Spring Break Essentials: Food

Last week I told you about what I consider the essentials of a successful spring break. Number one on my list is food. This shouldn’t come as a surprise as food is the subject of most of my blog ramblings. Luckily I live in a city that has numerous options for food – from your everyday run of the mill restaurants like Applebees and Outback to over 400 unique food carts scattered throughout downtown. So no matter what type of visitors are in town, food options are not a problem.

The first night my mom and sister got to town we met a good family friend for dinner at Tucci’s. This cozy little Italian restaurant in downtown Lake Oswego was only a quick jaunt away from our friends condo – which was nice because it was pouring rain! We had a good time catching up and the food was great. My mom and I both enjoyed a new york strip topped with grilled onions and a red wine reduction. The dish was served with  lightly breaded and fried potato fritters (similar to their risotto fritters I told you about a few weeks ago). Yum!

I worked a half day on Friday so we decided to meet up for lunch at Stanford’s for a few reasons (1) it’s super close to my work (2) they have smoked salmon chowder on Fridays (3) we had a coupon for a free flatbread pizza from the Shamrock Run. It was perfect!Stanford's Flatbread Pizza

Stanford's Salmon Chowder

After lunch we spent the afternoon shopping on NW 23rd Ave –  one of my all time favorite spots in the city. Since we were out and about early it was only natural that we find a great happy hour to round out the afternoon. There’s no better happy hour/view of the city than the 30th floor of the Bancorp building at Portland City Grill. We met Keenan here for martinis and a few light appetizers including kung pao calamari, sushi, and thai chili pot stickers before heading up to Vancouver for dinner at Joe’s Crab Shack on the waterfront. This day was as much about the views as it was the food.

View from Portland City Grill

Mom, Laura, and I at Joe's Crab Shack

Our last stop was my sister’s favorite restaurant in Portland: Gustav’s. My sister discovered this German restaurant on her last trip to Portland during Oktoberfest. She loved the place so much that she bought one of their hilarious lenderhorsen inspired t-shirts and wore it back to the restaurant for dinner. We had a nice, light Spaten Munich Helles before enjoying and array of sausage, fondue, spatzel, kraut roulade, and sauerbraten. All of the food was great but I have to say that the kraut roulade is my absolute favorite. I’m usually not the type to order the same thing at a restaurant. Now that I’m in the “big city” I’ve actually come to be the type that doesn’t even go back to the same restaurants unless I really enjoyed it. But every time I go back to Gustav’s I just can’t stray away from the kraut roulade. It’s just that good.

Gustav's Swiss Fondue

Gustav's Kraut Roulade

Join me tomorrow for a review of our next spring break essential….drinks.