Portland, Oregon is a great city for all things recreational and food, so we definitely enjoyed our time there. There’s an unending amount of great restaurants, things to see, and things to do. The Mountain Hardware flagship store is in Portland. I have such a weakness for outdoor stores, so of course we went; hours passed, clothes were bought, and the rest is history.
Portland is a gorgeous city with trees and flowers everywhere. There is a huge food cart culture here and the options are pretty much unlimited. We had a snack at Stumptown Dumplings and had their selection which includes, cheeky chicken, pompous pork, and sassy spinach with a peanut dipping sauce. If I had it to do over, I would take the food cart tour. I think it would be fun to sample more places.
Powell’s Books is supposed to be the largest independent new and used book store in the world. It’s enormous, and I think that I could stay there for days on end, just in the cookbook section. As it was, I bought 4 cookbooks and I had to give myself a time limit or we’d never get out of there.
We went to Pok Pok for Thai one night, and it was by far my favorite thing about Portland. I absolutely cannot recommend it enough! We had their chicken wings and red curry. It was phenomenal and totally worth the wait to get in.
On the waterfront of the river, there is a big craft market that we spent a little time meandering through. There are lots of food carts here as well, so snacks are always a few feet away.
Pittock Mansion sits above the city and it provides great views of Portland with Mount Hood in the distance. The mansion was the home of Henry Pittock who came out west on the Oregon Trail. Penniless, he started at the local newspaper and turned it into the Daily Oregonian. He and his wife had much to do with the founding of Portland.
In this same section of the city there is a Rose Testing Garden with 7,000 different variaties and a beautiful Japanese Garden as well.
We heard a lot of hype about Voodoo doughnuts so we decided to give it a try even though it’s a bit of a tourist trap. Unless you want to say you’ve been there, I definitely wouldn’t wait for 45 minutes in line.
Coffee culture is big in Portland as well, and we did our best to sample as many places as we could squeeze in. If you’re really serious about your espresso, Coava Coffee is it. Stumptown Coffee and Cafe Vita had really good coffee as well and are more centrally located.
We went to dinner two nights in a row at Cafe Mingo. They advertise simple Italian cooking done well, and we couldn’t agree more. Their menu reads like poetry, and everything that we ordered was wonderful.
Lucky for us, heirloom tomatoes were in season as well as blackberries. We ordered a Pizza Margherita with their house made mozzarella and heirloom tomatoes and there are no words for how good it was. One night, I ordered their Insalatone (big salad) with fresh corn, arugula, heirloom tomatoes, basil and gorgonzola vinaigrette. For dessert, both nights we had the caramel panna cotta with fresh blackberries. Everything was amazing because the produce was so fresh and perfectly combined.
We loved our time in Portland and were reluctant to leave. I guess that means we’ll have to come back again.
See you next week as we head toward Mount St. Helens!