In September we made a quick trip to Portland, Oregon. It was my first time there and I really enjoyed it! I would definitely go again because the food is so good. The food prices are very reasonable, with no sales tax to top it off! Since we both love wine, we also drove out to the Willamette Valley, pronounced “Will-lam-it” or as the phrase goes, “Willamette, damnit!” Willamette Valley is one of the largest wine regions in Oregon! It was the perfect time of the year because the weather was beautiful and the wineries hadn’t harvested the grapes yet, which meant that you saw tons of grape clusters on the vines still. YAY! Oregon is famous for Pinot Noir, which is a wine varietal that I prefer (husband prefers more medium to heavy bodied).
We went to four wineries, Domaine Drouhin, Domaine Serene, White Rose, and Alexana. We thoroughly enjoyed our experience at the last two. The first two were definitely more mainstream which I’m not too keen on (reminds me of stuff like V Sattui and Wilson Creek). We also ate at Jory Restaurant as our lunch break from the wineries.
Before I forget, just wanted to include the places that we ate at:
Pok Pok Noi – the bar version of Andy Ricker’s famous Pok Pok restaurant. We came here because it had a food menu with the key entrees that we wanted to try and supposedly less crowded. When we arrived we were seated immediately! I’d have to say Andy Ricker reminded me of Roy Choi, except with Thai flair vs Korean flair.
Pine State Biscuits – I looooove biscuits and gravy. Of course I had to come here…twice! 🙂
Voodoo Donuts – I had to see what the fuss was about with the maple bacon donut. It was OK.
Toro Bravo – Tapas with locally sourced ingredients. This place was soooo good and reminded us of the tapas we had in Barcelona! Highly recommend.
Tasty n Sons – Since we were so impressed with Toro Bravo, we went to their other spot. American brunch served tapas style. I thought Toro Bravo was better than Tasty n Sons, but still a good alternative if you don’t want Spanish style cuisine. Chef John Gorham’s restaurants reminded me of LA’s Animal/Son of a Gun, a bit of WEHO’s Salt’s Cure, and SAMO’s Farmshop (all are great restaurants in LA, so hopefully no one’s offended by this comparison!).
We also tried the coffee, like at Stumptown. The coffee is indeed good, but living in LA spoils you because we have our fair share of great coffee places, like Intelligensia, Balconi, and the Conservatory to name a few.
I’ll leave you with a photo from Domaine Drouhin’s facebook page since their photo looked much better than mine. This is how the Willamette Valley looked when we were there. It’s so pretty!!