The Endless Road Trip: Now That’s a Biscuit

We’ve mentioned The Reggie on Endless Simmer before, but no discussion of Portland food would be complete without a look at the ultimate breakfast sandwich: a giant buttermilk fried chicken breast layered with bacon, melted cheddar cheese and a runny fried egg, the whole thing placed between two fluffy biscuits and slathered in hearty white gravy. It’s just effing perfection.

More of Pine State Biscuits‘ menu after the jump.

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The Endless Road Trip: Put Some Ink on It

These days, you don’t have to look far to find people serving their French fries with craziness like duck fat or rosemary salt or balsamic ketchup. Yes, the most plebeian of foods has gone gourmet. And not surprisingly, Portland wins this contest.

Foster Burger in SE Portland serves their perfectly-sized, crispy “black and white fries” with: died garlic, truffle oil, parmesan, and, for dipping..black squid ink aioli. Yes, these spuds are dipped in seafood spray. Brilliant. Ridiculous. Also, tasty.

Also on The Endless Road Trip: Portland
1. Porklandia
2. All That’s Euro is Not Trash
3. Salt and Straw
4. Blue for Breakfast

The Endless Road Trip: Blue for Breakfast

Portland is no stranger to meaty, overstuffed sandwiches (see Big Ass), but what do these crazy folks eat for breakfast?

Thankfully, the same thing. From the Brunch Box Food Cart, the Black and Bleu breakfast sandwich: two thick slices of Texas Toast stuffed with sausage, bacon, grilled onions and Cajun spices. Oh, and obviously they had to do something outrageously foodie here, so there’s a thick layer of bleu cheese spread across the bottom slice of toast. Love it. Who says you can’t get funky at breakfast?

Also on The Endless Road Trip: Portland
1. Porklandia
2. All That’s Euro is Not Trash
3. Salt and Straw

The Endless Road Trip: Salt and Straw

We’re no strangers to crazy ice cream flavors here at ES, and let’s be real—in this brave new dessert world where salted caramel sundaes and olive oil ice cream have become the norm, a chef putting something insane inside your cone is not really newsworthy. HOWEVER, when I heard there is an ice cream shop in meat-mad Portland serving bone marrow ice cream, clearly I was there in a New York minute.

The bad news: Salt and Straw did not have the bone marrow flavor in stock on the day I visited, but really for the very best reason possible: they were waiting for cherry season to start, so that they could make a bone marrow-black cherry ice cream. Obvi.

The good news: I had enough friends with me to order up a smorgasbord of outrageous flavors: honey balsamic strawberry with cracked pepper, sea salt with caramel ribbons, coffee-bourbon, blue cheese and pear (!), honey-lavender, blood orange, and blueberry with key lime marmalade. All head-over-heels amazing. the sweet-and-savory balsamic-strawberry-pepper took top honors for me.

The better news:

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The Endless Road Trip: Not All That’s Euro is Trash

Portland is known for its incredibly diverse food cart scene, with over 700 of them clustered around town in various Food Pods. As I browsed one of the larger pods downtown, Brett Burmeister of Food Carts Portland (the definitive expert on Portland street food) strongly recommended one called Eurotrash. While it wouldn’t have been my first choice based on the name, I had to give the inventive menu—Portugese-influenced with pan-Euro touches, a hint of Indian spice, and a generous helping of good old fashioned American gluttony—a chance.

And glad I did. Above: “chorizo and chips,” a serving of thinly-sliced, golden-brown fried potatoes mixed with slivers of grilled chroizo, cilantro and a creamy curry aioli. Yep—potatoes, curry and pig—all that’s good about food in one bite. Alternatively, they’ll top your chips with a heaping serving of foie.

More after the jump.

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The Endless Road Trip: Porklandia

Portland, Oregon may seem like the type of hippie-dippie place that knows its silken tofus from its seitan (and it is). But as I recently discovered, these hipsters also know their swine, from head to tail. Oregon is a serious pork-producing state, and Portland chefs get crazy/creative with pig parts of every variety. I ate my way through Porklandia so that you don’t have to.

At Tasty n Sons, nearly every dish, from salads to kimchi to chicken, comes with an egg on top (as god intended). It climaxes with this perfectly golden-brown, intensely crispy fried pork cutlet, served over spinach, with a soft fried egg for a crown.

The Woodsman Tavern is the first place I have ever been served a ham plate and then told the proper order in which to eat the hams, as if this was a fancy wine tasting—from most delicate to heartiest. Each one was prosciutto-thin, but with the full salty taste of a good ol’ Virginia-style baked ham.

Don’t forget the ears! At Whiskey Soda Lounge, a casual spot from acclaimed Pok Pok chef Andy Ricker, they’re stewed in 5-spice and deep-fried until crisp, served with a black vinegar dipping sauce. They’re crusty on the edges and chewy in the middle, with the texture of…well, ear.

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