One of my favorite things about Portland is that after 12 years, there are still neighborhoods where I can get completely lost. And anyone who knows me well knows that since I have a very poor sense of direction, I get lost often. But it hardly ever bothers me, because getting lost affords me opportunities to discover things.
On my way to the media event at Produce Row Cafe last night, on the eve of their official re-opening after renovations, I was delayed by a stalled train. I parked and walked in the wrong direction for several blocks in the Industrial Area of SE Portland, making my way through warehouse parking lots, before I realized that I needed to turn around. I love this area of Portland because it’s unexpected. It looks a bit dodgy at first glance, but as you make your way through, a nice restaurant will pop up when you are least expecting it.
I happened to walk past the much acclaimed Olympic Provisions, which I have heard loads about, but never tried. And then, just a couple of blocks away, was Produce Row. It is beautiful inside – mirrors, dark wood, cushy booths, and a delicious open, bright, comfortable patio. I took a place at the bar inside, my favorite place to sit when dining solo.
I started out with a Cucumber Margarita, which was refreshing, even after walking in the chilly (but dry!) weather. As I sat there, I met two friends from Twitter, which I always love. I nibbled on a pork slider, then a reuben slider. Both very good. The pork slider had some nice spice to it, with peppers and green onions and the reuben slider was hot, cheesy, and packed with some really good flavor in just a little bite.
It was the perfect precursor to a Friday night movie with friends. I can’t wait to try the rest of the menu.