Ah Portland, you have been on my mind since I moved to the U.S. and I finally got myself there!! I was expecting great food and a lot of hipsters, you did not disappoint. I suggest reading up on the different types of hipster so you don’t miss any when playing hipster bingo 😉
Jax & I flew in early from Vegas, in no real way ready to deal with the cold, but ready to get to know the city. And guys, it was cold. Not cold for people from cold climates, but def cold for people who live in LA & Sydney! In good news, it did not rain on us. So that was a big win!
Portland has a big food truck/wagon/cart/stall/whatchyamacallits so I’m not against you revolving your sight seeing around that. It’s where we started testing Fried Egg, I’m in Love.
There’s a few really good spots to check out the different options, I found this pretty good guide. We checked out around Adler and a couple of little ones but missed out on the others. Next trip I will 💯 be going to Cartlandia, Cartopia and Mississippi Marketplace. I find it easier to maximize the scene when I’m not freezing my ass off.
No surprise that Portland has a stack of hikes on its doorsteps, it’s pretty gorgeous here. We did the 4T trail which is an urban hike taking you out to see the city. It’s generally easy to follow, but Jax and I do not have a good track record with following directions (in her defense, Jax is way better than I am). So, we took a few wrong turns, but we made it. The trail takes you through some forest, then some lovely neighborhoods so you stare at lovely houses and plan where you’ll live, the uni part of town and back into the heart of the city.
Plus you go on a big cable car with views over the city!! Jax and I were not impressed with the misuse of language: why do they call trams trolleys and cable cars trams? Very weird! The public transport is super cheap too. Grab a day pass and it goes on all the transport.
There’s no sales tax here!!! Seriously! That means the price you see, IS ACTUALLY THE PRICE!! So good to be in the world of normal again! Ok, excitement over. Portland has some really great local boutique stores, which I am a big fan off.
Powell’s is the giant, slightly overwhelming bookstore. It’s a thing to go there, and I’m pretty sure you find a book on pretty much everything you can possibly think of.
The Pearl area is full of heaps of lovely little boutiques. Just wandered in and out of these (stopping for cakes and coffee wherever).
Totally worth going out to Betsy & Iya for some great jewelry. Totally not worth going to: Pearl Hardware. That is, unless you need a hardware store (we did not).
Eating & Drinking:
Besides macrame-ing, hardware store shopping and other hipsters hobbies, eating & drinking is the number 1 thing for Portland and boy do they do it well! I think you can go pretty much anywhere and get a good drink or bite to eat. Most places seem to be big supporters of the North West region’s produce, which is pretty cool. Because we were there in the odd time of the weekdays after New Year’s Eve and before the first weekend of the year, a lot of places were closed. That did not, however, stop us from exploring some good places.
Higgins Restaurant & Bar– looking for a lovely soup to warm us up, Jax found this lovely bar. The service was attentive & delightful. The food was great and the wine list was expansive while still being reasonably priced. This is the perfect place to rest your feet after exploring.
Jack Rabbit at the Duniway– The U.S. is great for hotel bars and the Jack Rabbit was a good example of this. Lots of space, good decor with food & drink to match. We decided to use our wine crawl to work on our 2019 goals, the good thing about here was that you could either be in more boisterous spots or quieter spots. Part of our wine crawl was picking a dish or two from each place to test it out.
Here we got the French onion deviled eggs. Ok, I love deviled eggs having a comeback, and these addictive little things are a great step up from the normal.
We also got the the duck fat cauliflower. Everyone knows you can’t go past anything duck fat on a menu AND you don’t see it often enough in the U.S. No surprise, this was amazing. The reality was it wasn’t healthy, but it was a vegetable so … ✅
Clyde Common at the Ace Hotel– we are major Ace fans. If I don’t stay, I go for a drink. Those are the rules.
Here we had the burrata cheese which comes with prosciutto and quince jam, so basically everything works well together and you eat it before you realize.
Also the curried accord squash which had some seeds, more cheese and radicchio. I really liked this but it was not giving too much in the curry flavour on the acorn squash.
The Hoxton, China Town- when you used to live in Hoxton, you don’t go past The Hoxton. They have 3 different bars in here including what sounds like a lovely rooftop, but we snuggled down into the ground floor one instead. It was too late for anything other than guacamole and mixed nuts here, but not too late for wine!
I love all of the buildings these hotels are in. They are all unique and have so much character.
Chizu– this is pitched really weird, but is actually great. They describe themselves as a ‘sushi-like experience for cheese’ which I think explained why it was dead when we got in there. Now, that being said, this place is great!!! They have an ever changing cheese menu and the cheese plates are incredibly reasonable. So is the wine list PLUS on Wednesday they do a ridiculously low corkage fee. I’m not sure how they’re making money, but it definitely worked in my favour.
Sizzle pie: this pizza joint feels like it is everywhere. Which may have been because we tried not to have it. Failed! They do, however, do half slices so you can taste more. It was pretty good pizza, even the vegan one we tried 😉 We were part time vegan in Portland.
Tusk, Kerns: locally sourced, seasonally aggressive’. I love this place: gorgeous space and a menu that is 90% interesting vegetables and some skewers on the side. This place has earnt it’s own post.
There’s way more to do and see in Portland, I’m heading back when the weather is better so I can check out some of the wineries near by….. and to eat more.