Further Afield Trips asks a local in a town well beyond Vancouver’s city limits where to find the best places to eat, drink, chill, and have a good time. Think of it as the country cousin to The Dishes.
Makoto Ono and Amanda Cheng from Kitsilano’s Mak N Ming really dig the food and drink of Portland, Oregon, so we reached out to get the skinny on their favourite places…
Good morning! We saw that you were recently in Portland. Where did you enjoy breakfast/brunch?
“We usually skip breakfast but we don’t skip any meals on vacation. Our day started at the charming Måurice Cafe for breakfast. They have good coffee and tea which we enjoyed with a Currant & Rosemary Scone and a wedge of delicate quiche. The staff are friendly and the space is adorable and bright which is how we want to start our day.”
Did you have a particularly good cup of coffee/tea? If so, what was it and where did you have it?
“Makoto discovered Kopi Coffee House when he was wandering the hood we were staying in. They specialize in roasting and serving Indonesian and South East Asian beans and their signature brew is ginger infused. It was really unique and delicious. We’re pretty sure “Kopi” means “coffee” in Malay.”
What about lunch, if you had to choose only one recommendation for lunch in Portland, where would it be, and what should we order?
“Neighbouring Kopi Coffee House is Screen Door restaurant. It’s open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and specializes in Southern food. They’re famous for their buttermilk-fried chicken & sweet potato waffle which is served with their own concoction of warm, sticky table syrup which I’m embarrassed to admit I liked more than real maple syrup! But our favourite dish was the shrimp and grits. It was so flavourful and came with a fluffy and tender Southern biscuit! They’re always busy, so go on a weekday to avoid long wait times.”
Any suggestions on where to get a tasty cocktail?
“You have to drink at Multnomah Whiskey Library! They have over 1000 whiskeys to choose from, Makoto had a customized malt whiskey flight and I had a luscious cachaça cocktail. They open at 4pm so you can go before or after dinner or for dinner, as they do serve a full dinner menu that comes from a hidden door in the wall.”
Where to go for dinner? If you can’t decide, you can make two suggestions for this category – we know it’s hard!
“There are a lot of dinner options in Portland but many of the chef-driven restaurants are closed three days a week. We decided on Castagna Restaurant because they offer a prix fixe menu like at Mak N Ming. EVERY course was delicious and beautiful. It’s really remarkable to taste the full vision and personality of a chef through their cooking. We were very inspired and grateful for the experience.”
And finally, who is making good dessert? Did you taste anything in particular that inspired you?
“We ate a lot of donuts and ice cream in Portland, so we were pretty much eating dessert all day. Fifty Licks Ice Cream had a lot of fun and inspiring flavours like Thai Rice, Soy Sauce Caramel, and French Toast.”