I dare to say that Portland may be the culinary destination of the Pacific Northwest (in the United States, not considering Canada’s Vancouver, B.C.). In the last few years, this sleepy lumber town of a city has exploded with a food scene that’s keeping up with the likes of Los Angeles and the Bay Area.
I’ve visited Portland often because my sister lives here, and I’m back this Memorial Day holiday weekend for another taste of what Portland has to offer.
When I first arrived, one of the first thing I checked out was the new Pine Street Market, which opened earlier this month in the historic Baggage and Carriage Building in downtown near the waterfront.
The 10,000-square-foot space (which looks smaller when you’re strolling through all the crowds) only features eateries, among them some of the city’s most famous purveyors or restauranteurs such as Olympia Provisions, Salt and Straw, Ken’s Artisan Bakery (through its Trifecta Annex) and Pollo Bravo.
Then there are newcomers like Common Law, serving up Asian-inspired bites from new popular chef Earl Ninsom of Langbaan, and the one non-Oregon stand, Tokyo’s second location of Marukin Ramen.
The space is intimate and a bit cave-like, helped only by the strings of exposed bulbs in the seating area. I have to confess, I’ve been eating non-stop since I landed so when I visited Pine Street Market, I was “in between” meals and was too full to really test any of the food. But it’s not like they lost out on my money because even on a weekday, the downtown crowds (and tourists) packed the place (it’s reportedly even more frenzy on the weekends).
Pine Street Market can’t compare to San Francisco’s Ferry Building, but it’s a nice addition to the food scene in this city and a great recognition of the local stars that have been players for a very long time.
The deets: Pine Street Market, 126 SW 2nd St. (at Pine), Portland. www.pinestreetpdx.com
Take a mini-tour of the new Pine Street Market by clicking through my Flickr album in the below slideshow.
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