Forktown Food Tour: Alphabet District and the Pearl

Matt’s mom Linda is visiting and she bought us tickets for another fabulous Forktown Food Tour.

Our first stop was the Picnic House.IMG_5106

Here’s the food plan for the day.  Doesn’t it sound fabulous?


At Picnic House we had a great beet salad as well as a very good sample of wine.  I loved the beet/panko crumb topping to the salad.  They take beet juice and mix it with panko, then roast it.  Very good.


I also learned that the Picnic House was the entrance to the original Heathman Hotel.  When the owners found what was behind the drywall, they revamped their restaurant concept and their goal is to bring the picnic indoors.  Thus, they have a lot of moss in their decor.  They also use old lithograph plates, which are fun to look at.IMG_5109

Here you can see the original tile floor and the grand staircase. I’d eaten here before, and enjoyed it, so it was even more fun to get the story behind the restaurant’s origin.IMG_5110

Our next stop was the Dump Truck, so we could sample some dumplings.  We also learned about Portland food cart culture.  The guy in the picture was not part of our tour, but was super excited to show off the Dump Truck’s dumplings to his friends.


Here is Mr. Ma’s Special (pork dumpling) and the Down to Earth (the vegan selection).  They were both quite good, and I’m not a huge fan of dumplings.IMG_5112

Our next stop was Verde Cocina, which has a location near Matt’s work and so he eats there often.  He really enjoys their specials.  We had enchilada with mole sauce, guacamole and vegetables, plus a margarita, all of which were delightful.  And I don’t usually drink margaritas.IMG_5113

Next was Lardo, another of my favorites.  We were treated to a pork meatball banh mi and Lardo fries.  Lardo started as a food cart and became a brick and mortar establishment.  You can also (and I have) eat at Grassa, which is the handcrafted pasta establishment.


Next was Cacao, where we sampled two different single origin chocolates as well as Cacao’s famous drinking chocolate.  Which was amazing.  So amazing that at least one person from almost every group on the tour purchased drinking chocolate to take home.IMG_5115

Our last stop was Petunia’s Pie and Pastries where we sampled a marionberry bar as well as a salted caramel bar.  All items sold at Petunia’s are gluten-free and vegan.IMG_5116

It was a great food tour.  Thanks Linda!

3 thoughts on “Forktown Food Tour: Alphabet District and the Pearl”

  1. Next time we are in PDX for a more extended period of time, we are doing this! We will be through this summer for a Shawn Family reunion, but I think it will be quick.

  2. So there’s a food tour where we’re moving! (I’m sure there are some here in LA too, but I never got around to looking into it.) I’m so excited! I’ve been wanting to do a food tour ever since you started posting about yours. This one looks excellent, by the way. What was your favorite stop?

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