March marks the start of Portland dining month and “Travel Portland” has put together an easy way for you to make the most of your meals this month!
For the entire month of March, chefs across the city invite diners to feast on special three-course meals for just $29. With more than 100 participating eateries touting cuisines from Mexican and Middle Eastern to seafood and Southern comfort, there are plenty of eats for you to enjoy.
They have listed a number of our favorite places to dine along with easy to use links to Open Table so you can make a reservation the second you stumble onto a restaurant you would like to try out! You can search by neighborhood or a specific cuisine and even by special menu options such as; Vegan, Gluten Free or Vegetarian.
Another awesome tidbit is that for every reservation made with OpenTable a donation will be made to the Oregon Food Bank. In addition, Umpqua Bank will also be donating $500 to the Oregon Food Bank.
Get your eat on and help out the local food banks in the process, sounds like a win – win to me!
Heads up Oregon beer lovers! ChefStable and Olympic Provisions are teaming up to bring you the largest selection of Oregon beers (on tap) anywhere in the world. This spring, Huffman and his partners, Alex and Chris Briggs, plan to open The Loyal Legion, a new Southeast Portland beer hall with 99 Oregon brews on tap and an all-local menu featuring Olympic Provisions sausages. Construction begins in February on the space, the former Portland Police Athletic Association building at Southeast Sixth Avenue and Alder Street.
These 45 events are only a glimpse of what the city has to offer. Hidden in nooks and crannies, or else standing in plain sight, our holiday celebrations are vast, varied and worth our attention. Let this guide be your introduction to the season and enjoy showing your holiday cheer!
Ben and Jerry’s is releasing a Portland specific flavor today with tasting to the public in Pioneer Square at 2 pm. Free samples from 2-4. Only 4 cities in the US have special Ben and Jerry’s flavors. Portland joins the likes of San Francisco, NYC, and DC. The as-yet-unnamed creation combines quintessentially Portland flavors: an oatmeal stout cold brew ice cream made with Rogue Ale, coffee from Portland Roasting, shortbread pieces, and a caramel swirl.
I first encountered Verde Cocina at the Farmers Market. With their huge outdoor, smooth grills, they were making roasted veggies stuffed inside homemade tortillas with a gorgeous mole sauce. The veggies were all ones in season including red onion, kale, turnips, and beets. Their first cafe opened in SW Portland in the Hillsdale neighborhood. I was excited a few months ago to note that they were opening a second cafe in the Pearl District and went for brunch yesterday.
Verde Cocina focuses on local, organic ingredients and their flavors shine through. I ordered a veggie bowl that had a choice of brown rice or quinoa. It was loaded with roasted onion, potatoes, turnips, and more. A garbanzo bean mash was mixed in with the rice and it was served with fresh, homemade tortillas. It was delicious. So fresh but also flavorful. Kellie had the pork Gringas with Mole and the 3 corn tortillas were stuffed with slow roasted and shredded pork. She loved the dish and had enough left over for lunch the next day.
They have a pretty extensive (although I have certainly seen more at other local restaurants) tequila list which they offer in 1/2 oz and 1 oz pours. All their tequila shots come with their homemade sangria.
I would definitely recommend Verde Cocina for their authentic, flavorful food. Every bite of this delicious and healthy food made me so happy that this reasonably priced restaurant was now in my neighborhood!
San Francisco based Planet Granite plans to build a full block climbing facility between NW 14th and 15th at Pettygrove and Quimby. The 30,500 sq ft facility with a 60 ft climbing wall is targeted to open in mid 2014. The owner, Micky Lloyd, proclaims that it will be the best climbing facility in the country.
There will be walls with hydraulically adjustable angles and crevices of changeable widths. The gym will also offer yoga, weights, and cross training equipment. Annual membership will run $803.
Many Pearl residents (myself included) have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of Local Choice Market (I know I have). It is a locally owned market focusing on supplying consumers with local produce, meat, seafood, and grocery items. They have a coffee and wine bar, Farmatherapy bar (smoothie and juice bar), and deli. They support locally sourced food and local suppliers first and then if items are not available locally, they will support non-local items only if available in good supply, excellent quality and at reasonable prices from local suppliers.
So we set out to check out the market today. Great looking space with tables for deli items, beer and wine bar, and windows that will roll up during the summer. Nice spacious layout and great customer service. My complaints would be there they were really lacking in inventory. No beans, rice, tofu, pet supplies, and pretty much most “middle aisles” items. I was looking for a sauce like, Cafe Yumm sauce (since that is local) but nothing. Also, prices were pretty high. Salad dressing that I get at Zupans for $5.50 was $7.50, granola for $13.50, and hummus for $7. I certainly will pay more to support local brands, but these prices are more an occasional splurge vs. doing my regular shopping. Kellie had a bowl of Chicken Minestrone soup for $6 but said it was mostly broth and some finely shaved veges.
We will certainly go back and I do think that more inventory will come in. I certainly want it to be a success but I hope they are able to balance special items and more reasonably priced goods.