Kara | Portland Food & Travel

Exploring the perfect food days, favorite dishes & hidden haunts of #pdx 's best chefs and tastemakers. πŸ“© πŸ“ Portland, Oregon

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 πŸ’ͺ🍴
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 πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯ . Pics above are from their recent @chefsfeedindieweek dinner series in Richmond, VA (πŸ“· 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! 🍴❀️πŸ’ͺ
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 πŸ˜ƒ . 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 πŸ΄πŸ’• . 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!
My last trip to LA was a whirlwind of delicious food with one of my best friends, and I still haven't finished sharing everything we ate πŸ˜… . Even though @tinisima lives there, we decided to stay at the @everlyhollywood to escape the heat, and It was the best decision ever. From the epic room view of the Hollywood sign to the adorable roof top pool to the incredible bar staff, it was such a memorable stay. BONUS: It's conveniently located to easily explore the food scene in Hollywood, Silverlake and DTLA πŸ™Œ . Thank you @denswin for taking such good care of us at @everbarla during #kimptonwinehour 🍷😘
It feels like summer just began, but we're already nearing the end of farm dinner season. You can make the most of the rest of the summer by getting tickets to the last @serenade_pdx dinner of the season on Sunday, September 2nd. . They'll be collaborating with chef, butcher, farmer and forager @kured_right of @spatzleandspeck , musical guest @shooktwins (performing a special acoustic set), and the charming duo behind @suzor_wines , who will keep your wine glasses full of the good stuff. πŸ·πŸ’ . I am beyond excited to be photographing this event, and I want you at that table! Get your tickets today at the link here: @serenade_pdx πŸ΄πŸΎπŸŽΆπŸ’•
Oh hey friends! Happy Friday. If you've been thinking I've gone a little oyster crazy lately, you wouldn't be wrong. I'm just obsessed right now, I think because I can see crisp fall days creeping ever closer, and I want to grasp on to the long warm summer days for as long as I possibly can. Don't get me wrong, fall in Portland is my absolute favorite, but I want to savor every second of this summer, and even though I eat oysters all year round, eating oysters in the summer just amplifies the summer vibes x πŸ’― . In the spirit of that oyster love, you should swing over to @tournantpdx tonight for their monthly #oystersocial pop up! Tonight they're popping up with chef Connor Martin of @mianpdx , so they'll be serving an East meets Pacific Northwest menu, full of oysters and dumplings and the like. . The Tournant pop up is tonight from 5pm to 9pm at 930 NE Glisen Street. No reservations required! Click on my profile pic above ☝️to check out the full menu in my IG story!
Last week I met with the owner of a great sustainable salmon business, and over tea we talked about the possibility of me maybe going up to Alaska to photograph their fishermen, to show the heart and hard work behind their family business. . I went back in my portfolio to this shoot with the @islandcreekoysters crew, which I shot when I was a student at @nesop_boston , to show her some samples of similar work. I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to go out with them for the day, and I'm so excited at the idea of shooting more work like this. . Check out my instastory for a few more favorite shots from this day, and stay tuned soon for some of that salmon ☝️mentioned above to show up in my feed!
Happy hour on a patio with a good friend, is there anything better? Last week my friend Lara and I happy hour hopped, trying just one dish and one drink at each spot. I love the light, seasonal options on the happy hour menu at @quaintrellepdx , and it doesn't hurt that the prohibition punch goes down reaaaaaal easy. . Chef @ryley.eckersley recently launched a new happy hour menu, and happy hour also just expanded from the bar to the entire restaurant, including the patio. HH runs Wednesday to Saturday, 5:00pm to 6:30pm, and Sunday 5:00pm to 9:00pm. Check out my #instastory for their full #happyhour menu!
I'm still swooning over the beautiful @serenade_pdx dinner I photographed Friday night. As the sun went down and the super moon rose, and we were treated to the beautiful bluegrassy, folky music of @hollispeach , all I could think was that THIS is what will come to mind 20 years from now, when I grow nostalgic for the summer of 2018. . It's strangers and friends sitting in the near dark, sipping wine, bellies full: it's the couple who stood up, leaning on each other, swaying gently to the music. It's the scent of the nearby flowers, it's the moon rising impossibly large in the sky. . It's pure summer magic, and it's something I think each and everyone of you should treat yourself to this summer. I know there are lots of various farm dinners through the season, but the music performance at @serenade_pdx really sets it apart. Their next two farm dinners are August 25th and September 2nd. Go to their account for info on tickets. . ✨So who will I see there? ✨
Lately it seems all my small talk with neighbors and new acquaintances revolves around the weather and this long, lumbering heat wave that feels like it will never end. A lot of these chats end up in the same place, comparisons to the heat back home (in Massachusetts) and how the lack of humidity here makes it feel so different (read: better) than New England heat, and how weird it is that here the hottest time of day is 4pm-6pm, where back home it's mid-day, when the sun is highest in the sky. . It's kind of a godsend that 4pm to 6pm is the meltiest, because guess what that lines up with? Yup, happy hour. And luckily we live in a food paradise where the chefs respond to the heat with compassion and cleverness, concocting seasonal specials like frozen cocktails and desserts. . Which one should you seek out today, on this, the hottest day of them all? This house-made funfetti ice cream bar at @tannercreektavern , which is featured (along with a stunning dairyfree blackberry popsicle) on their happy hour menu. They open today at 4pm, and happy hour runs (daily) until 6pm. Aside from floating down a river, I can't imagine a better place to be at the hottest time of the hottest day of the week. . Check out my IG story (where *pssst* most of my best content is shared, for those of you who might not watch stories regularly!) for the full happy hour menu. . Stay 😎 friends! β˜€οΈ
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