Review: Grüner

Gruner Portland

Note: this review was extensively updated 10/2012. Grüner isn’t a "German" restaurant, nor does it bill itself as such; rather it is Alpine. This is a vast region that includes pieces of France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Slovenia, Hungary, and even a bit of Balkan and Mediterranean influences. All of this is … [Read more...]

Review: Biwa

Biwa

Reader Survey Best Restaurants in Portland 2012 #16. New review 10/15/12 A lot has changed about Portland since my review of Biwa in 2008. Sure, Portland still isn't much of a sushi town as compared to Seattle, Vancouver BC, or San Francisco. Yet good ramen and izakaya style dining were still a rarity in Portland in … [Read more...]

Review: Ox Restaurant

Clams at Ox Restaurant in Portland Oregon

OX restaurant is a temple to “the wood-fired grilling tradition of Argentina, and with it, the culinary heritage of Spain, France and Italy”. Opened in early 2012 by Quiñónez and Greg Denton, Ox has shot to the top of  Portland's “must visit” restaurants, and placed number one on my 2012 Best New Restaurant … [Read more...]

Review: Podnah’s Pit Barbecue

Truck in Maypearl

Updated 8/14 I'm indulging myself in the beginning of this review by taking a walk down memory lane. Click here if you'd like to  jump to review section. When I was a kid, I spent many summers on a big cattle ranch just down the road from the booming metropolis of Maypearl Texas, population less than 300. We had a … [Read more...]

Review: Salt & Straw

Salt & Straw Ice Cream

When I was growing up, on hot summer days dad used to get everyone into the car and head out to Lancaster, California to pick fat juicy cherries and sweet peaches from the old orchards. We'd make a day of it, hiking in "The Devil's Punchbowl1", having a burger at some roadside dive and driving home tired and happy, the … [Read more...]

Review: Aviary

Aviary Portland - Pana Cotta

Redolent of the sea, oysters at Aviary come five to a plate on a sparkling bed of ice. They hit the tongue like silk, sliding back, the tiny summer tang of tomato granite, building to the barest hint of horseradish, and then as they go down, a whisper of salty ocean air, like you are standing on a beach in a warm … [Read more...]

Review: St. Jack

St. Jack Restaurant

Liberté, Egalité, Gastromie! The French Revolution has come to town, and the only guillotine in sight is a chef’s cleaver hacking at a pig. Within a month of each other two French bistros have opened in Portland—Little Bird downtown and St. Jack, in the Hosford-Abernethy neighborhood, across the street from Vindaloo. … [Read more...]

Wine Shots – Olympic Provisions

Olympic Provisions

It took me a while to get into Olympic Provisions, the relatively new Charcuterie haven in the made-over Olympic Mills building.  Construction was happening while I was working in the building, but by the time they opened I had gone off to do another project.  The building itself is in an out of the way location, at … [Read more...]