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The Portland Chronicles, Part 2: The Food Scene

This is Part 2 of my series chronicling my adventures in Portland last weekend.

Here are a few random observations on the food scene in Portland. The photo is of some Danish pancakes we enjoyed from broder, a Swedish restaurant. 

– We spent about 48 hours in Portland about 6 of those hours were spent waiting for food. Clearly, we were doing it wrong. That being said, it is ridiculous that a) several of the hottest restaurants did not accept reservations of any kind, leading to wait times of up to 3 hours, and b) even when we showed up right at opening time (5 PM) on a Sunday evening (after learning our lesson from the massive wait the night before), we were still forced to wait 90 minutes to get seated because a ton of people had gotten there at 4:30 to start putting their names down on the wait list. Basically, it’s best not to try to go to the hottest restaurants at all unless you can figure out a way to occupy yourself for an extended period of time.

– The food is very good and slightly cheaper than it is here in Seattle. But does it blow Seattle out of the water? Is it mind-blowingly good? Is it the best food I’ve ever had, bar none? The answer to these questions is no. And it’s certainly not worth the amount of time we spent waiting, especially when you compare it to the relatively tame 60-90 minute waits that will greet you in Capitol Hill.

– List of places we ate at: Pok Pok, Ox, Toro Bravo, broder, Tasty n Alder, Voodoo Doughnut.

– While we waited in lines and restaurants for food, we actually struck up random conversations with two separate groups of gregarious strangers. We learned a lot about their lives, their professions, their city. One guy was a urologist who told us about this one time a schizophrenic tried to cut his own penis off (he was only partially successful). This is 2x more conversations that I’ve had with random gregarious strangers in restaurants in all of the 18 months I’ve been living in Seattle. I guess the Seattle Freeze is a real thing.