One of my favorite media makers, Rich Yodsukar, had just moved to Portland to much of my dismay with his wife and his son. During one of our conversations, Rich had mentioned that Portland was one of the largest growing food scenes and knowing that Tiana and I are total foodies, told us we HAD to make our way to Seattle's sister to check out the booming businesses.
So we did.
We had an open wedding weekend which turned out to be New Year's Eve 2016. I had the following Monday off from the hospital, so why not?
Tiana planned the flight and trip in about 30 minutes, but our biggest concern was the weather. Apparently Portland was about to be hit by a Canadian front, but did that stop us?
Looking like the tourists that we are, we bought jackets and outerwear which was worth its weight in gold.
Downtown Portland is home to these lots that have permanent food carts installed around the block. Absolutely perfect for a quick bite or a huge meal depending on what you're looking for.
Over the New Year's weekend, several restaurants and food trucks were closed (understandably), but that did not stop us from ordering food that struck our fancy as we walked by. Some was good, some was bad. As long as it was hot and fit in my glove, I didn't mind.
Walking around Portland, I felt like I was in a younger, less Asian San Francisco. Very hip with touches of tradition. Granted, we didn't have much time to get out of downtown Portland, but from what we saw, it reminded us of San Francisco. One thing we also noticed was many of the people we spoke with were California transplants either claiming to look for a change of scene and pace or looking for relief from the insane cost of housing plus taxes in California.
With as cold and wet as it was, I could see why coffee shops are super popular here. Public Domain and Barista were the more common ones other than the Starbucks that we found all over downtown.
We barely scratched the surface of Portland and definitely have to come back to find more of the gems.
Paul's Tips for Portland:
- In weather this cold, get something that covers your cheeks, mouth, face unless you like frostbite or are already acclimated to 30 degree weather.
- Get decent gloves or at least get gloves that have some kind of tech that will let you operate your touchscreen phone without having to take your gloves off in the freezing cold.
- There are places where you can get alcohol with your coffee. I don't think I need to repeat myself.
- There is a large homeless population in downtown Portland. Not a warning, just a fact. Being from California and running around in Los Angeles often, not really a big deal. We noticed some other tourists that were freaked out.
Tiana's Tip for Portland:
- Hold out for the restaurant you REALLY want because after that 90 minute wait, the food will taste that much better.
- As a non-cheese eater, Portland does not blink when customizing food orders. It seems like restaurants here deal with plenty of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free diets.
- Killer Burger
- The Dump Truck/Bing Mi/Grilled Cheese
- Coffee (!!)
- Tasty & Alders