It all started at Fireside when I saw a “pickle plate” on the menu. Having a mother who cans her own pickles, I was often able to use the vinegar and dill soaked home made gold, as a bartering chip to secure my after bar popularity in college…thanks Rhonda!
However, when the plate arrived, it wasn’t pickles, but instead a variety of pickled objects…some of which we were unable to identify. From that point forward, we started to pay attention to the frequency in which “pickled” was on the menu. Which was more often than you’d think!
Portland had some of the most unique food combinations I’ve ever had and I hope this blog inspires you to try some of these concoctions for yourself!
Besaw’s was where the pickled frenzy was most noticeable. The photo at the top of this blog was from there. They had racks on racks of pickled vegetables, which they, notably, use in their bloody marys. (You can read about their bloody mary in my Drunk in Portland blog HERE).
Besides bloodies, Besaw’s is known for their brunch. We were literally waiting for over an hour outside, but we had heard such amazing things that we knew it would be worth it.
I ordered the Bacon-Guac Sammy and was very happy with my choice. The rosemary potatoes were delicious and my favorite part of the whole meal.
The waitress was super friendly and the whole vibe seemed really laid back and relaxing even though it was such a chaotic wait.
At Dick’s the pickled option was in the form of a side plate.
We did not order it, but I made sure to document it for proof of the pickled frenzy. I did, however, order the “Dork Burger,” a duck/pork combo.
This was probably the most delicious thing I’ve ever had in my life and I may have been a little bias due to the fact we had just spent 5 hours hiking in the woods and I was ravenous, but, I am 90% certain that if I were to eat it again I would stand by that statement. It tasted like a ham meatloaf and the consistency was a little chewy, but didn’t fall apart like a veggie or turkey burger.
All their burgers had pretty hilarious names as well. We could tell right away that this was our kind of place.
Dick’s also has these amazingly addictive “Not-Fries.” We ordered two for the table and ended up eating both orders so fast we got another order.
Of the two types of Not-Fries; Yam, and seasoned hand cut potatoes, I would say that the Yam were the most fun, because they’re not something I had ever experienced before. They were also a little sweet. I loved the other ones as well, though.
Deschutes Brewery while known for their beer, had some delicious food. It was International Stout Day while we were there, so they had some fun stout food options as well.
We ended up ordering a couple appetizers for the table, including the pub pretzels made with IPA. I have never had a pretzel I didn’t like, and the beer really added a little extra oomph.
In addition to the pretzels I had the Vegetable Fettucini, made with brussel sprouts, squash, kale, and a pale ale cream sauce. SO good, but way too much food.
If you’re wondering about their beer selection you can check it out on the “Drunk in Portland” blog. Our server was also fantastic.
This place was four stars all around.
Kornblatt’s Deli was the first place we experienced legit pickles a.k.a the cucumber kind, when we were brought a bucket of them to go along with our bloody marys haha. They also have “pickled hering” on the menu if you’re inclined to continue with the pickled theme. We team ordered some hummus and one of their delicious pizza bagel sandwiches.
What was interesting was that we were given actual toast to go along with the hummus. It was good, but it wasn’t as good as a pita chips.
The awkward part about this place was the seating. Jenna and I were waiting on Lisa and Nellie so they weren’t going to seat us at a table for 4. When we said we’d wait their guilt kicked in since there were like 5 tables open and they sat us, but kept referencing how it was a big deal that our whole party wasn’t with us. I mean, sure they got busy, but we were hardly there long enough to constitute that intensity.
Multiple cab drivers and yelp suggested that we go to Pok Pok for dinner. The wait took a little over an hour and we were glad to be seated even though they were closing in about 5 minutes. Unfortunately, that also meant our waitress wasn’t very attentive or friendly since she was already starting on her closing duties and we were trying to get in and out as soon as possible.
We read a lot of great reviews for the Ike’s Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings. I’m not, personally, a wing person, because they completely creep me out and all I can envision is the poor bird trying to fly away in the oven, but the little chunk I did try was delicious.
We also ordered some sides and Khao Soi mild curry noodle soup, which I absolutely LOVED. I could have drank the entire family sized bowl and not felt bad about it, but instead I settled with a couple servings…
McMenamins Tavern & Pool:
We were recommended the pizza at McMenamins so we decided to try it out on our last night in Portland.
We got the Hawaiian pizza and the Omnivore which was delicious, because in addition to pepperoni, sausage, and cheese, it also had mushrooms and black olives, which I’m a fan of.
The server here was really not attentive. Of the two times he came over to our table he forgot to bring us Lisa her drink both times. My Minnesota Nice instinct was to be patient, because he was probably busy, but he wasn’t. He was just ignoring us and spending his time talking to the people he knew at the bar. While I would definitely go back to have another Blackberry Cider, I don’t foresee sitting down for another meal there.
And lastly, just in case you were still in doubt about the pickled obsession in Portland, it extended to beverages, too. I guess this is pretty popular at the River Pig Saloon…