When exploring Portland's culinary scene, you never know what will appeal to you. It might be a great budget friendly food truck or a newly opened "Top Chef" restaurant. Our explorations in Portland during 2013 were memorable because of these great finds:
Grilled Cheese Grill on Alberta Street: This wasn't your regular grilled cheese sandwich place. A gourmet grilled cheese sandwich? Yes, that is what Portland’s Grilled Cheese Grill does so well. They serve up simple to elaborate grilled cheese sandwiches at three locations. We went to the Alberta Street location in North Portland one day. The grill was in a food trailer and patrons sat outside on picnic tables or inside in the funky converted school bus. More Grilled Cheese Grill.
Le Pigeon on East Burnside: The restaurant is intimate and filled with architectural details and decor that will make you think you are in France, in times past. As a centerpiece, the exhibition kitchen will draw you to watch the culinary art that is created at this well-respected restaurant. Gabriel Rucker, executive chef and owner, is one of Portland's most notable and celebrated chefs. The delights that came from Rucker's kitchen made us want even more. More Le Pigeon.
Mi Mero Mole on SE DIvision: We entered Mi Mero Mole and found familiar Mexican offerings.. jarras of refrescos and menus offering guisados, down home street foods. Chef Nick's menu consists of freshly sourced and cooked ingredients, including the tortillas, rice and beans. He draws inspiration from the local foods found in and surrounding Mexico City. At Mi Mero Mole you can dine indoors or outside on sidewalk picnic tables. You never know what you'll find at this, my new favorite Mexican restaurant. More Mi Mero Mole
Life of Pie on North Williams: Life of Pie, the creation of former Paccini's owner Jason Kallingal, serves pizzas fired in their custom Ferrara oven, uses locally sourced ingredients for a fresh take on salads and toppings, and does as much in-house as possible. Sausage is mixed and seasoned in-house, mozarella is freshly made and greens are garden-fresh. Life of Pie offers excellent Happy Hour pricing. More Life of Pie
St Jack on SE Clinton: We hear they are moving but enjoyed a great dinner during Portland Restaurant Week in 2013 at this location. St. Jack is like stepping into a patisserie/bistro in France. Wood floors and French signage add to the casual chic atmosphere. Diners like to start with a selection from their extensive cocktail menu and pair their courses with fine wines. Our Restaurant Week meal was amazing. More on St. Jack