Roadtrip: Food Review May 4-5, 2012

I am not a Foodie.  I use to be a boring accountant who only ordered chicken when dining out because it was safe and cheap.  Being married to Owen has helped me move beyond my comfort zone.  While I will still order chicken, I at least add some spices and variety to my chicken.

When we were in the planning phases (all 10 minutes of it), it was easy to say lets recreate the Man vs. Food episode, sans the really hot fritters and the need to eat the HUGE Mancakes.  I had no idea what the restaurants would look like or what size they were or really what to expect.

We choose to go to the restaurants/shops (hard to call a doughnut shop a restaurant) from the Portland episode.  There was a dinner place, a doughnut shop and a breakfast/lunch cafe which worked perfectly into our time we were planning on staying in Portland.

We made it to Portland just after 4 and headed to Salvador Molly’s.

As I was driving through traffic, Owen got onto their website and found “The Legend of Salvador Molly’s”.

It made for a fun read and got us excited to try their food.  The restaurant is in a small out of the way strip mall in Portland.

Inside is decorated with travel items from all over the world.  Their menu is varied and gives you so many different choices it is hard to pick what you want to eat.

Man vs. Food tried the famous habanero cheese fritters! No thanks for me or even Owen.  We do highly recommend the guacamole as an appetizer.  It is chunky and amazing.

Brett ate the pork sliders. At a $1.50 each they sure beat any the best kids meal around.

Becky had the Tiki Tiki Shrimp Sticks.  Owen had the Pampas Chimichurri Steak. I tried the dish that started it all Molly’s Hot Tamales.

The food was great as was the service.  We all left full and loved the small restaurant feel.  So many things to choose from, we could go back and have totally different styles of food.

Becky got to have her picture with Molly.

Becky with Molly

Next stop on the food tour was Voodoo Doughnuts.

It is an experience all of itself.  The shop is in downtown Portland.  When we got there around 9:20, we had every kind of people around.  There was still a line going outside the door.  There were tourist like up, local Portland nightlife.  Help Becky see why there were signs around Portland saying “Keep Portland Weird”.  Don’t worry it wasn’t hard for Becky to believe that that ad campaign was working well.

VooDoo Doughnuts is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week.  Once you get up to the counter you look at a spinning case of all the different choices which you choose from.  There are all kinds.  Most of your favorite sugar cereal has a donut which they are on.  You can buy a bubble gum donut with a piece of gum in the hole.   Each doughnut has its own price, no dozen deals, no extra dozen for a couple buck.

These were our picks for our maiden journey to VooDoo Doughnuts.  We got the signature donut (the voodoo doll complete with a pretzel through the heart – which is raspberry jelly filling – mine and Becky’s personal favorite).  We got the bacon/maple donut – Brett sure loved the bacon and Owen like the taste combo.  Mango Tango (mango filling with Tang sprinkled on top) was the cashiers favorite and Owen could understand why.  We rounded out the batch with two basic but amazing powder lemon and Raspberry Romeo.

So many to choose from and all that we had were remarkable.  Always worth the trip and don’t bring your American Express or Visa or Discover Card or check for that matter.  All they accept is CASH.

When we got back to the hotel we watched and planned more food trips as we watch the Diner’s, Drive-In’s and Dives marathon.  So many fun little small places out there.

Morning was the last stop of the Man vs. Food Portland Tour.  We were headed to a small café called Stepping Stones Café in the Pearl District in Portland.  The Pearl district still has iron rings on the curb going back to when they would need them to tie up their horses.  Not that these curbs are from those days, but I love how they put old back into new to keep history alive.

It is a residential area and this was a small neighborhood café.  It had all of the elements you would expect from a Portland funky café.  The chairs were red metal.  The table cloths were gingham checked.  They had toys hanging from the ceiling which would move up and down each time the door opened or shut.

This was the Mancake place.  Owen and Brett split a “small stack” of the mancakes.  On the show they ate 3 pancakes. Us – not even close.  Becky had steak and eggs and I had a omelet.

Brett loves pancakes and Owen had some to say he had tried it and then helped me finish my omelet.

It gave you a flavor for some urban fare and the music was not what I expected to be playing as background music for a café, but it helped give you’re the full Portland experience.

Would love to go back for more.

Owen found a website called which shows you for your city where different food shows have eaten at.  It is a great way to find fun restaurants in your own town.  We will be using it I’m sure very soon in the future.

We ate lunch in Astoria, OR.  It is a quaint sea town on the tip of Oregon.  There were no results using our new website so I used YELP.  My YELP theory is to use the one with the highest rating with the MOST reviews. I know it will be good.

We were able to eat lunch at Bridgewater Bistro.

It was a change from the small casual restaurants we had been in so far on our trip.  Their food was great.  The VIEW incredible.  We looks out on to the Astoria Bridge and the Columbia River.

They had great sandwiches for the adults and pasta for the kids.

Becky and I finished up early so I headed our to take pictures of the bridge while Brett and Owen finished up inside.

Imagine that Becky found a tree to climb/walk on.

Amazing food, great service and a view that you can’t beat!

Having never been on a food trip before, I loved the chance to go and visit small local restaurants and not be sucked into going to the standard chain because I know what I’m going to get.  My new motto is go small and skip the chains.  There is too much great food out there to try.  I rarely like to go to the same place more than once on a vacation because there are so many places I’ve never been.  Looks like my motto for food is changing also.  Skip the chain restaurants and find the fun, small and memorable restaurants.

Becky  wanted to know when we are going again.  I told her when I lost the weight I had gained on this trip and lost 5 more pounds.  Hope it is sooner than later.

Where do you think we should go next?

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2 Responses to Roadtrip: Food Review May 4-5, 2012

  1. Nicolle says:

    Great, now I am craving donuts! 🙂 Looks like a fun trip… good for you guys!

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