Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Pacific Northwest Part 3: Portland
When we told people we were going to Portland everyone just ooed and ahhed over the food and drinks they had when visiting as well. This city is definitely a foodie town and full of their own local breweries and wineries. We ate and drank our way through Portland and I don't regret it at all!
We had booked another AirBNB for the first two nights in Portland. We stayed in the Beaumont area which was about a 12 minute drive into downtown so an easy location to the surrounding area. Once we freshened up and got settled we headed to the Pearl District of Downtown to explore.
Saturday: We first started at Fat Heads Brewery for a snack and a beer flight.
From here we walked down the street to the famous Powell's City of Books . This famous store takes up an entire city block. It's the biggest bookstore I've ever seen! I could have spent hours wandering that place.
After perusing the bookstore, we walked around the corner to Deschuntes Brewery for a drink because it wasn't quite dinner time. We stood in the bar area making conversation with a couple from Vancouver, Canada. They had some helpful hints for our day along the coast the next day and places to visit.
Next up was finding a place for dinner and so we chose to go to McMenamin's Kennedy School. McMenamins takes over old buildings and reconstructs them. The Kennedy School is an old school building with several bars, restaurants, and a wedding venue inside. It was really neat how they redid the school to fit this mold. Our food was fantastic and we enjoyed sitting in the courtyard for dinner (even if it was 90 outside).
Sunday: After exploring the coast we freshened up for dinner at Pok Pok. This restaurant had come recommended by every person we spoke with about our trip so we had to try it! It's a very interesting menu with inspiration from all over Southeast Asia. We got game hen, a prawn and noodle dish, and sticky rice. Oh the flavors! It's a tiny restaurant with very little seating (no wonder we had an hour wait) but it was well worth waiting every second. Lived up to all the hype!
When I looked on Trip Advisor for restaurants the #1 recommendation was Salt and Straw Ice Cream and since there was a location across the street from Pok Pok I knew we had to go! It reminds me a lot of Jeni's Ice Cream we have here. Yummmy delicious and very different flavors as well. July is their month for berry specials. There was a line around the corner (perfect to let our dinner settle) so we waited and contemplated our choices. I ended up with Snickerdoodle and Birthday Cake Blackberry ice cream. Tommy got some kind of berry pie flavor. We both got them in waffle cones. To say we were full that night is an understatement but hey it's vacation right!
Monday: So one of the places you always hear about in Portland is Voodoo Donuts but then everywhere I read and everyone I talked to told me to go to Blue Star Donuts instead because they tasted much better. So we got an early start and some donuts before hitting the road to explore Mt. Hood.
Tommy got a lemon curd and a blueberry donut. I got a maple & bacon and their original glazed.
Yes that is actual pieces of BACON on a donut. Delicious!
This was by far my favorite!
After exploring Mt. Hood, we came back to check into our Hotel for the night. We walked from the hotel to a happy hour spot that was suggested to us by Tommy's cousin called, Portland City Grill. This was such a cool spot because it was on the 30th floor of a business building. We had 360 degree views of the city. (the lighting was too terrible to try and get any pictures but such a cool spot. No wonder when she lived there she always took out-of-town guests there for happy hour).
We then walked to dinner to meet up with my cousin, Alastair, who is working on a project in Portland right now. It was great to see him! We met him for dinner at Tasty N Alder. It was such a neat atmosphere. The walls were all windows that once the temperature went down could slide open really wide. It wasn't a huge place. The food was fantastic. Everything we ordered (family/tapa style) was so delicious. You can tell the chef is more about quality than quantity. All I have to say is...goat. cheese. dumplings.
After dinner we walked across the street to Multnomah Whiskey Library. This place was awesome! You really felt like you were in a historical library with all the dark wood and lighting. We each got a specialty cocktail and Alastair ordered us a champagne toast for our anniversary. Such a neat experience!
Tuesday: This was our last morning in Portland. We didn't really have time to go exploring as our flight was at 11 so we slept in and then went out to brunch. Again to another highly recommended place called Mothers Bistro. Gosh my omelet was fantastic! (prosciutto, roasted garlic, tomato, and provolone cheese with a side of their delicious homefries. SO FULL AFTER)
As I stated at the beginning, we sure ate and drank well in Portland. We had such a fun time exploring different neighborhoods throughout the city and experiencing what everyone raves so much about. Portland is somewhere everyone should visit! Great people, great food, great drinks, and awesome access to beautiful landscapes!