Modern Times

This week we are featuring a brewery! While it isn’t a super local hot spot, it has certainly found its home here in our beer centric city.

Modern times has a great list of beers. Ranging from year round favorites, like the hazy IPA and tropical fruit Gose, to the experimental and seasonal like the fresh hop double IPA or the Pistachio-coconut stout. You are sure to find something that you love here.

The staff are very friendly, knowledgeable, and the bar decor is decidedly hipster. You can find a giant piñata of a macho man hovering over the entire dining room, floppy discs in a colorful display adorn the bar front, and string art with dioramas line the walls to the bathrooms.

Whether you are a native Portlandian, a new transplant, or just visiting, this is a great place to get a taste of the new portland while you drink some delicious beer.

Let us know what you love about this place in the comments! And be sure to subscribe to the blog so you can stay up to date with all our favorite places and top tips. Talk to you soon!

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Vault

This week’s Hot Spot is one of our favorite Portland destinations for craft cocktails: Vault Cocktail Lounge. Located in the Pearl district, this spot mixes up meticulously perfected drinks, from the classics to an array of seasonal features.

No matter what you order here, from the Vieux Carre (rye, cognac, sweet vermouth, benedictine, and bitters) to the Endless Summer (mezcal, Campari, passionfruit, and lime) you are bound to be delighted. And if nothing on their extensive cocktail list strikes your fancy (HOW?!?!?) the bartenders here know their stuff and can make you something amazing based on the flavor profile you are going for.

And speaking of bartenders, just one of the many charms of this place is Dan Dufour, one of my all-time favorite bartenders in town. It’s a big claim, yes, but just spend about 5 minutes chatting with this fella and you’ll understand. And if you need even more of an incentive to check this place out, every third Wednesday they host an event called Suit n Sip, where all are invited to don their finest duds and mingle in style. In quintessentially casual Portland, this is an opportunity to flaunt that fabulous suit or cocktail dress that may have been gathering dust, and is not to be missed.

Have you been to Vault yet? Is there somewhere we should check out next? Let us know in the comments!

Pix Patisserie & Bar Vivant

Hot Spot of the Week

With the most extensive sparkling wine list and one of the finest dessert selections in town, Pix has been one of our favorite stop-ins for many years. Previously located in a Victorian home on SE Division, it was practically impossible to get in due to the small size and large popularity. Thankfully, a few years ago they moved to the larger space they currently inhabit on 22nd and E Burnside. We were recently reminded just how much we love this spot when we hosted our monthly Champagne meet-up on an evening that cleared up perfectly to allow us to mingle on the expansive patio.

We started out each choosing a different glass of sparkling, but quickly moved on to choosing assorted bottles to share so that we could compare and contrast the different regional flavors. The sparkling list at Pix is so long that we could easily come here for months and never repeat a bottle! Plus the costs aren’t prohibitive. While you could buy a bottle for a couple hundred dollars, there are also bottles as low as $28 that are still quite tasty.

A few of our group decided to indulge in some of the delicious tapas provisions from Bar Vivant before proceeding to dessert, including a perfect Spanish tortilla and a few quail eggs wrapped in prosciutto. Once our savory nibbles were done, it was time to sample some of the famous desserts. First off, the macaron selection here is incredible. They make somewhere around 30 different flavors and I have loved every one I have ever tried. This visit we went with the Fleur de Sel, Strawberry Balsamic, and Passionfruit, which paired surprisingly well with our Brut Champagne from the Loire region. If macarons aren’t your fave though, they have many other delectable sweets, like the fig filled with creme brulee and topped with gold leaf pictured above (hurry, it’s seasonal!).

Can’t wait until our next visit! Is there somewhere we should check out next? Let us know in the comments!

Farmhouse Kitchen

This week’s Hot Spot is the delicious Farmhouse Kitchen. I have been wanting to try this restaurant since it opened back in 2017! I have been pretty scared by bad and mediocre Thai food however, so it can take some time before I am ready to jump in again. Luckily, I thoroughly enjoyed everything we tried!

The restaurant has an amazing patio mostly under a pergola adorned with wisteria flowers. Upon closer inspection the flowers are fake, which honestly is genius. They look perfect year round and there is no chance the petals will fall into the perfectly plated food. The tablecloths are vibrant and inviting, all set in a casual atmosphere to make you feel very welcome while you are dining.

We started off with an appetizer called Ahi Scoops. The pan-seared Ahi was topped with a chili lime sauce and some dill and served over sliced cucumbers and seaweed salad. They had a really nice spicy kick without being overpowering and was the perfect way to warm up our palettes for dinner.

We chose to share the fried rice with pork and Run Juan Seafood Sizzling, a plate of assorted seafood in a spicy sauce served with blue jasmine rice. The fried rice was mild and delicious and we were given a hearty portion. The seafood sizzle was quite spicy, but not to an excessive extent. The curry paste imparted a very deep and rich flavor that helped give the dish some real body. I do quite well with spice, but the rice was a much needed accompaniment.

We will definitely be venturing back here to try more dishes and check out some of the cocktails. Have you been to this great restaurant yet? What was your favorite thing you tried?

Is there somewhere that you think we should feature? Let us know in the comments!

Han Oak

For our Hot Spot this week we ventured out to Han Oak. This Korean restaurant is known for it’s very reasonable chef’s menu, only $59 a person, their fabulous dumplings, and the laid back atmosphere. The restaurant is small, but in the summer they open up the beautiful courtyard and add site a few tables. Most of them are communal so you can even make some new friends!

We started the evening out with some cocktails, all of which have some Korean inspired ingredients. They even have slushy cocktails in the summer months to help you beat the heat. I had the Tamagotchi collins, a gin and ginger drink with a bit of club soda, while our friends tried a coconut, banana, rum slushy, and the Korean goodbye, a rye whiskey drink with black walnut foam. They were refreshing and the perfect start to our meal!

We had to try the tasting menu to be certain that we tried all the best things on the menu. They likely rotate what is offered, but we started with all of the “banchan”, or small sides, on the menu. Kimchi, blistered beans, smashed cucumbers and a corn salad that really reminded me of elotés. The corn and the kimchi were the stars of this course, though everything was incredibly flavorful.

Next up we moved onto the “share” course. We tried the Korean chicken wings, which were perfectly crispy and incredibly juicy, and the Octopus Waffle. This sounds like a crazy concoction, which according the chef’s wife started out terribly, but the flavors all meld together so well you can’t help but want to eat more.

Next up for us were some of the famous dumplings, which deserve all the accolades they have received, and the pork bo ssam, which is a pork belly dish that allows you to make your own rice paper wraps.

We finished our meal out with Kimcheladas, a Korean take on the michelada with kimchi juice, and some dessert. All in all we had a fantastic experience and can’t wait to go back!

Is there somewhere that you want us to go and check out? Let us know in the comments!

Trifecta Tavern

This week we are featuring the tavern and bakery by Ken Forkish. This has been on our list of places to try for so long and we were so excited to finally make the time to go and try it out!

We knew we were going to like the restaurant because we have been a long time fans of Ken’s other restaurants (Ken’s Artisan Bakery and Ken’s Artisan Pizza) but everything was even better than we expected. We arrived in time to try the happy hour which offers a large variety of food for a great price.

On the dinner menu even the most discerning diner will find something they love. There are lots of seafood options, vegetarian options, and even some vegan choices. The food is fresh, in season, and comes out beautifully plated. We finished our meal out with a key lime pie, it’s rare to find a proper key lime pie this far from Florida, but this one was to die for!

If you haven’t been yet, or it has been while since you stopped in, make sure you get over there soon. You will not be disappointed!

  • Trifecta Tavern and Bakery
    • 726 SE 6th Avenue, Portland, OR
    • Open 7 days a week
      • Bakery open 8am -1pm
      • Restaurant open 5pm – 9pm

Do you have somewhere you think we need to check out next? let us know in the comments!