I say oysters and you say ersters...
November 19, 2008 2:45 PM   Subscribe

I'm visiting Portland this weekend and would love some food tourism suggestions.

So far, my plan is to stuff myself to the gills (heh) with seafood. My sister-in-law lives in the area, and already has the following activities planned:
-winery tour
-tasting menu at a very nice restaurant (I don't remember the name unfortunately)

Other than wineries, are there any other types of food producers we should visit, like oyster beds for example? What local seafoods are in season right now? Any suggestions for hole-in-the-wall types of places where we can get some great seafood on a budget? Any secret places I should know about if I want to eat an obscene amount of oysters? Finally, we're driving to Eugene to catch our flight out on Sunday, is there anywhere along that route that's worth taking a few hours to check out?

posted by TungstenChef to Travel & Transportation around Portland, ME (18 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
i do not live in portland, but....

posted by slograffiti at 3:24 PM on November 19, 2008

This might be a little to the left of what you're thinking, but if you go to Cool Moon and order a huge sundae with hazelnuts, fudge, and berries, you will not regret it. Even though it's winter -- even though you're clearly looking for seafood suggestions. Trust me, it's amazing!

Other than that, pretty much all I did when I was in Portland was drink coffee. Which I highly recommend, but doesn't actually provide that much info on the oyster scene.
posted by puckish at 3:26 PM on November 19, 2008

Dan & Louis Oyster Bar has been in business for over 100 years. I have not eaten oysters there yet, but by all accounts I've read (and people I talk to), the oysters are fabulous. I have had their clam chowder and thought it was really, really good. It's also right downtown, which is helpful.

If you don't mind going to NE, the Alberta Street Oyster Bar recently reopened, and I've heard nothing but raves about it (both before and after it reopened). It only closed because of some financial reshuffling from what I heard.
posted by ugf at 3:35 PM on November 19, 2008

Also, and not particularly cheap but worth it, Jake's Famous Crawfish is right near Powell's downtown, and their menu is based on what they got in that day. Everything I've ever had there, seafood or not, has made me very happy. It has also been around for over a hundred years.

I am trying to think of some good hole-in-the-wall places for you too.
posted by ugf at 3:38 PM on November 19, 2008

Oh, and Dan & Louis has a happy hour special for oysters too, so they'd work on a budget. I'll be quiet for a while and let someone else chime in!
posted by ugf at 3:42 PM on November 19, 2008

As always, I recommend Andina. I eat there whenever I can, which is not a lot.

RE: seafood: will you be driving to the coast or are you looking for restaurants with the Portland area?
posted by peep at 3:44 PM on November 19, 2008

Yeah, Portland is not as much with the seafood scene as you would expect. There's quite a number of sushi restaurants and all the aforementioned on the oyster front but you won't find seafood here like you will in Seattle.

I'm sure you've checked out all the other Portland threads on things to do and see...?
posted by amanda at 3:50 PM on November 19, 2008

Seconding Alberta St Oyster House. And as amanda says, Portland's not renowned for its seafood like Seattle or SF - remember, Portland's well inland, even though it's on a river.
posted by pdb at 3:55 PM on November 19, 2008

In addition to those already mentions, a true gutfest can't be complete without a trip to the buffet.

Salty's on the Columbia has a very nice seafood Sunday brunch buffet.

A little further afield, I have heard very good things about Spirit Mountain Casino's Wednesday seafood buffet.
posted by GarageWine at 4:06 PM on November 19, 2008

Response by poster: peep - No concrete plans yet, but we have a car and time for a day trip. A previous AskMe thread has me interested in visiting Cannon Beach, and I'd love to hear any suggestions you might have.

amanda - I'm still searching through the archives, I'm afraid I've found much more about living in Portland than visiting it as a foodie aside from this excellent thread.
posted by TungstenChef at 4:20 PM on November 19, 2008

Response by poster: Some random possibilities from searching other forums:
Oysters at Pacific Seafood in Bay City?
Touring the cheesemaking facilities at Tillamook?
Are truffles in season? Last year the sis-in-law sent me some white truffles that were gooooooood!
posted by TungstenChef at 4:49 PM on November 19, 2008

Arguably one of the best coffee roasters in the world (disclosure; i work for the company), Stumptown Coffee. Check out the annex for free coffee tastings.

Also, i cannot reccomend this enough: BEAST. holy sweet mother of all things good and tasty. Naomi is amaaaaaaaaaazing. You will never eat a better meal.

and for good measure for breakfast, Juniors, pine street biscuits and le pigion or park kitchen for dinner....and...oh, just screw that list. get yourself some Beast.
posted by furnace.heart at 5:16 PM on November 19, 2008

Voodoo Doughnuts!

Doughnuts aplenty here. You can get them with marshmallows, bacon, and/or pentagrams. There are also human shaped ones, complete with a pretzel stabbed into them. If you're looking for something a little more unique, they also have dick shaped ones.

They also do weddings at both locations.
posted by spinifex23 at 5:50 PM on November 19, 2008

The Farm Cafe! It's incredible.
posted by krisken at 6:06 PM on November 19, 2008

Heidi at the food blog 101 Cookbooks recently did a post on a Weekend in Portland. It looks like there are some good suggestions there and in the comments.
posted by fundip at 6:11 PM on November 19, 2008

Sidenote: Beast was named one of Portland Monthly Magazine's best restaurants of 2008.
posted by Tacodog at 10:42 PM on November 19, 2008

you'll really want to get deep on this site, portland food & drink. as for seafood, I'm veggie, but i usually take my fish-loving family to the hawthorne fish house, which adheres to the monterey bay aquarium standards and also is big on gluten-free options.

i've heard a lot that clarklewis is really good for seafood, but i've never been. also, halibut's on alberta might be what you're looking for.

some of my favorite restaurants, seafood aside:

- lovely hula hands
- fratelli
- nuestra cocina in southeast, autentica if you're in northeast
- hedge house
- bernie's southern bistro
- dove vivi, apizza scholls, or ken's artisan pizza
- country cat
- kenny & zuke's (jewish deli downtown)

and some that get rave reviews that I haven't had the chance to visit

- pok pok
- le pigeon
- pine state biscuits
- lucca
- fire on the mountain
- fenouil
- park kitchen
posted by acid freaking on the kitty at 8:01 AM on November 20, 2008

oh jeez, how could i forget about por que no?
posted by acid freaking on the kitty at 8:06 AM on November 20, 2008

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