I had planned on that at least a month before I had arrived. Back in Little Rock, Arkansas, I was making preparations to uproot my family and gypsy on up to the great Pacific Northwest. It was very important to be in the know about where to eat in Portland, Oregon.
In Little Rock, I was a part of an extremely active food community that included food writers of personal blogs as well as well – established publications. My friends wrote and photographed for The Arkansas Times, Arkansas Life magazine, and the very well read online publication Rock City Eats. These were the foodies I loved talking to about food. Our favorite restaurants and chefs were pretty intermingled with them as well. So I looked for Portland’s versions of them, finding Willamette Week, Portland Monthly, and Oregon Live.
I researched all their “Best of” lists over the years, checked out their social media sites, then compiled my own “Portland Food & Bevs” list on Twitter. I scroll through regularly when I’m trying to decide where to eat next. Some days it is exhausting…..trying to decide where to eat!
But there was no doubt about my first stop in Portland. It had to be Pok Pok!
The night before I had spent with some of my closest friends in Little Rock: Angelica, Monika, and Lee. Just a last minute get together of friends on a text message. I had just said bye to Jereme and the girls the day before as they trekked across the country in his truck with my car on a trailer behind it. Luckily I would get to take a flight with Champ, our Shih Tzu. Yea, that was a bit of added stress during the move, how to travel with your dog across the country in a plane!
I did have such a great time saying good bye, I hardly remembered saying good night. At 5 a.m. the next morning, my best friend Angelica was waking me up, telling me it was time. “Just brush your teeth!” She had Champ in his TSA approved airline bag with a soft towel inside for his comfort and his collapsible water bowl in the pocket. I threw on the clothes from the night before: some jeans, a beige top with a red wine stain, and a black Banana Republic jacket that concealed the stain. I got into her SUV and she held my hand tightly as she drove me to the Bill and Hilary Clinton National Airport.
I knew I had three great friends in Seattle that I really liked, but really knew nobody in Portland. I moved up with the excitement of exploring the PNW with my husband and two daughters. We’re quite the adventurous family!
So I was seated in the bar area at Pok Pok, my only choice for my first dining experience in PDX. I met another solo lunch diner who happened to be from Seattle. I mentioned that we almost moved to Seattle, but in the end decided on Portland. She said that the biggest difference between Portland and Seattle is that the people in Portland are REALLY nice and friendly. Yes, I’ve noticed……