Students move through multiple food experiences

In a tour sponsored by the Linfield Activities Board, 11 students visited a series of popular food carts and eateries in the Mississippi district of Portland. The tour took place April 21 and lasted for three hours.

“The district is famous for its community involvement, sustainability and the rebuilding center, and a lot of the places were built from recycled materials,” senior Nicole Szanto said in an email.

The tour started at the Mee Sen Thai Eatery and moved from there to Little Big Burger, Sidecar 11, Koi Fusion, The Meadow and Ruby Jewel Scoop Shop. Students sampled food that ranged from glass noodle salad and burgers with goat cheese to gourmet chocolates and homemade ice creams.

“All the food was excellent,” junior Kate McMullan said. “There really wasn’t a low point in the whole tour.”

McMullan said the tour emphasized how important sustainability and local produce is in Portland.

“Little Big Burger focused on how their buns were made in a bakery in Portland,” McMullan said. “They make their own ketchup, and they pickle their own pickles.”

Szanto said the dessert portion of the trip also featured homemade foods.

“At the Ruby Jewel Scoop Shop, everything from their ice cream, to the cones, soda and cookies is homemade, except for their salt, which they purchase from The Meadow next door,” Szanto said. “We had ice cream sandwiches, one chocolate chip cookie with vanilla bean ice cream and one lemon cookie with honey lavender ice cream.”

The trip was put on by Forktown Food Tours, an organization that offers culinary walking tours of Portland.

“The tour guide was very knowledgeable about the area and it showed the unique culture of Portland and how people from all different backgrounds and cultures have come together to make it their own,” Szanto said.

McMullan said the group’s tour guide also gave them historical facts about Portland and the area they were touring.

“Down one street, she’d found chickens that people own,” McMullan said. “They were these urban chickens just roaming down streets and around the area. We were trying to find where these chickens were from, and the owners saw us looking at their chickens, so they asked us if we wanted to see their coop. They showed us their garden, their compost, their worm farm and even how the chicken waste goes into the compost.”

McMullan said she had trouble picking a favorite restaurant or food out of all the places featured in the tour, but if she had to choose, it would be the Mee Sen Thai Eatery.

“We had a glass noodle dish and these fried chicken wings with sweet and sour sauce on top,” she said. “It was really excellent. I’m going to have to go back there.”

Sharon Gollery/
Culture editor
Sharon Gollery can  be reached at

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