During our first night in Portland, Erin and I roamed the nearly deserted streets around our hotel near midnight in search of something delicious. Because even though we were hungry enough to eat just about anything that was non-toxic—our stomachs were on New York time, after all, and we hadn't eaten dinner—we didn't want to waste any calories during our short trip.
But just when we were afraid we'd have to settle for potato chips from a convenience store—lo!, a twinkle of lights appeared on a block of mostly closed food carts on SW 3rd Ave between SW Stark and SW Washington, and the meaty and spicy smells of Vietnamese and Thai food from Pho Le pulled us in. It just made me...so happy. I felt like sun beams were bursting out of my head. I can get a freshly made banh mi for $3.50 at midnight on a Wednesday night? PORTLAND, I LOVE YOU.
Then I found out how many more great late night food carts existed. And I loved Portland even more. New York City has an amazing variety of great food, but as far as carts go we've got nothing on Portland, and we probably never will.
Thank you so much for your recommendations on my last post (and for all you Portlanders, for reading my blog from afar)! I won't be writing about the food we ate on this blog, but Erin and I will have posts coming up on Serious Eats, and some stuff we ate will be reserved for the Serious Eats book. For now, I'll share the list of places we hit during our three-day stay:
- Pho Le and Asia Express (last night munchies on Wednesday)
- Tin Shed
- Tonalli's Donuts and Cream
- Tasty N' Sons
- Pix Patisserie
- Big Egg
- Garden State
- Le Pigeon (just for the burger)
- Potato Champion
- Bloop (oatmeal cart; awesome name, right?)
- Brunch Box
- Nong's Khao Man Gai
- Bunk Sandwiches
- Olympic Provisions
- Pok Pok
- Portland Farmers' Market: Sol Pops, Pine State Biscuits, Tastebud
- Voodoo Doughnuts (had to wait 40 friggin' minutes; granted, I was one of the gazillion other tourists waiting in line)
- Kenny & Zukes
I'm sorry we couldn't visit all the eateries you recommended (or even all the places on our original itinerary)—we could've eaten more if we tried—but I think we did a pretty good job for our short visit. Thursday was the craziest eating day, Friday was a bit less gluttonous, and we were much more relaxed on Saturday. When I got back home at 8 a.m. on July 4, I took a mega-nap and ate a small meal for dinner (I did nothing to celebrate independence, unless staying home all day counts). I think I'm still recovering.
We couldn't have eaten so much without tons of help from Maggie and her husband Matt, and Erin's friend Brian. Many thanks to my friends Rebecca and Ezra for joining us as well! I met a few TGWAE readers—hi Kristina and Daise—which was totally sweet. (For future notice, if you ever recognize me eating food and taking photos, don't be afraid to say hi! It makes me fuggin' happy to meet you guys.) I'm looking forward to visiting Portland again, after I feel less blimp-like.