to be a Seattle chain restaurant. Good margaritas.
  44. French Bakery, Seattle, Washington
  45. Serious Pie, Seattle, Washington – margherita pizza was fantastic
  46. Katy’s Corner Cafe, Seattle, Washington – good smoothies and quiche
  47. Noodle Nation, Seattle, Washington
  48. Hi Spot Cafe, Seattle, Washington – typical weekend brunch wait, but worth it.
  49. La Isla, Seattle, Washington – I don’t think I can claim to have had Puerto Rican food before. Reminded me a bit of Pambiche (Cuban) in Portland. Really good dinner.
  50. Branx
  51. The Big Egg – the Arbor Lodge was excellent, and the perfect option for weekends that you don’t want to wait in line for breakfast.
  52. Dogfeather’s Coffee – juice!

How it all started: I had a goal to visit one new restaurant a week.
1-52: Go To 52 New Restaurants – 30 Before 30 List
53-103: 52 [More] New Restaurants
104-156: 156 New Portland Restaurants, Bars, Coffee Shops in 299 Days
157-208: 208 New Places in One Year
209-260: 52 More New Restaurants: Portland, San Juans & Vancouver, BC

What new places have you tried lately?

52 More New Restaurants: Portland, San Juans & Vancouver, BC

07.17.11

It’s time once again to take a little peek at my Foursquare checkins & Foodspotting pics, as I’ve hit another 50 new places to eat. This time around, Portland had a little competition from the San Juan Islands, Vancouver, and the Oregon coast. So here are the new restaurants, bars, and coffee shops I’ve been to lately…

  1. Arabian Breeze (now Nicholas 2) – so so, Ya Hala is still my favorite
  2. Spella Cafe – Affogato!
  3. Apizza Scholls – doesn’t everyone love Apizza Scholls? I would give it another try, but not a fan of ordering a giant pizza and then discovering I totally misordered, but I’m stuck with a pizza that I don’t like.
  4. Mudai Lounge
  5. St Jack – I’ve been hearing awesome things about St Jack, so we finally headed to brunch there last month, and I was so disappointed! The pain au chocolate from the bakery was great. My omelet, not so much. Only 25% of our brunch party enjoyed it. Sad. I still want to give their dinner menu a try though.
  6. Sip Juicery – love love love. This little juice cart is outside of People’s Co-op and is one of my new favorite places to stop. Chocolate peanut butter. Say no more. The berry ginger is also super tasty.
  7. Green Dragon
  8. Gorditos Mexican, Everett, WA – Yelp fail
  9. Maloulas, Friday Harbor, WA – Yelp fail. Ok, more like Friday Harbor is just expensive. Not that great.
  10. Lime Kiln Cafe, Roche Harbor, WA – brilliant. As I mentioned in my post about biking from Friday Harbor, I hope my recommendation isn’t skewed from riding the 9.5 miles there. :) Yelp, you are redeemed.
  11. Downriggers Restaurant, Friday Harbor, WA – blackened salmon sandwich and sweet potato fries quite tasty after our ride out to Roche Harbor.
  12. World’s Skinniest Latte Shop, Friday Harbor, WA – carrot, apple, ginger juice was tasty
  13. Rocky Bay Cafe, Friday Harbor, WA
  14. Stark Naked Pizza – tasty
  15. The Wrapture (food cart) – meh
  16. Diamond Thai (food cart) – I don’t know about their food, but crazy cheap and refreshing Thai iced tea
  17. Caffe Umbria – it’s like Portland’s Little Italy in one coffee shop
  18. Fifty Licks
  19. Central – this place is almost too cool for school. Our last stop on an impromptu DIY cocktail crawl. Complex, no seriously, cocktails.
  20. Waves Coffee House, Vancouver, BC – good paninis
  21. Uva Wine Bar, Vancouver, BC – I just ordered a beer. (at our Meet, Plan, Go hosts meetup at TBEX)
  22. Guu, Vancouver, BC – I was really excited to try this Izakaya restaurant, but we were short on time and I only ordered one thing. Boo.
  23. Steamworks Brewing Company, Vancouver, BC – not that great. Also, there was a mouse in the bathroom. True story.
  24. Smiley’s Public House, Vancouver, BC – free drink tickets are fine by me, TripAdvisor’s After Party for TBEX.
  25. Giovane Cafe, Vancouver, BC
  26. Japadog, Vancouver, BC – seriously tasty veggie dog!

  27. Thai Pod – zero atmosphere, but my new favorite place when I just want some pad thai
  28. Crow Bar – typical Mississippi Ave dive bar
  29. Manzanita News & Espresso, Manzanita, OR – Manzanita is one of my favorite cities on the Oregon coast.
  30. Delta Cafe – so much good food. I want to go back.
  31. B-Side Tavern
  32. Rontoms – Hey look, I finally went to Rontoms. Hipster.
  33. Gilt Club – Another place I finally went to. We stopped at Gilt for a drink after riding around town one night.
  34. Fruitilandia – smoothies
  35. Cricket Cafe
  36. Irving St Kitchen – awesome happy hour. This one had been on my list to try for a while, and their mac & cheese is delicious.
  37. La Buca
  38. The Slammer Tavern
  39. McMenamin’s Grand Lodge – Perfect weekend getaway from Portland. Disc golf, bocce, Ruby, movie theater, soaking pool etc. Typical McMenamins, a little quirky, some history, lots of fun and easy on the bank account. :)
  40. Hair of the Dog Brewery
  41. Katie O’Brien’s
  42. Foster Burger – I love it that Foster Burger was in Bon Appetit magazine. A had the kiwi burger and a strawberry shake. So filling.
  43. Tiny’s Coffee
  44. The Globe – The Globe is one of my recent favorite happy hours. Caramelized onion & blue cheese pizza for $6!
  45. Water Avenue Coffee
  46. Alder Pastry & Dessert – fairly new place on Burnside. They have gelato too.
  47. Fire on the Mountain
  48. Rotture
  49. Helser’s on Alberta – German pancake. Yum.
  50. Santeria – this place used to be called El Grillo. Even though it’s right between Tugboat Brewing & Bailey’s Taproom, I never really noticed it. Good for late night food. Interestingly, the bathrooms are through the back door — in a strip club (Mary’s Club). Giggle-worthy.
  51. Accanto – They should have named Accanto Genoa Jr. Tasty gnocchi & cheap happy hour menu.
  52. Dante’s – ewww

How it all started: I had a goal to visit one new restaurant a week.
1-52: Go To 52 New Restaurants – 30 Before 30 List
53-103: 52 [More] New Restaurants
104-156: 156 New Portland Restaurants, Bars, Coffee Shops in 299 Days
157-208: 208 New Places in One Year

What new places have you tried lately?

208 New Places in One Year

06.27.11

Since my last 52 new restaurants post, I’ve been to 52+ more, which kind of blows my original “Go to 1 New Restaurant per Week” goal, out of the water. Definitely a fun experiment this past year, of making an effort to try new places. So without further ado, here are some places I’ve checked since March… now I really need to return to cooking more!

  1. Bijou cafe – meh
  2. La Bonita Taqueria – tasty
  3. Mississippi Studios
  4. Bar Bar – friiies
  5. Jade Teahouse
  6. Veritable Quandary – Chilaquiles with Queso Fresco. Yum.
  7. Bella Faccia Pizzeria
  8. Vita Cafe
  9. Besaw’s – oh the French toast. Besaw’s is one of my favs now.
  10. Oasis Cafe- pass
  11. Bumblekiss
  12. Savoy Tavern & Bistro
  13. Iorio – I bought this Groupon before they stopped offering deals to good places :P Excellent dinner
  14. Circa 33 – went for the Kopstooje drink and had potato chip nachos…. rich. I should have listened to the little voice in my head that said “You already had nachos 3x this week”
  15. Byways Cafe – snagged brekkie here after the wait at Besaw’s was too long. Tasty.
  16. Cilantros, Lahaina, Hawaii
  17. Ono Gelato, Lahaina, Hawaii (& again in Paia!)
  18. Thai Chef – Yelp you have failed me *tear*
  19. Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar, Kapalua, Hawaii – Yelp, you have been redeemed. One word: Butterfish. Ok, and Karaoke :)
  20. Honolua Store, Kapalua, Hawaii – great lunch option before heading north
  21. Fish Market Maui – not a restaurant, but they sell the best butterfish here! Ended up stopping by twice
  22. Kihei Cafe, Kihei, Hawaii – Banana Macadamia Nut French Toast. No words necessary.
  23. Hula Cookies, Maalaea, Hawaii – tasty ice cream sandwiches
  24. Star Noodle, Lahaina, Hawaii – please become a chain restaurant and open in Portland. k thx bai. Our waiter here was from Eugene! True sign of an Oregonian: she said “How long have you lived in Portland?” heh :) Yes, yes, I know, I’m not an original Oregonian since I spent my first 11 years in Washington. Back to Star Noodle. Hello Vietnamese crepe! I loved this place so much, I put it on my 10 Things Loved in April list!
  25. Julia’s Banana Bread, Kahekiki Hwy, Hawaii – best banana bread in the world? Definitely amazing, that’s for sure. :) Note: There were no rental cars taken on this “highway”
  26. Aloha Mixed Plate, Lahaina, Hawaii – so apparently this place has the same owners at Star Noodle. Yawn! My meal fell into the “meh” category
  27. Maui Tacos, Napili, Hawaii – chain Mexican restaurant. Did the job.
  28. Flatbread Pizza Company, Paia, Hawaii – really tasty wood-fired brick oven pizza on the main street in Paia
  29. Aunty Sandy’s, Hana Hwy, Hawaii: don’t tell Aunty Sandy, but Aunt Julia makes better banana bread. Still a great place to take a break and grab a fruit shake & snack on the Hana Hwy.
  30. Random food truck – fishn’ chips
  31. Makawao Sushi & Deli, Makawao, Hawaii: expensive for what it was, but still a tasty option. Also, I like to say the word “Makawao”… quite a lot.
  32. Charley’s, Paia, Hawaii: a reasonable breakfast. Not spectacular, not bad.
  33. La Jarochita Mexican food cart, (yep, back in Portland!): definitely be back to this cart.
  34. Courier Coffee – I’ve walked past this place so many times and never noticed it. Love the window seat.
  35. A Roadside Attraction – porch swing. I’ll be back.
  36. Fresh Pot
  37. Space Room Lounge – grabbed a drink before the last show of Bridgetown Comedy Festival. I was mesmerized by an awkward first date in progress, and the local elder folk. Character.
  38. Eagles Lodge – here, here for laughter
  39. Built to Grill (food cart)
  40. Kokomo Beach Smoothies
  41. Basha’s Mediterranean Cuisine food cart – at the PSU Farmer’s Market. I’d never noticed this one before.
  42. Two Tarts Bakery @ Farmers Market – macarons! Now a default stop on my farmer’s market trip
  43. Koi Fusion (food truck) – hey, look who finally went to Koi fusion. And I’ve been a few times since. :P
  44. Toast – Tasty potato cakes.
  45. Off the Griddle (food cart)
  46. Alma Chocolate – Thai peanut butter cup, I adore you.
  47. Migration Brewing – <3 picnic tables and sunshine and the cheese plate (Brie, apples, honey, almonds) = nom
  48. Red Fox – a cool space, if they wouldn’t have served up some waaay old and nasty asparagus (and then stare and said  “Yeah” when it was returned.) i might have been a fan. Eww.
  49. Sila Thai
  50. Yorgo’s Tavern – for when you want to see people pass out drunk by 9pm. How does this happen?
  51. Compote Cafe – cute space. granola and homemade yogurt is a nice simple breakfast
  52. The Nest – ping pong! fun!

What new places have you checked out lately?

Olivia Raymer
Things I ♥: travel, food (I'm a pescatarian), the Pacific Northwest, bikes (I ride an orange mixte), beer (IPAs), summer, coffee, lists, and kitties. Travel enthusiast, former product manager, dabbler, and currently helping small businesses with digital strategy at Early Bird Strategy.

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