Portland, Oregon is my #45 travel memory. Food is the one thing I remember most about my visit to Portland. Eating was pretty much all we did there haha. Portland is a total foodie city. I have been to Oregon many times in my life but until last summer I had never actually been to Portland. Driven through it countless times, but never stayed and explored. So my friend Kat and I decided to drive down for the weekend. We stayed at the Heathman Hotel (the hotel in Fifty Shades of Grey), and yes we stayed in it for that reason. And sadly it was nothing how I pictured it to be. It is a very nice hotel but old, very old, with old decor, and a much older average guest age than we had hoped for. However, it was very central to downtown Portland so that was nice. Right when we got into town, we went straight to Deschutes Brewery, where we met up with my friend from college Carly, and her younger sister Sam. They live in Portland. Deschutes is a very famous brewery, that serves a lot of their beer in Seattle. It also has the best food at any brewery I’ve ever been to, and I’ve been to plenty. They had a burger with pork belly fat, yellow tomatoes, bacon and goat cheese. Might be best burger I’ve ever had. Kat had this gorgonzola mac n cheese. Amazing.
That night for dinner we met up with one of my good friends from study abroad who now lives in Portland. My sister had mentioned this amazing Thai place on the other side of the city, so Josh met up with us at the hotel and we drove down there. After awhile driving around in an otherwise quiet, dark neighborhood, we found one small stretch of street that had lots of lights. Some of those lights lit up the sign Pok Pok, the name of the place. It was a Tuesday night and an hour and a half wait. We thought wow this place must be good. We waited, and it was no hassle at all because Pok Pok owns the bar across the street so you can just go get a drink there and they call your name over there to tell you when your table is ready. It was great. Two amazing whiskey sours later, our table was ready. It is a teeny tiny restaurant with tables packed in. We had no idea what to order and it was like no Thai menu I’d ever seen so we asked our waiter what his favorites were and got those. Everything was very different than Thai I’d had before but delicious, especially the short ribs.
After dinner, Josh took us to a bar in a different neighborhood. Unfortunately cannot remember the name. The bar from out front looked deserted, and no one was inside. But in the back was a huge outdoor area, with picnic tables for drinking at, pool tables, and beer pong. They had white lights hanging from canopies. It was very summery. I loved it. They also had great mixed drinks there.
The next morning Kat and I went to another place my sister recommended called Mothers for brunch. WOW. Awesome brunch, cool decor, and great service. After brunch, we attempted to check out the Portland waterfront, thinking it was like Seattle. It’s not. Portland is a very cool city but not very pretty to be honest. At least not nature wise. So, we went to another side of the city, to a trendy area (that I can’t remember the name of) that my friend recommended. The street was lined with cool restaurants, vintage stores, and trendy boutiques. Kat and I both found some great stuff.
Our last meal in Portland was at Oba! Located right in the center of the Pearl District, it is considered Nuevo Latino cuisine. We picked it because it had amazing reviews on Yelp, and wow it did not disappoint. One of the best dinners I’ve ever had from start to finish. Everything on the menu looked delicious, and we couldn’t chose, so the chef chose for us. That was cool! From the spicy tequila margaritas, to the perfectly cooked steak, just WOW. Next time I’m in Portland I will be going back there for sure.
I’m sad we didn’t make it to Voodoo Donut, the famous donut shop only in Portland, especially notorious for its maple bacon bars. There’s always next time!