New + Noteworthy {Muscadine, Maurice, Instacart}

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

As a transplant to the City of Roses, people often ask me why I have picked Portland as my home. While I can - and do - list off numerous reasons, I always compare it to Montana. The beautiful scenery, relaxed mentality and friendly people. For this installment of New + Noteworthy all of the featured brands and businesses employee the sweetest people with excellent customer service!

1465 NE Prescott
Wednesday-Monday 8am-2pm

A few weeks ago Mary Ellen and I ventured to NE Portland to try out relatively new Southern-brunch spot Muscadine. Located on NE Prescott, the building is tucked into a complex along with Pok Pok Noi and Grain + Gristle. We were instantly greeted by a super friendly staff and seated right away. I won't lie, the non-existent waiting line had me worried that I had made a bad recommendation. With superb service and delicious food, my concerns quickly dissipated. I actually asked our waiter which Southern city he hails from. He is from Michigan - but with caboodles of charm!!!

ME and I are very strategic orderers and always want to maximize menu opportunities. Very rarely do we order items and not share. We decided to order the Meat + Three and Oxtail Ragu over grits with poached eggs. While we both enjoyed the ragu, we really loved the salmon croquettes with collard greens, red eye peas and fried okra. Actually, we loved the fried okra so much we ordered more. #noshame

What to Get The fried okra is amazing!  Crispy and perfectly seasoned - we were compelled to order seconds. I also recommend sprinkling the house-made pepper infused vinegar on the okra.

Things To Know Be prepared to spend between $15-20 per person before drinks. If you want to keep costs down I would recommend ordering the Meat + Three to share, and add on additional side or small dish.

921 SW Oak
Monday-Saturday 10am-7pm

I actually reviewed this critic's darling almost one-year ago to the day. While this pastry-luncheonette is on everyone's radar, it hasn't become inflated or altered due to the popularity. This luncheonette does not wear pink on Wednesdays.

I was in the shop for a previously scheduled meeting the day after it was announced owner and pastry magician Kristen Murray is a semi-finalist for a James Beard Award. Honestly, I wasn't even sure if she would be in. Had I just been added to the short list for the most prestigious award in my industry I would be obnoxiously celebrating. She was there. Working hard and finishing up the brioche. She was focused and precise. When I congratulated her, she sweetly smiled and graciously accepted the praise. She was not boastful. Her focus was on the food and experience - and trust me, it is evident in every bite!

What to Get The signature black pepper cheesecake. This slightly savory confection
Things To Know Maurice is not opened on Sunday. With delicious pastries and luxurious treats this place is made for leisurely weekend brunches with a close girlfriend, or a romantic breakfast with your new love. Except, only on Saturdays.

Costco, Whole Foods, Uwajimaya, Natural Grocers, Green Zebra

When life gets busy,  finding the opportunity to contract out tasks becomes extremely appealing. It can also get a bit expensive and laborious. For me, Instacart has been an excellent resource for grocery shopping. Specifically, I take advantage of the Costco runs. It does not require a membership to the super store. It also prevents me from driving almost 45-minutes to the giant store and dealing with the crowds.

I'm also a huge fan of the customer service component. I always opt to have the shopper text me if needed. If the right avocados aren't in stock, they will kindly reach out to find out what is needed. And when they deliver giant packages of paper towel and olive oil, they are always very kind as I fumble with the dog and make dorky jokes. I recently had a few mistakes with my order and they resolved the issue - and then some - in less than 12-hours. I emailed them at 4pm and by 11pm an email was in my box and credits were in my account.

What to Get  Costco items! Large, bulky and heavy items delivered to your front door is extremely convenient. Especially if you don't have a parking spot or are battling the rain.
Things To Know Orders under $35 have a $7.99 delivery fee. Orders over $35 cost $3.99


  1. love all of this! i work near maurice (sorta) and still haven't visited! i need to, asasp.

  2. Oh how I love that Black Pepper Cheesecake! And I really need to check out Muscadine now! Super important question - how was the biscuit?

  3. I believe that I owe it to my southern upbringing to go and sample that fantastic looking okra...and quite frankly EVERYTHING else!

    Also, one more thing: #teamInstacart - all day long!!