We consider ourselves well-traveled and knowledgeable about food maybe even foodies but we know little about Oregon and it’s star city, Portland. The closest we’ve come is driving on the Pacific Highway as far as Gualala in Mendicino County. As you point yourself northward towards Oregon, we noticed that the foliage changes –we found a cooler, wetter landscape covered in lichens and palm fronds. Before reading Doug’s book our knowledge of Portland’s food culture was limited to comic skits about the sustainable lifestyle mindset from the goofy yet hilarious show Portlandia. In one scene the waitstaff is asked by diners to provide the chicken’s bio before they eat the meal. All humor aside, it is apparent that in Portland the quality & craft given to produce an exceptional food experience is what defines the local cuisine.
We found that to be the overriding theme in the reviewing the book “Doug Pitassi’s 15 Best Restaurants in Portland”. Doug moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2013 and has fallen in love with the region he describes as “populated by those who fearlessly sought new frontiers and deeply valued the bounty that the fertile valley continues to readily provide”. The philosophy in Portland embraces sustainable, seasonal choices that ensure freshness and consistently outstanding quality. This terrific little book can be your personal concierge when visiting Portland and need help deciding where to dine among the onslaught of fabulous choices.
Firstly the book fits beautifully in any carry-on bag as it is slim and lightweight. Although I try to study my destination in advance sometimes my first chance doesn’t happen until I’m in the air and on my way. Knowing my own crazy travel schedule, you may also enjoy settling in with a good book and a glass of wine on your flight. While the book is a quick read and could probably be completed in an hour it is the perfect way to get excited about dining in a new city. The flight from NY to Portland would run approx. 6hours & 25 minutes giving you ample time to include this book as part of your in-flight entertainment.
My only thought on it’s physical dimensions is at half it’s height it would make a terrific purse guide–also wish it had photos & maps.
In Doug’s introduction he tells you why Portland has a culture that attracts eclectic foodies and world renown chefs to its dining community. The belief is that quality food is worth waiting for giving chefs and admirers the atmosphere to encourage creativity.
While he admits that the book is not intended to be exhaustive he indicates that each chapter was an attempt to show a diverse array of choices in Portland. The general structure of the book is the introduction followed by 15 chapters–one for each restaurant that he has chosen. He opens each chapter with a bit of history about the restaurant or the food style. His descriptions are visual and he devotes time and care to describe the unique nature and decor of each restaurant and why it is amazing!
Doug’s writing really shines when he describes the signature dish at each establishment. His food descriptions provide a vivid and mouth-watering image of the restaurant’s specialties.
As you read you envision yourself enjoying each tasty dish and you make notes that say the next time I’m in Portland I’m definitely dining based on Doug’s suggestions. Some of the restaurants he recommends include: Scandinavian (Broder Nord), BBQ (The People’s Pig), Thai (PokPok), Italian (Nostrana), Sandwiches (Meat Cheese Bread) and more.
The book was a fun read and we can definitely see it as a handy asset to have along with you on your next trip to Portland, Oregon. It would work best in combination by cross-referencing restaurant websites for menus and ambiance on your mobile device as links are provided at the end of each chapter for further information.
Happy Travels, Happy Dining!
*Disclosure: This product was received as a sample in exchange for an honest, unbiased, review. The reviews and or opinions on this blog are 100% my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsement and Testimonials in Advertising.