Tasty n Alder – Portland

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Before our trip, we did some research on where to eat to save time and get the most out of our trip. Tasty n Alder was one of the picks and it was located conveniently in the downtown area. We arrived at around 7pm, and it was packed! They don’t take reservations, but they do take down your name and number when you arrive. You can then go elsewhere and they will call you when your table is ready. However, since we didn’t have any US minutes, we had to check up on our table every half an hour. We ended up waiting a good 2 hours until we got a table. I’ve never waited so long to eat… It’s pretty ridiculous because you would see people who are already done eating, but they would lounge around for a long time. In Vancouver, the servers would probably be trying to kick you out by then, if there’s a huge line up for the next round of diners. Not here. Luckily, they ended up serving us some complementary bubbles to thank us for waiting.

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The restaurant is dimly lit inside, and is quite hip. Sort of like a bar, but a bit more fancy. It’s Pacific Northwest food with some European twists. There are small and large plates, and I find that they are all great for sharing. By the time we got in, the restaurant was already quite empty.

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Fried Oysters with Remoulade

First up, we got the Fried Oysters with Remoulade. They were lightly battered, and the oysters were tiny but sweet. It came with a remoulade, which is similar to a tartar sauce, and a coleslaw.

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Crab Dip

The Crab Dip was one of my favourite dishes. The crab meat was flaky and mixed with tomatoes and herbs. It came with some pita bread to scoop. However, I found the pita bread to be too charred. Some parts tasted like burnt bread.

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Seared Scallops with Mint Pesto

By far, my favourite of the night were the Seared Scallops with Mint Pestos. Although there were only three scallops, they were seared perfectly and the scallops just melted in your mouth. The pesto was also flavoured really well and was delicious alongside the scallops.

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House-made Pasta with Squid

We also got the House-made Past with Squid. The pasta was al dente and I think it was just a simple drizzle of olive oil mixed with some veggies and squid. Simple, but tasty.

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Goat Cheese Dumplings Arrabiata

I’m not a fan of goat cheese, but apparently the Goat Cheese Dumplings Arrabiata is one of their famous dishes, so we got it. Surprisingly, the goat cheese wasn’t too strong, and when mixed with the arrabiata suace, which is a spicy tomato sauce, the flavours really excelled. It came with some toasts to accompany the dumplings.

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Chocolate Potato Doughnut with Creme Anglaise

Lastly, we got the Chocolate Potato Doughnut with Creme Anglaise, which is also another top menu item. This was freshly deep fried and a must order!! I believe they use potato instead of typical flour and the texture was not as doughy. It came with a creme anglaise, which is a light custard cream. Overall, Tasty n Alder was quite good, but I don’t know if I would wait 2 hours for it again. They have quite unique items, but I also found the menu to be quite pricey for small portions.

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