Friday, December 5, 2014

Finally...P.R.E.A.M at Ned Ludd

I have to say...Ned Ludd has been on my list for a long time but I never found a huge desire to get to their restaurant, until....Pizza Monday. I heard about PREAM from a friend and figured I would check it out eventually, because yes, pizza rules everything around me. 

Ned Ludd has been bringing in red and white checkered table clothes and playing the awesome throwback R&B tunes for about a year now. PREAM makes Portland Mondays a little bit better. 

There was no wait and we got a table quickly. The menu is simple with a few salads, pizzas and recently added...pasta! We went for a spinach mushroom pasta and a sausage pizza with a béchamel sauce and chile oil. Not your traditional pizza, but definitely delicious. The popular pizza was the traditional Margherita and I WISH we would have gotten it. looked so fabulous. Shocking...I wanted basil, tomatoes and mozzarella. 

If you have a larger group, don't worry because they also serve pizza in their private space, Elder Hall, right next door! 

It is a great spot and the perfect way to start your week. Ned Ludd is cozy with a visible wood fire oven and rustic ambiance. Their team brings out your order as it is ready so a fun place to go for sharing. You all know me...I LOVE sharing. 


3925 NE MLK Blvd 
Portland, Oregon 
pizza monday | 5pm - close
open tues - sun 5pm - close | sun brunch 9am - 2pm

*Check out this article about PREAM - you might not have to wait until Mondays anymore. New space opening in SE Portland dedicated to pizza.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Astoria Day Trip for Beers & Baked Goods

One of the best things about living in Portland is the ability to take day trips at the drop of a hat. This includes day trips to the Oregon Coast, Mt. Hood, The Gorge or Wine Country. My brother recruited me to join him and his girlfriend on a drive up the coast to Astoria. Oh my gosh...what a day it turned out to be. It was an incredible November day. Look at those blue skies! 

Naturally, I center most my adventures around food but we needed to work up an appetite first! We decided to explore the Peter Iredale shipwreck and Fort Stevens State Park. I haven't been there since I was a kid so it was neat to read about the history this time. But of course, we still acted like kids and took turns climbing it like a jungle gym. 

Next stop, Fort George Brewery & Public House. This is probably one of the most well-known places in Astoria, except for the my recent discovery of Bowpicker Fish & Chips. Do you like food trucks? Well, this place is a food boat. Simple menu with fish and chips served on land from the bow of a boat. Anyway...back to Fort George. We did the tasting flight which offered over a dozen samples! Good thing we shared. I really liked their Oatmeal Pale Ale and their seasonal, Java the Hop. It is like this coffee, chocolate, smooth IPA. It is not dark like a stout and easy to drink. Oh and if you are feeling crazy but don't want beer, they have a Wasabi Ginger Ale. Yes, woah.

Next stop, Blue Scorcher Bakery & Cafe. Why? Because we needed a cookie after all those savory beers. It also helped that it was in the same building as Fort George. We sampled a Swedish Limpa bread...who has tried this? It was a first for me and such a nice treat with flavors of orange and fall spices. I tasted the anise seed instantly but was told their was fennel in it too. Delish! This is not their recipe, but I imagine this is similar to what I ate. We walked out with a large chocolate ginger molasses cookie and that poor cookie didn't make it a block. We devoured it on our walk to Buoy Beer Company.

Buoy Beer Company was neat, I wished I took more photos. Their taproom is right on the water so there are great views of the ocean and all the ships coming in and out. We went for clam chowder and sweet potato fries. The best kind of comfort food on a crisp, fall day at the coast. There was an incredible rainbow over the ocean that captured most of the patrons attention. We will have to visit again when we can spend more time sampling all the beers. The rain was coming, so we wanted to get on the road quickly.

We hit the jackpot in Astoria and I was pleasantly surprised with how far this little coastal town has come. Next visit will call for an overnight stay because I want to try the pre-Prohibition cocktails at Albatross.

all open seven days a week

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Nuvrei's MAC BAR in the Pearl


Nuvrei Pâtisserie & Cafe has decided to step up their game and provide Portland with it's very own MAC bar. I had the privilege of attending a launch party where I was able to sample croissants, macarons and bagels...all house made. I have only visited Nuvrei one other time and clearly, I have been missing out. The almond croissant I took with me barely made it out of the car. I mean really, a fresh croissant needs to be eaten on the spot. 

When I arrived, my mouth was welcomed with a buttery, warm croissant (yup...I had two) before I even had a chance to walk in the door. Oh yeah, why am I here again? The macarons...let me get back on track. Nuvrei has always had a great reputation for their perfect macarons and now they have a special  MAC BAR to feature all their incredible flavors. My favorite of the night was chai but I also sampled chestnut, hazelnut and white chocolate. Next time I visit, I want to try earl grey and espresso. Nothing like having dessert for dinner! My kind of night. 

This is great place to stop and cozy upThe Pearl District or if you are looking to give the gift of dessert, stop in for a dozen macarons. Oh and their coffee is from Heart Coffee Roasters, which is a bonus!
404 NW 10th Avenue
Portland, Oregon
open mon - sat 7am - 5pm | sun 8am - 5pm

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Muselet Restaurant & Wine Bar - October Wine Dinners

It is time to get fancy! South Waterfront will be the home of a new restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Muselet Restaurant & Wine Bar will open their doors in December but until then, you can attend one of their champagne wine dinners at Jacobson Salt Co. in just a couple weeks. Guess who has EXCLUSIVE details? This girl!

Muselet will feature French-influenced cooking from Chef William Harper, a veteran of several of Portland's finest restaurants, with a food-pairing focus on Champagne and regional sparkling wines. This new restaurant and wine bar is a perfect match for me because I love bubbles and I don't need a special occasion to drink them.

Once this 80 seat restaurant (+ seasonal patio seating!) is open, then I will share my experience but for now, check out one of these three opportunities for a sneak preview!

October 24th - Celebrate International Champagne Day!

  • Hors d’oeuvres and six courses, each paired with Champagne.
  • Four producers of Récemment Dégorgé (prestige) ‘grower’ Champagnes from France will be in attendance and seated among guests:
    • Rodolphe Péters, Champagne Pierre Peters
    • Arnaud Margaine, Champagne A. Margaine
    • Jean-Baptiste Geoffroy, Champagne Rene Geoffroy
    • Laetitia Billiot, Champagne H. Billiot Fils. 

Location: Jacobsen Salt Co. 602 SE Salmon St, Portland
$150 per person, including wine pairings, excluding gratuity. Limited seating.

October 25th - Hommage to the Greatest Champagne Houses in the World

  • Hors d’oeuvres and six courses, each paired with Champagnes from the prestige cuvée of Moët Hennessy, including Moët & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, 
  • House of Ruinart, House of Krug and Dom Pérignon. Representatives from Moët Hennessy will be present
Location: Jacobsen Salt Co. 602 SE Salmon St, Portland
$150 per person, including wine pairings, excluding gratuity. Limited seating.

October 31st, 4-6:30pm - Bubbles & Treats Halloween Sparkling Wine Hour

  • Start your Halloween celebration with us! Guests will taste a selection of the Veuve Cliquot and sparkling wines from around the world. Enjoy generous hors d’oeuvre ‘treats’.
  • Special selection of bubbles will be available for purchase.
  • Most creative costume will receive dinner for two to Muselet.

Location: Umpqua Bank, South Waterfront, 3606 SW Bond Ave, Portland
$35 per person. Limited tickets available.

Reservations: or 503-706-4671

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Banana Almond Muffins - healthy and vegan!

Looking for a fast breakfast idea? These muffins are it! I have made this recipe three times now and don't plan to stop anytime soon. They are easy to make and a quick "grab n' go" item in the morning. I think way too many people skip breakfast because they don't have time and when they do grab something, it may not be the healthiest option. I mean, I definitely indulge in a good brunch with some sweet and savory dishes but I try to keep my M-F breakfasts healthy and packed with all the good stuff. 


{Vegan} Banana Almond Oatmeal Muffins
adopted from Coffee & Quinoa

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

1/2 cup almond butter
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (4-5 bananas) 
3 cups old-fashioned oats (I used gluten-free oats)
1 1/2 cups plain unsweetened almond milk (I used vanilla)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup raw sliced almonds + extra for topping

- Grease a muffin tin with baking spray. These muffin tins will be filled to the top!
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir until thoroughly combined (I used my KitchenAid stand mixer for this). 
- Spoon into muffin cups. Top with a few sliced almonds.
- Place on rack in the center of the oven and bake until oatmeal cups are firm to the touch, about 20-25 minutes.
- Wait several minutes for oatmeal cups to cool before running a knife around the edges and removing them from the tin. Voila! 

I refrigerate and take one with me each morning for a breakfast on the go! These also freeze well, so if you make a large batch, you have the option of freezing and pulling them out as you need to. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Tillamook's BRUNCH VILLAGE at Feast Portland

It has officially been one week since Feast Portland's Tillamook Brunch Village and I think I am finally coming off the food high. This is the first year for Brunch Village and it was similar to the Grand Bounty Tasting...but better...because it was all centered around pastries, biscuits and morning cocktails. Portland puts a priority on their "brunching" so it is only fitting that there is a Feast event dedicated to this meal.
We started with Country Cat's bacon birch syrup cinnamon roll and what a way to start off the morning! I could have eaten two of these little pieces of heaven but knew it would be wise to save my stomach for another sweet treat. We wondered over to one of Stumptown's three stations and found cold brew on Nitro. Then, it was time for a Bloody Mary from Whole Foods and a grapefruit mimosa from the Bon Appétit Magazine tent. The Bloody Mar bar was many hot sauces and garnishes. Typically this is not my cocktail of choice, but with that spread, I had to make one!

Cream puffs on cream puffs at the Travel Oregon booth. Oh and the Eclairs were pretty tasty too.
Last, I finished with Pine State Biscuit's fried chicken sandwich was bacon and sweet apple butter. I have been craving a full size biscuit sandwich since I tried this sweet and savory sample.
The only item I feel I really missed out on was Los Angeles' Egg Slut's bacon kimchi rice with a poached egg and other goodness. They were poaching eggs on impressive and the presentation looked incredible. Check out Union Wine Company's Instagram post and you will know what I am talking about.

I hope Feast Portland brings back Brunch Village next year because I am definitely attending again. In fact, I have already recruited a handful of foodies to join me!

For details on next year's Four Day Party for your Mouth, follow Feast Portland @feastpdx and #feastpdx. 

See you next September 17th - 20th! 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

BBQ again? Smokehouse 21 in NW Portland

Yes yes...we went for BBQ...again. We can't seem to get enough of it this summer and when I saw this article on Portland's best ribs, it naturally prompted us to take a stroll to the Alphabet District and try Smokehouse 21. We have probably walked by this place a dozen times and have never noticed it. It is a small restaurant with a sign up high, so be sure to look for it. I believe they have a sandwich board and outdoor seating now so you can keep an eye out for that too. 

Although the restaurant is small, the menu definitely isn't. There are a variety of sandwiches, entrees, sides and menu items that can be ordered a la carte. We both ordered entrees with two sides each and of course, I made sure we did not duplicate on side dishes. :)
I have learned that ordering a starter or appetizer at a BBQ joint is never necessary because of the amount of food you get, but when am I EVER practical when it comes to food? So, I started with the bacon molasses cornbread with honey butter syrup. I blame Dylan because he ordered a deviled egg with a big ol' piece of sausage on top and I definitely couldn't let him eat alone. 

Our combined order was pulled pork, brisket, cole slaw, mac n' cheese, potato salad and baked beans. I have the hardest time ordering anything but pulled pork and wasn't disappointed. Dylan said the brisket was some of the best he has had - even better than Podnah's Pit in NE Portland! It was tender and smoky with a lot of flavor. All their meat is served dry so you can add sauce to your liking. I went for the classic Texan-style sauce but they have many others to choose from. 
pulled pork, baked beans, slaw
mouth full, in his happy place for sure

Next time we visit, we will definitely try the spare ribs and their house Bloody Mary. 

413 NW 21st. 
Portland, Oregon 

open 7 days a week | 11:30am - close | happy hour daily 3pm - 6pm

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The FEASTING begins! #feastpdx

We have had such a beautiful summer this year and I can't think of a better way to end it than celebrating Oregon's incredible bounty. Feast Portland is three days of eating and drinking anything and everything you can imagine. This celebration takes over the city with chef speaker series, grand tasting, dinner series, a night market and my NEW favorite - Brunch Village. Stay tuned because I will be sharing my brunch experience with you with lots of photos after the event. Although this event is sold out, there are many still available over the weekend.

It is not to late to purchase tickets to the following events:

Friday, September 19th

Oregon Bounty Grand Tasting at Pioneer Square - I mean...just go. For only $60, it is basically all the food and drink you can eat. GREAT food, awesome atmosphere and five hours long!

Chardonnay is for Lovers - Does Oregon have Chardonnay? Why yes they do...this event features some wonderful whites from Evening Land, Bergstrom, Chehalem and four other wineries! 
A Walk on the Sour Side - sour beers are all the rage right now and if you haven't tried them, now is your time!
Negroni O'Clock - Exploring Negroni cocktails BEFORE noon? Yes, you can have a bitter cocktail in the morning, afternoon or night. There is a mention of pureed local peach cocktail...yum. 

Saturday, September 20th 

Oregon Bounty Grand Tasting at Pioneer Square 
High Comfort at The Nines - this event sounds like a blast. High end comfort food and a chic hotel? Yes and yes... prepared by 20 Chefs with Oregon's top winemakers. 

Beans & Booze  - Yes, beans! Mixing booze and your favorite coffee to create some incredible cocktails! 
Tastes Great. Less Filling - go taste the best new lagers! For the light craft brew drinker, come try some new ales from Worthy Brewing and Michigan Founders Brewing Co. 

You can download the full schedule PDF here


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Part 3 | Brunching in Vancouver, B.C.

Our brunch pick took us East of downtown Vancouver and I have to say, I hesitated as we drove away from the city. We were still determined to find the diner and at the very least, check it out. Once we reached The Red Wagon Cafe and saw the line outside, all hesitation went away. A long line of locals is a great sign! Funny how all the sudden MY brunch picked turned into Dylan's "great pick."
We had a short wait, probably because it was Monday. I imagine on the weekends there is a lot longer wait since the restaurant isn't very large. The staff was friendly as they bussed and seated people quickly.

The menu speciality is their pulled pork pancakes served with three buttermilk pancakes layered with pulled pork and JD-spiked maple syrup. Although I am a pulled pork lover, I did not order them because I had my eye on the sausage breakfast sandwich with two eggs, aged cheddar, tomato chutney, mayo, arugula, ciabatta and home fries.

Oh and then there were the chilaquiles...with added pork belly. Dylan's pick as per usual. Always a great choice and seriously, look at the size of that piece of pork belly.

We enjoyed this casual diner and would love to check it out for dinner next time we find ourselves in Vancouver. Don't be fooled by the location and the lack of curb appeal because once you get inside, you won't be disappointed!  

2296 East Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC V5L 1V4

open mon-tues 8am - 3pm | wed-fri 8am - 8pm | sat - sun 9am - 8pm

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Part 2 | Drinking & More Drinking in Vancouver, B.C

Like any metropolitan city, you can pretty much find a place to get a drink on every corner and Vancouver was no different. Since I am a freak about food and drink, I did a lot of research on Eater before hand. Our second day in the city, we did some day drinking but nothing with alcohol (I know, I disappointing). Instead, we got out caffeine fix at two local coffee places and we were NOT disappointed. Thanks to this article on Eater, we ventured to Revolver and Timbertrain. 

Revolver was packed so apparently this place is no secret. They were out of cold brew, so we shared an iced Americano. They rotate their coffee roasts daily and noticed Portland's Heart Coffee available for sale. If it wasn't so busy we would have ordered the coffee sampler but with no AC and sweaty people, we got our coffee to go. 
From there, we made our way to Timbertrain, which was awesome. They have cold brew on Nitro which made for a creamy and delicious coffee. It looked just like a Porter or Stout beer. I would highly recommend this gem of a place. They are relatively new (only open 7 months) and they roast all their own coffee. We couldn't walk away without a bag. 

Once our caffeine high wore off, we decided to go get some food and headed to the industrial rail area, to The Belgard Kitchen. This place is neat because it is a kitchen, brewery and urban winery all under one roof. I am obsessed. I loved everything about the ambiance, service, food and drink. Dylan ordered a craft beer flight from Postmark Brewing and I ordered a wine flight from Vancouver Urban Winery. Our favorite wine was the Cedar Creek Ehrenfelser...never have I ever tried this blend. Apparently it is a popular BC blend from the Okanagan region.

We stayed for hours enjoying the food, a bottle of wine and conversation with our awesome server. All the wine is served from the tap so nothing comes in a bottle. A "bottle" of wine is served in a vintage decanter and no two are alike. The staff and owners search the city for these unique beauties.

via belgard kitchen
We had a fabulous day of drinking and exploring Vancouver's beer, wine and coffee. I highly recommend all three locations! 

55 Dunlevy Ave.
Vancouver, BC

daily 11am - 11pm 

325 Cambie Street
Vancouver, BC

mon-fri 7:30am - 6pm | saturday 9am - 6pm | closed sundays

311 West Cordova Street 
Vancouver, BC

 mon-fri 7:30am–6pm | saturday 9am–6pm | sunday 9am–5pm