om Eating around downtown:
The food cart pod around SW 9th and Alder (less than 10 minutes walking from hotel) contains many, many delights. Grab food and head to Director Park (2 blocks south) or Pioneer Square (2 blocks east) to sit outside and eat.
There are numerous versions of Middle Eastern food available, and I think the best for delicious skewers atop a ridiculous amount of flavorful rice and salad is Caspian Kabob (SW 10th & Alder). If you’re looking for vegetarian, the tofu sando at Boke Dokie with some fried veggies on the side is probably not very healthy–but extremely tasty. A more austere yet extremely flavorful choice, always popular in Portland, is Nong’s Khao Man Gai (this is the original food cart location). Steamed chicken, steamed rice, and a funky sauce of fermented soybeans, ginger, & thai chilis that you can buy in bottles to take home.
Just a little further up the street from the food cart pod (around SW 12th and Alder) is a cluster of sit-down restaurants that makes downtown’s West End a new destination for foodies. It’s still casual Portland, so wear your fleece jacket without embarrassment. Roast chicken and vermouth at Pollo Bravo, all the calories pasta at counter-service Grassa, and don’t sleep on Superbite–you can share platters that could feed your whole panel.
A little bit further from the Hilton is Pine Street Market, open from morning till 11 pm. It’s basically a fancy food court, where you can sample more casual fare from some of the biggest names in the Portland restaurant scene. You can walk there in about 15 minutes. There’s something for nearly everyone. And drinks.
If you’ve walked all the way to Powell’s bookstore there is no reason to not go to Oven & Shaker. I guess it’s possible that some humans want neither gorgeous tasty cocktails nor amazing perfect pizza, but it doesn’t make sense to me.
Our downtown food scene has come a long way since ACSP 2004!