A couple weeks ago, I attended a new (to me) Portland food event. It combines two of my favorite things. Brunch food AND bloody marys. I've been to many Portland food events and this one is one of my new favorites. The lines were shorter than expected. The portions were larger than expected. To top if off, there were plenty of places to sit and relax. It was held at Rossi Farms out near Gresham. Overall, it was a great event to add to your Portland Food Event calendar. Portland Monthly Magazine's Country Brunch! Country Brunch The concept of this event is a verses battle. Local vendors participate in either the food or drink category. Then each competitor brings … Read Post
I don’t think there is much better than a perfect pastry. With a cup of coffee and a bright spring morning- you are teetering on perfection. So when I read the review of Grano Bakery in the Oregonian, I knew I had to try it. D and I moved to the Oregon City area about 8 months ago and are quite smitten with it. It is the perfect blend of urban living with small town feel. Grano Bakery is quite the same. As I sat testing out my…four pastries, I noticed many “regulars” and “hello again”- this was my kind of place.
The bakery is located 1 block off Main St. in Oregon City. It’s a cute, quaint yet modern feel inside. I love the decor, the huge windows and the smell, oh baby. As I approached the counter, I glanced over all the names of the baked goods. The flavor combinations are unique yet comforting. As I mulled over my decision, I ended up choosing 4 baked goods to try.
- orange-almond bostock
- chocolate hazelnut rye cookie
- savory bread pudding with artichokes, feta and capers
- blueberry barley muffin
If I had to choose a favorite, I would say the bread pudding. I am a savory dessert person and it was incredible. Runner up, the bostock which is a twice baked brioche/french toast type baked good that YOU NEED TO TRY.
Ultimately, a trip to Grano Bakery won’t disappoint you, in fact it may become your new favorite place. A morning cup of joe and a fresh baked pastry, then take home a fresh loaf of bread. I will be back to Grano very soon to try out more of their savory baked items and of course bring home the sweets for D, since those are his kinda thing.
Enjoy this sunshine everyone!
Love, Rachel xo
Spring is finally here in Portland. It’s been nice to feel the sun on my face. Seeing the days last longer. I’m excited to know summer is on the way. If you’ve been following me on instagram (@racheljanelloyd), you know a lot has happened since I posted. Don’t worry more posts about those events are in the works! Stay tuned.
For today, it so feels great to be home. We’ve started planning summer trips. We have Seattle, Montana, and San Juan Islands on the list. More being planned every day. We’ve also started some of our favorite warm weather activities. One of the first being: The Woodburn Tulip Festival.
Woodburn Tulip Festival
As some of you may know, D proposed to me at the Tulip Festival in 2016. We walked around that warm spring day, sat on a bench and decided to spend forever together. Another wonderful fact, thanks to my parents and friends- that VERY bench we sat on, is now in our backyard. It’s a beautiful reminder of that day and the beginning of our lives together. It goes without saying, the Woodburn Tulip Festival has very special memories for my family.
Ultimately, the tulip festival holds a special place in our hearts. It’s a beautiful place to spend an afternoon with friends, loved ones or kids. Stroll the rows of stunning flowers and take some home to brighten up your home. They also have local vendors, wine tasting and much more to check out. It makes for a great way to spend a sunny (or rainy) day.
Feels good to be home. More to come on where I’ve been. Thanks for following along.
Love, Rachel xo
As you can imagine, life has been a bit crazy lately. We are 2 months away from the wedding. In the past, D and I have taken an early spring vacation. Las Vegas, Palm Springs etc. This is why we chose our wedding date- to keep that tradition alive. Well this Portland weather is making me want Palm Springs right now.
In order to keep things simple in the weeks leading up to the big day, we thought a staycation was a better idea. When AC Hotel Portland reached out to me about a stay at their new Portland location- we loved the idea.
AC Hotel Portland
AC Hotels is a modern lifestyle brand by Marriott. Portland is one of the first US cities to welcome an AC Hotel as the European-style brand expands its footprint. With design inspired by founder Antonio Catalán, a Spanish hotelier, the AC Hotel brand is focused on thoughtful contemporary design where everything has a purpose. The 13-story hotel includes an open space bar and lounge with Portland’s own Water Avenue coffee, craft cocktails featuring local ingredients on tap and a selection of tapas-inspired small plates.
The location of AC Hotel Portland is perfect for visitors. It’s very centrally located and walking distance to shopping, shows, and wonderful food. During our stay we had lunch at Luc Lac Kitchen. A main stay on the Portland food scene. We also strolled over to Powell’s books. It’s nice to be a visitor in your own city. Spend a weekend trying old favorites and exploring new things. It was a relaxing, entertaining and “Portland” weekend.
Huge thanks to AC Hotel Portland for hosting us. The new hotel is lovely!
Welcome to the first post of 2017! As some of you know, big things are ahead for me in 2017, but more on that later. I’m here to bring you a post about one of the most famous places to eat in Portland. Pok Pok. It’s a staple watering hole for locals and tourists alike. Pok Pok, “serve(s) food found at pubs, restaurants, homes and the streets of Southeast Asia with the majority of the food coming from Thailand, and specifically from the North and Northeast of Thailand.” It’s flavors are out of this world. Trust me you won’t find these dishes anywhere in the US. They are unique and beautiful. I just love this food.
You can expect long longs most hours of the day at this gem, but like most amazing things, its worth the wait. For this dinner, I joined my friend Chloe to explore the Pok Pok menu.
Pok Pok’s extensive menu can be intimidating. Don’t be afraid! You can’t really go wrong here. My favorite dining style is to order several plates and share with the group. Chloe and I may have ordered enough to feed a small army, but it’s all SO delish.
In my opinion, a lot of the dishes are quite spicy. If you aren’t into spice- make sure to chat with your server. Everyone who has waited on me has been extremely knowledgable about the menu. They will surely steer you in the right direction.
Another thing to note- the bar program is excellent! I love the innovative and fresh cocktails always offered at Pok Pok. Make sure to check out the cocktail specials- they are usually creative and seasonal.
What I Order at Pok Pok:
I’ll be honest- I do not order the same thing regularly at Pok Pok. The diverse menu has so much to order. That said, I do have some favorites and tried and true staples. I go for a mix of spicy, sweet and fresh flavors. I tend to lean towards noodle dishes in general and you will see that reflected in my choices. So here it goes:
- Sunny’s Yam Wun Sen Chao Wang
Spicy and sour glass noodle salad with naem (a house-made sour pork sausage), ground pork, mussels, dry shrimp, Chinese celery, pickled garlic, Thai chiles, shallots and carrot. Lime, fish sauce, garlic oil dressing.
- Tam Kai Yaang
Spicy roasted game hen salad with long beans, tomatoes, peanuts, cilantro, Chinese celery, Thai chiles, dry shrimp, garlic, lime, palm sugar and fish sauce.
- Khao Soi (Chicken, Beef, or Vegetarian)
Northern Thai mild curry noodle soup made with our secret curry paste recipe and house-pressed fresh coconut milk. Served with house pickled mustard greens, shallots, crispy yellow noodles and roasted chili paste.
- Ike’s Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings
Half dozen fresh whole natural chicken wings marinated in fish sauce and sugar, deep fried, tossed in caramelized Phu Quoc fish sauce and garlic and served with pickled vegetables.
- Whiskey Soda Float
Homemade bourbon ice cream and cola float with a brace of Amarena cherries on top.
Now you have the local insights- Next time you head to Pok Pok- try one of these dishes. You won’t be disappointed. Maybe one of your New Years resolutions was to try a new restaurant- give this a whirl.
Hope you are enjoying the new year and staying warm!