I love vacation. I never eat and drink like that at home, for good reason! One of the deals that I made with myself is that vacation is for a good time. I can keep with the program when I am at home.
As mentioned in the last post, we love Kenny and Zukes and Clyde Common. We had discussed a no-samesies for this trip but in the end we went back to both restaurants. We did hit some new ones as well.
We stayed at the Jupiter Hotel this time. I love the Jupiter but Big M found it too loud. There was a dance party on Saturday night. I think you know what you are in for when you stay at a hotel that gives you a free condom and earplugs on the bedside table.
Saturday night we decided to check out Farm Cafe. It is right by the Jupiter built out of an old Victorian house. The restaurant was rated well on Urban Spoon Portland and I liked their description of fresh, local and organic farm-to-table products from the Pacific Northwest" so off we went.
The decor of the restaurant is very nice. I find houses that are transformed into restaurants kind of odd, most times. This one was done well with a big group table in the "dining room" when you enter the restaurant to give it a nice, warm gathering feeling. The kitchen was in the middle with more tables and booths in the back. The lighting was really dim, almost a little too dark.
As this is vacation eating, we decided to go for a full 3 course meal. We decided on: (from the online menu)
"Clams and Mussels $9
Fresh local clams and mussels sauteed in golden ale with garlic, butter and red chili flakes, served with grilled bread."
The mussels were huge! I am still a bit squeamish with the ugliness of shellfish so I found the gigantic size a bit off putting. Big M loves mussels so he was in shellfish delight. This was my first clam eating experience. Turn out that I like clams more than I like mussels. Can't wait to try Clam Chowder now. The garlic toast was a bit burnt, so it was really crunchy to eat but the sauce was wonderful and the shellfish was so fresh.
For dinner I had one of the specials so I don't have it's exact description. It was a half chicken on a bed of mixed beans.
The chicken was AMAZING. So moist and flavorful. I would say perfect. I did not enjoy the beans on the bottom, unfortunately. They were really aggressively herbed. I am not sure what they were flavored with, but it was really strong and tasted like HERBS only. Big M and I had some "unstable herbs" jokes here.
Big M had the:
Goat Cheese Ravioli $15
Handmade ravioli stuffed with Fraga Farms goat cheese, hazelnuts, basil, pecorino, Parmigiano Reggiano, and ricotta served with blistered cherry tomatoes.
I wish I would have ordered this, because Holey Cramoley, this was good. I just had a bite of it but the cheese and the hazelnut mixture was awesome. The sauce was flavored perfectly.
Side Note: I don't know whether Portland is so hip that all the servers are taught to be blase, or if we have aggressively perky servers in Vancouver, but we found that most places had such ambivalent service. You would say thanks and the servers would be like "okay, sure". The only time our waitress at Farm seemed interested was when I talked about how stunningly amazing the dessert was. Then she told us about how the chef recently went to study pastry with local pastry master, (didn't catch the name) and how this dessert was the best ever.
From the special menu, it was a blackberry bread pudding with creme fraiche.
I should have ordered 3 servings of this. So good. So, so good. I am obsessed with bread pudding at the moment and this was the best I have had. So warm and creamy and good. I can see why the waitress would break from standard to rave about this.
Overall, really enjoyable meal. I don't know if we need to go back there again the next time we are in town, but if you are in the area it is worth considering.