Janice D’Aloia Restaurant Recs

Posted on August 17, 2014

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#ELGL14 Restaurant Recommendations

Today we hear from #ELGL14 planning committee member Janice D’Aloia on restaurant recommendations for #ELGL14!  Janice works fro Mo’mix Solutions, which offers cloud based reporting, visualization, and performance management solutions for government and education.

Whether you’re coming in from out of town, or live locally, attending ELGL’s Annual Conference on October 17 is a great excuse to try out some of the local fare.  I have to admit, I’m kind of a food geek; I might even like talking about food more than I like talking about open government and transparency.  I’m not sure if I’ve eaten as many waffles as Leslie Knope, but I can tell you where to get some of the best.  But there are so many great places to choose from, you might want to get the waffles at home.

Portland is known for a wide variety of venues and cuisines; here are some of the most notable and a few experiences you won’t find anywhere else.

2Moonstruck Chocolate – founded in 1993, Moonstruck makes the best hand made chocolate I’ve ever tasted.  If you are a chocolate lover, stop by the downtown location at 6th and Alder for a taste you’ll never forget.  You might try the new Distiller’s collection featuring favorite libations including Aquavit!  My favorite is the Mayan Truffle flavored with cinnamon and almonds.

1Voodoo Doughnut – You haven’t lived until you’ve tried a Voodoo Doughnut.  Every time I fly somewhere there are people leaving town with boxes of these.  I’m honestly not sure how they make it all the way home in tact.  Doughnut ‘flavors’ range from the Voodoo Doll doughnut to Tang, Butterfinger, Bubblegum, Fruit Loops, and more.  There are even two X-rated doughnuts on the menu – too racy to show here!  They are located at 22 SW 3rd Avenue – open 24 hours.

3My favorite pizza place is also in one of my favorite neighborhoods.  Mississippi Pizza – 3552 N. Mississippi Ave.  They’ve got great pizza with local ingredients including Gluten Free and Vegan versions.  They also have live entertainment most nights.

If you’re a vegan, you can’t miss Blossoming Lotus on Broadway and 15th.  They serve amazing organic cooked, raw, and live vegan fusion food.  It’s so good, even the carnivores I’ve taken there love it!!

No other City does food carts like Portland – there’s even a website dedicated to our abundance of food carts – Food Carts Portland.  You name it, there’s a food cart that has it – Paleo, Vegan, Bacon, BBQ, Nepalese, Salvadorian, Russian, Czech….  There’s even a Gluten Free Waffle cart!!  Food carts are all over the City; you can sign up for a tour through the website.  Check it out – many of them are better than most restaurants and the price is right!

Ok, so I guess I haven’t really covered any normal restaurants; we have plenty of those too.  And really great ones at that; Portland is home to many award winning chefs.  Portland Walking Tours – offers culinary tours, including the Epicurean Excursion that includes a great sampling of selected spots on the Portland culinary scene.

Some of my favorite chefs are:

  • Andy Ricker – Pok Pok, Whiskey Soda Lounge, and Sen Yai.  He specializes in Thai style food.
  • Gabriel Rucker – Le Pigeon.  Some of the best French cuisine you’ll find anywhere.
  • Naomi Pomeroy – Beast and Expatriate.  Beast is prix-fixe meaty cuisine for the carnivore.  She’s one of the most recent James Beard award winners.
  •  Greg Higgins – Higgins Restaurant – love this place.  Great ambiance and wonderful Northwest cuisine.

Also check out Bite of Oregon for a listing of some of the most recent award winning chefs and their restaurants.  You can’t go wrong with any of these.


We hope to see you at #ELGL14 on October 17 in Portland, Oregon!  Don’t forget – registration opens on September 5 and we’re expected to sell out quickly.  Mark your calendar and sign up today!

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