Oregon is home to a lot of restaurants, bars, wineries, and breweries, but there are tons of hidden gems that the majority of 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 recurring feature we call Dining Confidential.
Before he was traded to Portland from Kansas City in March of 2011, Timbers Midfielder Jack Jewsbury went out to eat like like everybody else.
But outside of Kansas City barbecue ("If it's not Kansas City barbecue, I won't even touch it," he says), the native Missourian would frequent the big box chains that pretty much dominate much of the Midwest.
So ending up in Portland was a pleasant surprise for him, thanks not only to the many talented chefs and line cooks that make this city's dining scene tick, but for a public that craves and actually demands indie businesses to support. "It's refreshing to see," he says.
We recently met up with Jewsbury post-practice at Providence Park, and he immediately rattled off a list of places that he's just tried or likes to frequent, including the family-friendly Hopworks Urban Brewery, Lake Oswego's La Provence, and Tasty n Alder, where he and his wife are fond of John Gorham's French toast and potatoes bravas.
The more we chatted, it became apparent that Jewsbury really like breakfast and brunch.
He does, but it's more of a logistics thing than a craving for pancakes and Benedicts.
"Well, as the parents of two little ones, my wife and I don't get to go out as much as we'd like."
In fact, he says, with two daughters, six and three, he and his wife have come to the conclusion that the only time they have to chill out and reconnect is the three-hour span between 9 a.m. and noon, when they girls are in school or day care.
But there is one joint that he took a shine to early on when he first moved here and was living in Multnomah Village: Marcos's Café & Espresso Bar, the breakfast, lunch and dinner spot that serves breakfast all day long.
"We like to keep it simple there," he says, adding that "they have this great caramel latte that could bring me in on its own."
He says he and and his wife invariable order and split an order of pancakes, but when it came time to order an entrée of his own, he tended to gravitate toward what he calls the kitchen's excellent fried egg and avocado sandwich (topped with tomato, jack and aioli), and order which gave him the option of swapping out the avocado for sausage, which he always did.
But he says he's always looking for more spots to try, even with a limited window of time to try them.
So if you ever happen to see him shopping or grabbing a cone with his girls, politely offer him a suggestion.