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The newly opened Pine St Market, Portland’s first food hall with eight gourmet casual dinning restaurants is a testament to this city’s culinary delights. Located in the downtown district in a refurbished historic Baggage & Carriage building a few blocks from the Willamette River waterfront. It resonates with the energy and pandemonium much like visiting the la Grande Epicerie upstairs at the Le Bon Marche in Paris, offering shoppers artesian cheeses, fresh pastries to fine meals with wine and beer.
Housed in a three-story white and grey building, the Pine St Market is surrounded by older low-rise brick façade office buildings that welcome foodies with large archway entrances. Inside you will find high ceilings with large wooden beams and exposed brick walls with the restaurants surrounding a common seating area with long bench tables and round bar tabletops.
The majority of the restaurants are already established players within Portland and the Pine St Market allows them to broaden their audience with a casual dinning experience.
One of the most popular establishments is Olympia Provisions, which operates OP Wurst, which is anything but your ordinary hot dog stand. Their menu of gourmet hotdogs have a crazy food twist such as pastrami-piled Reuben Dog, Mac & Cheese Dog with cauliflower cheese sauce and elbow macaroni to a Hound Dog, with bacon, peanut butter sauce, apple butter and banana – no doubt a tribute to Elvis. They offer wine, beer and even a glass of champagne to enjoy with your hot dog.
It would be hard not to satisfy most tastes here at Pine St Market as you have a varied choices from Marukin Ramen from Tokyo, Pollo Bravo offering Spanish style rotisserie chicken, Shalom Y’all featuring Israeli street food such as falafel and Triecta Annex creative breads and pizzas. Plus, Brass Bar coffee as it wouldn’t be Portland without their roasted coffee and teas.
To cap off your meal, stroll over to Salt & Straw Wiz Bang Bar in the corner where they have reinvented American ice cream swirls, sundaes and novelties. All of their ice cream and pasties are made fresh on site daily as their cream is spun in a way that adds very little air, resulting in extra dense flavor. The sundaes are superb with rich fruity flavors such as Oregon Marionberry Jam Sundae. For soft serve, try a smoked Oregon ham ice cream cone with a seasonal fresh fruit hard shell.
While the Pine St Market allows eight of Portland’s top restaurants to expand into a casual dining realm while showcasing their exemplary culinary talents. For us foodies, it certainly is Portland’s food playground.
If you go:
Pine St Market
126 SW 2nd Ave., Portland OR
Tourist info: Travel Portland