Put a Bird on It at Portland Craft

by torontogirlwest on February 28, 2013

Most of you that have read my blog for a while, know that the Husband and I are huge fans of Portland.  In fact, back in the days when we lived in the Rockies, we considered Portland our closest escape to the familiarity of the West Coast.

Something about the food-loving, caffeine drinking, counter culture of Portland made us feel at home.

But did you also know that our love of Portland extends to skit comedy shows inspired by the city of roses? Of course, I’m talking about the well-known show Portlandia.

I remember the first time I saw an episode of Portlandia – I was laughing so hard, I couldn’t breathe!!! The characters and stories are such a dead on portrayal of not only Portland but hipster Pacific Northwest culture in general.

Take my all time favourite Portlandia skit for instance, Put a Bird On It:

Given that we’re such clear Portland-lovers, you can imagine our excitement when we heard there was a new restaurant in the Vancouver specializing in Portland inspired food and microbrews.

Portland Craft Menu

And so on a Friday night in January, the Husband and I found ourselves making the short journey to Portland Craft’s Main Street location.

Reading the Menu

The restaurant itself could probably best be described as a casual pub with a fair amount of table seating and a large bar area. From what I understand Portland Craft also allows children in the premises.

Alcohol Bottles

We arrived at approximately 6pm on a Friday night and discovered several couples ahead of us in line (they don’t accept reservations). At first we found the prospect of waiting daunting but we decided to hold out for a table. Within a few short minutes the couples ahead of us decided not to brave the wait, moving us to the front of the line!! The Husband and I joked that getting a table at Portland Craft was a war of attrition and we won!!!

Beers at Portland Craft

No sooner had we taken our seats at the bar, when the very friendly bar tender introduced himself and asked us what we would like to drink. After I explained to him that I like my beers light, citrusy, and not astringent, he recommended I try the Lost Coast Tangerine Ale – both the Husband and I obliged.

Lost Coast Ale

The bartender absolutely knew what he was talking about because we absolutely loved our beer!!

While sipping on our beverages we decided to order some sumac chips. Being from Toronto I was very familiar with sumac, its bright berries and leaves that turned the most spectacular shade of red were a staple of my childhood. Imagine my surprise at discovering that sumac makes for a slightly tangy flavouring on fresh house made chips.

sumac chips

When it came time to order our main dishes, I didn’t hesitate at all! I was there to put a bird on it!!!!

Put a bird on it

Put a bird on it, consists of a heaping portion of the most spectacular fried chicken I have ever had, served on top of a waffle, with a side of fresh Canadian maple syrup, and a slice of watermelon.

To say I loved this dish would be a massive understatement!!! It’s more like I’m obsessed with that chicken!!! The seasoning was spot on, the meat ridiculously tender, and incredibly juicy!!! It was basically fried chicken perfection (did I mention it didn’t feel greasy at all?). The waffle was also wonderful and combined with the flavours of the chicken perfectly. And as far as the watermelon – it was the perfect way to end off the meal.

Now I know in the US watermelon and fried chicken are considered racist but here in Canada this food combination carries no such connotation; for us it’s just food.


While I had put a bird on it, the Husband ordered the Portland Craft burger. He loved it which worked out just as well because I didn’t want to share my chicken! HA!

All in all our experience at Portland Craft was fantastic!! The atmosphere in the restaurant was friendly, slightly yuppy but laid back, service was attentive but not pushy, and the food was wonderful. In fact, I dreamt about that fried chicken for about a week afterwards.

I will definitely return to Portland Craft and I absolutely recommend it for those that want a laid back evening with great brews and tasty food!!!

Portland Craft on Urbanspoon


Question: Do you watch Portlandia? If so, what’s your favourite skit? If not, what is your favourite comedy show?

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

AndreaClaire March 1, 2013 at 11:09 am

Yes, but was the chicken free range? Did it have a happy childhood? You know what, could you just hold this table? I’m just going to drive to the farm and check out where the chicken lived.

Love Portlandia. My favourite is still the first one I saw (which got me into it): writing more episodes of BSG.


Toronto Girl West March 1, 2013 at 12:02 pm

Bwahahahaha!!!!! The restaurant skit is one of my favourites!! Mostly cause I’m a bit like that – I just don’t always say it out loud!!!! :P
Toronto Girl West recently posted..Put a Bird on It at Portland Craft


Marianne March 1, 2013 at 9:20 pm

I will attest to the fact that you couldn’t stop talking about the chicken and waffles ;) I didn’t get to try it when I was there, but I did have the spot prawns and grits, and they were delicious, as was their Nom Nom cocktail.
Marianne recently posted..Insight Into Internship – Part 8


Toronto Girl West March 3, 2013 at 5:12 pm

LOL I did gush didn’t I?!?! :P
Toronto Girl West recently posted..Put a Bird on It at Portland Craft


Jo (livingmintgreen) March 3, 2013 at 2:36 pm

Oh man, we totally need to go on a foodie date. ONE DAY. What kind of camera do you use?


Toronto Girl West March 3, 2013 at 5:16 pm

For most of my blog pics I use my Canon Rebel T1i for the body, and my go to lens is my 50mm 1.8. The lens is cheap (which is great because I picked it up when I was sick and accidentally killed it) but it does a great job!!! It’s a fixed focal lens so it forces you to really think about your shot before you take it.

What do you use?
Toronto Girl West recently posted..Put a Bird on It at Portland Craft


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