Tucked between the train lines and warehouses of the central east side industrial district, from which it gets its name, Produce Row Cafe has been serving the residents of Portland for nearly 40 years. Originally opened in 1974 as the first establishment of the brothers McMenamin, the property has changed hands and evolved much like the city around it over the past few decades. Re-imagined in 2014 by owner Alan Davis, PRC continues the tradition of great food and spirits combined with an ever-changing rotation of taps, popular lunch and evening under the stars via breezy outdoor patio.
Matthew and I decided to stop by for an impromptu sip and nibble in the mid afternoon as we coasted through the neighbourhood. Whisking our way through the restaurants dining room, we plopped ourselves at a picnic table out back. The graffiti walled patio was bustling with sweet young things, gabbing and gobbling in the hot summer heat.
I whet my whistle with a tequila and ginger beer forward El Diablo before combing through the restaurant signature simply titled Vegetable and Hummus Board. A local favourite (apparently they removed it off the menu once and an uproar ensued) featuring fried cauliflower, plump olives, salty almonds, multi-coloured heirloom carrots, sweet pepper and crunchy rustic bread. Before rushing back into the street we dug petite spoons into a mason jar filled with ginger custard (with a zing) and candied apricots. That afternoon boost that’cha need!
Sips n Nibbles:
pueblo viejo reposado tequila, cassis, lime, ginger beer
Vegetable and Hummus Board
fried cauliflower, castelvetrano olives, almonds, rustic bread
Mason Jar Tart
ginger custard, candied apricots