Posted in Traveling Adventures

Portland Happenings (Day 1 and 2)

Day 1

We arrived in Portland around 5 pm. Our airbnb contact person wasn’t able to meet us until 9 pm so we decided to head

Tasty n Alder - Foie gras, hush puppies, and fries
Tasty n Alder – Foie gras, hush puppies, and fries

downtown and grab a bite to eat. First stop was Tasty and Alder. This place is busy. We were quoted a 1 hour wait time around dinner time, but luckily, a spot opened up while we were still there and we were seated pretty quickly. My friend mentioned that they served foie gras and bone marrow, so obviously, I had to try one of the two. We opted for the foie gras, hush puppies, and fries. The foie gras came with a pineapple jam, which was a nice touch. I’ve had foie gras on two other occassions and wasn’t used to the bitterness of this particular foie gras. Luckily, the pineapple jam was able to compliment the foie gras well and the dish was a hit. Hush puppies were amazingly moist and I could just feel my arteries clog up as I ate it with the mayonaise like sauce they included. Next up was dessert at Ruby Jewel. We ordered the Raspberry truffle ice cream and was blown away. Those chunks of truffle in the ice cream were delicious. Last stop before we headed to our airbnb spot was Powell’s Books. This bookstore is so big you need a map to locate whatever book your heart desires. We spent a good hour or so just perusing the books they had. Afterwards, we headed our airbnb spot to get our keys and back out we went to explore some more. The Alphabet district is this cool neighborhood with a lot of restaurants and shops on one of the streets. We stopped by Escape from New York Pizza for a slice of pizza to curb our late night cravings and called it a night.

Day 2

Southpark Seafood - a few of their $5 happy hour items
Southpark Seafood – a few of their $5 happy hour items

We started our morning off with Blue Star Donuts, which is supposedly better than Voodoo donuts. I’m not a fan of overly sweet donuts and so the blueberry bourbon basil donut that I had was perfect for my morning. I couldn’t really taste the basil nor the bourbon, but there was plenty of blueberry flavor to go around. After getting my fill, we headed over to Tom McCall Waterfront park to see some dragonboat races. The park has this wonderful view of the Williamette River and we just walked along it for awhile until we hit the Portland Saturday Market, which is actually a misnomer because it’s open both Saturdays and Sundays. This market was probably one of the highlights of my trip. My friend describes this place as an IRL Etsy because all the vendors craft their products. We came across a lot of jewelry makers, a catnip vendor, a puzzle maker, and even spoonman, a vendor that takes silverware and turns it into something else like a ring or chimes. Afterwards, to escape the heat, we hit up Ground Kontrol, which is a blast from the past type of arcade. I’m such a nerd at heart and I loved this place. We played Donkey Kong, Ms. Pac-man, Raiden, The Simpsons, and the Original Super Marios brothers just to name a few. After 5 pm, this place serves alcohol so it just seems like a good time all around. $5 and an hour

The Simpsons at Ground Kontrol
The Simpsons at Ground Kontrol

later, we were all gamed out and headed out to Southpark Seafood for their 3 – 6 pm happy hour. They have these $5 items that are simply delicious. We ordered a brick oven pepperoni pizza, which was pretty large for a happy hour item, oysters (3),

Chicken Pot Pie floater!
Chicken Pot Pie floater!

and a smoked steelhead board, which also came with some crackers and some type of pickled vegetable. I really can’t pick a favorite out of the three things we ordered because they were all really good in my book. I’d definitely recommend this place for anyone visiting. Afterwards, we just walked around a bit. Walked by a few parks, got pooped on by a bird, and decided it was time to head back and wash up. After some RnR, we decided to head back out and get some dinner. I know, surprise surprise. We’re eating again. Decided on staying close to our airbnb and chose to eat at Pacific Pie Company.  (The public transportation system in Portland stops running around 11 pm on a Sunday and we didn’t want to risk having to ubering or lyfting it back.) Apparently, this is the place to eat at if you want to try Australian meat pies. They have both savory and sweet pies here. I chose to get the chicken pie floater. It’s a chicken pot pie that comes afloat split pea soup. If that’s not a hearty meal, I don’t know what is.

TLDR? – Highlights of my first two days: 

Powell’s City of Books is crazy huge and a must see if you love bookstores.

Portland Saturday Market is open both Saturdays and Sundays and is a must visit gem. Check out their $35 for $50 gift certificate on yelp!

Ground Kontrol is an 8 bit classic arcade for those who love gaming and re-visiting their childhood.

Southpark Seafood has a great happy hour and I’d definitely recommend if you’re into seafood.

I will update with my last two days soon!

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Author:

My name is Mai and I am a graduate student pursuing a PhD in biology. When not hard at work, I can be found training for a race, traveling the world, or talking about Disneyland.

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