When you think of Portland, you generally think of young, hip urbanites wearing flannel, drinking coffee or brewing beer with this song playing in the background, right? Well, I discovered this is 100% ACCURATE. And I also discovered Portland makes a mean donut, among other things. Yup, get ready folks for one of my favorite kind of trips: FOOD-CATION (a.k.a. stomach marathon).
After a few public transportation snafus (i.e. missing our subway stop, then realizing train stopped running after we got off, took a bus, causing a 1.5 hour detour), we finally arrived at our destination at…1 a.m. We immediately proceeded to Voodoo Donuts for some funky donuts with dirty sounding names. [pictured] maple bar with bacon donut. [not pictured] “old dirty bastard” (chocolate peanut butter donut covered in oreos)
Naturally, the only way to follow up eating donuts is to eat pizza, of course. 3 a.m. pizza stop at Sizzle Pie, open late until 4 a.m. for post-debauchery convenience.
Brunch at Pine State Biscuits [pictured] “The Reggie Deluxe” (which is the “Reggie” with an egg on it, duh) – fried chicken, bacon and cheese topped with gravy. And the gravy was AMAZE-ing. [pictured] “Hash Ups” – golden hash browns topped with STEAK (yeah, that’s right), grilled onions, mushrooms, and melted cheese. And we washed it all down with some delicious morning cocktails (hey, it’s never too early for bourbon, amiright?)
After lunch, we headed to Salt and Straw for Portland’s “farm-to-cone” ice cream, whatever that means. All I know is that it was DELICIOUS. [pictured] honey lavender, stumptown coffee and bourbon, salted caramel, and pear & blue cheese flavors.
Since somebody (who shall not be named) drank too much at breakfast, we needed a little coffee pick me up and stopped by Barista for some much needed caffeine.
For dinner, we headed to Toro Bravo for some tapas and drinks (surprise!). [pictured] House Smoked Coppa Steak with potatoes, olives, onions & salbitxada. [not pictured] sauteed spinach, squid ink pasta w/ hazelnets, anchovy syrup & egg yolk, drunken pork with fresh bean stew, and olive oil cake.
For after dinner drinks, we headed to McMenamins Kennedy School (yeah, that’s right, Portlanders drink at ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS guys), which was the weirdest, kind of creepy/haunted, original hotel/bar concept I’ve been too, in a really cool way. You just need to go see it for yourself and grab a drink in “Detention”.
Picked up our car rental and drove to brunch at Screen Door. [pictured] Best. Fried. Chicken. Ever. With a sweet potato waffle, of course. [not pictured] fried oyster eggs benedict, smoked brisket hash – both also excellent.
We took a short break from eating to visit Multnomah Falls, the highest waterfall in Portland, which is about a 40 minute drive away. There was an option to do a longer 5 mile hike, but let’s be real guys. We came here to eat. And we only went hiking SO WE CAN EAT MORE. But the greenery was a nice touch.
After hiking, we were naturally hungry and thirsty. Begin search for BEER. Apparently Portland has more breweries and strip clubs per capital than anywhere else in the U.S.? Who knew? So finding a beer was fairly easy and quenched our thirst at the Bye and Bye. And we just so happened to stumble across a street fair in Burnside and picked us up some fresh corn on the cob to accompany our beers:
It got dark eventually, so it was time to eat again. There was a 1.5 hour wait at Pok Pok so we decided to wait it out at its sister bar, Whiskey Soda Lounge, which features drinking food and libations of Thailand. There, we had the infamous fish sauce chicken wings, which are essentially like meat candy. Or meat drugs. Pick your poison. [also pictured] Phat Hoi Laai (stir friend manila clams with chilies, garlic, and Thai basil). Can we open a location in L.A.? PLEASE?
Then it was finally time for dinner (because chicken wings and clams were snacks, duh) at Pok Pok. [pictured] papaya salad, bean thread noodles with prawns and pork belly baked in clay pot over charcoal, and boar collar meat served with chilled mustard greens.
For post-dinner drinks, we visited Kask for some hand crafted cocktails where one Yelper quite accurately coined the bartenders as “nicely dressed booze angels”. Check out what to drink here.
We decided to take a break from fried chicken and got donuts and coffee for breakfast instead. Oh my, I stumbled on coffee donut heaven. Stumptown Coffee is a must in Portland and its served everywhere. There is one conveniently next to the ultra hip Ace Hotel which is ALSO conveniently one block away from Blue Star Donuts. How do I begin to describe these donuts? They TASTE LIKE RAINBOWS. [pictured] blueberry bourbon donut and meyer lemon curd donut. [not pictured] dulce de leche & hazelnut donut, banana pudding donut.
Since we still had our rental car, we decided to roadtrip again but this time heading west to the coast to check out Cannon Beach, about 2.5 hours from the city. Now let me just say, in Oregon, there are trees as far as the eye can see. You definitely don’t get much of THAT in SoCal. Although we DO have palm trees…
And the best photo bomb award goes to…
Naturally all that driving made us hungry so grabbed some local seafood fare in the cute, sleepy beach town nearby at Ecola Seafood Market. [pictured] fish & chips, clam chowder, and fish tacos. (At this point, no one is waiting patiently for photos. Dig right in, guys.)
For our final dinner in Portland, we went to Tasty n Sons. At this point, my camera was out of battery and my iPhone was out of storage space from taking too many pictures so you are just gonna have to use your imagination on this one. [not pictured] linguini with ragu & mascapone, bacon wrapped dates, steak frites, fried cauliflower, and peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream. Just drool at their menu, here.
On our last day of bingeing, we went back for MORE stumptown coffee and blue star donuts (like I said, RAINBOWS people) and we experienced the final missing piece of Portland food culture: the food cart (which is essentially food trucks without the wheels).
Then we decided to burn off some calories by reading at Powell’s City of Books (it’s a full city block, they don’t call it CITY of books for nothing). Map required.
Oh yeah, what did I wear on this trip? I was too busy taking pictures of food and eating, I forgot to take pictures of my clothes. Oops. Here is the only picture I took of myself the whole weekend:
white skort | zara
denim jacket | target
cardigan | madewell
shoes | keds
yellow scarf | madewell
recap | voodoo donuts | sizzle pie | pine state biscuits | salt and straw | barista | toro bravo | mcmenamins kennedy school | screen door | corn from burnside street fair | bye and bye | whiskey soda lounge | pok pok | kask | stumptown coffee (x2) | blue star donuts (x2) | ecola sea food market | tasty n sons | portland food carts | multnomah falls | cannon beach | powell’s city of books
So after all of this, what did I conclude about Portland? Portland is weird. And by weird, I mean AWESOME.