Portland is definitely one of the foodie capitals. Yes, say what you want about the show Portlandia (which I do have to say is an exaggerated truth but maybe more truth than exaggeration). If you’ve ever seen the show there’s an episode where the main characters sit down at a restaurant and ask about the life of the chicken they want to order. Basically, Portland restaurants love to showcase their local and sustainable foods, including the farm animals’ diet. So the menus are always changing, depending on the season and what’s available.

Here are two restaurants that I had the pleasure of not eating in on my plate:

3. Ciao Vito

It was my friend, AnneMarie’s 26th birthday and she wanted her close friends to get together for a lovely meal at her favorite Italian restaurant, Ciao Vito. It is located in adorable Alberta, a neighborhood in Northeast Portland. As soon as we walked in the atmosphere was very romantic. Low lighting and beautiful chandeliers. Quite fancy (and a bit pricey).

Ciao Vito

Ciao Vito (Courtesy of Ciao Vito)

I’ve learned to look at menus online before going to the restaurant to make sure there’s something that I can eat off the menu. For a meat lover the menu would be overwhelming with savory selections. That was not so much the case for me. Unfortunately, there are not very many options for vegetarians, let alone vegans. Luckily, I still eat seafood so I decided that I would order the sole that I saw on the website. Unfortunately, from what I heard (at the dinner table) their menu changes almost daily. Like I said before, Portland is all about local and sustainable. The sole was nowhere to be found. So I ordered the Spaghetti Shrimp Scampi. $22.

A simple yet delicious dish. I cleaned my plate. (I think I might have an underlying recurring theme of not practicing portion control here.) And I can’t forget to mention their wonderful wine list – you can’t not have wine at an Italian restaurant! Final Score: 8/10

4. Savory Crepes

griffey's new haircut

Griffey's New Haircut

After my Sunday morning long run of 7.5 miles – first time I’ve ever ran that much! – I went to take my pup, Griffey to get groomed in Hawthorne, a neighborhood in Southeast Portland. (Portland has many cute and unique neighborhoods. If you are ever visiting please go explore these local joints!) I had an hour to kill while he was getting pampered, so I decided to go on a solo brunch adventure.

Now, Sunday brunch in Portland is busy anywhere you go, so I walked down the long Hawthorne strip and looked into all the brunch places in search for one with a short wait. Eventually I strolled into Chez Machin, a French creperie. I’ve been there before with my roommate, Sheena, after she had purchased a groupon for the place.

Last time I didn’t order a crepe, but the Jardin Scramble made with tomatoes, scallions, basil and feta. $9.25. From what I remember it was quite delicious. It wasn’t your ordinary American café brunch style scramble but tasty none-the-less.

This time around I decided I would go out of my comfort zone and order a savory crepe. I’ve had sweet crepes before but never a savory.

Chez Machin Coffee and Menu

Decaf Coffee and Menu @ Chez Machin

Fortunately, this place offered vegetarian options but nothing vegan. I decided to go with the La Villageoise (which I pointed on the menu to the server because I had no idea how to pronounce it – which my friends can tell you that I am not the best at). $8.95

Can I just say that this crepe set my standards high for any savory crepe I have again. Inside it was filled with mozzarella, feta, spinach, scallions, avocado and pesto crème fraîche and folded with an over easy fried egg on top. It was almost like a unique crepe version of Eggs Benedict.

La Villageoise

La Villageoise (a savory crepe with a fried egg mozzarella, feta, spinach, scallions, avocado and pesto crème fraîche) @ Chez Machin

Again, my plate could have been licked clean (Don’t worry I wouldn’t do that… at least not in public… I kid!). The portions were perfect. I really wanted to try a sweet crepe, but I was at a comfortable full (I listened to my stomach and practiced Mindful Eating!). Just another excuse to come back! Final Score: 9/10

What’s your favorite kind of crepe? Do you prefer crepes savory or sweet?

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