The Dude and I spent a few days in Portland last week, and we really, really liked it.
The number one thing I wanted to see was Cathedral Park to behold St. John’s Bridge, and we did just that on the day we arrived. I had seen photos of it on Instagram and was totally captivated by it. Seeing St. John’s Bridge in real life was everything I hoped it would be and more. It’s seriously one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. The little neighbourhood around the park, St. John’s, seemed quaint and interesting but we didn’t have time to explore it. We did return to St. John’s our last evening though to catch a movie in a theatre that serves beer, pizza, and popcorn! Everything else was closed unfortunately (except for the sketchy-looking bars).
After visiting Cathedral Park, my agenda was to eat yummy food, drink as much coffee as my body could stand, and walk around the different neighbourhoods in PDX (airport code for Portland).
I particularly wanted to focus on breakfast. The first morning, I munched on a delicious almond croissant at Nuvrei Påtisserie and Cafe in downtown Portland. I actually don’t really care for almond croissants but the one at Nuvrei was calling my name. It was probably the best almond croissant I’ve ever had. The second day’s breakfast was had at Broder, a Swedish restaurant. I had the smoked trout skillet with two eggs, and really enjoyed it. Our last day, we had breakfast at Pine State Biscuits. I ordered fried chicken and biscuit with a side of shiitake mushroom gravy. The gravy was surprisingly good, given that I don’t really enjoy gravy normally. For lunch, we hit up a couple of food trucks: Nong’s, which specializes in chicken and rice, and KOi, which is known for its Korean tacos. The Dude requested kimchi on his tacos, and he scarfed them down (he needs a regular fix of kimchi). PDX is food truck city. They are everywhere, tucked into the most unexpected places sometimes.
There are soooooo many cafes in Portland, like any good Pacific Northwest city. We like our coffee, yes sirrrreee. One of my favourite coffee roasters is Stumptown Coffee which was founded in PDX. In Vancouver, I only know of one place that serves Stumptown. In Portland, it seems that almost any decent establishment serves it, so I was in heaven.
One of the places where I enjoyed a cup of Stumptown coffee was at the Ace Hotel in downtown PDX. There’s a Stumptown cafe attached to the hotel so I sat in the lobby, drinking my coffee and admiring the crazy beautiful spread of air plants and succulents on the humongous coffee table. You bet I took a lot of pictures, but I’ll spare you the plant porno.
The best coffee I had was at Barista in the Alberta Arts District. I also really dug their interior decor. I couldn’t help but drool over the industrial, Victorian-ish, vintage decor. The plumbing pipe wall shelves by the cashier are my dream shelving.
PDX is a quirky town. If you watch the TV comedy Portlandia, you’ll know what I’m talking about. One funny thing is that all the street signs are peppered with stickers, and some of the stickers are really funny. You’ll have to go to Portland to see them for yourself.