Saturday, 21 September 2013

Portlandia - Toro Bravo....Bravo! Bravo!

We have set off on a road trip.
And we are eating well.

Portland, here we are. We have missed you. Your food trucks. Your donuts. Your fabulous biking culture. But back to the food.

This stop for us in Portland doesn't target the famous food trucks (sometimes one needs to check brick & mortar places off the list as well). Our first meal is dinner and we're lucky enough to be staying within walking distance of Toro Bravo, a Spanish tapas restaurant, brought to us by the same folks who run Tasty & Sons and Tasty & Alder. First night walk by posed a 90min wait for an inside table and a significant amount of 'table-shark' hovering for the 1st-come-1st-served outside stools. We return the next night a few minutes after opening to scoop a lovely spot on the sidewalk (our seating target, inside, already filled minutes after opening with the first diners lining up 40 minutes before opening...!). We kept our whistles wet while perusing the ample menu with a Spanish beer and glass of sangria.

Toro Bravo Crowds
Estrella beer & Sangria on the sidewalk

All items on the menu sounded amazing and made narrowing down from "feeding an army" to "dinner for two" a bit of a challenge. But we persevered and shortlisted the octopus a la plancha, meatballs, toasted almonds, grilled corn and salt cod fritters.

The octopus was fabulous - set atop potato slices and finished with red peppers - they were tender and delicious. And the same can be said for the meatballs - really flavourful, soft & moist - served in a tomato-almond sauce with peas.

octopus a la plancha
meatballs in tomato almond sauce with peas

And the salt cod fritters were great too - crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside - and perfect with the aioli. We love these Spanish almonds as well - big, crunchy and nicely seasoned....the perfect salty snack. Sorry, no snaps of the little corn-cobs - which were also tasty (but I may have needed some floss afterwards).

Almonds (top) and salt cod fritters

And to finish off a delicious, sidewalk tapas meal - churros - with a chocolate shooter...I mean dipping sauce.

Churros with chocolate dipping sauce

These had a lovey crunch to the crust and a light doughnut texture on the inside (and I'll admit to drizzling the remaining chocolate sauce into my coffee for an instant mocha).

This place is fabulous and dining outside was perfect for us. We loved the tapas selection and being able to share lots of dishes - and they have big-sizes too if you want a more traditional dinner.
The sangria was nice to sip; try one if you find yourself waiting on a table.

Toro Bravo
120 NE Russel St, Portland
Dinner daily from 5pm (Sun-Thu until 10pm, Fri/Sat until 1am)

Toro Bravo on Urbanspoon

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