Thursday, August 23, 2012

Portland 2012

I've been meaning to write up some of what we did in Portland last month for a while now - better do it before I forget everything! Had some great food there, and as always, got some amazing views.

We were there for a family thing and literally for just one day - our flight from San Francisco landed at around 10AM, and our flight back to NYC took off at 7AM the next day. So we didn't have a lot of time - just long enough to pack a few meals in and do a little sightseeing with my brother and his kids.  Always fun to see them, and we don't get to very often! Unfortunately the time constraints meant we had to cancel our hide-and-seek league match with Fred and Carrie...

I love the northwest - not Portland specifically, but I love the mountains, the lack of traffic (they complain about it anyway, but that'd be like me complaining that New York has too many parks), the amount of space, and just how laid back everything is. Pretty much everywhere's laid back compared to NYC, though - New Yorkers usually don't even realize how high-strung and nervous they are, in my experience.  But the northwest is also really beautiful, so I like it better than most places.

Any tourist in Portland these days has to go to Voodoo Doughnut. You see this line? This is probably mostly tourists. And this is why you shouldn't go to the original Voodoo Doughnut.

I'm going to ruin it now, but the best-kept secret in Portland is Voodoo Doughnut Too, which has actual parking and never has any lines but has the same decor and the same donuts. (The photo above was taken later, after we'd already gone to Voodoo Too.) Here I am playing some pinball:

Here's my maple bacon bar, which is kind of obligatory if you go to Voodoo Doughnut, which is itself obligatory:

It's a donut... with maple frosting... and bacon! So if you go to Portland, you're going to need to get a maple bacon bar at Voodoo Doughnut (Too). There's no use fighting it. It's going to happen.

After the family event, we headed downtown for lunch. Portland's known for food trucks and my brother knew just where to find them.

My wife and I checked out Tabor, the home of the "original schnitzelwich".  Now, we have a lot of different kinds of food in NYC, but I'm pretty sure I've never seen a schnitzelwich, and definitely not one you can buy out on the street. So I was curious.

This is actually my wife's half sandwich (being held by me). I got a whole one but had almost finished it by the time I remembered to take a picture. It was quite delicious! Freshly made - really crispy pork just out of the fryer (they also have chicken), with fresh vegetables, some kind of sauce that I've forgotten now but I remember being really unique and complementary, and then some really amazing fresh bread. I recommend this truck.

Later we took a walk around our hotel. We stayed at the Embassy Suites near the airport, since we needed to fly at 7AM. Portland Airport is really cool in that it's practically in the wilderness, and you can walk along the Columbia River right outside its grounds. On the other hand, it's also really not far from downtown. It's hard to believe, but the photo above is really only maybe 10-15 minutes from downtown Portland.

That's a 180 degree panorama photo of the river. On the other side of that path is the airport.

This is the other side of that path. (Well, there's a road in between too.)

For dinner, my brother took us to this great southern style restaurant that I feel really bad that I've forgotten the name of (and I forgot to take a photo of the outside of it too). I'll add it in here later once I find out again. Anyway, that's another style of cooking that's hard to find in NYC (there used to be the Acme Bar & Grill, but it closed and turned into some fine dining abomination). I wanted to have me some hush puppies!

Ok, no hush puppies on that plate, but we did get a big heaping pile of them separately. (My picture-taking was haphazard at best on this trip, admittedly.) This was my pulled pork sandwich. Honestly, kind of hard to mess up pulled pork, and they didn't - just look at that thing! This picture is making me hungry.

Afterwards we went back to the hotel - we'd been going pretty hard for three days straight so we were pretty worn out by that point. My brother calls this "typical Embassy Suites construction" but I've never stayed in one so I was pretty impressed with the atrium. It was a nice hotel. And unlike the Hilton in San Francisco (which was also otherwise nice), I did not have strange noises that alternately sounded like large water droplets or somebody walking around in high heels above me waking me up at 4AM.

That was pretty much the trip. I really hope we can go back to Oregon soon; it's just got such a pleasant atmosphere.

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About This Blog

This is increasingly not a blog about Alphabet City, New York. I used to live in the East Village and work on Avenue B, but I no longer do. Why don't I change the name if I'm writing about Japan and video games and guitars? Because New Yorkers are well-rounded people with varied interests, and mine have gone increasingly off the rails over the years. And I don't feel like changing the name. I do still write about New York City sometimes.


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