My final day-and-a-half in Portland centered on three memorable meals: our Paleo Pop-Up Brunch with my co-host (and Bravolebrity cheftestant with the biggest knife), Chef Gregory Gourdet; a gluten-free Asian-inspired pescatarian dinner at Departure; and a down-home meal of chicken and rice at one of my favorite casual joints in the world, Nong’s Khao Man Gai.
Ready to hop in a time machine and travel back to last Saturday?
The cafeteria-style Paleo Pop-Up Brunch at Departure was the highlight of our trip to Portland. Despite being arranged only a week prior to my arrival (really: GG texted me just a week before our trip, and suggested that we host a brunch together), I knew that GG would deliver the goods. Part of the reason my money is on #TeamGG to win Top Chef Boston is because he can totally throw down when it comes to developing and executing a fantastic Paleo menu for a crowd—from scratch, and in no time at all. And he never seems to stress out; I’ve never seen him without a charmingly shy smile on his face.
Me? I was the total slacker in the equation—all I did was show up with a whole bunch of Mini Michelle action figures and an empty belly.
We arrived a few minutes before the brunch began, just as the spread of food was being loaded onto the tables.
The Double-Os were all too happy to be the official taste-testers at the front of the line.
The epic brunch menu included a choice of a Bloody Mary or mimosa from the bar…
…and a lip-smacking green smoothie (with cocoa nib and goji berry)…
… eggs baked in avocados topped with bacon vinaigrette…
…collard greens, caramelized onion, and squash quiches (with almond flour crusts!)…
…grilled hanger steak with radish kimchee…
…Thai chicken sausages seasoned with fish sauce…
…blueberry-banana pancakes with ginger, macadamia maple syrup…
…and carrot, ginger, and zucchini muffins.
As if that wasn’t enough, there was also sweet potato and roasted chili hash, smoked salmon, copious amounts of bacon, and pickled shrimp.
I checked: no one left hungry.
I had so much fun meeting new friends…
…and reuniting with old pals like Mickey and Heather.
The kids even got in on the book signings.
By the end of the brunch, my cheeks hurt from smiling and laughing so much. More importantly, I was famished.
Henry even let Lil-O take over camera duties while we decompressed.
Thanks for making our weekend in Portland so special, GG! I’m totally #TeamGG forever. (Don’t forget to root for GG on this season’s Top Chef! My favorite GG quote from the first episode? “You wanna come for me, you better come correct.” Word.)
After taking a relaxing stroll around downtown, we took a family vote about where to grab dinner, and it was unanimous: we were having dinner back at Departure.
The highlights of our meal included the spicy carrot and avocado salad…
…tuna tartare with chili paste, cilantro oil, apple, goji berries, and sunchoke chips…
…and kampachi sashimi with black garlic, green chili, white ponzu, and crispy taro chips.
It was the best way to cap off a perfect day in Portland.
On Sunday, we quickly threw our dirty laundry into our suitcase and checked out of the hotel. We had one last meal opportunity in Portland, and I didn’t want to waste it. I’d been craving Asian comfort food, and Nong’s Khao Man Gai was the perfect place to get my fix. GG had introduced us to Nong’s earlier this year, and I’d been dying to return.
Although Nong’s food carts have super long lines, the restaurant is empty right when it opens at 11am. Phew!
We ordered the crispy chicken skin, rendered in its own fat (only $1 a bag!)…
…steamed vegetables, and several platters of chicken and rice (with gluten-free sauce). Next time, I’m trying the chicken liver!
There’s no place like home, but Portland comes a close second. Until next time, PDX!
Looking for more recipes? Head on over to my Recipe Index! You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPad® app, and in my New York Times bestselling cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel 2013).
Thank you so much, I used your recommendations on a Portland trip a few years ago. Do you by chance have an updated list of Portland eats? I also looked on ig. I am on the email list to get updates for Kann in the meantime! 🙂
Try searching the #nomnomeatspdx in IG!