Thursday, July 18, 2013

Portland's Miracle Mile

On my last visit to Portland, Rick and I decided to hit up Southeast for an evening.  In doing so, we found what I now deem Portland's Miracle Mile. Portland, Oregon, that is.

Beer.  Wings.  Cocktails...with house made gin.  Orgasmic Southeast Asian cuisine.  Pie.  Ice Cream if you want it.  More pie.  And, two hot guys out on the town.  Portland style.

What the heck more could you ask for?

So perhaps I exaggerate a little, but the stretch of SE Division Street between SE 32nd and SE 35th was a pretty awesome place to spend a Friday night.

The evening started at The Hedge House, one of Lompoc Brewing's community brewpubs.  I'd never had Lompoc so I was excited to check it out.  A perfect sunny afternoon, we arrived with every intention of sitting on the patio, drinking some beer, and having some pub-food for dinner. Patio seating was full, but fortunately they have a really cool porch that is also available for beer-consuming pleasure. That hit the spot and added a layer of depth to our SE neighborhood experience. As I was sipping on my quite delicious Lompoc Specialty Draft (LSD) and it's 6.9% ABV splendor, I had a realization.

We were a block away from Pok Pok! Not to sound all Portland trendy hipstery, but I'm going to anyway...Pok Pok is one of my favorite Portland eateries. Specializing in authentic street food of Southeast Asia, we found Pok Pok *before* they were named one of the 20 Most Important Restaurants in America by Bon Appetit, or before chef/owner Andy Ricker won the 2011 James Beard award for Best Chef Northwest.

To Pok Pok for dinner, but there's always a line so the pro tip of the day is to get your name on the list and head across the street to one of Ricker's other joints, the Whiskey Soda Lounge, to await your table and drink fantastic coktails. House infused Kaffir Lime gin and tonics help pass the time for us, and an order of Pok Pok's famous Ike's Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings will get you prepped to head back across the street for dinner. Spicy, of course.

Back at Pok Pok, you can't go wrong with the menu selections. Rick and I had a spicy Isaan flank steak salad and a Chaing Mai sausage with herbs. Fantastic. They also make cocktails that will leave your loins yearning for more.

So if all of that wasn't enough, on the way back to the car is Lauretta Jean's hand made pie shop, right next to the Hedge House. Offering a variety of house made seasonal pies, you can choose as to whether you're feeling creamy or fruity and dive in from there. I tried the coconut cream pie and loved it. They also feature booze and Stumptown coffee.

If pie isn't whetting your whistle, Salt & Straw just opened a store across the street from Lauretta Jean's. It's about the best ice cream you'll ever have, although I don't often have the tolerance to wait in line.

So there's a perfect evening in Portland, all in the stretch of a mile on NE Division Street.

Actually, it's more like 0.1 miles if you're counting.


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