Burmese Pork Stew, Portland’s Distillery Row, Pok Pok’s chicken wings + kava cocktails.
Tasty n Sons is known city wide as perhaps Portland’s best brunch location, with a table for 6 on a saturday morning being a prized possession. We were meeting up with a few people, and so we head towards Tasty, put our name down and then head towards Ristretto Roasters for a coffee and a doughnut while we waited.
Soon, we got our call and head over to claim our table.
Tasty n Sons is a tapas style breakfast, with all dishes designed to share. We started with their daily special of biscuits covered in a rich, meaty venison gravy.
I couldn’t help but order one each of their chocolate doughnuts with vanilla anglaise, and their griddled bacon wrapped date with maple syrup and almond. The doughnut was the highlight – crisp on the outside and soft, warm and sponge cake like on the inside, it was tender enough to soak up the anglaise.
Next up was a huge skillet of paprika-rich potatoes bravas with over easy eggs and aioli.
Then another skillet of steak and eggs with baked cornbread and jalapeno butter, and a side of glazed yams with cumin-maple.
Last up was the Burmese Red Pork Stew with short grain rice and eggs two ways. We had gone carb-heavy this morning, but it was a good start to the Distillery Row tour we were going to spend the rest of the day doing.
Distillery Row in Portland is a self-guided walking tour you can do of Portlands Urban distilleries. Within walking distance there are 6 distilleries specialising in rums, whiskeys, vodkas, gins and aquavits. You purchase a passport and it entitles you to free tastings at each of the distilleries, some will give you shotglasses to take home, and you will get a souvenir passport of your tour.
We tried a number of interesting flavours – from New Deal Distillery’s chilli vodka, their chocolate vodka, to Eastside‘s Marionberry whiskey. Marionberries are a cultivar of blackberry bred in Oregon – so this whiskey is a good thing to try when in town, because you won’t find it anywhere else.
Skylar and Monique were fans of the chilli vodka – we had it mixed with pineapple juice, but they went all out and tried the spicy mix on its own. I chickened out and left it to them!
House Spirits Distillery had some interesting aged aquavits, and an award-winning whiskey – made from barley 100% grown in the Pacific Northwest.
After we finished and got all the stamps in our passport, we had a little time to fill in before it was time for dinner.
We stopped in at the Bula Kava House, as I had told Skylar and Monique about the mild euphoria and muscle relaxant qualities of the Pacific Island medicinal root, that I had never seen for sale outside of the islands.
We each had a hand-pressed extract, served in a coconut shell. While not particularly delightful tasting, kava has interesting results physically. We ended up feeling quite spaced out but relaxed. Skylar described it as feeling like a Cheshire Cat.
We wandered over and put our names down for the famous Pok Pok, the original Portland home of their famous chicken wings. Andy Ricker, the owner and winner of a number of James Beard awards. There was only a 30 minute wait so we head over to Whisky Soda Bar, run by Pok Pok also for a drink while we waiting.
Eventually the bar tender told us we could head back over.
We started with some Mango Alexanders, with mango, vodka, coconut cream and lime.
As far as food tourism goes, we simply had to order Ike’s Famous caramelised fish sauce chicken wings.
Next up was the whisky, soy, honey, ginger and thai spiced baby back ribs.
And finishing up with a bowl of Chicken Khao Soi, a curry noodle soup served with pickles, crispy yellow noodles and roasted chilli paste.