Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Fat City: Food Lovers Guide New Edition

Meandering through narrow cobblestone streets past shop windows piled with local pastries, sitting in cafés watching the locals exchange the latest gossip or exclaim over a new baby, even stopping in at a neighborhood deli to pick up fixings for a picnic lunch, it's fun to imagine what it would be like to live in the places that I visit. But when I get back home and walk into a New Seasons store or pick up fresh produce at the (year-round) farmers' market just blocks from home or meet a friend for a pint at any of hundreds of local brewpubs, other locales pale in comparison.

What I loved about Liz Crain's first guide to Portland's food scene when it came out in 2010 was the diversity of the places, products and people she included. There were some of the usual suspects, the popular places and people who get featured in every travel article and guide book to the city. But it was the under-the-radar, less-traveled neighborhood stores and less well-known folks that made it such a breakthrough piece of writing at the time.

On the first of September the second edition of this slim but comprehensive volume, the Food Lover's Guide to Portland, will be available, and it's packed with the same top-to-bottom listings as the first volume, but updated and expanded to include the explosion of new tastes and fresh faces on the city's food scene. From obscure corner shops like Tonalli's Doughnuts and Cream to tiny Cherry Sprout Produce to old line big hitters like Pastaworks and Stumptown Roasters, Liz has compiled a compendium of the best of the best.

Whether you're a local or tourist, or someone who just wants to read about what a vibrant local food scene can look like, you'll find it fascinating. I sure have.

Top photo: Elias Cairo of Olympic Provisions. Lower right: breads at little t American Baker.

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