Beginner’s Guide to Portland, OR

Beginner’s Guide to Portland, OR

After Austin, I figured that I had to go to the other U.S. city that had the motto of, “Keep _______ weird,” so I went up to Portland, OR with one of my best friends Before deciding to go to Portland, I had never really considered visiting the Pacific Northwest, and I really don’t know how or why I ignored this part of the country, but once I went to Portland, I instantly fell in love with it.

When I went to Portland for the first time in July 2016, I was still recovering from my stress fracture, so I wasn’t very mobile. Despite this setback, Portland is an easy city to get around without having to do too much walking. There is a train system, Lyft and Uber are there, and there are trolleys that can take you around different tourist areas within the city. We stayed at an Airbnb in Historic Kenton Area and it was a nice part of town. It was close to a MAX train stop and there was a little area that had a few shops and restaurants.

Day #1

To start off our first full day in Portland, we went to Cup and Saucer for breakfast and I got French Toast- it was perfection. My favorite way to start off the day is with a delicious breakfast that usually consists of comfort food, and French toast is that for me.

Once we finished, we took the train to Downtown Portland, and headed over to the meeting spot for the Pink Trolley. This trolley takes you all around the city and to a lot of the main tourist attractions, and it was an affordable way to see a lot of different parts of the city without walking. The two stops that we spent the most time in were the Rose Garden and the Arboretum. Both areas are beautiful and I loved being outdoors and just being able to explore a little- not being able to walk for three months really makes you appreciate the outdoors.

Once we finished with the trolley tour, we headed over to the Pearl District and went to Powell’s bookstore- this was heaven for me. I LOVEEE books, and I just loved being in a bookstore that was so historic and has such a variety of books in it.

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After a long day of exploring, we headed over to The Hairy Lobster for dinner. We started off with beers because you have to try local beers when traveling and the Parker House Rolls with lavender whipped honey butter. For dinner, I got the caramelized lamb served over potatoes and sweet potato mash, and it was delicious. However, for the price, I was a bit surprised at how small my meal was, but it was okay because we were heading over to Salt and Straw for dessert.

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We all know that I have an obsession with Salt and Straw in LA, so it’s no surprise that I had to go to one of the original locations in Portland. When we arrived at Salt and Straw the line wasn’t horrible- at least in comparison to the location I go to in LA, so we decided to wait. As we got closer and closer to the door, I got more and more excited. The décor in the shop was very different from LA, so I really enjoyed that. Since I knew that Portland has some different flavors than LA, I knew I had to try at least one of the local flavors. I got the Stumptown and Burnside Bourbon and Cinnamon Snickerdoodle in a waffle cone- this was a splurge because I usually just get a cup!

Day #2

The next day for breakfast we wanted to try a local donut place, but since I had already been to Voodo Donuts we decided to go to Blue Star.  We got four donuts including: real maple bacon, The O.G., chocolate almond ganache, and a blueberry bourbon basil. All the donuts were DELICIOUS! I LOVED the donuts! I think it was the fact that they weren’t greasy and the flavors were unique that helped a lot. To go with the donuts, I got a carton of Stumptown coffee with milk – best breakfast combination ever!

After breakfast, we walked over to a cute Saturday market near the water. There were a lot of unique and eclectic sellers, which made it easier to find some cool gifts for people! We spent a few hours meandering around the market and then decided it was time for lunch.

We went to Deschutes Brewery for lunch, and I really enjoyed it. My friend and I split a sampler of the different Deschutes, and I really enjoyed most of the different beers. To eat I got the chicken wings, and I thought that they were perfect. It was definitely more of a unique type of chicken wings, but I enjoyed them.

After lunch, we were signed up for a brewcycle tour of Portland. The tour we picked was the Old Town tour and we went to PINTs Brewing, Old Town Brewing, and Fat Head’s Brewing. I thought it was fun way to see the city and we got to explore different parts that we hadn’t visited thus far. I really enjoyed trying new beers and touring the city, so I highly recommend this as a way to explore any city!

After the tour we headed to dinner, and we decided on sushi! We went to a sushi restaurant in the Pearl District right near The Hairy Lobster called Yama Sushi and Sake Bar. I ordered the love joy roll and my friend got a cucumber roll and the sunrise roll. We both thought the food was really good and there wasn’t a super long line for anything which is always a perk. Once we finished dinner we went back to the Airbnb, so we could both pack up because we were leaving the next day.

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Day #3

For my final meal in Portland, the next day, I went back to Cup and Saucer and I got a chai latte and a quiche. Everything was delicious and I need to go back sometime!

 

I loved Portland so much, that I ended up coming back a few months later! That blog post will be up soon 🙂

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SoCal Foodie

When people think of SoCal, most people don’t think about all of the delicious food that exists in Los Angeles. Seriously, one of the best parts of living here is all of the amazing food, and I love trying new places. The first place I love is one I’ve already blogged about, Salt and Straw. I am mildly obsessed with it, and I think they have the best ice cream I’ve ever had. Once December rolled around, I had to try their December flavors. I got the Peppermint Cocoa and Butter Roasted Chestnut, but I loved all of the samples I tried.

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Peppermint Cocoa and Butter Roasted Chestnut

Another one of my go to places is In-N-Out. I don’t eat beef, but I love their Grilled Cheese, Milkshakes, and Animal Style Fries. I think the Grilled Cheese at In-N-Out is one of the best I have ever had, so everyone should try it.

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When I want Mexican Food, I have two go to places. One of them is Malo, which is located in Silverlake. I like this restaurant because they have some unique taco options. I really like the Mashed Potato Tacos. Since I don’t eat beef, I enjoy finding good options that I can eat at restaurants. This past time, I tried the fish tacos, which were delicious as well.

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Mashed Potato Taco, Fish Taco, White Wine Sangria, and Chips and Salsa

If you live in SoCal or are visiting Los Angeles anytime soon, I highly recommend each of these places!

A Little Piece of Paradise

So I discovered one of my foodie favorites this summer after yoga, and yes I know that eating unhealthy food after yoga is counter productive. I think it opened recently, because I had never seen the lines before. If you’re in Portland, OR or Los Angeles, CA, then you definitely need to try Salt & Straw ice cream. Once you go, your world will be changed and you will have an unhealthy obsession with it. Seriously, I am not a huge dessert person and I LOVE this place; sometimes I go multiple times in one day. The part that I love about it besides unique flavors and that it’s homemade, is that they do split scoops. This allows me to try two new flavors at once or just mix it up. My two flavors are the Honey Lavender and the Stumptown Coffee with Compartes Love Nuts. In addition, every month they have specific flavors for just that month, which is super fun to try all sorts of interesting combinations.

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Candy Corn

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Stumptown Coffee with Compartes Love Nuts

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Stumptown Coffee with Compartes Love Nuts and Pomegranate Molasses

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Almond Brittle and Roasted Strawberry & Toasted White Chocolate

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Birthday Cake with Blackberries and Sea Salt Cupcake

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Honey Lavendar and Stumptown Coffee with Compartes Love Nuts