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Food Blogging and a Taste of Washington Ave

Those of us who live in Portland are often astounded by the large number of restaurants in our little city — 300 and some, and growing every day. You can only imagine how difficult it can be to choose where to dine out. In some ways it’s harder than it was for me when I lived in New York City. There, I would just open the New York Times and go to whichever restaurant they happened to be featuring. Today, there’s social media and that makes deciding way more difficult. Newspaper reviews are still important, but in the world of food, bloggers and commonplace food writers are the true tastemakers. There are a few such bloggers and food writers in Portland. They are well-respected in the community and should be read by everyone and anyone who loves good food. Here’s a few of my favorites.

The Portland Food Map which is written and maintained by Anestes Fotiades. Anestes has a full-time job, yet he manages to keep this site up-to-date and it’s impossible to resist visiting it daily. Check out the latest openings, closings and posted restaurant reviews. His Under Construction list offers insight into culinary business expansions, confirmed and potential openings – this list is always formidable. This is a man who knows how to track down a great meal. Eat Drink Lucky is a daily on-line newsletter; that’s right daily — with short blurbs about food, drink, and a quick tip about what’s happening in Portland. You can subscribe to this site which also covers several others cities in the U.S. The Blueberry Files blog is written by Kate McCarty. A new blog is posted every couple of weeks. Her take on the Portland food scene is intelligent, down to earth, and her photos truly capture the essence of the dishes she is covering. In addition, Kate has authored a couple of books you might want to add to your library. A third site, Eating Portland, Maine, is an excellent resource for critiques of eateries all around the city. I rely heavily on the monthly archives for good food writing and colorful photos. Lastly, Mainely Eating offers frequent posts, informative reviews, and fabulous recipes. I especially love Leah’s, “25 foodish things you probably didn’t know about me,” in the “About Mainly Eating” section on the site.

Now let’s take a trip to the up-and-coming foodie neighborhood on Washington Avenue.

Silly's Restaurant

I previously mentioned the large number of restaurants here in Portland; per capita, we enjoy the company of very few. Lately, there is no street in Portland with as many new restaurants as Washington Ave. It’s difficult to say exactly which neighborhood Washington Ave. is in — you could say it’s where the East End begins or you might say it’s on the edge of East Bayside. I believe it’s safer to say, “it’s a place all it’s own.” In my mind “Restaurant Row” extends from Silly’s Restaurant to the Portland Pottery Cafe; two neighborhood favorites. It feels like there are new restaurants and craft beverage producers opening on this street almost weekly, and here are three of the newest kids on the block that are well worth the trip: Terlingua (small batch BBQ), The Drifter’s Wife (Ben Jackson is knocking it out of the park), and Izakaya Minato, a new Japanese restaurant getting a lot of well deserved attention for excellence. Take a stroll down Washington Street, but it’s best to visit this part of town with a big appetite.

Portland Pottery Cafe