So my favorite part of the entire Portland trip was on Sunday, our second day in Portland. Sean and I took an Uber across the river to N. Mississippi Avenue to participate in a food tour! We did a Forktown Food tour that was highly recommended by my parents since they took the same one when they toured University of Portland with my sister and raved about it. Sean and I were so down to do a food tour because, duh! Who doesn’t love food?! Last summer, we explored the idea of doing a food tour in San Francisco, but never got around to doing it so this was our first food tour experience.
I can’t recommend enough doing a Forktown food tour if you are visiting Portland, it is the ultimate foodie experience that anyone can enjoy. There is no need for a lunch or dinner; the food tour stops at six places where you eat and drink specialized small portions, but after six stops, you’ll feel like you had a full meal (full tummy is a happy tummy!). Our food tour was from 1 to 4pm so Sean and I skipped lunch since we knew we would be eating pretty much all afternoon.
My favorites from the tour were this delicious cheesy potato dish from the food cart MF Tasty, and the salt and chocolate from this cool specialty shop that sells only chocolate, salt, and bitters. This shop was probably one of the coolest on the tour, I loved the interiors and I never knew how many different types of salt there were. They even had tons of blocks of Himalayan salt in varying sizes for people to purchase, I wish I took a photo but I didn’t, I’m sure it’s hard to imagine but right there against the wall was a huge pile of fat, salmon colored bricks. The person working there was saying a lot of people like purchasing these bricks to cook on. By cooking fish and meats on these bricks, the salt is seasoned into the food while it cooks and sealing in the flavor. Another moment where I was like “oooh if Sean and I move to Portland we can buy our salt from this specialty shop and be ‘those’ people who invite everyone over for dinner to prepare fish on a block of fancy salt in a pan. HA!”
GUSH WARNING, I love this next place we went to and I won’t apologize for how much I gush over it.
It was on this very food tour where I found the bar of my dreams… I know that sounds weird, but this bar seriously was channeling my love for interior design, the music was on point, and they served old fashioned cocktails. It’s like they made this bar with the idea that I would be a regular. It’s called Sidecar, a tiny space that looks like a speakeasy. On the tour we tried an appetizer and two cocktails; a whiskey sour (not my thing, whiskey and I are not friends) and their take on the Moscow mule called the Gin Gin Mule (new favorite drink ever). They made the Gin Gin Mule with peppermint they bring from their garden. Sean and I loved this place so much from the little time we spent there on the tour that we went back right after the tour ended and three hours later “oops” we were still there. We got to chat with the hostess who we found out actually owned the bar with her husband the bartender and we bonded because she moved from New York to Chicago to Portland. Sean and I were interested in her advice for moving there from such a different city in terms of culture and weather. Also we met this couple, Megan and Hillary from San Diego, on the tour and chatted with them at the brewery we stopped at. Thirty minutes after Sean and I returned to Sidecar they walked through the door so we invited them to our table. We spent two and a half hours talking about our plans for the rest of our trips, our jobs, and got really in depth talking about zombies, The Walking Dead, and TV. It was such an awesome experience and we had a blast connecting with them in a really cool bar.
Honestly, I think spending three hours in a bar with an atmosphere I loved, spending time with new awesome people Sean and I clicked with, and chatting with the wonderful co-owner/hostess who was telling us how to move to Portland solidified the food tour as my favorite part of our entire trip. I feel like it was one of those stories you hear other people talking about how they just made friends randomly traveling, I mean it made sense: my dad is one of those people and I’m his mini him? minion? something… I guess daughter is the technical term HA! It was just very cool and something I had never experienced before. It made for a really memorable experience. Not to mention great food and learning about the neighborhood. Sean and I will definitely be doing another Forktown food tour on our next adventure to Portland and I’m sure a food tour of the Mission will be on our agenda too. Do you have any cool traveling experiences like that where you just connected with strangers or had the ultimate foodie experience? I mean food is surrounded in community/family events so I guess you could say food brings people together. (Duh…Thanksgiving… I mean, I guess) anyways let me know in the comments. I want to hear from you!