Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Willamette Valley: Carlton Bakery

Portland is lucky to have a local bakery or coffee house on every corner and I wish we had more places like this in the Willamette Valley. Fortunately, we are getting closer with new places like,Carlton Bakery. It is about a 25 minute drive from Newberg, on the back roads of Hwy 240, but it is well worth it! The route is scenic, through beautiful farmland, and the pastries are absolutely divine!

This husband/wife duo recently opened this bakery for their love of perfect pastries and even better baguettes. Neither of them had culinary or baking experience but fell in love with a bakery in Japan and knew that it was time for a career change. Tim would wake up early each morning and head to the local bakery to learn how to make the baked goods from scratch. With lots of practice and a couple years of baking classes, Tim and his wife, Ahmee, decided it was time to open their own bakery! They settled on an old gas station, which had since been converted to The Filling Station Deli. Eventually, they decided to change the name to "Carlton Bakery." The old garage was renovated into a working kitchen and their dream of making fresh pastries, baguettes and croissants came true!

Since I have a problem making decisions when it comes to food, I tried a little sample of everything. The BLT sandwich, on their house made baguette with Carlton Farms bacon, is fantastic. They even have a simple, French baguette with cheese and ham that makes you feel like you are traveling abroad. Do not get me started on the pastries, please. I tried the fruit tart, sesame pastry, croissant and the chocolate croissant. No, I did not eat them all to myself. But next time, I am going back for the walnut bread...and some other Gorgonzola pastry that looked fabulous.

305 W Main Street
Carlton, Oregon
open Wednesday - Sunday 

Check out their Facebook page for more photos.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Family-style at Jamison

Portland is the home of new, reinvented restaurants. One goes out of business and then another opens to take its place. It is impossible to get through my mile-long list of restaurants to try as it is, and then my friends go and suggest a new one on me. Jamison opened last month and is a second venture for the owner's of Davis Street Tavern. It took the location of the well-known, Fenouil. Sad to see them go, but I have to say, I am pretty excited about Jamison. In my opinion, way more impressive than Davis Street.

via jamisonpdx.com
We chose to dine outside because it was a beautiful summer night and the restaurant has a large patio for outdoor dining. Our view was of Jamison Square with trees lit up by outdoor white lights creating an ambiance that made want to stay all night. The indoor dining was equally lovely with rustic, wooden touches but comfortable with oversized chairs and banquette seating.  The birdcage chandeliers were my favorite decoration piece. All the windows opened up to the patio so even dining indoors felt like you were outside. This place will transition nicely into the winter with the warm interior colors and cozy fireplaces.

The inspiration of the menu is "American family-style" so your plates are served as the kitchen prepares them. This is my FAVORITE way to dine. I come from a big family so sharing and sampling different dishes is my preference. There are small plates, vegetable sides, flatbreads, salads and large plates. We ordered something from ever section. Our favorites were the heirloom tomato salad (a given since it is tomato season), roasted garlic and crostini and the farro with broccoli raab and peppadew peppers. We walked away without ordering the halibut dish and I am regretting it. I must go back and try.
garlic crostini & menu

One thing I have to say is that it is vegan and
vegetarian-friendly. We ate all vegetarian that night and had NO problem finding options. With that said, you will find seafood and meat options too.

Stop by before while we still have our beautiful summer nights. You won't regret it...maybe check out their happy hour and let me know what you think!

900 NW 11th Ave
Portland, OR
open tuesday - sunday