My Husband’s Next 5

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In the 8 months that we’ve lived in Portland, my husband has spent more time at his job in Alaska than he has in our official new home. What started as a Project Coordinator position of 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off evolved into 5 weeks on and 1 week off. But finally, he will be home an entire month starting next week! I’m beyond thrilled about that, and since he said he doesn’t even know Portland, I decided to line up the 5 restaurants that I have to take him to!

Smokehouse Tavern


I love Smokehouse Tavern because I love the flavor of smoke in food. When you add smoke to food, it is awesome.

We also love oyster shooters. Love that Portland offers these in so many places!


I love that my husband will try just about anything! Since my friend Donnie once told me that he and his chef friends like to order chicken nuggets and act like they’re eating sweetbreads, I had to order them today at Smokehouse Tavern. I think my husband Jereme would like these! And Donnie would be jealous I’m eating the actual sweetbreads!

I never had a go – to barbecue place in Arkansas, besides McClards in Hot Springs, known as one of former President Bill Clinton’s favorite places to eat. Here in Portland, I would say this would be my go – to barbecue place! The ribs and brisket were the best I’ve ever had in a restaurant.

Luc Lac

Luc Lac crispy

I grew up eating Vietnamese fried spring rolls made of rice paper, so it’s how I make them at home. It may be a regional thing, but it has become my preference. It’s why I love Luc Lac! Also, they have the bet Pho I’ve tasted in P-Town! Again, I’m sure it’s a regional thing, as far as my taste preferences go! The fried spring rolls made with rice papers are also similar to how Charles Phan makes his spring rolls. I have his cookbook Vietnamese Home Cooking.



Grassa is a super cool place with big windows on a busy downtown street, fun music, and house made pasta. The portions are plentiful and the menu has a great variety of offerings. My husband loves pasta, and this is some of the best I’ve found in town!



I’ve been dying to get back to Departure since my first week in town. I was unpacking our household of 4, scrolling through Twitter, and I saw that Gregory Gourdet was hosting a special brunch with Nom Nom Paelo Michelle Tam. I called in immediately and booked a reservation.

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The food was amazing, and I loved the atmosphere. I always say some of the BEST restaurants reside in nice hotels. The Nines hotel is a beautiful place set along beautiful Pioneer Square. My husband and I had the chance to eat at Urban Farmer together for lunch in the hotel last month.. We love that place too!

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I had to ask Chef Gregory Gourdet for a selfie. I recognized him from Cutthroat Kitchen, and I knew he was a Top Chef contender for the upcoming season. “Who doesn’t love a selfie?” He was super nice!

St. Jack


St. Jack was one of the first restaurants to catch my eye in Portland. I love French food, and I immediately loved the menu when I looked it over. Some of my favorite things to eat are foie gras, escargot, bone marrow, octopus, mussels, duck, and lamb. I once had the opportunity to create my own 7 course tasting menu at Le Cirque in New York. It was similar…one of the most memorable meals of my entire life.

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I had the chance to say hi to chef/owner Aaron when I visited. He was super nice and quite personable. I love talking to restaurant owners about how they got their start in the business, and I also got the chance to ask about Aaron’s experience on Chopped. We also talked about good places to eat pho, and it sounded like we had similar tastes. It’s always a nice touch when you get a chance to meet the person behind the places you admire.

So those are the next 5 places I plan to take my husband to this month! We have had a few opportunities to eat at other nice places around Portland, so maybe I can share those with you later!

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