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October 21, 2011
Celia Sin-Tien Cheng

For a two-day itinerary, here are our Portland picks.

Hotel A. Ace Hotel

I must say, my first impression was very, very good. Room 310 (see photo above), which I called home for a night, had a floor-to-ceiling hand-painted black-and-white mural by local artist Bwana Spoons of a Viking-looking-multi-eyed monster. It really set the mood for the room, and grew on me. The room was small as could be, but the smart and... full article

Almond Croissant B. St. Honoré Bakery

The French pastries at St. Honoré Bakery are really magnificent! The croissants are quite large, so I assumed they’d not be as delicate as the ones you find in boulangeries in France, but one bite into the almond croissant and I was in heaven. It is flaky and crispy on the outside, topped with slices of almonds and powdered sugar, and... full article

Baked Salmon Benedict C. Zell's an American Cafe

There’s nothing exotic about Zell’s an American Café’s salmon eggs Benedict; it’s just perfectly executed and delicious. The toasted English muffins are Bay’s, the salmon is pan-seared and finished in the oven until its center is a shade past translucent, and the poached egg whites are cloud-like, not rubbery. The chef... full article

Chicken Over Rice D. Nong's Khao Man Gai

Nong’s Khao Man Gai is one of the most popular lunch street carts in Portland, usually selling out at around 1 p.m. (they open at 10 a.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. on Saturdays). Nong’s cart specializes in one thing, khao man gai (chicken over rice), and it is sheer perfection. The poached chicken over rice is accompanied by soybean... full article

Grilled Cheese E. The Grilled Cheese Grill

The Grilled Cheese Grill is a food cart with a bus. You order your grilled cheese from their kitchen cart, and then you can eat it inside a revamped school bus parked on the premises, or at the open air school bench-like tables outside. You get the idea: it brings you back to your childhood. There are over a dozen different grilled cheeses... full article

Tasting Menu F. Castagna

The cuisine at Castagna may be considered “molecular” or “modernist” — however one may want to label today’s avant garde cooking — but the main focus here is on local, seasonal cuisine, and less on the showmanship of dehydration or other techniques. Chef Justin Woodward (who took over the helm after Matthew Lightner decamped to... full article

Dinner G. Beast

Beast offers a six-course dinner menu four nights a week. It’s a unique experience: with only two seatings a night, the entire restaurant eats together communally — a fun way to meet new people. The two starters blew me away. First, the chilled corn and lobster bisque with chive oil and lobster whipped cream; second, the charcuterie plate with... full article

Lamb Shank (seco a la norteña) H. Andina

Where to dine with just one free night in Portland, a city with a reputation for good food, and recommendations pouring in from friends? I chose Peru.

Via Andina, that is, a bustling Peruvian restaurant in Portland’s Pearl district, the city’s only-slightly-less awesome answer to Manhattan’s Meatpacking District.... full article