Second trip to Portland in one month! Can you tell that I love this city? Here is what I got up to.
If you read Monday’s post, you know that after missing my flight to Montana, I decided to road trip on down to Oregon from Washington in the middle of the night! I arrived Friday at 2:30AM. Here is the day-by-day break down.
Luckily for me, the weather in Portland was only slightly warmer than the weather in Missoula, so the clothing I packed was appropriate. Having a free day to myself on Friday while friends were working, I decided to do what I do best: eat and shop.
I first went to Pine State Biscuits where I got the Moneyball (biscuit and gravy topped with an over easy egg), which is a great basic choice for a first-time enjoyer.
I then filled up and returned my rental car and took the MAX rail line down to Pioneer Square and did a little shopping. I have been putting off purchasing a new pair of running shoes, so I figured sales tax free Oregon might offer the perfect opportunity.
After picking up some new Nike’s and some athletic socks, I then went to Great Harvest where I got the Brown Bag special: a sandwich, cookie, fruit, and veggie of your choice. It was delicious, and a light, fast, and healthy option.
Although I wanted to take advantage of traveling, I am a firm believer of listening to your body, so after only 4-hours of sleep the night before, I went back to my friend’s place to take a little siesta. Once the work day ended, I met up with a friend for drinks and food. We first went to Swift Lounge, where they are most known for their mason jar drinks ($5 during happy hour!). I loved the Chimney Swift (peach sweet tea infused vodka, lemon, amarena cherry syrup), but wasn’t a huge fan of the seasonal cider special they have available. My friend Riley got the Poes Manhattan, which he enjoyed.
We also shared some chicken satay, only $4 on the happy hour menu! Definitely a great option if you are looking for a cheaper place to get yo’ drank on, but be prepared because it was very crowded.
As March is Portland Dining Month, Riley and I decided to take advantage of some good deals at nicer restaurants. With preset, 3-course menus, typically costing around $35 a person, we decided to check out the Feisty Lamb, a place Riley had heard a lot about but had not tried yet. This place had a really cool vibe to it.
The owner and chef, who might come out and visit during one point of your meal like she did ours, is from South Africa and has lived and cooked on five different continents. All of her travels have lent themselves to some really unique and diverse food and decore. Riley and I ordered a glass of wine and looked over our pre-set menu.
The food was delicious, each bite better than the first, and the recommended wine paired well too.
Although the Feisty Lamb wasn’t crowded, it isn’t a huge space and is worth making reservations for ahead of time. If you are looking for a fancy and memorable dinner while in Portland, check this place out!
After grabbing some coffee and muffins at Coava Coffee Roasters, Riley and I took off for a hike in the Powell Butte’s, where we were greeted with 3-miles of lush Oregon greenery and lots of friendly people.
We then met a group of friends at the Field’s Sports Bar to watch the University of Oregon’s Fighting Ducks men’s basketball game against the Oklahoma Sooners. As the University of Oregon is my top choice for grad school, I was really excited to be in Oregon while the Ducks were playing! Hopefully it isn’t foreshadowing for my future admission prospects, but the Ducks lost. We did, however, have a nice time at Field’s, where I enjoyed a Moscow Mule and a Mojito (I’d most recommend the mojito) and pulled pork nachos and avocado fries (try ’em!).
We then went to Barlow, where they are known for craft cocktails using dry ice. I would recommend sitting up at the bar because it makes for a really fun experience! The bartender will use the dry ice to flash freeze your glass and then throw the remaining ice at the wall behind the bar and it makes for an entertaining show.
I ordered the Elysium (vodka, chamomile-honey, chartreuse, lemon) along with the brussels sprouts and caramelized onion dip. If you are just choosing one, go for the dip. Also, if none of the drinks jump out at you on the menu, just ask the bartender to customize one for you with your preferred base spirit.
We then stopped at our final spot for the night, Raven and Rose, where we went to the Rookery Bar upstairs. This place offers a very cozy feel with its wood-beamed ceilings, leather chairs, and old time-y movies.
I would again recommend sitting up at the bar if you want a good cocktail creation show, but the Rookery definitely offers some nice booths for more intimate experiences.
I finished my night off with some Sizzle Pie pizza, my favorite in Portland. I ordered the Hawkwind (Spinach, Feta, Dried Cranberries and Shaved Almonds in an Olive Oil base) which was delicious. Definitely my favorite so far!
Happy Easter! I was supposed to be on a 6:30AM flight from Montana to LA to be home in time for Easter celebrations at my parent’s house (we were hosting both sides of the family, about 27 people!), so I was hoping to be home to help meal and house prep. Upon looking at flights out of PDX, I found they would run me about $350+ one way, and I was not about to pay that (I usually fly to Portland for $70 dollars each way).
Once again, I have great people in my life, and Riley invited me to join his family for an Easter brunch in Salem, OR. Having never been to Salem, I was excited to see a new city. We met some of Riley’s family at The Kitchen on Court Street, where the food was almost as good as his family was welcoming.
After brunch, we took the family’s dog on a walk around Salem where we got a little rained on but still had a great time!
Once we had dried off (always have a raincoat in Oregon!), Riley and I went back to Portland. We stopped off first at 10 Barrel Brewing Company, where we each order a beer and some sweet potatoes fries to share.
The cool thing about 10 Barrel is that it has a roof-top beer garden that offers some nice views of Portland, especially when the skies are clear. If it isn’t raining, check the roof-top out!
After walking around Portland for a little, we popped into Oba for their happy hour.
Although they are known for their margaritas here, I ordered a guava mojito and Riley got a guava margarita. Both were delicious, but I was happy with my slightly sweeter choice.
Although we didn’t try any, they have lots of tasty sounding tapas on the happy hour menu!
We came in right as happy hour just beginning (4PM), so it was pretty dead inside, but I think this would be a great place to go with a large group of friends!
We then went for some dinner at Riley’s favorite Thai food Paadee.
I ordered the Khao Soi (egg noodles in light coconut curry broth, fried wonton and tofu) at the recommendation of both Riley and our waitress. It was pretty good, very much resembling a ramen. Riley tried out some crispy chicken, which would probably be better for a few people to share than for one person entirely.
We also both ordered a cocktail, each of which was perfectly balanced and Instagram-able.
After a little more exploring, we ended our night at Cascade Brewing Barrel House.
This “House of Sour” focuses of sour beers, something that I had not heard of before. Sour beers are definitely a unique and different taste, but – like everything – were worth trying once. And this is the place to do it. As I am not a huge beer fan and sours aren’t Riley’s thing, we just split a few testers.
With friends back at work, I went out in search of breakfast. I was greeted by a gorgeous Oregon day.
I went back to Great Harvest, where I ordered a breakfast sandwich and a scone. Both were amazing, but seriously, don’t pass up the scone.
I then burned some energy by using the gym at my friend’s apartment! Vacation, or traveling in general, isn’t an excuse for not being active!
I also got to enjoy the 21st floor view of downtown Portland.
After spending a few hours writing and working on MBA program applications, I was ready to get back outside and enjoy my night! After Riley had wrapped up his work day, we purchased last minute tickets to see the Portland Trail Blazers against the Sacramento Kings. Tickets were $6 each (so so cheap, how could we not?!) and I was really excited to see the Kings play, as I lived in Sacramento for five years!
It was a fun game to watch, especially for $6 and the Blazers won! I always love going to sporting events while traveling because it is so awesome to witness the fans rooting for their home team. Although Blazer fans are pretty good, I still think Dallas Stars fans are the best!
After the game, we got some late dinner at Spirit of 77, a sports bar that is perfect for watching night-time games live as they have a huge projector along with many other TVs. We both got the fish tacos.
I started my morning off with another gym session! Don’t mind my stretching technique!
I then spent the day in much the same fashion as Monday, working on the blog and ensuring that all of my MBA apps were 100% complete!
I also spent some time at the Lloyd Farmer’s Market. I love checking out farmer’s markets (and Portland is famous for their Saturday Market), but this one was definitely on the smaller scale. Although you could purchase honey, eggs, soaps, and fresh veggies, I opted for some Mexican food for lunch. I got a tamale that was huge, but pretty good, and a horchata that I honestly hated…
Tuesday ended with some master chef moments by making dinner! As you will pretty much only find me in the kitchen to pour a bowl of cereal, this was a pretty big accomplishment! Stuck with pasta to keep things simple!
Ended the night by watching the sunset from the 21st floor. Love these Portland views!
What a beautiful morning it was to wake up and go for a hike!
I meet up with one of my best friends Brittany (you met her here!) for a hike in the Columbia River Gorge.
We hiked the Wahkeena Falls Trail which connected to the famous Multnomah Falls.
It was absolutely beautiful so I will let each picture speak for itself.
Brittany and I have a great time climbing trees, chasing waterfalls, and capturing the beauty of the world in photograph.
Just make sure to take time to breath the beauty and simplicity all in.
By the end of it, Brittany and I had treked seven beautiful miles!
We ended up at Multnomah Falls!
After working up quite the appetite, Brittany and I went to Mother’s Bistro and Bar, one of her favorites.
We both ordered the Grilled Portabella Mushroom Scramble (grilled portabellas marinated in garlic, olive oil & balsamic vinegar, scrambled with eggs,
fresh sautéed spinach & asiago cheese) and I also ordered the pancakes because I was starving and have no shame.
Upon getting back to my friend’s apartment, I checked my email to see that I was accepted into my second choice MBA program! Once Riley was home from work, he and I went out to celebrate my acceptance and participate in Wednesday Night Cocktail Challenge (I have a whole post on this coming soon)!
We walked back to Swift, where I got the Chimney Swift mason jar drink again and Riley ordered the sangria.
We then got some sushi and sake at Yoko’s Japanese restaurant. The sake was unfiltered and served cold, so it was a new experience for me. I liked it more than hot sake, but I am not a huge fan of either really.
The sushi was pretty good here! Not the best ever (Ninja Sushi in Roseville, CA is my favorite ever), but the fish was fresh and it hit most of the marks.
We then rounded out my trip to Oregon with one last cocktail bar Imperial.
Riley was really keen on taking me here because they make a very interesting drink that has quickly become one of his favorites called A Radish Walks into a Bar… (carpano antica vermouth, ransom old tom gin, lemon, radish gastrique, cracked pepper and salt). As weird as it sounds, it was really good. I was not so fortunate with my drink, the Chilly Down (hamilton rum, 7 sirens rum, amargo vallet lime, demerara syrup).
It was a bitter sweet end to the trip (literally!) but as I had a 6:40AM flight the next morning, it was time to hit the hay!
With every visit I fall in love with Oregon just a little bit more. I feel like I would be happy to just make this fallen tree my home! In the end, it is all I need.
What are some of your favorite cities in the world? Let us know below.