After my afternoon in downtown Seattle, I hit the road and headed towards Portland. It was not a bad drive from downtown Seattle ... only about 2 hours and 45 minutes. J. and I are trying to get a picture of each state sign, so I was prepared to take a picture as I entered Oregon ... unfortunately, this is the only sign they had:
Very boring ...
I went down to visit some family friends, the D.'s. I was meeting Mr. and Mrs. D. and their daughter, A.D., who is my age. I made it to the hotel just as they were finishing up their pre-dinner drinks and we headed out for dinner at South Park Seafood.
Our meal was delicious, we had a fabulous bottle of wine and I had the Alaskan Halibut which was served over gnocchi, squash and corn. Yum. After dinner, we headed over to what quickly became our favorite local haunt, right behind our hotel, Brasserie Montmartre. We had a drink and headed back to the hotel ... we had to be up early-ish the next day.
We stayed at the Westin in downtown Portland ... it was a great location and very reasonably priced. I highly recommend it if you are ever in Portland! Mrs. D., A.D., and I met for breakfast on Monday morning in The Daily Grill, which was on the first floor of our hotel. The breakfasts were huge and not terribly overpriced. My omelette came with fruit ... I was expecting a small fruit cup of so-so fruit. It came with a fruit platter of the freshest fruit ... and slices, not chunks. It was delicious. From breakfast, we set out for Old Town and the Oregon Ducks store. Mrs. D.'s son wanted an Oregon Ducks hockey shirt.
The historic building that the Oregon Ducks Store was in ... beautiful!
The Duck Store
After the Duck Store, we needed a pick me up, so we headed into Floyd's Coffee Shop
They roast Stumptown coffee which is THE coffee in Portland.
From there, we wandered back towards our hotel and happened upon ...
VooDoo Doughnuts! They are famous for their bacon maple doughnut. I LOVED these pink boxes!
The display case
Apparently, the line can stretch down the block. We, however, got lucky with no line!
A.D. and I in front of VooDoo
Mrs. D and our Grape Ape doughnut!
After our doughnut stop ... we headed to The Heathman Hotel. We spent the afternoon doing the Epicurean Tour ... a food tour of Portland.
The doorman and I at the Heathman
Mrs. D. and the doorman
The library at the Heathman ... each author that stays at the hotel must bring a signed first edition. If you are staying at the hotel you can borrow the books during your stay.
First stop on the tour ... where we had the tiniest mug of hot chocolate. It tasted like melted chocolate, it was so rich and delicious and almost too much at once!
After Cacao, we were off to the Flying Elephants Delicatessan where we tasted their signature Tomato Orange Soup. I don't like tomato soup and I thought it was fantastic. It was so good that I found the recipe online and made it last week :)
Next up, was authentic Bosnian food at Ziba's Pitas. We had Zeljanica ... a cheese and spinach pita. It was delicious. Portland has several areas called pods where people can set up their food carts.
After Ziba's Pitas we headed to Public Domain to learn about and taste coffee. They taught us about the french press method of roasting coffee and we tasted one of the most expensive coffees on the market, the Esmerelda. Apparently there is a big coffee auction every year where the different companies buy their coffee beans and last year Esmerelda went for $80/pound!
I loved this little coffee shop and it was right around the corner from our hotel!
Our next stop was The Spice & Tea Exchange
We had a salt tasting! It was so neat ... they had us taste the different salts with cucumbers. I also loved the clock on the wall, but sadly, the guy in the shop did not know where it was from :)
Next up was falafel at this Greek food cart. It was not my favorite thing that we tasted.
The next stop on the tour was Bailey's Taproom. I was glad for a break from food! Between breakfast, our doughnuts and the tour, I was starting to get full!
We tried three different beers, but I didn't write down the names/types. I'm not a huge beer drinker but I thought they were all pretty good.
And I loved the lights in the bar ... they were beer bottles with a lightbulb in them. Very creative!
From Bailey's, we headed over towards Old Town with a tour of Chinatown on the way. We stopped at the The People's Sandwich of Portland.
We had the "Hammer and Pickle" sandwich, a traditional Cuban sandwich with ham, pork loin, pickle, swiss, mustard and mayo on a french roll, pressed on the grill. It was served with their "DicTater chips." Now, I don't like ham or pickles or mustard ... but I thought this sandwich was fantastic. I ate my whole piece. And would consider going back for a full sandwich in the future.
You'd think after ALL that food, we'd be down with the tour. But nope, we headed over to Dan & Louis Oyster Bar and tried oysters.
Something I did not know ... the oysters are alive when you shoot them and can live in your stomach for up to 20 minutes. Umm ... gross?
And finally, we were at the last stop on our tour. VooDoo Doughnuts! Haha.
Luckily, we did not have to wait in the line. But this is what the line looks like mid-afternoon. Apparently, when we went earlier, we got very lucky!
The box of doughnuts.
I rarely eat doughnuts ... so eating two in one day was a little ridiculous. But this M&M doughnut was SO darn good. I ate half and took the other half home for a snack :)
A.D. and I with the box of doughnuts. I just love those pink boxes!
From there, we headed back towards the hotel and stopped for a pre-dinner drink at a wine bar. Dinner that night was at ten 01, a fantastic restaurant. They had a great menu and a wine sommelier who was beyond helpful. We asked his recommendation about the bottle we were interested in and not only did he give his honest opinion, he recommended another bottle that was less expensive than the one we had picked out. It worked in his favor though, because we ended up getting two bottles. He also gave us some great recommendations for other bars in the city.
I'd love to say we ended our evening there, but nope. We headed to Clyde Common. It was such a fun bar. I will definitely be going back next time I am in Portland. The bartenders were nice and friendly and I couldn't make up my mind so he made me a special drink, "The Queen Bee."
Whew, I cannot believe that we did all of that in one day. Just writing this post made me tired! Portland, Day 2 will be up later this week!