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!

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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!

Pizza

There are few things in the world better than a good pizza. Portland has plenty of delicious places to get a good pie, so here are some of our favorites!

Oven and Shaker

1134 NW Everett St
Portland, OR 97209

This restaurant by 4 time James beard nominee Cathy Whims tastes as delicious as it looks. She uses local and fresh ingredients on her wood fired pizzas.

The Crown

410 SW Broadway
Portland, OR 97205

This New York style pizzeria by Vitaly Paley does sourdough crust better than anyone else in town. They have both classic pizza flavors and some fun northwestern twists.

Sizzle Pie

multiple locations in Portland

This is easily the best greasy pizza you can get in town, plus they are open very late! They always feature a vegan pizza, a specialty pizza, and the classics.

Lovely’s Fifty Fifty

4039 N Mississippi Ave
Portland, OR 97227

Lovely’s specializes in fresh locally sourced ingredients that are in season. Plus her pizza’s are frequently adorned with flowers making them look as lovely as they taste.

Ken’s Artisan Pizza

304 SE 28th Ave
Portland, OR 97214

These thin crust, wood-fired pizza’s are frequently touted as the best in Portland. Though they have long been in a battle with Apizza Scholls for the battle, I will let you decide.

Apizza Scholls

4741 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Portland, OR 97215

These wood fired pizzas have won the hearts of many Portlanders, and for good reason. The dough is made fresh every morning and perfectly charred in the wood fired ovens. The pies are simple and classic, but delicious.

Pizzeria Otto

6708 NE Sandy Blvd
Portland, OR 97213

These Neapolitan pizza’s are covered in northwestern ingredients. You can find pizzas with foraged mushrooms, tails and trotters ham, and fresh heirloom tomatoes.

Char

4144A SE 60th Ave
Portland, OR 97206

This Foster Powell Neapolitan style pizzeria does wood fired pizzas all named after cats! They use fresh and local ingredients and change the menu frequently.

Did we miss your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

The Importance of the Home Inspection

Having a home inspection is perhaps the most important piece to buying a home. As a buyer it can be very easy to look over the little flaws in a home while you are walking around falling in love with it. Check out this awesome video we made explaining why inspections are so important! If video isn’t your thing, read the transcript below.

No matter the type of home that you are buying, whether a 1920’s bungalow, a midcentury modern, or a brand new home, you need to have a home inspection. A couple of weeks ago we discussed the importance of property disclosures, and the inspection is your opportunity to really dig deep into any issues that the home might have.

With older homes we especially want to look into the electrical system and plumbing, the foundation and the overall structure. With new construction you want to make sure the builder didn’t cut any corners and that everything is functioning the way that you want it to.

Inspections are also your best opportunity to negotiate with the seller on repairs. Anything that is a safety concern, a major defect, or is no longer functioning properly is a fair thing to ask the sellers to fix. Alternatively, we could negotiate for closing costs or a price reduction. We will be sure to discuss all the details and what will work best for your specific needs once we get to that point.

Another important thing to remember is that not all inspectors, like Realtors, are equally skilled. It often happens that we will have buyers that enter into contract on a home that was only purchased by the sellers within the last couple of years and our inspector finds major defects that were certainly around longer than that time period. Make sure you work with someone you can count on, otherwise you might end up on the wrong end of the repair negotiations when you eventually decide to sell! We, of course have fantastic recommendations for you if you need them.

Do you want a list of the most common issues found with new construction homes? You can find that here. As always, don’t hesitate to reach out with any further questions you may have! See you next time.

September Events

Fall is coming to Portland or (hopefully) just a bonus month of summer! Here are some fun events around the city to keep you smiling no matter the weather.

  • Saturday/Sunday 9/7-9/8 Mini Maker Faire An awesome yearly event of tinkerers, creatives, crafters, and enthusiasts of all varieties, there is something for everyone to enjoy at this celebration of curiosity. OMSI 9:30am-5:30pm $16/day adult, $10/day youth https://portland.makerfaire.com/
  • Saturday/Sunday 9/7-9/8 Portland Dragon Boat Festival Hang out at the waterfront and watch as teams race stunning dragon boats along the Willamette. Beer garden and food vendors will keep your various appetites satisfied. Tom McCall Waterfront Park 8am-5pm Free
  • Wednesday-Sunday 9/11-9/15 FEAST Portland’s largest food event of the year is here, and includes classes, dinner series’ by celebrity chefs, ‘Drink Tank’ panels and much, much more. It’s also a fundraiser to combat hunger in Oregon and abroad. Locations, times, and ticket prices vary. https://www.feastportland.com/category/all-events
  • Friday-Sunday 9/13-9/15 Rose City Comic Con All things sci-fi, fantasy, gaming, cosplay, and delightfully nerdy pop culture, this event is fun for all ages and some of the best people-watching in town. Oregon Convention Center Fri 1pm-8pm, Sat 10am-7pm, Sun 10am-5pm, ticket packages vary. https://rosecitycomiccon.com/
  • Sunday 9/22 Sunday Parkways The final event of the Sunday Parkways series will explore a 7.6 mile loop in Northeast Portland. Bust out your bikes or ‘blades and enjoy live music and vendors as you wheel around the streets sans traffic. Jump in anywhere along the route, 11am-4pm Free. https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/67623
  • Friday/ Saturday 9/27-9/28 Oregon Burlesque Festival A festival of titillating teases, the Friday showcase features circus acts, neo, and comedy, while the closing Saturday evening show is the competition portion. Alberta Rose Theater, doors at 8pm, show at 9pm. $25/night or $40/two-day pass. http://www.oregonburlesquefestival.com/home/
  • Saturday 9/28 Oktoberfest at the Zoo A family-friendly celebration of all things German, there will be an Alpine band, games for kids, and vendors of German food and beers. You might even catch a glimpse of the Unipiper as he peddles past the penguins. Oregon Zoo, 4pm-7pm, adults $20/ youth $12.95. https://shop.oregonzoo.org/#/SpecialEvents/SpecialEvents

What events are you excited about in September? Post them in comments below!

Favorite camping spots

With Labor Day this weekend and summer wrapping up, we thought it was the perfect time to introduce you to some of our favorite camping spots! While there are places very near Portland that you can camp, some of the most beautiful ones are just a short drive away. It’s always nice to get out of the city!

Lost Lake

A beautiful lake in the Mt. Hood National Forest, here you have access to hiking, biking, fishing, and canoe or kayak rentals.

Silver Falls State Park

This is the largest state park in Oregon and is home to the famous trail of 10 falls. There is hiking, biking, and horseback riding allowed on the 35 miles of trails that run throughout the park.

Crater Lake

No list would be complete without the iconic Crater Lake. There are 2 campgrounds and both are only open during the summer. There are various hiking trails around the Caldera and beautiful vistas everywhere.

Sparks Lake

This shallow lake in the Deschutes National Forest is a great place for hiking, stargazing, and trout fishing. You can see Broken Top and the Sisters from the lake and campground.

Bonus!

Free camping sites in Oregon

Crane Prairie Campground

This lake is great for birdwatching, hiking, fishing, swimming and boating. Because it connects to the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway you can boat between multiple lakes in the area.

Green Mountain campsite

This is great for the camper wanting to get away from it all, accessible only by rough access roads, the hike is worth the views. You can hike among the lava tubes and enjoy the volcanic scenery of the area.

Upper Lake Creek Campground

This campground is great for water activities like swimming, kayaking, canoeing, and warm water fishing. If you want to hike, there are many forest roads that are accessible by foot or horseback.

Cape Arago State Park

This offers some of the best camping on the beach. There are many trails that you can hike to take you to sandy beaches for whale watching or tide pool exploring.

We hope that you enjoy camping! Let us know about your experiences or if we missed your favorite spot.

July Market Stats

The statistics for the last month are finally out and we can break down the numbers. As anticipated the market is leveling out throughout the Portland metro. We are still seeing multiple offers in certain markets, but for the most part things are selling for about asking price after sitting on the market for a week or more. If you want the full break down, read below!

We saw slightly less homes come onto the market in July, but this is not surprising as most people believe June is the best month to sell their home. The number of homes to go pending, and the number of homes sold is about the same as last month. This caused our months of inventory to dip slightly because there are still so many buyers in the market.

The average and median sales prices both dropped slightly in July over June, this is likely because Portland as a whole saw things selling closer to list price than it did in the heat of the spring. As we continue to come into a normalizing market we should expect these numbers to continue to drop slightly. This doesn’t mean that homes are losing value, it simply means things are selling closer to what they are truly worth vs. the bidding wars we have seen.

Southeast continues to dominate as the area with the most closings, in part because of its popular neighborhoods and it’s size compared to the other Portland quadrants.

Interest rates are what are primarily driving buyers at the moment, so even though the market may continue to soften, now is actually the best time to buy. Having an interest rate under 4% as opposed to last years interest rate of 4.65% can save you over $200 a month in your payment.

If you are thinking of buying, we would love to talk you though how these numbers specifically can affect you. If you think you might want to sell, we would love to come chat with you! If you want an instant home evaluation you can click here!

Talk to you again soon.