Saturday, June 7, 2014

Portland

Last fall, I visited my cousin in Portland, Oregon and we had an awesome time eating and drinking our way through the city.  I wasn't too thorough in my photo-taking, but I'm recapping some of the highlights here (and I had to start with the Stumptown coffee because we consumed Stumptown all throughout the weekend).  But anyways, while we weren't caffeinating, we were fooding and boozing.  I'll start with Lardo. We went to Lardo on a post-hike lunch. After hitting the trails with this puppy...
... We'd definitely earned ourselves some beers. This Hard Apricot Cider was the perfect post-hike treat, and it held me over until my delicious pork sandwich arrived. 
I got the Korean pork shoulder sandwich because it came with housemade kimchi and I'm a sucker for Kimchi. It was supposed to have mayo, but as per my usual I asked for a mayo-free sandwich.
Because this post is going in no particular order, I'm now backtracking to our first night in Portland... We began our adventure with Pok Pok. This dinner was delightfully spicy and oh-so-good. We shared a number of the restaurant's specialties. We got the Kai Yang (Lemongrass-stuffed hen served with sweet and sour and tamarind sauces), the Papaya Pok Pok (Salad seasoned with lime, chili, tamarind, fish sauce, palm sugar, peanuts and shrimp), and Ike's Vietnamese Fish Sauce wings (I don't normally eat wings, but everyone raved about this, and for good reason)! We also got a seasonal brussel sprout dish to amp up the veggie component here, and we got sticky rice to soak up all remnants of each delicious sauce that coated these dishes.  
Where does one go after a super spicy meal? Well to ice cream of course!  Keep in mind, we were in Portland in fall. It was not warm outside. Yet Salt & Straw had a line out the door and around the block. After trying their ice cream, I understood why. The glory of being there close to Thanksgiving was that we got to try everything from turkey ice cream, to stuffing ice cream, to sweet potato casserole ice cream, and spiced apple cider sorbet. (Don't worry, we also tried their staple flavors including Stumptown coffee bourbon and strawberry balsamic, among others).
I can't write this post without mentioning the Brew Cycle. This vehicle passed by my cousin's apartment every morning, and its riders were always very jolly (who wouldn't be jolly pedaling a giant beer keg around Portland)?! We didn't have time to do it, but I am determined to ride it the next time I'm in town.
Speaking of happy hours, we hit up the Sand Bar at Fish Grotto for a pre-dinner snack. Before I present the food photo, let's take a moment to appreciate the pine tree outside of the "Sand Bar". I love you Portland.
This was quite possibly the best value I've seen at a happy hour, and I've happy-houred my way through many UCLA hotspots over the course of 7 years as a Bruin. OK seriously, I got a really good mai tai for $3 and we got this delicious crab dip with warm pita bread. And they did not skimp on the crab; this dip was very meaty.
Next up, Little Bird. This restaurant was known for it's burger, so I went out on a limb and had my first beef burger in years. And I don't think any other beef burger will measure up. The meat, the onions, the house pickles, the slaw, the brioche bun... the tastiness... Mm.
Our weekend finale included a trip to Voodoo Doughnut. We waited in line with the crowd to get a Captain Crunch glazed doughnut...
Which was well worth the wait. That thing got devoured quickly. No shame.

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