My Summer 2014 trip to the Pacific Northwest (PNW) did not disappoint.  The trip was based around a surprise birthday/mini-vaca for my husband where we would hit Seattle, WA, do some wine touring and end in Portland, OR.  Although most of the trip focused on wine – my sister-in-law is in the wine industry and was able to set up some pretty special VIP tastings and tours – we were able to briefly enjoy the two cities, drink some delicious brews and eat lots of amazing food.

This trip the food was on point and we ate well.  A little too well, like an extra 10 lbs post trip.   That’s mostly water weight, right?!  Grid Walking’s favorite EATS and Quick Links are below.

  • Steelhead Diner – Seattle, WA: Don’t get fooled by the name, this is no diner.  Lunch dishes were around $15 – $20 per plate and worth every penny.  I personally loved the Vegetable Hash with Poached Eggs (I thought about it the rest of the trip!) and we ordered the Dungeness Crab & Bay Shrimp Tater Tots for the table.  Both of these were awesome.  Weather permitting sit outside; the seating overlooks Post Alley offering entertainment from a rotating cast of street musicians.

Steelhead Diner is just a few feet from Pike Place Market

  • The Pink Door – Seattle, WA: This little restaurant can be found on Post Alley between Stewart and Virginia Street.  It’s nondescript from the outside and recognizable only from – you guessed it – the pink door.  The interior is whimsical, old-time European cabaret and the patio offers beautiful views of the Puget Sound.  The menu is Italian and delicious – dinner average $22 per plate.  Our table wasn’t ready when we arrived so we had a drink on the patio.  Before we could finish we were seated and given a complementary antipasti for our wait – a delicious surprise! Grid Walking Tip: this restaurant hosts dinner trapeze acts on Sunday & Monday in the Dining Room (6:30 – 9:30p, reservations recommended), burlesque in the Lounge on Saturday nights (doors at 9p, show at 11p, $20 charge, first come/first served) and rotating nightly entertainment the rest of the week.


  • Simpatica Dining Hall – Portland, OR: Through the double doors of a large, characterless building, down the steps, turn right, down the hall… there you will find the Simpatica Dining Hall serving farm to table dinners and brunch.  It’s a catering company first and foremost but they open their doors a few days a week to host the public.  The dinner menus are released a few weeks in advance and reservations for their Saturday and Sunday only seating fill up fast.  If you will be in the area, plan ahead and book this!  We went for brunch, served Sunday only from 9a – 2p.  I gluttonously filled myself on the Fried Chicken with Biscuits and Gravy ($12) – the best I have had in a while.  I’m a sucker for any dish using warming spices!  My husband had the Brisket Hash with Sweet Potatoes, Butternut Squash, Brussels and Over Easy Eggs ($11).  Need I say more?
  • Aviary – Portland, OR: Portland’s subtle homage to ‘put a bird on it‘? But seriously, this was my favorite eating experience of the trip and I walked away with extreme happiness.  This establishment features creative small plates (ranging from $8 – $22) with an underlying Asian theme but don’t just go for the good eats.  Aviary boasted some of the most interesting cocktails I have seen in a while – try the Canicule.   I could recommend every single item we tried, 7 of the 16 plates plus 2 desserts, but the one dish that left me most intrigued and wanting so much more was the Savory Cabbage Rolls.  If you can name all the ingredients in the Lemon Balm Broth leave a comment and let me know – for bragging rights, of course!


Any questions about where else we dined, our cool lodging or what we did when not eating or sleeping, leave a comment!


Portland is fun!

Quick Links:

Steelhead Diner

The Pink Door

Simpatica Dining Hall


Visit Seattle

Travel Portland

Jupiter Hotel

Portland Saturday Market (open Sunday, too!)

Jupiter Hotel

Let me know what you think!