Each year I look forward to Portland Dining month, devour the menu of each restaurant a few times, and select a couple of restaurants to try a three-course meal for just $29. This year I was offered the opportunity by Travel Portland to try Portland Dining month at one restaurant and share that experience with you the readers! Part of my meal was covered by this opportunity. All opinions are my own.
The month of march is basically a holiday for foodies in Portland. Portland Dining Month (PDM) gives guests an opportunity to try an array of restaurant specialties at $29 for a three course meal. Each March I try to pick at least two restaurants that I’ve not been able to try (or favorites I can rarely afford) and take the opportunity to enjoy a three course meal at an affordable price point. There is a whole rating system for my husband and I when it comes to restaurants participating in Portland Dining Month. We check out their PDM menus, reviews, and local blog coverage. Places that give choices on their menus get moved up on the list. Ones we’ve tried before get moved down. It is an ordeal. So far this month I’ve only been able to try one restaurant, a great choice if I do say so myself, but I hope to hit one more before the end of the month. Best thing about this game of chance? Everyone is a winner. SO many great restaurants to choose from!
India Trading Company — Great Indian Food in Portland, Oregon
Setting up a reservation for India Trading Co. was simple, but I am glad that I did it! When we walked up to the door the place looked empty, however what we couldn’t see was a fairly full restaurant dining room just past the bar. We used OpenTable through the Portland Dining Month website so that our reservation also helped to make a donation to Oregon Food Bank (more on that below) and it literally took less than two minutes to get our reservation for a Friday night.
We haven’t had Indian food in years. YEARS. That is seriously shameful. I love Indian food but have only ventured to make it on my own one time. We kept talking about going back to one of our favorite local restaurants, but with the kiddos it has been difficult due to the spice levels of my favorite dishes. My husband prefers milder dishes and I personally enjoy medium to spicier flavors. This was the perfect date night opportunity and we now added another local restaurant to our favorites list.
We started our meal out with something that isn’t on the PDM menu… cocktails! We love trying house-recipe cocktails. I had the Rangpur Chill, a refreshing and spicy combination of gin, chilis, and cucumber. My husband enjoyed the Harabi Lassi that features a Saffron infused vodka, lassi and mango. Both were delicious. His sweeter and mine spicier… kind of like us, really.
East India Company Grill and Bar Portland Dining Month Menu 2017:
For the Portland Dining Month menu we chose to eat the Bhel Puri first course, Chicken Tikka Masala, and Kulfi. We then went off the PDM menu and tried the Tandoori Khumbi which were grilled mushrooms marinated in five herbs, with ginger and lemon and a spicy Tamarind-Date Chutney. We also tried, on recommendation of our server, something completely off-menu! We did their Korma (“a characteristic Indian dish which can be traced back to the 16th century. The flavor of a korma is based on a mixture of spices along with cashew nuts, fresh ginger, green chilies and cream”) with lamb. It was amazing and SPICY. I always like asking the servers favorite. They are almost always in the know about the best menu (or off-menu) dishes. We also added garlic naan to our order. Naan is perfect for getting all the amazing sauces from the dish into your mouth.
We loved the entire meal, but I have to say my favorites were the grilled mushrooms and the chicken tikka masala.
More info on Portland Dining Month
Portland Dining Month, now in its eighth year, returns to the Rose City this March with a host of new restaurants serving up three-course dinners for just $29 every night of the week. Portland Dining Month, a Travel Portland initiative, gives visitors and locals the opportunity to try Portland’s fan-favorite restaurants and newbies on the scene at a significant discount.
This year, more than 120 restaurants have joined Portland Dining Month, with award-winning chefs preparing three-course prix fixe dinner menus. New additions to the 2017 roster include buzzworthy locales Tusk, Bar Casa Vale, Headwaters, Jacqueline, La Moule, Rue and Wayfinder Beer, as well as classic Portland standbys Huber’s Cafe, Higgins, Jake’s Grill, Mother’s Bistro and Paley’s Place. A full list of participating Portland Dining Monthrestaurants and their menus can be found at PortlandDiningMonth.com.
“Portland has become a world-class culinary destination, which is evident in the seemingly never-ending creativity and fresh concepts that Portland chefs bring to the table,” said Jeff Miller, Travel Portland president and CEO. “Portland Dining Month is the perfect opportunity for locals and visitors alike to try a new restaurant or old favorite while celebrating this incredible food destination.”
Reservations That Give Back
During Portland Dining Month, diners are encouraged to make reservations online through PortlandDiningMonth.com. Once again, Portland Dining Month will partner with Oregon Food Bank, making a donation to the hunger-relief organization for every reservation booked through the OpenTable links on PortlandDiningMonth.com.