#ThursdayToursPDX {Picnic Outings}

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Do you have favorite social media accounts for food recommendations? Ones you know are authentic, give honest feedback and the person has supreme taste? Steve aka Cart Whisperer is in my Top 10 of PDX influencers. His account and recommendations are the perfect combination of realistic living, with out of the ordinary preferences. From lunch bites Downtown to exotic Chef's Counter meals whilst vacationing, his recommendations are real. More real than J. Lo. He is also a super sweet and interesting person. Plus, a super-dedicated dad. His daughter, Elle, is also quite the foodie. I've met Elle at several events and she is a well-spoken, sweet and thoughtful person. They clearly have a very close relationship, and I even, gasp, like each other! Not your average pre-teen! 

It is such a treat having this dynamic team sharing their picks for a Portland Picnic. And over on Bakery Bingo Supermom Jannie is sharing her favorites for a day on the grass.

Grab your basket, read-up and go get your picnic on!

My love of picnicking started years ago when my daughter discovered the cheese counter at Pastaworks on Hawthorne (now Providore Fine Foods on NE Sandy). Shortly thereafter,Cheese Bar moved right up the street from us on SE Belmont and we were definitely in trouble. Whenever we decide to picnic, these two markets are top of mind.

Olympia Provisions and Chop are our go to meat choices. Their salamis are the perfect size for a small group. Our favorites include Curry and Finocchiona (fennel) because of the subtle flavors they add to a traditional salami. Another favorite is the Farmhouse Country Pâté from Chop. My daughter is a fan because of its mild flavor and pistachio nuts.

Both stores offer a wide selection of cheeses from around the world. I'm always up for a Mahon or caved aged Gruyere. I like the nuttiness from the Mahon and the gritty texture from the Gruyere. My daughter's palette leans toward something from Portland Creamery or a buttery Brie-something creamy and rich. If you';re not sure what sounds good-ask. You will get great recommendations and maybe discover a style you've never considered.

Pok Pok sodas are a household favorite if you're looking for something non-alcoholic. Both stores have a nice selection of beers and wines. One of my more unusual beer choices is the Indra Kunindra from Ballast Point. It's got a lot going on-coconut, cumin, kaffir lime leaf, cayenne and more (pairs nicely with the curry salami). If wine is more your thing, check out Union Wine Pinot Noir in a super convenient aluminum can.

Now that Providore has moved to a larger spot, they have added vendors inside the store including Little T Bakery. I recommend one of their baguettes or a slab of their amazing Focaccia. Rubinette Produce Market, also inside Providore, offers some of the most appealing and full-flavored fruits I have found. There's almost always a fruit or two on the sample plate. On my last visit, I found gorgeous blood oranges and sweet, perfectly ripened berries.

You need to finish off with something a little decadent and sweet, right?! Anything from Alma and Quin is going to be a nice end to a delicious picnic. New to us is The Chocolate Maker's Workshop. I got to sample a bunch of their products at Providore's grand opening. Pick up their blood orange chocolate bar- it's as tasty as it is beautiful. Picnics are a great way to sample some of Portland's best artisanal food offerings and enjoy a beautiful park, hike or your backyard. And if the weather isn't fully cooperating, both stores are great spaces to use for an indoor picnic.

#ThursdayToursPDX is a collaborative series between Portland, OR bloggers {Erin} Bakery Bingo + {Meredith} Martha Chartreuse. In a city filled with amazing restaurants, artisan experiences, and fantastic tastemakers the inside scoop is a must. We will be asking our friends and fellow bloggers for their recommendations and tips for all the City of Roses has to offer.

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