A Weekend in Portland and the Willamette Valley

May 2008

I love Pinot Noir. I just love it. So, for the past couple of years, my best friend and I have made an annual pilgrimage to the Willamette Valley to do a ton of Pinot purchasing. Wine Country is only about 45 minutes to an hour away from Portland, which happens to be a very pleasant foodie city. Here are a few of my faves:


1239 SW Broadway (Broadway and Jefferson)
If you visit Portland during the peak of Copper River Salmon season, you are in for a special treat. This place brings salmon to a new level. We had it for dinner and came back the next day to have it again. It was that good. I am still thinking about it. Greg Higgins was one of the first chefs to start the whole organic/locally grown produce movement in the Portland area. You can taste the freshness of the ingredients he uses.

Henry’s Tavern

10 NW 12th Ave. (12th and Burnside and 12th)
This place brags of 100+ beers from around the world and specializes in the local breweries – anything from the fruity wheat, to the reds and the stouts – ask for the shooter sized portions (they’ll give you 3 beers to taste for free).  They should really consider doing flights, so you can host your own Pepsi Challenge.  It would be a huge attraction and the base is already there.

Dan and Louis’ Oyster Bar

208 SW Ankeny St. (Ankeny and 2nd)
East Coast vs. West Coast is not just about rapping. You can do your own blind taste test of the many west coast oysters (with some east coast) and figure it out for yourself. It’s a little divey, but that’s what makes it special. They also have quite a few local beers to choose from.  We enjoyed the Dead Man.

Clark Lewis

1001 SE Water Ave. (Water and Taylor)
The half and full sized portions are a great feature, especially for the pasta dishes. You’ll see a rare find here for Portland as people actually abandoned their North Face gear to go out to eat.

Northwest Coffee Shop

1951 W. Burnside Blvd. (Burnside and NW Trinity)
Really great coffee! Everyone seems so happy to be a barista here. I kind of wonder what’s in their mo-Joe. Lots of people park themselves for hours on end with their one cup of coffee in return for free internet connections, so be prepared if you arrive during peak hours. The coffee is so tasty with simple, yet beautiful presentation. I am certain they could even make custom made designs for you in the foam if you wanted.

Willamette ValleyOregon fields

Ponzi Wine Bar

(continued in wine section below)
100 SW Seventh Street
A great place to sample and purchase wines from the wineries you missed on your trip. The restaurant is also a pleasant place for lunch. Be sure to have the truffle fries and start with the fresh oysters.

You got your fava beans.  Please stay tuned for the chianti.

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