Portland – More Brew Pubs and Food
This is our food travel summary wrap up blog on our remaining gastronomical adventures etc in the Portland, Oregon, and surrounding area. It was a wonderful visit and our hikes in the mountains lead us to some wonderful falls and fresh air that I wish I could bottle and sell that air to people back here on the east cost. Almost pure air, with a hint of ozone and a perfume of evergreen. Ah, but lets get back to our food and drink adventures.
One stop in Portland was to the Lucky Labrador Brew Pub. It was obvious once we arrived on our bikes that they brewed beer here. That evening the pub had invited friends and neighbors to pick their own hops for some home brew and there were lots of dogs enjoying the scene; hence the name. The beer was very good, but what made this pub unique was how the brew process is run with solar heated hot water. Another environmental and sustainability check mark for Portland. Be sure to support their effort if you’re in Portland.
Next on our summary tour is another environmental and sustainability story in the local area known as Burgerville. We were very impressed by this fast food operation. The food was very good for fast food (Yes and cheap because we blew our money at the wineries). No wonder they recently were number 4 in the nation for best burger. That is pretty amazing considering you can only find these within 200 mile radius of Portland. They have a great story that others should follow. Quality food, local suppliers, good service, and environmentally friendly. They even provide you the nutritional information on your receipt with suggestions for less fat or calories. The whole package gets five stars from us. Closer here at home we have Elevation burger who try to make similar claims but are miles behind in real action. A Facebook discussion board has been asking them for at least a year to provide nutritional information to no avail. Hans Hess, the founder and chief executive should be ashamed as what this shows is that the marketing message is in conflict with the business message and they know it. If “ingredients matter” then give us the nutritional information! Tell them you want it.
It was time to hit the coast as we traveled to see Haystack rock and then drove up 101 to Astoria. It was a beautiful sunny day which I have heard is not common in Astoria. This quaint seaside fishing town has stood still with a look that sends you back to the mid 20th century. Our find here was the Wet Dog Cafe. This brew pub had a good view of the Columbia River and every beer we had was enjoyable and unique. The names were very amusing like Bitter Bitch IPA, Poop Deck Porter with many having T-shirts that match. The fish and chips we had were done very well.
Our next stop was the India Grill restaurant which is another house converted to dining establishment. We selected a Samosa appetizer to start that had a very good pastry and well seasoned fillings. Our remaining selections were Chicken Tikka Masala, Shahi Murgh Korma, Matar Paneer and a side of Naan. First the Naan was wonderful and it was very enjoyable to have some of this bread that was so fresh. All of the other dishes had good flavor and the portion size was appropriate. The India Grill gets 4 out of 5 stars.
The final restaurant enjoyed was Mai Thai just around the corner from Alison’s residence in Portland. If it were not for the recommendation of our local host I would have passed right by this place. But I have come to learn that in Portland you really do have to look under the covers. We ordered the spring rolls (egg rolls) and Thai iced coffee to start our meal and both were excellent. Four spring rolls were served in tightly rolled fashion. We ordered the Pad Kra Pao, Drunken Fried Rice and Andamun Fried Rice. The first two were flavored as expected and better than most we have had at other restaurants. We have never had the Andamun before and found it to have much better flavor than the Drunken. We hope that we can find this somewhere in our Northern Virginia area. The chili paste makes for an intriguing change of spice over traditional thai fried rice versions. The service was good and the food above average for a score of 4 out of 5.
Well that is our wrap on our adventure out west. We hope you got a bit of a flavor of it through our blog posts. We hit a few other places but they did not make it to the top of the list. Cheers!