Kᴀʀᴀ | Pᴏʀᴛʟᴀɴᴅ Fᴏᴏᴅ & Tʀᴀᴠᴇʟ

Food & Travel Photographer | Blogger @eaterpdx contributor | verified reach | @foodietribe member . Portland OR

There is something so satisfying about getting my hands in dough, it feels timeless and meaningful, and makes me feel connected to cooks from hundreds of years ago. . Even though I typically use a food processor to expedite mixing ingredients and a pasta machine to roll and cut it, you really don't need those fancy tools - it can all be done by hand. The only two truly necessary ingredients to great homemade pasta are a great recipe and high quality eggs. My go to are Simple Truth eggs, which always turn out excellent rich dough, when used in @lidiabastianich 'a perfect pasta dough recipe. . Simple Truth products are always affordable at @fredmeyerstores , but through January there are also loads of coupons available, so be on the look out! #sponsored #simpletruth #perfectfooddays
I’m often asked for recommendations for restaurants for a large group and/or special occasions, and after my incredible Lao Table meal at Farmhouse Kitchen yesterday, I now have the answer that I’d been waiting for. My mind is still whirling from this experience, that at once both made me feel grounded in Portland and the incredible community of foodies I shared this meal with, and also sent me on a deep dive into a culture that I love from afar, giving me phantom nostalgia pangs for eating rustic hearty communal meals in Thailand. The Lao Table experience is all about community - it’s about connecting you to people you haven’t seen in 10 years, or just friends and family you love and want to catch up with. It’s about eating with your fingers, it’s the truest family style dining I have ever encountered. The spread they put out is a showstopper, and if you are familiar with @thaifarmhouse , you know how incredible these dishes are. There is too much I want to say to fit it all here, so head on over to my newly redesigned blog at (#linkinprofile ) to read my full write up of the experience including information on booking this extra special meal for yourself. . #perfectfooddays . My friends at @foodbellypdx are also giving away ✨TWO✨ $50 gift certificate to @thaifarmhouse - head over to their profile to enter! ✨🤞
As foodies, we eat out a lot and are lucky to indulge with abandon, and most of us can just throw down $50 or $100 without thinking twice to eat some fabulous meal or go to a special food event or festival. It’s just our culture to spend that much on one meal or day, but when I stop and think about how many people struggle to make that amount (or far less) stretch for a family of four for a week or longer, it bubbles up all kinds of feelings. . We live in a city with incredible food and a crazy active food scene, but also a city with an ever growing number of tents on the streets and people struggling to find their next meal. Since it’s the end of the year, my heart and mind is on this disparity, and what we who love food so much can do to bring more food to those who don’t have it. . So here’s an awesome thing I discovered just a few days ago: @WellsFargo donated $4M to Feeding America to fight hunger, and is matching up to $1M (!!!) additional monetary donations through 12/31/18 from everyday people like us. All you have to do is visit (link in profile) to donate online. . So click, donate, and help me put meals on every family’s table this year!  There are two days left, be a part of their final push! And then go out and eat something incredibly tasty, to reward yourself on helping! 😉 #GiveWhatYouCan #WellsFargo #FeedingAmerica
In my research to find the best breakfasts for you to check out in Portland, I stumbled into this new gem in St. Johns. This savory buckwheat galette is filled with spinach, onions, mushroom, & feta and is taken to the next level of salty sweet perfection with the housemade chutney style marmalade dolloped on top (and on the side). They also make a killer meaty version filled with @olympiaprovisions ham, swiss and onions, topped with that same great marmalade. . Curious where to find it? Check out the newly updated @eaterpdx breakfast map linked in my profile! This spot, which slings savory and sweet pies in the non-breakfast hours, is the first entry on the new map. 🍳💕
Lately I've been on a breakfast kick, researching for a project I'm working on. I've been trying a lot of good solid breakfasts around town, but then a few days ago I had one of those meals that just knocks you over in awe at its sheer perfection. And it made me realize that that (sadly) doesn't happen that often, so when it does I feel like it deserves a moment of silence 🤣 Or at least a spotlight here! . Showstopping in its flavors, textures, concept, vibe, and creative menu options, I still cannot wrap my head around how damn good @blackheartpdx was. I'll even go so far to say it's my new favorite breakfast in town. I CANNOT stress to you how much better this breakfast was than pretty much any breakfast I've had in Portland. . Pictured here: Fried chicken Benedict on a tender and flakey biscuit with dill hollandaise. Chef @brianmcknightii is 100% a contender for best fried chicken and best biscuit in pdx. In the spirit of @wazwu__ , I also tried a side of their tofu 'fried chicken' and it was a crispy and flavor packed meat alternative that should be on the radar for all you vegetarians out there. . The best part? Breakfast is served ALL DAY AND NIGHT and in a few weeks they'll have their rad back patio heating finished, allowing for outdoor winter seating - not that it's ever super crowded on weekdays. Get in there before everyone else realizes how great this is! Consider this your head start before the breakfast article drops. YOU'RE WELCOME. 😘
After reading an article about chef Melissa McMillan of @sammichportland and @pastramizombie fame being featured on the @foodnetwork tomorrow night, I got the overwhelming urge for a pastrami sandwich. Thankfully for me, when I arrived at the @prostportland cart pod on Mississippi to get one, I was immediately drawn to the smiling face of chef @jenuinelyme of @whiteelephantpdx and did the smartest thing I've done all week: I got a pastrami sandwich AND a pho french dip! You only live once, amiright?! . Both were absurdly delicious, but this pho French dip was EXACTLY WHAT I NEEDED on this bitterly cold day. Perfectly cooked & marinated top sirloin is wrapped in a gently toasted bun that tenderly gave way when dunked in her warm chinese five spice laced pho broth. This is without a doubt one of the best things you can eat right now in Portland, and the puppy agrees! . The White Elephant Asian Fusion cart is located in the @prostmarketplace cart pod, and is open Wed-Sat 12p-7p, Sundays 12-6. . If you go, tag me in your stories so I can see/share!
Fun fact about me: I think most pumpkin spiced things taste like straight up poison 😵🤣 So I was shocked when I tried @burgerville 's seasonal pumpkin shake this fall and it actually tasted (gasp!) like pumpkin, not poison, with the perfect balance of warming fall spices. . Sadly this seasonal special came and went in the blink of an eye (while I was in a new puppy bubble), but the latest flavors (below) sound even better! Go check them out before they're gone! . CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT MILKSHAKE: Rich dark chocolate and sweet peppermint, blended with crushed candies and folded into luscious vanilla ice cream 😍 . ALMOND TOFFEE CRUNCH MILKSHAKE: Almond toffee candies blended into vanilla ice cream and topped with real whipped cream and a sprinkle of almond toffee pieces 😍 . I for one am 100% into milkshakes and ice cream even in winter. What about you?
Oh hey, it's Friday! Looking for a mind blowing brunch this weekend? Head to @ilsolitopdx for @chefmattsigler 's absurdly delicious breakfast sandwich, featuring a maple sausage, fried egg, asiago, hashbrown cake (!!!) and hot sauce aioli on a brioche bun. One of the best breakfast sandwiches I've stuffed in my face all year. They do sell out though, so go early! . Swipe left to see two of their other new brunch dishes, which are equally delicious if decidedly less gluttonous: Delicata squash toast and quinoa porridge.
Two of my favorite pop ups (@bhunarestaurant and @hunnymilkpdx ) recently went brick & mortar, leaving room for a new favorite. Enter @mianpdx. They've been around for a while slinging regional Chinese dishes and creative cocktails, but I just tried them for the first time at @fishsaucepdx last month. I have no idea why I waited so long! 😱 . Both dishes I tried (these pork & ramp kimchi dumplings and the MOST simple yet addictive noodle dish) completely hit the spot. I'm excited for their next pop up, to dive deeper into the menu and explore some of the seafood and vegetable offerings. I've said it a few times about a couple other spots, but it's true of @mianpdx too: They are doing something that you can't get ANYWHERE else in Portland. . Follow @mianpdx to be the first to know when they're popping up next! I promise, this pop up is worthy of your attention 💪🍴
I'm always looking for incredible food events and chef collab dinners, and in the wake of the show stopping Wild About Game event last month, which blew my food-loving mind, I was eagerly on the hunt for the next great food event. Happy to report, I do believe I found it! . November 15th to 18th, a roving dinner series from the expert-powered @chefsfeed lands in Portland at @renatapdx , and these dinners give SUCH a bang for your buck, you'd be crazy not to snag a ticket. This @chefsfeedindieweek dinner series brings together 24 all-star chefs to cook 12 courses (!!!) with pairings on Thursday, Friday and Sunday nights. The pricetag? A mere $99 plus tax and service charge (in lieu of tip), for 12 courses. That's $8.25 a course/great chef! . I'm going on Thursday 11/15, when the chefs are all from top restaurants in other cities, just to mix things up, but if you get tickets to Friday's dinner, you'll be treated to some local talent, as @mayalovelace (@maepdx ), @bjsmithpdx (@SmokehouseTavern ), and Geovanna Salas (@castagnapdx ) are all in the lineup. And then Sunday, ALL 24 chefs from both nights will be coming together to collaborate on the 12 courses 🔥🔥🔥 . Pics above are from their recent @chefsfeedindieweek dinner series in Richmond, VA (📷 courtesy of @chefsfeed ). See the entire Portland chef line up and grab a seat before it sells out at (link is also in my profile 😘) . If you get tickets for Thursday, let me know, maybe we can sit together! 🍴❤️💪
Looking for a ✨perfect✨ date night option? I recommend crossing the Columbia and hitting up with your ❤️. . Not only does chef Troy Lucio serve the most unique, tasty and gram-worthy French onion soup in the Portland area, but they also are putting out exquisite (check dat spelling out!) steaks with their 1600 degree specialty oven. This summer they also renovated to add the most lovely outdoor area, complete with heat lamps and two sleek romantic fire pits. I enjoyed this ☝️skillet cookie dessert out there, and it was the perfect way to end my meal. . Check out my #instastory for more pics from this incredible meal. And stay tuned for more coverage north of Portland, I'm now convinced a Vancouver culinary revolution is a'brewing!
Today's the day!! One of the best meals I had in 2018 was at the @bhunarestaurant pop up at @culminationbrewing , but as of today I only need to stumble out my door in NW Portland to enjoy their unique and nuanced Kashmiri entrees and drinking snacks. Today they open the doors of their brick & mortar at the former Dick's Kitchen location at NW 21st and Irving. They, along with brunch pop up fave @hunnymilkpdx , are sparking a long overdue culinary revival on the South end of the Alphabet District, and it feels like Christmas 😃 . Be sure to try the calamari in tamarind sauce when you go, it's my favorite calamari in town!
I'm back in Portland after the most EPIC foodie weekend on the coast with @thebigfoodypdx , @tillamookcoast and a group of talented writers and chefs. We ate our way through the #northcoastfoodtrail and met lots of great producers and growers who make the #oregoncoast so unique and wonderful. . Our home for the weekend was @shelterednook Tiny Homes, one of the most thoughtfully appointed and adorable places I've ever stayed at on the coast. Check out my #instastory to see a rundown of my favorite features of this #tillamookbay gem!
✨ G I V E A W A Y ✨Last weekend @mftasty and @mrs.mftasty collaborated with @silverjulep for an epic Baller Brunch, and this steak with beef fat mashed potatoes and a sunny side up egg was truly one of the most motherf*cking tasty dishes I've had from their cart yet. . Speaking of #mftasty , @mrs.mftasty and I are headed to the coast on Saturday 9/29 for the #cravethecoastfestival . She just gave away two tickets, and now it's my turn! I'm giving away a pair of tickets to the festival (valued at $60). It's going to be a great time meeting over 40 makers, growers and chefs that make up the North Coast Food Trail, and tasting their goods. . To enter, all you gotta do is: . 1) Like this post 2) Follow @perfectfooddays , @tillamookcoast and @traveloregon 3) Tag a friend you'd like to join you and tell me your favorite food destination on the coast! Each additional tag on a new comment counts as an extra entry. Re-tagging everyone who enters will get you blocked! 🤣🚫 . As a little extra bonus, I'll be creating a #perfectfoodday map of all your favorites that I'll share with everyone who enters! . Winner will be drawn Sunday night! Open to Oregon and Washington residents with a valid mailing address (for me to send you your tix). This giveaway is in no way affiliated with or sponsored by Instagram. GOOD LUCk! 🤞
Karl Holl of @spatzleandspeck working his magic during the Shook Serenade dinner last Sunday. His dishes (and house-cured meats) were nothing short of spectacular. You can try his food at @parkavenuewines from Tuesdays to Friday nights, a pop up I just so happened to include on the hidden food & drink map that I wrote and photographed for @eaterpdx this week. Link is in my bio, in case you missed it in my IG story 🍴💕 . I'm working my way through editing the rest of the photos from this dinner, still weighed down with grief. But proud of the work I'm doing and the fact that I'm not completely crumpling under the weight of this loss.
The last three weeks have been the hardest of my life. I went from swimming carefree at Sellwood with my Sadie, my best friend in the whole world, to eleven short days later having her die in my arms. It was eleven days of trying with every fiber of my being to save her; paying an absurd amount for a surgery to make her bladder, riddled with cancer, not be the end of her. And when that failed, it was an attempt at the best last day ever full of our favorite things and people, followed by two weeks of grief and guilt. . Guilt that I did’t spend as much time with her the past six months as I wish I did, and that guilt is all tangled up in this account. Because I would come home for work for short visits to our dog park with her, only to run off to a food event most nights. I wish I could rewind and relive this past year. I wish I lingered for hours until sunset every night at the dog park, like we did last summer. I regret pushing myself so hard at work that I needed full days to recover, I ache to think those days of sleeping in and not doing much could have been spent climbling mountains and swimming in rivers with my girl. I wish I realized how precious that time was. Everyone is already telling me that I gave her a great life, and I know that I did. I know that the adventures we shared in just one year eclipse what most dogs get to do in a lifetime, but I still know that I could have done better these past few months, and I am working through those feelings. . I wish I knew she might be ripped from my life, I wish I had a clue so I could have adjusted the way I was living our life. She showed no signs of any disease growing in her body, until the day it stopped her ability to urinate. Up until her last day, she acted like a puppy, rolling around in the grass, showing me her belly, grinning her big grin. I’m thankful for that. I don’t wish that she felt pain, I just wish I had some sign of what was to come. . (continued in comments)
My girl stayed overnight at the doggie hospital, and waking up this morning without her here was devastatingly hard. I'm left missing not just her but all my east coast friends and family, my network of support and love. Please send all your thoughts and prayers to my Sadie girl that this isn't as serious as it seems ❤️ . To keep this post on (food) topic, and in the spirit of missing my New England roots: today from noon until sold out, @aviarypdx is serving lobster rolls, in conjunction with the #albertastreetfair . You should probably go get you one. 🦐
Did you know that any private event at the @hotelvintagepdx downtown is catered via the buzzworthy new Italian spot @ilsolitopdx , helmed by @renatapdx alum chef Matt Sigler? . I had the chance to taste a sample of their holiday banquet offerings a few weeks ago (because newsflash! Christmas is 4 months away 😱), and everything from the classic meatball sliders to the sweet treats (pictured) were excellent. Definitely a spot worth considering if you have a private event to plan and want the food to be on par with the best Portland restaurants. Excited to go back to @ilsolitopdx soon for more!
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