Legit coffee tour featuring cupping techniques and lattes galore.
Kisses among nature.
Doughnut photo shoot at Blue Star.
Waterfalls and old wooden tunnels.
Cityscapes and gardens.
Always saying yes to acai bowls… and Hi to Felix.
Portlandia is real.
That was my first thought while touring, dining, and enjoying Portland. And glee overtook me.
Back in November, after spending 5 full days in Portland, I was able to get a feel for the culture, food scene and Oregon’s ability to charm everyone who comes to visit.
Sloganed with Keep Portland Weird, this city definitely has its idiosyncrasies. Like I mentioned, if you’ve ever watched Portlandia then you’d quickly realize the total accuracy of the show to “real life” in Portland.
Upon the first day visiting this city, and half way into our coffee tour, the guide proclaims some of the best words ever spoken to a Portlandia fan: “Our happy hour scene is almost as popular as our brunch scene.” – I almost toppled over with elation when she said this.
In Portlandia… errr… Portland, the brunch scene really does exist in epic proportions, as does the impressive wait time.
We waited so long at one place for brunch that we were witness to people literally rejoicing in the street when their name was finally called… almost two hours later. Mind you, this was a MONDAY of a non-holiday weekday.
And although waiting sucks, I would gladly wait time and time again to partake in such unique dishes and experience the chefs’ shared passion for food.
Among the great food, there’s character. Everything in Portland has a personality. Good, bad, healthy, unhealthy, friendly, friendlier, cheerful… all restaurants hold a certain charm and personification.
Like I mentioned already, the food in Portland, all of it, is seriously good. After visiting many dining establishments and tasting numerous cups of coffee, I came to the conclusion that people in the food and beverage service industries just care more.
Dedication, passion and love seemed to be infused into every bite and sip.
People in Portland also seemed to be more considerate, nicer, more friendly than say, San Jose, California, where I live. And I understand why- Portland is surrounded by beautiful mountains, greenery everywhere, passionate people and really, really good food. There are less people, the city is much more easily toured by foot or bike, and it just holds a calmer, more peaceful demeanor.
So, five days, countless meals, even more countless cups of coffee, here are some of my favorites of Portland (from this first trip! Already planning my next return…).
You must eat at Broder. A unique Scandinavian brunch place with serious hash dishes and outrageously amazing and traditional Danish pancakes with lemon curd & lingonberry jam… EPIC meal.
Navarre definitely pleased. Another breakfast/brunch meal we shared but wow-o-wow was it tasty. Basque/Spanish tapas style place, rejoicing in plenty of unique and different egg and cheese dishes. We tried the Leek, Lobster and Blue Cheese omelette, which was rich, creamy, and such vibrant flavors. We also had the Broccoli & Mimolette scramble, which had roasted butternut squash, broccoli, and melted, tangy yet mellow Mimolette cheese. A side of crispy “potato terraine”, aka: delightfully done hashbrowns.
Blue Star Donuts need no introduction, nor do they need any explanation. Stellarly done FRESH as hell, expensively artisan doughnuts.
Pip’s Original Doughnuts (and crazy chai’s!). Yep, another doughnut place and yep, that is a mini doughnut. Walk in, wait in the longest line ever, enjoy the woodsy/hipster interior of the shop and watch your doughnuts being made fresh, right there. Pip’s even has five different flavors of chai’s – so unique that you can do a flight tasting of chai. Where is that option in other places?!
Chicken and Guns is hands down, the best, BEST BEST, food EVER. Ever. E V E R. It’s very good. Unless you’re a vegan. Chicken and Gun’s menu consists of a simple list of everything you could ever need: Oak and Mesquite Slow Roasted Chicken with a side of Crispy Potatoes with Lemon & Sea Salt, Salsa Cruda, Peruvian Aji Sauce and a salad of daily selected Farmers Market Veggies, Heritage Grains, Local Greens, Chimichurri Sauce. Literally the most flavorful, moist, crisped, incredible dish in the history of dishes. All served on butcher paper in a plastic basket and cheap as hell. We limited ourself to only eating her three times in five days. 🙂
Guero and Wolf & Bear’s – both set up in a community food truck garden, of sorts. RIGHT: Guero’s No. 1 Pollo Pibil Torta filled with tender shredded chicken, charred-chile aioli, avocado, onions, cilantro and lime and cabbage. LEFT: Wolf & Bear’s Sabich (traditional Iraqi-Jewish breakfast) of hummus, amba (mango pickle purée), sliced hard boiled egg, grilled eggplant, diced onion, cucumber & pickles, freshly cracked pepper, parsley and salad greens topped with tahini sauce & olive oil on a warm pita. Both… HEAVENLY. Also paired with a local beer and wine right on tap in the neighboring
food beverage truck.
Stop by Nomad.PDX (be sure you’ve made reservations) for a 3 hour dining experience, 12 courses, beverage pairing, and culinary incredibleness. My birthday dinner from my wonderful boyfriend was unforgettable. Every bite was filled with a different texture, unique and incredible flavors, a culinary playhouse of sorts. It was wonderful and weird, all at the same time.
And of course, there was coffee.
Cup and Bar (featuring Trailhead Coffee)
There were endless coffee shops, breweries, and five-star restaurants to try. I’m not sure if I could live in Portland for the sheer fact that I would go broke dining out and weigh 500 pounds.