Friday, July 15, 2011

The Voodoo City.

...Where were we?

I've been trying to muster a definition, a description of Portland. It's spirited. It's bold. It's tragic. It's broken. And then it's bright again.

Some of the city made me sad, but then we would turn the corner and the next street was full of music and festivals.

It's a super green city, and not in a trendy way. Many locals bike or walk. Every restaurant offers bins for recycling and composting. Restaurant menus list where the food derives, usually from a farm nearby. My sister and her roommates don't flush if they've only um, - peed - to save water. Portlanders actually do their part to attempt to save our little planet.

So here we go.

I didn't take any pictures the first day (Thursday) because 1. I was nappy from the plane ride, and 2. I had my fair share of "Hey everybody, look - I'm a tourist!" when I pulled my luggage-on-wheels up 5th in downtown Portland.

Meals on Thursday -
Lunch: Brunchbox, a food cart. Really good sandwiches with sriracha and local cheeses.

Dinner: Tasty & Sons, a neighborhood restaurant on Williams. As the server explained, the dishes are "meant for sharing", so we ordered several to split. We had bread & butter, a meat & cheese board, and yellow potatoes with lardons and chives. We enjoyed a coffee soda float for dessert. I recommend Tasty & Sons if you're looking for an intimate atmosphere and buttery, salty dishes.

Entertainment on Thursday -
The infamous Powell's Books, thrifting at Buffalo Exchange, and an outdoor art show.

Meals on Friday -
Breakfast: Voodoo Doughnuts, a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. I had a donut called "old dirty bastard", which included peanut butter and Oreo's. And diabetes. This donut shop features a million unique flavors. (Check out the menu yourself.)

Lunch: Waffle Window, a walk-up restaurant that serves savory cheeses and spicy peppers on sweet waffles.

Dinner: La Petite Provence, a restaurant and pastry shop on Alberta. This restaurant was a total toss-up. Excellent cheese plate, extensive wine list; bland salad, slow service.

Entertainment on Friday -
A stroll through Ladd (a neighborhood with exquisitely charming homes), more thrifting, and a CD release show for Josh Garrels at Alberta Rose Theatre.

Meals on Saturday -
Breakfast: puffy pastries and Stumptown coffee @ the farmer's market on the PSU campus.

Lunch: Mother's, a bistro in the center of downtown. My mom, sister and I met my aunt - who we had not seen in years - for lunch, and this was her pick. I had a homestyle cheesy pasta, which was flavorful and filling.

Dinner: Tin Shed, an eccentric eatery on Alberta. The sangria is served chock-full of fruit in pretty blue mason jars. The appetizers are mouth-watering. We really enjoyed the Berry Garcia - roasted red peppers, black beans, Tillamook cheddar, berry jam stuffed into a grilled tortilla. The soup? To die for. We sat outside at the large picnic tables, where we enjoyed the friendly buzz of Alberta, fireflies (!), and the cool air. If you get too cold though, you can request a blanket from the server.

Dessert: Salt & Straw, an ice cream cart on Alberta. It's all handmade and fresh. I had a hard time not ordering one of each flavor, but I finally chose sea salt with caramel ribbons. Obviously it did not disappoint.

Entertainment on Saturday -
The farmer's market on the PSU campus, the Saturday market (art, jewelry, live music, etc.), and the Mississippi Ave. Street Fair, which you can watch a video of here.

If you're going to visit Portland, don't miss happy hour/dinner at Tasty & Sons, lunch or dinner at Tin Shed, and dessert at Salt & Straw. The Mississippi Ave. Street Fair only happens once a year, but there's plenty of entertainment at the farmer's market and the Saturday market. The bands envelop their fans and the streets turn into a huge, happy dance party.

I'll do a recap of Sunday through Tuesday tomorrow morning. I hope you have enjoyed this post! Portland is a very cute voodoo city, and I can totally see how my sister fell in love with it and moved there.

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