It finally happened.
After years of hoping and wishing and scheming and planning, I made finally made it to Oregon. And just in time for a New Year’s Eve celebration! What a great way to start 2015 🙂
For New Year’s Eve, we stayed at the Hotel deLuxe, a swanky boutique hotel with a Hollywood Golden Era theme. Loved it! There were photos from movies sets, like the one from our room pictured below, all over the hotel.
Although there were a million coffee shops and restaurants I wanted to try, I had to narrow it down for the 5 days we were there. Stumptown Coffee was one place I definitely wanted to check out, which worked out well because it was just next door to Kenny & Zuke’s, one of E’s favorite restaurants in Portland. So we grabbed coffee at Stumptown while waiting to be seated at Kenny & Zuke’s. Portland people apparently really love brunch because every place we went had anywhere from a 30-90 minute wait.
But the Salmon Hash was TOTALLY worth the wait. Never in my life have I thought of making salmon hash but it’s genius and I want this every morning for breakfast. And the latkes with homemade applesauce…..OH. MY. Let’s just say I have latkes on my things-I-must-make-ASAP list and I hope they turn out half as good as these. Speaking of latkes, these look reallllll good.
On Friday, we hit the slopes on Mt. Hood. It’s pretty difficult to take lots of pictures when you have three pairs of gloves on, so this is the only one I managed to take. When I wasn’t speeding down the mountain, I was gracefully crashing in the snow, but for a girl from the Midwest who has only skied in Ohio & Michigan, I think I did fairly well skiing on a mountain. If you find yourself at Timberline, take a break at Ram’s Head Bar in the lodge–they have great food and warm beverages!
We had a late start on Saturday because we were EXHAUSTED from the previous day of skiing, but managed to squeeze in another place that was on my list, Nuvrei. Ever since my trip to France this summer, I love going to patisseries and reminiscing about pain au chocolat and croissants. This place is small and very cute, and their bagel sandwiches are like art–delicately made and beautiful to look at. So we admired our bagel sandwiches, I snapped some photos, and then we devoured them. Délicieux!
Saturday night we met some of E’s friends and family at Nostrana, an Italian restaurant owned by Chef Cathy Whims, a 6-time James Beard Award finalist. The menu changes frequently to offer the best in seasonal and regional ingredients. The Insalata Nostrana with radicchio, Parmesan, and Caesar-style dressing was the perfect start to the meal. I ordered shrimp ravioli served in brown butter sauce, which was wonderful, I just wish there had been more!
As a professed doughnut-fanatic making my first trip to Portland, it was absolutely necessary to experience Voodoo Doughnut. Midnight seemed like the perfect time to swing by and beat the crowd! I ordered the Voodoo Doll, a yeast doughnut filled with raspberry jelly and topped with chocolate frosting. My opinion: it was an average doughnut and the main appeal here is the novelty of their doughnut selection.
Remember how I said Portland people LOVE brunch? Well they realllly love Tasty n Alder. On Sunday we made a second attempt at trying to squeeze into this bustling brunch spot and thankfully the stars were aligned to make it happen. Otherwise, I may have never experienced the most amazing Brussels sprouts of my life. No exaggeration–E can back me up on this. We both just stared at each other for awhile in amazement as we savored them. I will be trying my darnedest to recreate them so I can share the glory with all of you. Everything is served family-style at Tasty n Alder, so we also shared the french toast and Korean Fried Chicken. I fully understand why people are willing to wait an hour or more to eat here. If I lived in Portland, I’d be right in line with them.
We headed over to NW 23rd Avenue towalk off brunch and check out the shops (no sales tax in OR!). This was one of my favorite areas of Portland and you can find big name stores like Williams-Sonoma and Urban Outfitters alongside locally-owned shops.
My fruit and veggie intake had been lacking so far on the trip, so we stopped at Greenleaf Juicing Company for a boost! Wheatgrass shots and green juices did the trick 🙂
One last night in Portland meant going to one more restaurant on my list of must-try places! Lardo is quick-service sandwich shop with a menu centered around pork and beef offerings such as the Pho’Rench Dip and Pork Belly Gyro. Both sandwiches were quite tasty and the Root Beer they have on tap is definitely worth trying!
So much to see, so much to eat, and so little time! Portland has an awesome food scene and I barely skimmed the surface but that will leave plenty of options for next time. Do you have any tried and true favorite places in Portland? Have you tried any of the places mentioned in this post? As always, I’d love to hear what you have to say!
What a great way to start the new year! Want to share in my PDX excitement? Just come back tomorrow for a giveaway from Portland-based company, Skout Organic!
Happy Monday, friends!