My wife and I had a couple of noteworthy restaurant visits during our quick trip to Portland. The first comes from TILT, a small local chain featuring handcrafted food with an emphasis on burgers and sandwiches. We visited with some friends who highly recommended this for our first meal of the trip.

Inside

Inside TILT the feeling is very industrial, and there are even pieces of old manufacturing equipment that the space is built around. The layout is cafeteria style with long counters where orders are placed, quick assembled, and picked up at the end. Draft beer and classic cocktails are also available for ordering at the same time, or there are a couple of bars where drink orders can be placed.

Shop Towels

This is a no-frills kind of place, with a tagline of handcrafted food and drink built for the American workforce. They also claim to be blue-collar inspired and feature shop towels rather than paper napkins. Meals are served on metal trays and silverware is minimal.

Freebird

My wife went with freebird sandwich featuring a southern fried chicken breast, bacon, Swiss, jalapeno slaw, and bacon honey mustard ($9). She also added an order of their original handcrafted cheddar tots (6 pieces for $4). I stole a few bites of each and her sandwich choice was excellent, as were the tots. I think this would be my go to order if I lived in the area. The sandwich was a bit spicy, but the honey mustard and bacon flavors helped to tame it down a bit.

Non-Union Club

I went with the non-union club featuring a grilled chicken breast, sweet ham, bacon, Swiss, avocado, lettuce, tomato, onions, and mayo ($10). This sandwich was massive! And while I enjoyed it I thought the freebird was a better choice. Perhaps the mayo needed a little something extra in it to really make this one shine. I also ordered some delicious beer battered onion rings on the side (6 pieces for $5). Serving sizes were very generous and this was more than enough food for a hearty lunch or dinner.

Tilt Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Back at the end of last year, Kim and I finally visited our 50th state of Oregon. We met our friends Doni & Phil for a quick tour of Portland. Since their move to California, they have visited Portland before and were excellent tour guides showing us the best that Portland has to offer. Breweries, and lots of them! I’ll have some specific restaurant suggestions and reviews coming in the near future. For now here are some other photos of our adventures.

Now that all states have been visited, I have to come up with some other travel goals.

Late summer or early fall of the last year, Streetside Brewery opened their doors on Eastern Avenue in Columbia-Tusculum. The tap room space is really large compared to other newer breweries around town, and their brewery appears to have plenty of room for expansion.

Bar

You can get a great view of their equipment that sits one level down thanks to a large balcony that overlooks the entire space.

Brewery

Beer is available in a four pour sampler, by the pint, or in growlers to go. My wife had ordered a flight and was happy to share some of her choices with me. I also sampled some of their IPA offerings, my favorite of which was their ruby toned “Sofa King” but that doesn’t appear to be on tap currently.

Sampler

I also enjoyed their New England style IPA, “Suh, Brah?” which will be available in cans for the first time this Saturday. I won’t be able to make this special event, but hope to sample this solid simcoe hop focused beer again in the future.

Pint

A limited food menu is available from Steamed Str{eats}, or you are welcome to bring your own. Steamed Str{eats} is a creation from the same people who brought us Gilpin’s, so if you’ve had that you know what to expect. For those not familiar, their sandwiches are put through a steamer to blend the flavors together.

Steaming Hot Ham + Bacon

A handful of sandwich options are available, served on a sub style roll with a side of chips. We tried the steaming hot ham + bacon which is topped with sharp cheddar and a house made spicy mustard ($8.95) as well as the spicy Grippo’s pulled pork, topped with spicy BBQ sauce, crushed BBQ Grippo’s chips, and lettuce ($8.95).

Grippos Pulled Pork

I’ve long been a fan of Gilpin’s and thought these sandwiches were pretty much on par with what I’ve tasted from their larger menu at their downtown location. I’m a sucker for their sandwiches with chips on top, and I love Grippo’s, so the pulled pork was an easy favorite of mine.

Late last summer Frenchie Fresh opened up at Rookwood Exchange in the place vacated by Lime Fresh Mexican Grill. This self described “fine-casual fast restaurant” was opened by Cincinnati’s well known Jean-Robert de Cavel to feature Franco-American food for everyone.

Outside

While the outside of the restaurant hasn’t changed much since its previous owner, and the layout on the inside is essentially the same, the decor has been updated from a cantina feel to reflect a modern French, and more comfortable feel.

Inside

The menu is painted on the wall to the right as you walk in the front door. Orders are then placed at the counter and delivered to your chosen table. The menu mostly consists of burgers featuring a choice of six proteins, a dozen or more fresh toppings, and both can be served the “Frenchie Way” (served open-faced atop a herbed, grilled baguette) or the “Yankee Way” (on a bun). There are also a handful of other sandwiches available, mac and chez, and kid’s meals.

The Martinique

After saying that I wanted to try the Pennsylvania turkey, I took the advice of the employee working the register and went with the chef’s choice Martinique. This burger comes topped with pineapple salsa and arugula ($8.50) and I added jalapeño cheddar ($1 more). This included a side of Parmesan and truffle fries or a small salad.

Overall the burger was just okay. The turkey appeared to be prepared from dark meat, rather than the usual breast meat that I am used to, and it was really dry. The toppings were plentiful and fresh but couldn’t make up for the base product. The fries on the other hand were really good but not worth a stop alone. I do not plan to make a future visit.

Frenchie Fresh Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Frenchie Fresh

We just hit the one year anniversary of The Lebrewski Cruise and I just realized I never posted anything about it. Once the cruise was announced, I knew it was a must do as it combined a couple of my favorite things good music (namely O.A.R.) and craft beer. I easily convinced Kim that we should leave the kids behind with their grandparents and set sail to The Bahamas. We had a blast seeing O.A.R. perform three shows, finding some new great bands such as Jared & The Mill, tasting a ton of craft beer, and seeing a couple of different ports. We would have considered going again, but unfortunately the cruise appears to be one and done. Anyway, here are some of my photos from that trip last year.

The last meal I’d like to write about from our trip to Washington, D.C. was at the Old Ebbitt Grill. This family friendly restaurant with upscale food is just steps from The White House. I made a reservation for our family of four on OpenTable for 5 P.M. and we were seated immediately upon our arrival.

Inside

Inside Old Ebbitt Grill is a massive space full of rich mahogany and velvet covered booths. The decor is described as Beaux-Arts, meaning rich, lavish, and heavily ornamented. It is probably one of the fanciest places my young kids have ever stepped foot inside. Our service was excellent and the pace of the meal was perfect for our young family.

Brick Chicken

For dinner I had the brick chicken, a semi boneless half chicken, served with smashed sweet potatoes, apple-cranberry relish, crispy Brussels sprouts, and chicken jus ($18.59). The chicken was juicy and cooked perfectly. The sauce was sweet and the vegetable base was filling. This is one of the better chicken dishes I’ve had.

Jumbo Lump Crab Cake

My wife tried their signature jumbo lump crab cake served with roasted fingerling sweet potatoes, sautéed Swiss chard, and Cajun remoulade ($19.99). She was very impressed with this dish and having the option of a single crab cake is a nice option for those with smaller appetites.

Grass-Fed Cheeseburger Sliders

As impressed as we were with our entrées, the children’s menu is equally as impressive. The list is lengthy and has something for all appetites. My son decided to enjoy the grass-fed cheeseburger sliders ($9). This was served with a choice of side which is nearly as lengthy as the entrée selections, fries, tater tots, fruit, salad, apple sauce, vegetable, etc. The serving size was very generous and he seemed to enjoy these. My three-year-old daughter loved the finger food platter with carrots, ants on a log, hummus, ranch, pita, and fruit ($9).

Finger Food Platter

Our entire family loved dining at the Old Ebbitt Grill. I can only wish that our hometown of Cincinnati might one day have something comparable to this. An upscale eatery that also caters to those with kids. I would absolutely return without a question on a future visit to D.C.

Old Ebbitt Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Old Ebbitt Grill

Washington, D.C. can be a very tiring city to visit. After a full day out with the kids on our trip to the nations capitol, we were too tired to venture out for dinner. I didn’t want to order chain pizza, so instead I found Caviar, an online order and delivery system available in over a dozen cities nationwide.

Pizza Box

After browsing the available restaurants in the area of our hotel, I decided to order a pizza from Pizzeria Paradiso, a local wood-burning pizza company with three locations. Pizzas are served in two sizes, nine inch and twelve inch, with a large variety of creations or you can make your own. Salads and a handful of sandwiches are also available.

Bosco

My wife and I decided to split the Bosco with Paradiso tomato sauce, spinach, mozzarella, mushroom, and red onion ($19 for 12 inch). Their crust was perfectly dense and browned expertly. Toppings were plentiful and of the highest quality. This was a really good pizza and I felt that it was worth the somewhat high price tag. I would not hesitate to order from Pizzeria Paradiso again.

Pizzeria Paradiso Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Pizzeria Paradiso

After a visit through the National Zoo on a trip to Washington, D.C., my family and I stopped into the nearby Fat Pete’s Barbeque for lunch. The restaurant is located along Connecticut Avenue, very convenient for anyone walked to the Cleveland Park Metro station.

Pulled Pork Sandwich & Candied Yams

A quick look at the menu and I knew exactly what my wife was going to order. She is a sucker for candied yams and these house roasted sweet potatoes are deliciously sweetened and topped with plenty of marshmallows. To accompany the desert like side she went with a pulled pork sandwich ($10.99 including the side), which is hand pulled after 16 hours on the smoker. The meat was smoky and tender, just as it should be.

NC Chopped Pork Platter

I opted to get the NC chopped pork platter ($12.99) which adds a NC style vinegar sauce to their regular chopped up pork and tops it with coleslaw. Of course there is extra sauce on the table, six different varieties actually, but having the vinegar sauce already added can even add to the flavor of the other sauces. I think my favorite of the bunch was the KC style spicy sauce.

The platter also included two sides and my choices were the BBQ beans and hush puppies. The beans are a combo of pinto, kidney, and canneloni beans which are baked overnight with onion, poblano pepper, and bits of smoked meat. These were really good with a touch of smoke to compliment the sweet onion and spice from the peppers. The hush puppies are made with goat cheese and smoked poblano and these are outstanding! The are served with a side of apple honey butter for dipping, which isn’t necessary but adds a nice sweetness to the heavenly fried bits of dough.

Kid Food

My wife enjoyed a couple of dark & stormy cocktails with her meal and I was happy to see beers from DC Brau available. Fat Pete’s also was very accommodating for the kids and featured a grilled cheese sandwich with waffle fries ($5). Our service was fast and attentive and the restaurant had plenty of TV’s to enjoy your favorite game. This was one of our favorite stops in DC.

Fat Pete's BBQ Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Fat Pete's Barbeque

Happy New Year! Below is the list of cities that I visited in 2016 with at least one night spent in each place.

  • Sevierville, Tennessee *
  • Cincinnati, Ohio *
  • Sandpoint, Idaho
  • Nassau, Bahamas **
  • Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas **
  • Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Kansas City, Missouri
  • Effingham, Illinois
  • Williamstown, Kentucky *
  • Orlando, Florida
  • Cocoa Beach, Florida
  • Lake Mary, Florida
  • Montgomery, Alabama
  • Gulf Shores, Alabama
  • Bowling Green, Kentucky
  • Lexington, Kentucky
  • Washington, D.C.
  • West Portsmouth, Ohio
  • Portland, Oregon

* Those cities marked with an asterisk were visited multiple times on non-consecutive days.
** Those cities marked with a double asterisk were ports on a Caribbean cruise.

See also: 20152014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006

We had a few meals worth mentioning while on our recent trip to Washington, D.C. The first was at Burger Tap & Shake near our hotel and The George Washington University within Foggy Bottom. They are located right across the street from the Metro station that we used regularly to get around. There is a nice size patio, but it was much too cold during our visit to make use.

Outside

Orders are placed at the counter, including beer orders. Then once ready the food will be delivered to a table of your choosing. We arrived around 4:45 on Saturday and were surprised to see the restaurant as crowded as it was. Fortunately we didn’t have to wait more than a couple of minutes for a table to open up.

Inside

I’m a sucker for a good veggie burger and the offering at Burger Tap & Shake is like nothing I’ve had before. They have a crispy falafel patty that comes topped with pickled vegetables, feta, and cilantro raita ($8). The falafel was perhaps a little overdone, but I wonder if that is done on purpose to help it stay together. With that said it was actually a very delicious falafel offering and the pickled veggies were a great addition.

Haight-Ashbury

My wife went with the SoCal PILGRIM turkey burger with provolone cheese, smashed avocado, greens, red onion, tomato, chipotle ranch, all served on a whole wheat bun ($8). This was a massive sandwich! The avocado was fresh and delicious, as were the other veggie toppings. The turkey was good, a tad dry, but that is often the case with turkey burgers. The one complaint here was the bun, which was too dense and chewy, and nearly dominated the entire sandwich. My wife chose to put it aside and focus on the good stuff inside.

SoCal PILGRIM

Their sweet potato fries ($3) were awesome! Do not skip over them, even if the massive burgers may seem like enough food alone. Our kids also enjoyed the regular fries, but if you are a fan of sweet potato fries you have to give these a try.

Fries

Our service was great. Our food arrived at our table quicker than I had expected it to be delivered. And what we tried was all mostly really good. One thing that I wish was offered was a kids sized burger. Currently the kids menu is just a grilled cheese (which my kids enjoyed) or chicken tenders. I see no reason to not add another choice to the menu.

Burger Tap & Shake Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Burger Tap & Shake