While working hard on the Dishcrawl Seattle launch, I had the opportunity to take a bit of a break and headed to Portland. Dishcrawl Portland launched successfully last month and this past Tuesday I joined their second crawl.
We explored NE Alberta Street in northeast Portland with a very social group of 38 food enthusiasts! Our first stop was The Grilled Cheese Grill. Co-owner Matt Breslow was a gracious host. This food cart spot features outdoor seating and the School Bus. Located on 1027 NE Alberta this is the original location. More recently they added a second location in southeast Portland that features the Double Decker bus.
~ The Grill Cheese Grill 1027 NE Alberta
~ The Grilled Cheese Grill 113 SE 28th Ave
At 7 pm on the dot, people starting arriving and were welcomed by Katie, Dishcrawl Portland's coordinator. Already I could tell we had a gregarious group.
Once everyone got checked in, Matt came out and introduced himself.
Matt grew up helping his mom in the kitchen and became a little grilled cheese whiz. Later in life, Matt didn't attend a culinary school, but rather honed his skills working in restaurants. He always wanted to open a restaurant and he finally decided to do open a place that would feature one of his favorite foods, the grilled cheese.
He really looks like he's having fun with it.
The group was getting hungry and you could smell the delicious cheesy goodness that was about to come out - even a small visitor was eagerly awaiting the grilled cheese.
I snuck into their food cart to find Matt's crew hard at work. They were readying up the grilled cheese.
We had the opportunity to taste a few of the grill cheese options on their menu such as the Jalapeno Popper - roasted jalapeños, colby jack, cream cheese and corn tortilla chips on sourdough.
The Grilled Cheese Grill was a great start to the Dishcrawl and everyone was having fun meeting each other and checking out the bus.
It was time for our next stop. Katie gathered up the group and we were off to the Yogio food cart. Yogio is not normally opened late on Tuesdays, but did not want to miss the chance to be included in the Dishcrawl so co-owner Ali came in to host our group.
Yogio, owned by Timber Adamson and Ali Clarsy, features Korean snack food - all gluten free. I was very excited about checking them out especially after hearing they have ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS on the menu. This evening we would get to try their most popular item on their menu - the Rocks. Ali gave us the scoop on what we were about to enjoy.
The Rocks are seasoned rice stuffed with bibimbap vegetables. They crisp it up and place it atop of a homemade gochujang paste spread across a bit of seaweed and served up with their Crack sauce - no clue what's in this sauce, but it was so good. Everyone lined up right away to get their Rock.
Wow! It's only stop two, but with all of the great food so far, I'm slowly getting full! Katie once again got everyone on the move to stop number three.
Next on the agenda was The Tin Shed Garden Cafe. They have a simple philosophy of using fresh and wholesome ingredients and that definitely comes through in their food. It is no wonder this place is always busy and has very good reviews. Owner Jannette Kaden greeted the group upon arrival. We had the pleasure of sitting in their covered patio area.
Jannette and two of her staff already had the food table set up with plates, silverware and napkins before we arrived. While they took drink orders and brought them out, Katie went around to each table to everyone know about the three different dishes from their menu we would be trying.
Berry Garcia - Roasted red peppers, jalapenos, black beans, Tillamook cheddar & berry jam in a grilled tortilla, topped with jalapeno creme fraiche & fresh cilantro.
Mac of the Day - this one featured Cavatapi pasta in a three cheese sauce, baked with a crispy bread topping.
Baby Beluga - Roasted yams, onion, zucchini, mushroom, garlic & black lentils in a yellow curry sauce, served over fresh spinach & jasmine rice, topped with raisins, peanuts and avocado.
Everyone was able to grab a plate and help themselves. Believe me, there was plenty to go around!
Our final stop was a real treat. We all headed down the street to the ice cream shop Salt & Straw - perfect choice for a warm evening. Salt & Straw is a brand new addition to Portland's NE Alberta Street. Their store front just opened last month.
The aroma of the waffle cones on the griddles lures you in and the unique flavors on their menu are quite intriguing. Owner Kim Malek is a genuinely lovely person. She was so happy to host us in her new shop.
All the preparations were made ahead of time for our large group. They had already scooped the ice cream into cups and had them waiting on trays in their cooler so we could get served right away.
We tried their Honey Balsamic Strawberry with Cracked Pepper and a new flavor - the very creamy Olive Oil made with a locally produced olive oil from Red Ridge farms in Portland.
I had so much fun and it was great spending the evening with Katie!
Just think how much fun we'll have at the Dishcrawl Seattle launch. There are still a few tickets left. Hope to see you soon!
Dishcrawl is coming to Seattle! We couldn’t think of a better way to kick this off than by taking on Capitol Hill.
Join us in this social food tour of some of Capitol Hill’s favorite spots. We’re making dining out just a bit more social as you take this food tour with other local food lovers at four different restaurants through the night.
To reserve your seats, please register quickly. Tickets tend to sell out.
For those of you lucky to get in, see you soon!