The Washington Post food critic Tom Sietsema recently paid a visit to Portland and has nothing but raves about our food scene.
On the face of it, Portland, Ore., shouldn’t be one of the best places in the country to dine.
Unlike New Orleans or San Francisco or Chicago, Portland doesn’t claim any classic dishes. The ethnic presence in this city of nearly 600,000 people is small. Fancy destination restaurants tend to go against the cultural (read: casual) grain of the populace. As Karen Brooks, a longtime observer of the food scene here, puts it: “There are no Thomas Kellers out here, and there’s not going to be. The money doesn’t exist here.”
Our food cart scene is mentioned in passing, but Tom turns his focus to three of the current press darlings: Grüner, Laurelhurst Market and Pok Pok. Nothing particularly interesting here, but still a nice article, and good for our tourist industry.
One strange quote – “Another plus for chefs and customers alike: Unlike so many cities, Portland boasts fairly easy access to real estate. “If you have an idea here, you just grab a storefront,” says Brooks”. I guess the location, landlords, financing, etc. are not an issue in Portland. As usual Mrs. Brooks is out of touch with reality.