Oregon is home to a lot of restaurants, bars, wineries, and breweries, but there are tons of hidden gems that some Portlanders aren't unearthing. To help guide us to these potential discoveries, we've enlisted some of our city's many food players to share their recommendations for a weekly feature dubbed Dining Confidential.
Image of Pure Spice courtesy Yelp
Hillary Kirkton came to Portland from Austin with 10 years in the food business under her belt — having worked everything from the hot lines in small restaurants to creating wedding cakes and plated desserts at the Four Seasons. Admitting to an infatuation with pastry, Kirkton found a home leading the fine scratch baking team at Random Order, rolling pastry and hand-making pies of all variety — fruity, savory, creamy, boozy, and nutty, eliciting smiles from tasters and makers alike. But when they're not cooking at home together, Hillary and her husband Clint love trying the endless array of dim sum, clay pots, and noodle dishes at Pure Spice on SE Division.
"We first found Pure Spice when it was called Five Spice and was very new, about eight months ago. We tried all kinds of dim sum in the area, but noticed that this place had a full parking lot and people waiting outside every time we passed by. We went for 'Christmas Turkey' — a whole Peking duck served with steamed buns, on Christmas Day — and the place was packed. It's close to other popular dim sum houses, but miles apart in flavor and variety. The clay pot dishes are so good, especially the roast pork and oyster — we find ourselves ordering enough for five people, and then taking home plenty of leftovers."
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