Thursday, August 6, 2015

Portland, The Good, The Bad And The Food

What a trip!  Portland is quite a city.  In the three days I was there we did  a lot of exploring and tons of eating.

Portland, the good:
1. The city is so green.  There are literally trees, flowers and foliage everywhere!  It's really unlike any other city I've been to in that way, absolutely beautiful.
2. The food is insane.  We ate 3 to 4 full meals a day with each of us ordering several dishes at a time.  I can't express enough just how much food we ate!  Of all the dishes only one was less than incredible and even then that dish was fresh and perfectly acceptable.
3. There's no sales tax.  In general Portland is far less expensive than San Diego and any other city I've visited really.  Every time a bill would come I thought I was being given my half only to discover it was the entire check. 

Portland, the bad:
1. Portland is full of hipsters and I'm just not that cool.  My mainstream self didn't fit in.  By day three I really lowered the bar and found myself dressing somewhat grubby.  Day three was the day the locals were the nicest.
2. The city is a lot bigger and more spread out then I thought.  Once again thank god for Uber.  Getting from one destination to another almost always required a car, especially in the 100 degree heat.
3. Service at restaurants is non-existent.  Mind you we were on vacation so we were not in a hurry but my god.  I'm not use to waiting 20 minutes for a side of cream cheese.  One two accounts I had to get up to ask for our check.  Seriously, I love a leisurely meal but this was on another level.
4. A lot of Portland's most popular restaurants don't take reservations!

Would I go back to Portland?  Maybe!  I like to visit new cities though so unless I fall madly in love with a place the chances of me going back are not great.  With that said I can't emphasize enough how phenomenal the food was so if the right opportunity fell into my lap I'd probably return.

Let's move on with the trip recap now shall we.  Please bare in mind I am not a photographer.  All photos were taken with a shaky hand on an iphone :).  Thank you! 

I'm kicking myself in the ass for not taking pictures at our first stop.  In my defense though I think I was just so excited to be with Yoli that things like taking pictures didn't matter.  We basically plan these trips a year in advance (next year is Napa!) so when they finally roll around I'm like a puppy greeting it's master after a long day home alone #totalspaz. 

Anyways, we enjoyed a two martini lunch at the coolest old school restaurant.  Jake's wasn't on our list of must trys but when our first choice was an hour long wait we moved on.  Totally fine by me because I LOVED everything about Jake's.  Lots of dark wood, table lamps, old forest green carpet.  Everything about the place appealed to me.  Food wise I had a caesar salad and clam chowder which outdid any chowder I've ever had in San Francisco.   

After lunch we took a stroll to Tasty n Alder because the one thing you need after a two martini lunch is more cocktails.

After a few more adult beverages and some great conversation we took a car back to our hotel to check in and then headed to dinner.  It had been at least five hours since we had eaten after all :).    Cabezon was awesome.  A bit off the beaten path but the ambiance and food were both fantastic.

Our first of many rounds of oysters.  We had them everyday.

My Ono, perfectly seasoned and cooked to perfection.

Pate, ono sashimi and red wine.  It's a rough life.

The rest of the evening was spent exploring the Mississippi District #notafan.

When we had had all we could take we found a spot and enjoyed the quintessential I've been drinking all day and now I need carbs meal.  And yes, we are both in pajama shirts and leggings.   Buffalo Gap was the perfect dive bar that just happened to have a super cozy feel.  Our waitress was the best we had all weekend too. 

Nachos and a meatloaf sandwich.

The next morning was a bit of a slow start but we rallied.  Breakfast next door at the hotel's restaurant Aquariva and then a walk along the river.  The property was very scenic but totally basic and three star at best.  On Sunday we had facials at the hotel's spa, my aesthetician was done 25 minutes in and proceeded to spend the next 35 minutes massaging my arms and shoulder.  Not exactly the type of property and experience I'm use to but it served it's purpose.

Around 11:00 we headed to the Japanese Garden.  Pictures do not do this place justice. 

When we were chased out of the garden by a cranky old man (literally) we went all 50 Shades and had lunch at the Heathmann Hotel.

A little shopping around town, lots and lots of walking, some more cocktails and then dinner at Urban Farmer.

Yoli and I seem to have a routine on these trips.  Go balls to the wall on night one and then find ourselves in bed by 9:00 the next night.  Totally works for me (note, the below picture is proof I was in the bar the night before in my pajama shirt).

And just like that Sunday was upon us.  Breakfast again at the hotel's restaurant.  

Powell's Books!  Omg, I could have spent our entire three day trip in this one building.  Soooooo many books.  I limited myself to three which was hard but I'm very happy with my picks. 

Look at these super cute pillows.  Don't they look exactly like Beeps?  If I was traveling with more than a duffle bag I totally would have bought one!

We attempted to go to Voodoo but I just can't.  You may be noticing a trend here.  I just can't bring myself to queue up for food.  If there's more than a 10 minute wait I'm outta there.  Instead we headed to Dan & Louis Oyster Bar.

Just a cool old building I fell in love with.

Our last picture of the trip.

Our last cocktails of the trip.

Goodbye Portland.


  1. Omg, I've been to the Red Star Tavern in June! That never happens to me (because I never go to any trendy restaurants or bars), so I'm equally freaked out and thrilled. (Mostly thrilled.)
    Your girl's weekend sounds perfect! You are my kinda people, go hard on the first night and then verrry easy on the remaining ones. One day, we may have a girl's weekend together!! I'm dreaming and scheming over here...

  2. All the food looks SO GOOD!! That beef tartare looks amazing, and is calling my even has a deviled egg!!! What an awesome trip!!

  3. Urban Farmer and the bookstore both look awesome.

    I am NOT well with crappy service. I don't want to sit with my water glass empty, I don't want to wait for a condiment, and I don't want to wait for a check.

    Cheers to another great girls' weekend!

  4. SO much good food and drink! I would have loved to visit the book store, too. I would try VooDoo Doughut, wait be damned.. but I'm used to long food lines so they don't bother me anymore. On such a quick trip, I totally get wanting not to waste your time!

  5. haha we have some family living in portland.. and we try to visit once a year. have you watched portlandia? it's not that much of an exaggeration. i think it's way funnier after visiting portland. we asked our cousins if they've watched the show.. and they replied.. 'why watch it when you can see it out on your front porch'