Portland Food Map {Google Maps}

portland-food-map

If you are a foodie, living in a foodie city, you probably have a never-ending list of restaurants to try.  I have that list, and unfortunately I kept it in my notoriously unreliable memory and would immediately forget the name of that great place I heard about.

Back in October I finally decided there had to be a better way to keep track of them all, and how cool would it be to plot them on a map, and then it dawned on me…

Google. Maps.

Did you know you can create custom Google Maps?  It’s not just for directions anymore!

I’d love to write up a tutorial for you, but at the moment there are two versions of Google Maps, and I don’t know which one you’re on so I’ll just point you to these: for Classic click here, for New click here.

I am a visual person so the map format appealed to me A LOT!  I can see at a glance where things are located, the contact info is right there as well as a link to the website, and there is a spot to enter notes so I can remember who referred me to that restaurant or post a link to the article I read that made me want to go there, and I can write my thoughts on the place afterwards.

You also have a lot of options for the pins you can use to mark places – they can be different colors or different icons.  I just went with the standard red pin and those are restaurants we still need to try.  If I marked it green it means we’ve been there and would recommend it, if I marked it yellow it means we’ve been there and it was fine but didn’t really blow us away.  Now, if it’s marked with the light blue hiking people, that means we love it, we’ve been there multiple times, we’d be sure to take an out-of-town visitor there, and we’d walk 500 miles if we had to.  Not really, but you get my point – so far that’s just Blue Star Donuts, Lardo, and Pine State Biscuits.  We haven’t hated anything, but if we ever do it will probably be a tornado symbol or something, ha!

I have been able to help out a few friends too when they ask me where they should eat.  If they tell me they’re going to an event at Keller or the Moda Center, I can look up the map and see what’s near those locations.  If I’m heading into Portland to check out a new shop, I can see what’s nearby, and maybe alter my route to hit up something (donuts!) close to where I’ll be.

Here it is, my EAT ALL THE THINGS map of Portland, let me now what I should add:

(No idea why the map isn’t showing up right, just use your mouse to move it around and see the pins hiding behind the list, or open in a new window.)

Google Maps is also a lot of fun if you’re vacation planning!  We’re planning one for this Fall and I have LOVED using Google Maps to plot out where everything is, I even have a separate map for each day with the tentative itinerary and route.  More to come on that fun stuff!

What do you think about Google Maps?  Yay?  Nay?

What’s on your walk-500-miles-for-it list?

Fogo de Chao {Portland, OR}

fogodechaopdx03_thumb.jpg

There’s a new kid on the block in Portland!

The Brazilian steakhouse (churrascaria) restaurant, Fogo de Chão, opened a location on 6th Avenue a couple of weeks ago and I was invited to their grand opening dinner to get the full experience for myself.  I was able to take Mr. Won’t Run which is good because he likes meat, and this place is all about the meat!

Before I get to the meat though, let’s talk about the drink, the salad bar, THE CHEESY BREAD, and how to Fogo.

The Drink

While waiting for our table we hung out in the bar and tried their signature cocktail, the Caipirinha, which also happens to be Brazil’s national cocktail.  It’s made with lime, sugar, and Cachaça (an alcohol made from fresh sugarcane juice that has been fermented and distilled).  I had read that Cachaça is like a sweet rum, and I’m not a huge rum fan, but this drink was delicious and now I’d like to go drink them on a beach in Brazil!

fogo-de-chao-pdx-03

The Salad Bar

So, this is not your regular lettuce and bacon bits type of salad bar.  There are 30+ options to choose from, including fruits, veggies, cheese, and full-size bacon, no bits here!  And meat, yep, meat at the salad bar.  It’s pretty perfect!

This is just part of one side of the bar:
fogo-de-chao-pdx-04

Lovely cured meats and cheese:
fogo-de-chao-pdx-05

And in case you need more meat and cheese (who doesn’t?):
fogo-de-chao-pdx-06

I didn’t want to go too overboard with the salad bar since I knew there was more to come, but everything I did have was great: fogo-de-chao-pdx-07

THE CHEESY BREAD

When we got back to our table with our salads, the cheesy bread arrived.  You guys, I’m telling you right now, you want these babies!!  Apparently it’s a Brazilian cheese bread called pão de queijo, and after the first one I basically wanted to shove them all in my mouth chubby-bunny style!  So cheesy.  So chewy.  Soooo good.  And I hear they’re gluten-free too!

fogo-de-chao-pdx-10

Some traditional Brazilian side dishes also arrived: crispy hot polenta, garlic mashed potatoes and caramelized bananas.  All delicious!  But a little out of focus, sorry.

fogo-de-chao-pdx-09

How to Fogo

Now let me introduce you to the Gauchos!  And their meat!  Their meat on skewers!

There are 16 different types of meat available, and the gauchos are really the chefs, they grill the meat and then walk around the restaurant carving it up as needed.

How do they know you want some meat?  There are handy little coaster type cards on your table, one side is green and the other side is red (you can see a little of the red side in the picture above).  When you have the green side up they’ll stop and offer you some meat.

They must have green-side-up sensors because it never took them very long to notice our card.  When you want the meat onslaught to stop, you just flip your card to show the red side, chow down on what you have, then flip it back to green to resume the meat-palooza!

fogo-de-chao-pdx-08

And we can’t forget dessert!  Mr. Won’t Run had the Key Lime Pie which we both thought was just okay, but we love Key Lime Pie so we’re pretty picky about it.

fogo-de-chao-pdx-12

I had their signature dessert, the Papaya Crème, but sadly, I wasn’t a big fan.  Mr. Won’t Run loved it though and thought the papaya flavor punched you in the face.  I thought it was bland which is so weird, Mr. Won’t Run just thinks I don’t know what papaya tastes like.  he might be right.  The serving seemed a little “off” too, a giant goblet on a dinner plate, but that’s just me being picky again, ha!  It’s definitely a great crème , really smooth, but it’s a large portion, so plan to share!

fogo-de-chao-pdx-13

I’ve heard rave reviews on the other dessert options so I’m excited to go back and try the Flan, Crème Brule, Molten Chocolate Cake, Grilled Pineapple, and more!

If you’re looking for something different I would definitely recommend checking out Fogo de Chão, such a fun atmosphere and good food too!

Fogo de Chão
930 SW 6th Ave
Portland, OR  97204
503-241-0900
(menu)

Lunch: Mon-Fri, 11:30-2:00
Dinner: Mon-Thurs, 5:00-10:00 / Fri, 5:00-10:30 / Sat, 4:30-10:30 / Sun, 4:00-9:00

Find a location here; you can like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter too.

Read more reviews from Portland bloggers here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here!

(Disclosure: This was a complimentary meal I was invited to as part of a media event with Little Green Pickle for the grand opening of their client’s new restaurant.  As will always be the case, all opinions are completely my own, completely honest, and I wouldn’t be telling you about it if I didn’t like it and think you would too!)

The Sugar Cube {Portland, OR}

IMG_6118.jpg

This past Sunday I got together with some Portland blogger friends to try brunch at a new spot: The Sugar Cube.

With a name like that you know it’s going to be good, and it did not disappoint.  They even do my kind of math!

the-sugar-cube-2

The Sugar Cube story is something I think you could call typical of Portland; an amazing young pastry working at places such as Genoa and Clarklewis before striking out on her own with a food cart!  See, I told you this was a Portland story.

… 

Read More »

Peking Duck at Departure {Portland, OR}

IMG_5345.jpg

Wanna buy a duck?  A what?  A duck.  Does it quack?  Of course it quacks!

Please tell me someone else has played the “wanna buy a duck” game!  Yes?  No?  Think I’m crazy?

Well, speaking of duck, we ATE one recently!  That was a first for me, and I crossed another restaurant off my Holiday Mingle list.

Thanks to a Tweet from Portland Monthly Magazine, I learned about Departure’s December Duck tradition.  That’s not what it’s called, but I’m a fan of alliteration so they should totally start calling it that, or maybe December Duck at Departure.  Or maybe Double D at Departure?  Maybe not.

IMG_5255

Anyways, the Tweet took me to the article above and I just about shorted out my phone with all the drool pooling on the screen as I read the description!  I headed to Departure’s website to read more and was surprised it wasn’t on their front page but I finally found it on their Blog and the drooling continued.  I sent the link to Mr. Won’t Run and we made reservations ASAP!

… 

Read More »

Tula Gluten Free Bakery Cafe {Portland, OR}

IMG_5406.jpg

Thanks to an invite from Lisa Hill PR (who I met at the Holiday Mingle), I had the chance to attend a really fun Blogger event on Monday night at Tula Gluten Free Bakery Cafe.

Tula was started in 2010 by husband and wife team Mieke (pronounced mee-ka) and Caleb Johnson.  What began in Bend moved to Portland in 2011 and they have been doing very well ever since.

IMG_5406

Do you eat gluten free, by choice or by necessity?  I do not have a health reason to eat gluten free, but I know people who do and I know how important it is to avoid cross-contamination.

… 

Read More »

Double Dragon {Portland, OR}

IMG_4704.jpg

We’ve crossed another one off our list of places to try – Double Dragon!

Like The Original, this place was also introduced to me at the PDX Bloggers Holiday Mingle event.  If you like Banh Mi, then you must visit!

It’s a cute little place located in SE Portland on Division St and was very easy to find.  If you know where Apex or Los Gorditos is, then you know where Double Dragon is.

Check out the fun sriracha bottle lighting, and that gorgeous bar!

IMG_4704

I hear they have a pretty killer happy hour, and serve a variety of drinks, everything from Rum Horchatas to classics like Negroni, Sazerac, and Old Fashioned to signature cocktails like Burnt Reynolds, Gold Soundz, and Border Patrol.

… 

Read More »