Quick bites in the Forest City

Breakfast: Aurora Provisions. I’ve always liked this Pine Street combo cafe/market. It’s a friendly spot and obviously a West End neighborhood fave. Lots of delectable goodies to eat in or take out. Definitely has that upscale, yuppie thing going on, but don’t let that fool  you. I grabbed a grilled breakfast burrito to go for $3.99.

Poked my head into Paciarino, Fabiana De Savino’s and Enrico Barbiero’s little taste of Italy, sharing the same block as the Portland Harbor Hotel. I had planned to get something to take home, but the logistics weren’t working on my end. I will return. All the pastas and sauces are made on site, and there’s obviously a lot of pride in the open kitchen. The space flows, cooking, shop, dining… easy to see what’s going on and ask questions. I found the staff extremely outgoing and eager to answer questions.

Grabbed tea at Homegrown Herb and Tea (website exists, but isn’t ready for prime time, yet). Homegrown supplies the tea to many of Portland’s better restaurants, including Bresca, Evangeline, and Emilitsa. The handcrafted herbal teas are rooted in Ayurvedic traditions (tell Sara(h) what ails you, and shell recommend and concoct a tea to soothe and ease), but regular teas also are available. The tiny shop, on Congress Street, about a block east of the Washington Ave. intersection, melds alternative and mainstream quite nicely. And the lavender shortbread (three small pieces for $1)! I almost pulled a U-turn on 95 in order to return for more.

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