portland, oregon – day one

Last month Jake, T and I took a little trip up to Portland, OR. Oregon is a place I’ve wanted to visit since I was in high school. I almost applied to a few schools there before deciding it against it but the dream of visiting Oregon has always lingered. I’ve seen a few other posts from my blogger friends talking about the awesome Portland food scene up there so finally we made it a reality! Here’s a recap of our first day, since otherwise I think it would take me forever and two days to write separate posts for everything.

1) Angel Food & Fun

There was a little sprinkle of rain on our first night in Portland and that first night was the only time that I drove during our trip (hooray awesome boyfriend). Our first foodie stop was at a tiny little restaurant in between the airport and the apartment where we stayed (we used Airbnb for the first time and had a very pleasant experience) called Angel Food & Fun.

Angel Food & Fun | Portland, OR - This Tasty Life

The name doesn’t really suggest what kind of food they serve (in my mind at least). Angels Food & Fun serves Yucatecan food – a regional style of Mexican food we had not tried before. This place was a last minute edition to my itinerary since I figured we had time for it on that first night. 

There were about six tables in here. There were windows on the right where you could peek into a pool hall/bar area. Not sure if they were connected or not.

Angel Food & Fun Menu | Portland, OR - This Tasty Life

Angel Food & Fun’s menu – click to make it BIG. There’s a lot of items on here that will sound familiar but what I was interested in were the Salbutes and Panuchos (aka TACOS).

Tacos at Angel Food & Fun | Portland, OR - This Tasty Life

From left to right, clockwise: Empanada ($3), Salbute ($2 / a puffed deep fried tortilla) and Panucho ($2 / a refried tortilla that is stuffed with refried black beans). I haven’t seen nor heard of tacos quite like these before. 

Mexican Food at Angel Food & Fun | Portland, OR - This Tasty Life

On the salbute (bottom right), we got it with carne asada. The fried puffy taco was light and airy and the meat was incredibly flavorful. I loved the addition of onions and cilantro, but I always love that. You can see more of the puffiness in the photo above this one. It wasn’t really crunchy like chips or anything, but it has a sturdy shell that puffs up while it’s frying. 

Panucho Taco at Angel Food and Fun | Portland, OR - This Tasty Life

On the second taco, the panucho, we had it topped with cochinita pibil (which is a citrusy, slow-roasted pork that’s wrapped in banana leaves while cooking). The biggest different between this one and the salbute is that the tortilla is stuffed with with black beans! They seemed like refried black beans to me and added another depth of flavor to an otherwise simple taco. Since I’m not a super big fan of beans this wasn’t my favorite (I prefered the salbute) but it was still enjoyable. The pork had a nice flavor to it and I loved the topping on this (minus those bright pink pickled onions that we removed). The tortilla was quite soft and if you like beans, I bet you’d dig this!

Empanada at Angel Food & Fun | Portland, OR - This Tasty Life

We also got a pork stuffed empanada and I loved their empanada shell. It was crispy on the outside and had a nice bite to it, kind of like a sope. It was quite simple with only meat inside but still tasted quite flavorful with a good balance of seasonings. 

Angel Food & Fun (Yelp)
5135 NE 60th Ave.
Portland, OR 97218
Cash only

2) Lardo Sandwiches

pig-out-closeup-lardo

After we checked into our apartment and scoped out our digs for the week and relaxed a little, we headed back out for our “real” dinner. Our plan for the whole trip was to kind of try as much as possible and just order a little bit here and there to share between the three of us. That way we could try more things! It was kind of like a long food crawl in a way… 

spoon-numbers-lardo-sign-menu

lardo-menu

Our next stop was Lardo. Lardo started out as one of the many food carts parked around Portland before moving up to having their own storefront with three locations in Portland. I love the wooden spoons as the customer numbers. 

lardo-restaurant

jake-t-pig-out-lardo

I love that Pig Out sign.

lardo-overview

Our choices for the evening. 

cheese-curds-lardo

Surely you guessed that cheese curds ($5) were ordered. It wasn’t a very big batch but they’re so rich and so delicious that you kind of don’t want to eat more than this. The squeaky curds were delightful with the perfect amount of crunchy coating on the outside. They were pipping hot and the cheese was nice and gooey. It’s not quite like eating a mozzarella stick, though they look like mini mozzarella sticks. They’re not quite as stringy as mozzarella and you get the feeling of the cheese curds squeaking on your teeth while you eat them (I love that). 

dirty-fries-with-pork-scraps-lardo

We had to ask what the difference was between Lardo Fries and Dirty Fries. The answer? Pork scraps. 

Yup, Dirty Fries ($7) it was. They use any little leftover bits from other cuts of meat and basically toss them into these fries with fried herbs and Parmesan. It also usually comes with marinated peppers but we’re not into that. Jake and T loved the crispy bits of meat but I actually liked the fries with just the fried herbs and Parmesan. The pork scraps does elevate this to another level though if you know, you like meat in ALL YOUR FOOD. I don’t mind it, but I don’t need it. But I indulge the boys.

double-burger-with-porkstrami-lardo

We got two sandwiches to share – one was the Double Burger ($9) which has two patties plus “porkstrami” with melted cheddar cheese. I honestly couldn’t really taste the porkstrami on top of the mess of beefiness but it was kind of like a crispy bit of prosciutto, but thicker.

blurry-double-burger-side-shot

The patties were done medium well but were still quite juicy. It was a decent burger but the three of us all liked the other sandwich more…

pork-belly-gyro-lardo

Hello Pork Belly Gyro. ($10). My oh my how we wish you existed in San Diego.

So imagine a gyro… but with deliciously crispy, meaty, pork belly with bits of that wonderful, crispy fat on the side… oh yes. Oh yes. The pita bread was freshly made and the pork belly was really the shining star. The other flavors in there (feta, lettuce, tomato, tzatziki, cucumber) made it taste just like a gyro… but BETTER. I think after this sandwich the boys trusted in my itinerary for the trip. 

Lardo Sandwiches
4090 N Williams Ave.
Portland, OR

3) Voodoo Doughnut

voodoo-donuts

Our last stop for the evening was a trip to the oh-so-famous Voodoo Doughnuts. Voodoo Doughnuts is open 24 hours so it wasn’t a problem visiting it late at night. There’s a location in Downtown Portland and “Voodoo Too” is on the other side of the river (where we were staying) so we went to that one.

Doesn’t it kind of look like a purple lighted barn?

They have those dividers up on the left for when there are crazy ass lines. Lucky for us, Wednesday evenings in December are not that popular. 

voodoo-donut-stained-glass

Stained glass donut window!@#!

voodoo-doughnut-inner

There were pinball machines and all kinds of knick knacks. I forgot to take a photo of it, but the booth next to us also had a coffin shaped bench/couch. 

voodoo-doughnut-menu

The overwhelming doughnut menu. I’m glad no one was behind us in line. 

voodoo-donuts-spinning-donut-case

They had two rotating cases (like the ones usually used to showcase pies) full of different donuts. We ended up asking a lot of questions like, “What’s that pink one? Or that blue one?” or “Does that one really taste like bubble gum?” Finally we ended up deciding on three donuts.

voodoo-donuts-box

I kind of wanted to take the box home but then I thought, “What on earth would I do with a doughnut box?” and decided I didn’t want to pack it after all. 

doughnut-selection

Jake was talking with the guy helping us, something about blueberry donuts, and the guy threw in the blueberry doughnut for free! I was only half paying attention to their conversation since I was mesmerized but the rotating doughnuts. 

Our doughnuts, from bottom left (clockwise): Voodoo doughnut – $1.95; Memphis Mafia – $4.25; Blueberry; Mexican hot hot hot chocolate – $1.15

raspberry-filled-voodoo-doughnut

The Voodoo doughnut was my favorite of the four. It had a semi-sweet chocolate glaze plus raspberry filling (BLOOD!) in the middle. The pretzel was totally stale but it was just for looks anyway. I found this to be the best of the bunch because it was the least sweet. The semi-sweet glaze helped balance out of the flavor and the raspberry filling had a enough tang to counteract the chocolate glaze. Plus it was just fun to eat! 

memphis-mafia-doughnut

Jake wanted this massive fritter, the Memphis Mafia. The Memphis Mafia doughnut is “fried dough with banana chunks and cinnamon covered in a glaze with chocolate frosting, peanut butter, peanuts and chocolate chips on top”. Yes, the peanut butter was enticing to me as well but I felt that this one was way, way too sweet and just way too much going on. I only had a couple of bites of it and I immediately wanted a glass of milk to wash it down.

mexican-hot-chocolate-and-blueberry-donut

The blueberry was okay, I think there are better blueberry doughnuts here at home. The other one is only listed as “Mexican Hot Chocolate” on the menu. On our receipt it said “Mexican Hot Hot Hot Chocolate”. I didn’t see this until after I took a hefty bite… oy.

The Mexican Hot Chocolate doughnut is actually a chocolate cake doughnut dusted in cinnamon sugar and cayenne pepper. UGH. Cayenne pepper! It was so spicy in my mouth that ;I made T go buy some milk so I could wash the spicy flavor OUT of my mouth. I figured it was just going to be cinnamon and chocolate. Siiiiiiiigh. Suffice it to say, I was not impressed and did not have another bite. Grumble, grumble.

twisting-the-knife-voodoo-doughnut

It was fun finally seeing (and eating) the famous Voodoo Doughnut (I’m twisting the “knife” in) but I felt that the doughnuts overall were way too sweet. It’s a lot of hype and I don’t quite feel the need to revisit Voodoo again but if I did, I’d probably stick with just a single Voodoo Doughnut and be done with it.

Voodoo Doughnut
1501 NE Davis St.
Portland, OR

Not a bad start to our vacation! Much, more more to come.

Author: Mary

Mary is a San Diego native and has been a food blogger for 11+ years. She is an avid reader, a lover of puppies, and loves trying new food. Foods she loves: sweets, peanut butter, pasta, Triscuit crackers with cream cheese, and extra nuts on top of her sundaes. Food she dislikes: pickles, really spicy food, runny eggs, olives, and too much arugula.

6 Replies to “portland, oregon – day one

  1. I used to visit Seattle all the time so I miss the dark raining weather! Those puffy taco shells look so light and crunchy. Me wants. I normally don’t like gyros but that pork belly one has my name written ALLLL over it!! I JUST rewatched Voodoo on FoodTv or something . I think you and Jake should get married there (like that other couple). And have them make you a giant size Voodoo doughnut for your wedding cake. Just sayin’…

    1. Surprisingly it didn’t rain a whole lot while we were there. I think San Diego got more rain than week! Haha, I remember that episode of Voodoo donuts (I think I saw it on the Travel Channel… maybe… I don’t remember). They have a, uh, another doughnut that you can customize and they told us you can write WHATEVER you want on it, no censoring… it’s the kind of doughnut they would not mention on a travel show. I forgot to take a photo of it, sigh. Heehee.

  2. I have a picture of THAT donut on one or both of my previous Voodoo Donuts posts. Haha…

    That Yucatecan place is something we’d try if we’re ever up there again.

    Bravo for your 1st foray into Portland!

    1. Heh heh. I might have posted it if I had actually taken a photo… maybe… heehee. I think you’d dig the Yucatecan place just because it’s a little hole in the wall out of the way place with yummy tacos! Seemed like your kind of place, CC 🙂

  3. I hear that a lot about Voodoo Donuts, how its not necessarily worth the hype. Maybe they’re just trying to do too many flavors instead of focusing on less and doing them really well.

    Lardo Sandwiches though, that place looks like its definitely worth a visit. I love cheese curds too, as a former Canadian resident I get really upset when restaurants here serve ‘poutine’ with shredded cheese. IT MUST HAVE CHEESE CURDS. Haha. But really it must.

    1. Yeah, I think I would have felt jipped if we had waited in a line for Voodoo, but since we didn’t wait it wasn’t that bad of an experience. But … overly sweet donuts! The Voodoo doughnut is fun though at least!

      Cheese curds are so hard to find here! I saw them at Whole Foods once. I bet if they were more widely available (ie: people made more cheese here…) people would put the real stuff on poutine! At home my dad actually makes Poutine râpée, a totally different kind of poutine but delicious in it’s own way 🙂

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