You can see the results of the entire Best of Portland 2010, including the “Best Restaurant in Portland” here, But first…
2010: FOOD TREND IN DESPERATE NEED OF RETIREMENT
- Bacon – by overwhelming majority
- Pork Belly – wow, people are really over bacon
- Foams – a very distant 3rd
My vote: I’m a bit tired of bacon myself
2010: THE NEXT BIG FOOD TREND WILL BE:
- Comfort Foods, home type meals in restaurants
- Food Carts
- Korean Food
My vote: Comfort foods
2010: IF I WON THE LOTTERY, HERE’S WHERE I’D EAT IN PORTLAND
- Paley’s Place – 1204 NW 21st Ave, Portland. By a landslide
- Genoa – 2832 SE Belmont St., Portland. I don’t think the new Genoa is all that expensive. (review upcoming)
- Beast – 5425 NE 30th Ave., Portland. See comment above.
- El Gaucho – 319 SE Broadway, Portland.
My vote: Paley’s Place
As soon as we start taking bacon out of our meals, we will most likely say ” this is good, but it’s missing something”. I think bacon has some serious staying power.
ComfortFoodie VERY happy about the next big food trend being comfort food! But I’ll never get tired of bacon!
Well as I see it, bacon IS comfort food. Therefore, if comfort food is the next trend, bacon will have to be a part of it…
No such address as SE Broadway.
I’ll be happy to see the end of bacon. Overplayed, overdone. Enough.
Comfort food for sure…………. can keep Speck around for a while longer?
I just had the most amazing thick chunks of bacon at Little Red Bike on Sunday; I’m not ready to give it up yet, well, except maybe on dessert, I never really got into the bacon on dessert thing.
As Jim Gaffigan says, “I bet if you put bits of bacon on a strip of bacon, you could travel back in time”
Food carts? did you secretly sprinkle bacon bits on some rashers and travel back in time and ask this question in 2007?
I don’t want to see bacon disappear, but some sanity as to its use would be marvelous(bacon ice cream, candied bacon, bacon lattice topped apple pie…..I’m looking at all of you!).
Comfort food will vanish faster than mashed potatoes and gravy at a Curves Fitness as soon as the economy begins to recover. Of course, that could take much longer than a year, so perhaps that is an appropriate choice. I still think Korean food is going to be the next “ethnic” cuisine to gain a wider audience.
Joe Dixon says
I’m not really “over” bacon, but I could sure use a break from all the macho posturing that comes along with it. That bacon dessert Le Pigeon serves (and has been serving since they opened in, what, 2006?) is awesome, much more than just a way to be clever and tough at the same time. I mean, let’s face facts: bacon is delicious. And versatile. I don’t see anything wrong with using it so many different ways, but the whole self-consciously low brow “meat culture” is exhausting and exhausted.
And yeah, food carts? Didn’t those blow up a minute ago?
What’s wrong with bacon? Good god, it tastes great. If you don’t want it, don’t order it. Do people really get tired of seeing “bacon” on the menu? It’s not like Portland is the Monty Python scene where the woman doesn’t want Spam and yet every item on the menu has at least some Spam in it. I think bacon is pretty easy to avoid if you want to. Let it go people.
Nancy Rommelmann says
Not trends on the horizon, but what I’d like to see more of in Portland:
Mid-range Italian restaurants that do a great job. Eager to hear suggestions along these lines.
Great Szechuan food, the real deal. Can anyone confirm that Lucky Strike is moving to Hawthorne? If so, when does it open?
I would love to see the opening of some small, not-too-precious fancy food stores, sort of parts of Whole Foods in miniature.
Also — and I might have to open this myself someday — a take-out place along the lines of The Silver Palate. Marco Shaw tried this for a nanosecond on Fremont and 43rd but it never took off. Just a slip of a store stuffed with good stuff already hot, plus a good sandwich and some nice items to grab along the walls. Like Elephants, but way smaller.
Has this really ever worked for very long in town? Ken’s Home Plate, Overton Street Market (the stab Wildwood made)? I think the grocery stores sort of own this slice of the pie.
I think New Seasons covers your last request very well. Their delis are fantastic.
Nancy Rommelmann says
Yes, I like New Seasons very much, but I am thinking smaller, much smaller, the size of Pasta Works, but with more take-out and sandwich food.
As a non-driver it’s outside my orbit, but from what I’ve heard Quinn’s Prime and Vine up in Forest Heights may be close in concept to what you’re thinking of; they’ve been around for several years now, I believe.
Quinn’s is_exactly_what Nancy is describing. It ain’t cheap(the ‘hood and all), but the butcher case and fresh pasta are damn fine! well curated wines and beer section, and they make a tasty sandwich. Plus they have the grill going out front at lunch time and turn out burgers, brats, and what not….
Quinn’s is an interesting case study in neighborhood adaptation. David and Evelyn opened a small grocery store/meat market after David’s time working at Phil’s meat market. Eventually, people would come in asking “Do you have anything cooked?” do David began offering small meals at the wine bar. Fast forward a few years to last Friday when the place was packed as additional tables were spread throughout half of the store, turning it into an odd experience of eating whilst seated in a grocery store. $12.50 for Top Sirloin cap (culotte) grilled, green beans and creamy mashed potatoes. Wine by the glass or grab a bottle and pay $8 corkage over retail. (I just wasn’t in the mood to cook on Friday)
Sure, it’s nowhere near an extensive list of options, but given I can walk there from my home, I hope they continue this “neighborhood bistro experiment” for a while.
Also City Market on 21st and Johnson, Pastaworks on Hawthorne, and Little Green Grocer in the Pearl.
Food Dude says
Pastaworks on Hawthorne has EVO – excellent sandwiches. It might fit what you are looking for.
Nancy Rommelmann says
Thanks, everybody. Also, though I am late to the game in this: I am loving QFC; great meat and fish (unlike Freddy’s and Safeway, where with the exception of Johnsonville brats and the occasional pound of hamburger, I refuse to buy flesh; it just looks and smells so bad.)
pastaworks on 21st is now serving sandwiches at the butcher counter by the way.
You may need to talk a little more about your concept of “mid-range Italian” to get good suggestions in this line; there are a fair number of long-established or old-school Italian places out here on the west side, but I suspect that the majority do not quite fit what you’re looking for.
My family used to visit several of these places on a regular to semi-regular basis, but for a variety of reasons (many unrelated to quality/execution) most of them have fallen out of our restaurant rotation. The one out of all of them that’s still on our regular circuit is Ernesto’s, on Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway on the western edge of the Raleigh Hills area. In many ways they’re very much old-school Italian, and they do pretty well with the traditional pasta dishes (spaghetti & meatballs, lasagna, etc.). But I recommend them for other reasons: excellent seafood pasta dishes, very good entree salads, and outstanding soups. We usually find ourselves there on Sundays, when there is usually clam chowder and minestrone — and I’d rate Ernesto’s clam chowder as one of the best I’ve sampled anywhere in Oregon.
There are two other west-side Italian places that strike me as prospects, but I haven’t been to either in much too long to accurately assess their present merits. Those would be Cafe Allegro in old downtown Tigard and Merchant of Venice in Hillsboro’s Orenco Station complex.
Nancy Rommelmann says
Thanks Djonn – We’re over in NE so all those places sound like a hike. I like old-school Italian and grew up on it (my grandmother was Italian). What I’m looking for is more along the lines of what I ate for years in LA, at places like Chianti Cucina, Angelini Osteria and Angeli Cafe: solid new-ish Italian food, not expensive but not cheap; easy settings to eat in; always quality, always clean; not pretentious but able to show off their stuff. Maybe Caffe Allora in the Pearl a bit what I’m looking for, but with a bigger (and maybe better) menu. The meal I had several years ago at Caffe Mingo definitely fits the bill. Hmmm. Time to go back.
Oh Nancy…Chianti Cucina, and reading you in Buzz….the good ole days..in LA (the Valley to be more exact)
Nancy, when you refer to “old-school Italian”, are you thinking about the red sauce, American-Italian type of food that Ernesto’s (as djonn points out) or Nona Emilia’s serves? If so, Caffe Allora won’t come close to that, although Caffe Allora is one of my favorites for Ligurian dishes that include tuna, veggies, white wine pan sauces, etc. In fact, I’ll be there on Tuesday for dinner! :-)
Cuisine Bonne Femme says
Having grown up in a city with a sizable “Little Italy” and an even larger Italian population I think I know what Nancy means (feel free to jump in and correct me here Nancy).
When I think Old School Italian it’s not just about the Red Sauce – It’s a vibe, an aesthetic, a certain kind of service and decor and an approach to eating. It’s family run joints that have been in the same familia for a few generations. Some of them are a bit more casual with take out pizza counters in the front, while others are more adult affairs with low lights and candles on the tables. Old School Italian to me means reserved tables for the same people who have been eating there for decades, lingering for hours late with a glass of Sambuca after dinner, and being able to get melon with proscuitto only in the summer when melons are ripe while the Spumoni really is Spumoni and not some BS food coloring rendition from a carton. It’s the same eggplant Parmesan and Linguine with clam sauce on the menu as they always have been alongside specials such as Veal Piccata and Cavatelli. It means having an espresso machine in service since 1948, and not because its trendy right now but because your 80 year old patrons have always had espresso after their lunches. Old School Italian doesn’t try too hard to be authentic or kitchy or classic or modern or any of those things. The menus are never fancy. It’ just comforting Italian-American food done well and always of high quality.
After living in PDX for 14 years, I just don’t think PDX has any Old School Italian places of the caliber Nancy might be thinking of. These are places found in locales such as NYC and the Burroughs, NE Ohio to Chicago, Providence Rhode Island’s Federal Hill, and even San Francisco. Portland has some great (and authentic and not so authentic) Italian restaurants, but good Old School Italian? I’ve never found one. Correct me if I am wrong.
This is one of my favorite old school italian joints in the ATL of all places.
*note: music plays
My sisters and I were semi “regulars” and thus got the good treatment and sometimes the osso bucco.
Nancy, your description of a small-sized take out place reminded me of Ron Paul Charcuterie from the early 1990s. I ran into Ron recently at an event and we talked about the good old days. The store was good sized with many salads and roasted meats/veggies. I remember buying Silver Oak Cab, 1994 (Alexander Valley) for around $29/bottle. Those were the days!
Eastmoreland Market & Kitchen at 36th/SE Knapp. Great kitchen inside a small neighborhood grocery. Lots of stuff ready to go too.
We had dinner last night at Lucky Strike (excellent – worth every bit of the hype) and the server/owner told us they were moving to 39th & Hawthorne at the beginning/middle of March. Curious what the new location will bring.
Re: Bacon overload
I tend to agree that bacon needs to take a back seat on a number of menus in Portland, but I bet it will continue being used for sauces (wild mushrooms/bacon or pancetta) and in dishes but just won’t be called out.
At the risk of sounding a tad racist I have to express my distaste for the Korean option! I consider myself a foodie and am open to trying everything once! Having said that, I’ve tried Korean restaurants several times and have been horribly dissatisfied! Please help! Am I missing something? I’m willing to give it another go, any suggestions?
Cuisine Bonne Femme says
Sorry, Korean food is my absolute favorite food of all time – it’s my number one comfort food. Spicy, funky, intense, fermented umami tastes, loaded with diverse textures, and layered flavors. I often call it the “soul food” of the Far East. It can also be quite delicate and nuanced.
Still, it isn’t for everyone. It can be really funky with it’s sour-acid kimchi vegetables, intense fermented hot pepper and bean paste sauces, organ meats and the like.
It might not be your thing, and that’s ok. You’ve tried it more than once, that’s the important thing.
I seriously do want recommendations though! I’m bound and determined to find something that I like! I have officially announced my Quest!
It’s pretty difficult to not like basics like bulgogi, kalbi short ribs, japchae. Pretty standard fare.
Food Dude says
When I first started eating Korean food ( a long time ago), I didn’t like it either. It took me a while to figure out what I liked, and to develop a taste for it. Now it’s one of my favorite cuisines. Hang in there!
Ironically, isn’t bacon also part of Korean food?
“At the risk of sounding a tad racist”…just curious, but why in the world would not liking a particular cuisine be even remotely considered racist, even in the least? What reasonable person equates a lack of affinity for certain types of food with racism?
I mean geez, do people have white-guilt much or what?
Jbrown, in case you’re really concerned about it, no I don’t think you’re racist for not liking Korean food. Breathe easy brother.
John Mayer’s fault