Portland Part 5: Milk Glass Mrkt

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Our last breakfast stop in Portland was at a spot I’d seen in last year’s “Best New Restaurants” list from Bon Appétit . On the east side of the river, Milk Glass Mrkt is tucked away in the a corner of the Overlook neighborhood. They serve breakfast and lunch throughout the week in a counter-service format in a bright dining room. When we arrived on a Tuesday morning, it was quiet, with two indoor tables occupied and two other guests enjoying their coffee at the tables outside.

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After considering the menu, I ordered greens with smoked trout, rainbow chard, pickled red onions, walnuts, radish sprouts, and a fried egg. My mom got the cheddar biscuit with herbed egg and smoked salmon. To split, we ordered a warm brown butter almond cake with berry jam and crème fraîche.

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And everything was delicious. My breakfast salad had everything it needed – refreshment, warmth, nutrients, texture. The biscuit was flaky and the cheese melty. The almond cake was in fact warm and dense, yet somehow still moist.

This hidden gem is absolutely worth the $10 Uber ride, or leisurely bike ride from city center. Enjoy a quiet morning among the trees and houses, with a lovely staff and large seasonal menu. This was easily a food highlight of the trip!

Make sure to add Milk Glass Mrkt, Blue Star Donuts, Voodoo Doughnuts, and a food cart crawl to your itinerary for your next Portland trip. If you have any, leave your own recommendations in the comments!

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Portland Part 2: Blue Star Donuts

Read on for a thorough examination of the coolest, cleanest doughnut joint I’ve ever stepped foot in.

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Upon our arrival in Portland, my mom and I knew we had to locate a Blue Star Donuts. There are a handful of locations around the city, one in LA and one in Tokyo. The one we went to near the Pearl district had warm sunlight flooding in from the tall windows covering half the shop, and the steady drumming of the XL stand mixer kneading away.

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When we arrived around 10am, the line was not quite out the door yet, but we still had some time to decide on the doughnut varieties displayed behind glass next to the register before we had to order.

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We ultimately went with this half dozen:

Hard Apple Cider Fritter
Valrhona Chocolate Crunch
Blueberry Bourbon & Basil
Almond & Chocolate Ganache
Meyer Lemon & Key Lime CurdCointreau Crème Brûlée

While we waited for our box to be assembled, I wandered the modestly sized operation, and I noticed a baker prepping a fresh mound of dough next to the coffee corner. When I asked him if I could take his picture, he said yes, and was very appreciative of my asking (I guessed he’s ended up on lots of people’s instagram feeds without consent).

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Less than three minutes after ordering, our box was ready.

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First up: Cointreau Crème Brûlée

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Torched top, vanilla bean cream center, and orange liqueur poking out, ready for incorporation via pinching.

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It was quite fun to bite into the crusty sweet top and land in a pillow of cream, all transported by soft and fresh brioche dough. This one’s a winner!

Next: Hard Apple Cider Fritter

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Fritters are usually more dense than doughnuts since they’re typically made of the doughnut scraps and packed together once the rising in the dough has already occurred. These fritters are combined with an apple compote-looking mix, as shown in the second photo, further up.

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The outside was sweet and crispy, and the inside was very moist and apple-y. However, I think the density was too much for my mom’s and my stomach. We also couldn’t taste the hard cider (perhaps it got completely cooked off). Not bad, but not their best.

 

Following: Blueberry Bourbon & Basil (BBB)

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This doughnut was actually featured on one of the three covers of Bon Appétit’s May Travel Issue – for good reason.

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This doughnut didn’t need any filling with the icing it came with. One bite and I got one big mouthful of summertime markets with the basil notes heading this train of flavor. The arresting blueberry burst came quickly after, and the combination was delightfully refreshing (but again, no alcohol). Plus, the crack of the icing when closing in is a great textural addition.

The rest:

The Valrhona Chocolate Crunch was super fun to eat. It had the same filling as the crème brûlée doughnut, and the top was covered in fancy deep dark chocolate and pearls of chocolate covered rice crispies.

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The chocolate ganache and almond doughnut was similar to the chocolate crunch doughnut, but without the filling, and with the crunch coming form the crushed almonds. Not too shabby.

When we got around to the Meyer Lemon & Key Lime Curd doughnut, it seemed a little ordinary in comparison to all the others, but I’m always happy with lemon in my sweets, and it was enjoyable.

 

Overall, our experience at Blue Star was one to remember, and probably to return to. I highly recommend making a stop if you’re ever in the area (including LA and Tokyo!). I’ll leave you with this accurate dough-piction of today in the social media world:

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The Dish on Toast

This time last year, I was opting out of $4 toast from The Mill in San Francisco. Since then, the toast craze has exploded nationwide, and people are making ridiculous, delicious, or both, pieces of art on a slice of bread. Granted, the toast at the Mill is mostly $4 for the bread itself (Josey Baker), as the toppings consisted of Nutella and cinnamon sugar. But Bon Appétit made the toast trend their cover story in January. Truly, what’s better than adding a fun combo of foods you’d eat alone onto a crispy slice of toast? Especially when you’ve made the bread yourself! If you didn’t though, that’s cool. Read on for party-starting, trendingly on fleek toast.

Little spin on what seems to be a classic: ricotta and honey, plus some lemon zest for fun.
Everything is better with lemon zest.
Another classic: lox/smoked salmon and cream cheese.
Sprinkle some form of dill for a good time.
Inspired by Bon Appétit: smushed avocado, thinly sliced cucumber (peeler!)
with lemon zest, and red pepper flake. And salt, somewhere!