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Portland, Oregon food blog with over seven years worth of recipes, restaurant features and food photos.

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Project Grace Pop-up: Campania Dinner

Project Grace Pop-up: Campania Dinner, Portland

Project Grace
Friday nights at Trinket
2035 SE Cesar E Chavez Blvd.
Portland, OR 97214
503-805-1342 for reservations (or OpenTable)

Apparently, the last pop-up at Trinket is 4/18/2014 and the menu region is Sicily. Menu details are on Project Grace’s facebook page.

Late last month we went to Project Grace for dinner. This is a pop-up that happens every Friday night at Trinket — they also do an additional Italian-American-inspired meal Tuesday evenings at Hokusei (SE 42nd and Belmont). Obviously, one of the huge appeals for Trinket (or Project Grace) for us is that it is walkable and we are lazy diners. That said, I would totally drive across town for more of the Cacciatore-esque roasted game hen.

Every Friday is a five course meal (for about $40) that focuses on a different region of Italy. On our night, it was Campania. This meant seafood, chilies, rich tomato sauces, and saffron. The meal is served family style and if you are lucky, you will get to enjoy an 80′s soundtrack with your dinner.

We started with cocktails and freshly grilled bread with a honey-lavender butter. The plates came out well-paced and each time something got laid down on . . . → Read More: Project Grace Pop-up: Campania Dinner

A Lot of Meat, Cheese, Vegetables, and Pasta at Ava Gene’s — Oh, and the Bean Topped Bread

SE Portland's Ava Gene's

Ava Gene’s
3377 SE Division Street
Portland, OR 97202

So, Ava Gene’s has been open about a year, which means it’s right on schedule for us to have tried it for the first time. Hint: my husband and I are not really timely. The restaurant has even gotten national mentions, like when Bon Appétit magazine named it the “#5 Best New Restaurant in America 2013.” And honestly, when we went, I was all ready to think it was over-hyped, but…damn!

I’m not going to go so far as to say that it’s I think it’s the best restaurant in Portland (because, I’m not really sure what restaurant I think is that), but I will say that we had an amazing meal and that I really enjoyed everything that we tried. It was also very easy to share plates — in fact, it seemed like most tables around us were employing that strategy as well.

The menu is organized into sections: Salumi & Formaggi (cured meat and cheese), Fritti (fried items), Pane (bread – think bruschetta-type plates), Giardini (Salads/vegetables), Primi (the pasta course), and Secondi (the meat course). There are also sides and desserts, . . . → Read More: A Lot of Meat, Cheese, Vegetables, and Pasta at Ava Gene’s — Oh, and the Bean Topped Bread

Yam and Quinoa Cakes from Portland’s Sunshine Tavern

Yam and Quinoa Cakes from Portland's Sunshine Tavern

Sunshine Tavern
3111 SE Division Street
Portland Oregon 97202

Seeing that we live just a few blocks away, occasionally we will head out to Sunshine Tavern for pizza and burgers (and of course cocktails and maybe even some candied hazelnuts to start). This is just what happened last Tuesday when we ended up splitting the Garnet yam and quinoa cakes w fennel and almond as a snacky beginning to our meal. And wow – they were so good.

I’m always on the hunt for new quinoa/interesting whole grains recipes and this one definitely got my attention with the warm spices, creamy yam, and a fennel shallot salad on the side. I really wanted to try and reverse-engineer it at home but then I thought maybe I could try and get the actual recipe. It only took asking one contact and I got an email for Jenn Louis, Chef/Co-Owner of Sunshine Tavern. So I sent her a message, asked her for the recipe, and if I could post it here. She got back to me an hour or so later with the recipe. So cool!

This dish will work with either cooked, mashed garnet yam* . . . → Read More: Yam and Quinoa Cakes from Portland’s Sunshine Tavern

An Ice Cream Social at Fifty Licks in SE Portland

An Ice Cream Social at Fifty Licks in SE Portland

Fifty Licks
2021 SE Clinton Street
Portland, Oregon 97202

Last week, I was invited to an event at Fifty Licks – an ice cream social. Myself and about seven other bloggers tried ice creams, sorbets, and cocktails. And for once, I wasn’t the only one taking photos of my food. (That’s not even true anymore — it seems a lot of times when we go out anywhere, the people next to us are photographing their food as well. Sigh).

Anyway. This awesome evening at SE Portland’s Fifty Licks started with owner Chad Draizin (pdx transplant all the way from south Florida) making Cafe Cubano (Cuban coffee) for everyone and then we dug into the many ice creams, sorbets, and cocktails!

We tried: Stumptown Coffee, Tahitian Vanilla, Oregon Raspberry, Toasted Milk, Jasmine Tea, Blood Orange Creamsicle, Passionfruit with Sichuan Peppercorns sorbet, Coconut Lemon Saffron sorbet, and Chocolate with Toasted Oat Milk sorbet. Oh and also the Furacão, Nordic Palmer, and Velvet Shiso cocktails. The ice cream and sorbet flavors were really clean and well defined. No tricky, fancy business going on here – just really great ingredients and full, full, amazing flavor!

In a . . . → Read More: An Ice Cream Social at Fifty Licks in SE Portland

Savory Spice Shop in Sellwood + Ghostly Spiced and Roasted Pumpkin (or Squash) Seeds

Savory Spice Shop in Sellwood + Ghostly Spiced and Roasted Pumpkin (or Squash) Seeds

Savory Spice Shop
7857 SE 13th Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97202

Recently, I was invited to spend a bit of time hanging out at Savory Spice Shop in the Sellwood neighborhood of Portland. I can’t believe I had never been there before! It was so much fun – especially since you can smell as well as taste all of the spice blends. And although Anne unfortunately couldn’t make it, her husband Jim showed me around, gave me a tour, and encouraged me to taste some of his favorite blends. He even tricked me into trying (and liking) a blend that had truffle salt in it. Ha. Good one.

Savory Spice Shop is one of a number of franchises located through the US – they are in Oregon (pdx and Bend), California, Colorado, Illinois, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, New Jersey, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Florida. At the Sellwood shop, one of the first blends I tried was the Vadouvan Curry blend which smells and tastes like roasted onions mixed with awesome. I liked it so much that it was one of the jars that I bought to take . . . → Read More: Savory Spice Shop in Sellwood + Ghostly Spiced and Roasted Pumpkin (or Squash) Seeds