For the third year in a row, I’m using each day in December to celebrate the rest of the best bites (and sips) that I didn’t get to blog about in 2014, posted in chronological order. Browse all of this year’s Best Bites, or look back at year-end Best Bites from 2012 and 2013.
Why it’s another 2014 Best Bite: I thought Chicago had already hit its donut peak, but the idea of stuffing one with biscoff spread (also known as cookie butter or speculoos) proved that Stan’s had reached a new level of genius. Adding in hefty banana slices, two kinds of glaze, and a cup of Intelligentsia coffee on the side made it fried pastry perfection.
This is part of a series of posts about my vacation to Portland, Oregon, in late February 2013.
As is probably evident, my roommate/travel partner and I did a lot of research on the Portland food and drinks scene in preparation for our trip. Among the themes that quickly emerged: coffee and donuts, plus other artisanal sweets and breakfast items. With a little planning, we managed to hit most of the major places on our list. I knew we’d cover the classics – I’d heard about Voodoo Doughnut for years, and Stumptown is a well-known roaster whose brews I love when I can get them here in Chicago. But I didn’t expect another donut shop (Blue Star) to win me over with its brioche-like dough and bold-flavored glazes, or to taste such an outstanding bagel-and-cream-cheese combination at Bowery Bagels that I thought it could only exist in Sriracha-spiked dreams, or to have the best French macarons either of us had ever tasted at Ken’s. And as someone who loves spending time in coffee shops, I was thrilled by Stumptown’s wall of magazines to go with its impeccable cups (I paged through Barista and Imbibe) and the vastly different but equally enjoyable atmospheres at Extracto and Sterling. I could go on, but just see for yourself in the photos below.
This is part of a series of posts about my vacation to Portland, Oregon, in late February 2013. Jump to all posts.
I’m back from Portland, and let’s just say it far surpassed my gastronomic expectations. I was impressed by the quality and originality of everything I ate and drank, and generally had a blast. We got to explore the majority of the city – mostly on foot, to burn off at least a few calories! – and also ventured to nearby scenic areas during the last two days.
And now, a quick numerical breakdown:
Full days spent in Portland:4 Types of cuisine tried:9 Local beers sampled:29 Local wines sampled:7 Donut varieties tasted:4 Food carts visited:4 Coffee beverages consumed:8+ Sit-down meals enjoyed:7 Sales tax paid:$0!! Waterfalls seen:3
Needless to say, I have a lot to talk about here on the blog.