Portland Food Tour Part 2

Welcome back to another edition, my friends! Now that we are well into October, I used this past weekend to take a trip to Portland for article “research,” though it was really so I could get some good food in a real city! Assuming others are feeling the same way, here is another amazing Portland restaurant to hit when your morale is low and your stomach can’t take another inedible dining hall dinner. 

Little Giant

Knowing that I wanted to try something new this time around, I did some digging online to try and find a hidden gem. And a gem I did find! Little Giant is tucked away in the West End of Portland, just minutes away from the more popular streets, with a real neighborhood feel. I will preface this by saying the place wasn't exactly for someone on a college budget (it wasn’t crazy pricey, but I definitely splurged). A splurge I would say was well worth it, though! Little Giant’s atmosphere was fresh and cozy and sophisticated with huge glass windows letting the autumn light in. The yellow door outside of the restaurant was an inviting entry into the space, full of attentive and knowledgable hipster waiters.

Photo by Author

Okay, now to the food! My boyfriend and I started off simple and ordered bread and butter off the menu. But this was not the ordinary stale basket of bread with a hard pat of butter that restaurants serve as an afterthought. When the bread came to the table, it was perfectly charred and crispy, having been griddled on the flat top to absolute perfection. It was buttery and soft and crunchy, the perfect vehicle for smoky seaweed butter, which sounded strange but worked so wonderfully on top. To intensify the flavors even more, there was a little pool of sticky honey that complimented the fatty umami notes of the butter with its hints of sweetness. It was an uncomplicated dish, elevated with textures and flavors that just worked.

Photo by Author

Broccoli and burrata was next on our list, a combination that sounded intriguing but strange. When it was delivered to the table, I had to stop and admire its beauty. The vibrant green and strands of white cheese were gorgeously appealing, and it tasted even better. With notes of lemony acid, unctuous cheese and earthy broccoli, all tied together with a broccoli puree, the dish was complex and flavorful. Every bite was different, offering melt in your mouth textures in one forkful and snappy textures in the next.

Photo by Author

By the time our mains had arrived, we were already feeling satisfied, but then we were sent over the edge. I happily ordered house-made pork sausage with cabbage and fingerling potatoes while my boyfriend ordered what he said was “the type of burger that reminds you of how bad the dana burgers are.” The sausage was outstanding, indulgent and juicy, with the savory cabbage to compliment the richness. The burger was just as amazing, also bursting with juice and dripping with melted cheese in the most photo worthy way. The fries that came with it, topped with a salty seaweed spice, tied the whole thing together.

Photo by Author

But that’s just the food we ordered! The best part about Little Giant is their rotating menu, which changes daily. From what they call “little” plates like local oysters with meyer lemon and tarragon oil, to “giant” plates like ribeye with potatoes, rosemary and salsa verde, the menu offers amazing combinations of the best quality food. Though I would say I think you cannot go wrong when ordering off of this changing menu, I would strongly urge you to order the bread and butter if it is available, it will change your life.

Happy eating everyone; I hope you check out this amazing gem, the trip was truly worth it!