When traveling to a new city, you must always ask a local for their finest recommendations. Our friend Michelle lives in Portland and considers herself an expert “Portlandivore.” She joked that this meant she eats Portlanders, but really it means that she knows the best food around. She met us at Cyril’s for lunch, sent us to Random Order for salted caramel vanilla apple pie after, and also brought us to the Portland Farmer’s Market where we sampled Pine State Biscuits (must get the Reggie Deluxe!), Pearl Bakery (oh my gosh orange huckleberry macaron!), and CHOP Butchery (sopressat-ahhhh). Each was life changing in its own special way, but Cyril’s came with an invisible ticket to the tour of their winery. I’m only sad that I missed Sasha, the cheesemaker, but can’t wait to read her book, which I plan to use for my textbook for the science fair this year.
If you are someone like me, and you like meats and cheeses, and you happen to be stopping by Portland, you must go to Olympic Provisions for dinner, where meat eating is a virtue. Ask for Corby, because she has the best taste in town. My favorite approach to any menu that is overloaded with goodness is to pick a couple things I know I really want to get, but then to have the staff at the establishment pick their favorites and surprise me. At Olympic Provisions, my brother wanted the French charcuterie board and I wanted the chef’s choice cheese board, my parents wanted the green beans and the cold roasted shrimp, but Cordy did us right with steak tartare and a beef sugo. I could only ask my mom, “Where has steak tartare been all my life?”