This weekend, I came down to Portland for the *first time ever*. I know, it’s hard to believe that I’ve never spent more than an hour in a city only three hours away from Seattle. But, it’s true, and so when my friend that’s from Portland suggested we come down, I was more than ready to take her up on the offer.
So far, we’ve been blessed with great weather…and some pretty fantastic food.
Last night we were treated to dinner at Ox, which calls itself “Argentine inspired Portland food”. Seriously delicious. The space itself is inviting and perfect for a nice day out, and the family-style dining that our waitress suggested made it easy to try a bit of everything.
We started with complementary spicy carrot coconut soup, as well as a smoked beef tongue plate with sweetbread croutons. For those of you unfamiliar with sweetbread, it’s the thymus gland of a cow. Yup. I know, it sounds gross, but sweetbread has recently become pretty trendy, and there’s a reason why: it tastes awesome. I’ve only had it in forms similar to how it was prepared at Ox, so I’m not sure how a big piece of it would be, but the croutons were absolutely delicious. Beef tongue is essentially like eating a really tender piece of beef; this dish was a carpaccio so it almost reminded me of roast beef.
We were a bit less adventurous with our main dishes. For those, we got skirt steak and a scallops dish. The skirt steak was moist and juicy, and one of the best pieces of meat I’ve had in ages. The scallops came with lentils and some crab arancini .
For our vegetable sides, we went with fried potatoes and hominy with pork belly and a duck egg. Both dishes were excellent as well, of course.
After dinner, we went to Salt & Straw for ice cream. They’ve got all the basic flavors you’d look for, but they also had some pretty cool ones like Thai iced tea and pear with blue cheese. I keep things incredibly boring (sorry, guys) and got vanilla. But I also got coffee bourbon, so that’s something, right? The waffle cones were awesome (quite possibly better than my beloved Bluebird back in Seattle) and the ice cream was pretty great too.
As if we weren’t stuffed enough already, we were also got some dessert waffles compliments of the owner (a friend of my friend’s) at Waffle Window. So good. Good enough that I finished mine, despite already feeling like I was going to burt from all the food consumed. We tried a strawberry nutella one, one that had strawberries, custard, and coconut, and a pina colada inspired one with pineapple, strawberries, and coconut.
This morning (almost afternoon?) I’m off to check out the famed Portland brunch scene. I’ve heard there aren’t many options here, but I guess that’s ok…
Kidding. I’m kidding. Calm down, Portlanders.