It’s the new, enclosed Pine Street Market, a downtown Portland place where some of the city’s most notable chefs have come together to give life to new ideas. That’s what the buzz is all about. Pine Street Market is an exciting new food hall in downtown Portland on SW 2nd Avenue and it just opened.
The beautiful Pine Street Market building, constructed in 1886, was known as The Carriage and Baggage Building and was used as a livery and horse-drawn carriage storage facility until the early 1900s. Inside you’ll catch a glimpse of this history as you look around. The building is supported by original Douglas Fir beams.
As you stroll around the open floor plan deciding what to have for breakfast or lunch or to take home for dinner, you’ll be tempted by the smells and the sights. The communal seating is surrounded by nine restaurants featuring the creative genius of top local chefs and restaurant operators. While the names may be familiar, each chef offers a new take on their cuisine.
The Spanish Quarter
We headed for El Pollo Bravo, the newest offering from the Gorham family of restaurants, which includes El Toro Bravo, Tasty n Sons, Tasty n Alder and Mediterranean Exploration Company. The smell of the roasting chicken and the food and beverage offerings make that little corner of the Market feel like Spain. They have a full bar and you can select from authentic Spanish vermouths, sherry, wines as well as sample innovative cocktails. Pollo Bravo is both a tapas bar serving signature tapas dishes from Toro Bravo and a fast casual concept offering Spanish-style rotisserie chicken to go. The setting begs you to stay awhile.
In the opposite corner we found The Common Law. The concept comes from the partnership between long time Paley’s Place executive chef Patrick McKee and Langbaan chef Earl Ninsom’s common law marriage of Patrick’s French background Earl’s Asian influence—from beef tongue bahn mis to spiced bone marrow and mussels toast. The chef’s were putting the finishing touches on their little corner of the market when we visited. They also offered a bar. With these culinary notables working together, nothing but delicious goodness should ensue.
Dogs and Pizza
We walked past the amazing list of specialty hot dogs offered by Olympia Provisions. And then… stopped at The Trifecta Annex. James Beard Award winning author and baker Ken Forkish’s space sells croissants and breads from its sister bakery at Trifecta Tavern, daily toasts with seasonal toppings on Forkish’s leaven breads and pizza that marries New York and Italian style, served whole or by the slice.
Soft Serve Like Never Before
So by then wasn’t it time for a sweet? Salt & Straw, the iconic Portland-based, family-run ice cream makers opened a brand new concept in Pine Street Market. The new shop is called Wiz Bang Bar and features Salt & Straw’s special versions of plated sundae desserts, soft serve, and a variety of novelties. Every item is made from scratch in the open kitchen, from the signature soft serve to baked goods for sundaes to candies for mix-ins. We tasted the soft serve and I’ll tell you, it’s not like any soft serve you’ve had before. It was rich, thick and creamy and full of the flavor Salt & Straw is known for.
Pine Street Market is within walking distance from the Willamette River’s Ankeny Plaza, home to Saturday Market. You can hop off the Max at Skidmore Fountain and walk to SW 2nd easily. We did find parking on the street on a weekday morning and noted there were parking lots in the surrounding area.
More Information on the Market
Pine Street Market Website
Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory
The Tualatin Valley – Oregon’s Washington County
This experience was part of a tour hosted by Travel Portland, Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory and the Washington County Visitors Association – Tualatin Valley. While this has not influenced this content, the writer believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.