Category Archives: Portland

Guest Post from Salt and Straw, Portland, OR

With so many blog posts yet to write from our trip to Portland, I figured I’d enlist some help from my dessert loving wife Robyn and have her tell you all about our many visits to iconic Portland Ice Cream Shop, Salt & Straw. You can find her blog at Joyful Follies, when she has time to write again.



My husband may be the resident expert on all things pork-related but, when it comes to sweets, I reign supreme. This is probably why he has tasked me to write this blog on Portland ice cream maker, extraordinaire – Salt & Straw.

a rare, quiet moment at in ice cream heaven

a rare, quiet moment at in ice cream heaven

On our first night in Portland, OR, we were wandering the streets around our hotel, when we noticed a large group of people congregating around one of the businesses.

As we got a bit closer, the congregation showed itself to be a line.

A few steps more and we discovered it was a line for ice cream!


I looked up at Phil with a huge smile and eyes full of desire. He just shrugged his shoulders, looked at the line and kept walking. He, obviously, does not love ice cream nearly as much as I.


a hip queue

He’s right, I told myself. It was almost 10:30pm on a Sunday night, there was a huge line, we had already had a big dinner and big scoop of, surely, decadently rich ice cream would have kept me up sick for most of the night. I reminded myself that we would be there for a few more days and I would have plenty of time to try the cool, creamy goodness so I, too, walked on by.

But when we were finished our exploring and started making our way back to the hotel, we kept passing people with these overflowing cones of delicious-looking ice cream. My resolve held firm until we neared the open doorway of the ice cream shop again, and the smell of fresh-made waffle cones knocked me off my feet.

I planted myself at the end of that line, looked up at Phil and shrugged, “Sorry, Babe, I just gotta do it...”

And it proved to be the best decision of the entire trip (Until the net day when I decided to have it again. And the next day…and the day after that…).

There were several flavour options up for grabs and they were all unique in some way. By the end of our trip we had sampled every sigh-inducing one of them.

The last day of our trip, we saw some limited edition flavours change to : TKTK and mint w/sea urchin merengue

Decisions, decisions…

It never mattered how much I had already eaten that day, I always made sure to save room for another flavour from Salt & Straw… And though I always told myself I would save calories and money and just get my scoop in a cup, as soon as I was enveloped by the scent of warm waffle cones, I knew I had to have one.

hot off the press

hot off the press

the perfect vessels await

the perfect vessels await

The Strawberry Honey Balsamic w/ Black Pepper was an early favourite, as was the surefire hit of Stumptown Coffee & Burnside Bourbon. The Cinnamon Snickerdoodle tasted just like (and also included chewy bits of) my favourite cookie, the Sea Salt w/Caramel was an obvious taste sensation and the Freckled Woodblock Chocolate was a luscious twist on an old standby.

mmm...late night, ice creamy goodness

mmm…late night, ice creamy goodness

But after several samplings, my overall favourite was the Almond Brittle w/Salted Ganache. There were many, large pieces of crunchy brittle and soft, gooey chunks of perfectly salted chocolate ganache throughout every cone I ordered. It was…divine.

And then, on our last day in Portland, those sneaky confectioners went and changed up the menu! The limited editions now included Hawaiian PB&J, Coconut Milk w/Cashew Brittle and Pandan, and something so surprising (and surprisingly yummy!) that I had to get it as my last cone of the trip…Mint w/Sea Urchin Merengue.

So my last day in Portland, I was eating a cone full of minty sea urchin roe and loving every lick!

How very hipster of me.

OK, so maybe not all that hipster of me at all

OK, so maybe not all that hipster of me at all

Salt & Straw on Urbanspoon


Screen Door- Portland, Oregon


Before heading out to Portland I solicited suggestions from some locals as to where a comfort food favouring fellow such as myself might grab a plate of delicious, down home goodness in their town. I got a number of responses suggesting Screen Door, and after a quick menu search I was sold.

When we were deciding on what area of Portland to stay, we picked our hotel based on its proximity to many different restaurants and pubs but sadly, the Screen Door was not one of those.  So this is one of those instances where having a rental car comes in much more handy than relying on public transportation or taxis. We could have made it there on the bus, but having travelled from Edmonton that day already and checking into the hotel…. well let’s just say I wouldn’t have been up for a 30-35 minute bus ride plus even longer coming back. Laziness would have won the day and I wouldn’t have gone.

Seeing as it was a scant 12 minute drive in air conditioned comfort, off we went to sample some of Screen Door’s southern offerings.

We arrived a mere 10 minutes after the restaurant opened, and it was easy to spot as we drove by because it was the only restaurant we had seen with a line-up snaking around the corner and down the street. That’s a good sign, but a little discouraging at the same time. Thankfully the line moved quickly as the restaurant hurried to get people seated in a manner that wouldn’t overwhelm the kitchen and the wait only ended up being 10 or 15 minutes.

We had heard that the fried chicken was a must-have so, naturally, that’s what I got. Served with collards, mashed potatoes, and tasso ham gravy, this was some pretty outstanding fried chicken. Going against tradition and serving only *gasp* boneless breast and thigh is a risk, but it payed off. The breast was perfectly crunchy and salty on the outside, and juicy inside. Top 5 fried chicken i’ve had. Unfortunately, the last 2 or 3 forkfuls of thigh were on the edge of being underdone, but I was so full by that time I couldn’t have eaten it anyway. Both the sides were good, and the tasso gravy was great. So salty and and porky with plenty of zing.

Screen Door Fried Chicken

Screen Door Fried Chicken

Robyn got the Screen Door Plate, which allows you to pick 3 sides, or “local organics”, plus cornbread. The list of local organics rotates, but on this night it consisted of an assortment of about 8 different salads.

Robyn decided on the Mac and Cheese, along with 2 local organics;  the Peach Salad with mixed greens, blueberries, shallots, mint, shaved ricotta salata, toasted hazelnuts, and wildflower honey vinaigrette was the first. The second was Marinated Beet Salad with arugula, avocado, goat cheese, toasted pistachios, and creamy lemon vinaigrette.  Though the choice of salads at a southern food restaurant may seem odd, both were very fresh and tasty, and added some much needed acidity to cut the rich fattiness of the Mac and Cheese and Fried Chicken.

The cornbread, however was very dry and even dredging it through the mac and cheese couldn’t help save it.


Speaking of Mac and Cheese, this version had a crunchy, cheesy crust on top, and an extra creamy sauce underneath. It had great flavour, and would hit the spot all on it’s own. Not surprisingly, almost every table had an order of their own. Plus, with all that salad on the plate we didn’t have to feel guilty about eating a big bowl of melted cheese!

I have to say, southern comfort food wasn’t something that came to mind when I thought of the Northwest United States but, thanks to the Screen Door, it probably will be now. And it should be for you too!

Screen Door on Urbanspoon