Quick weekend getaway to PDX: the beer capital! It was a short trip from Friday night to Monday morning, but we did so much (and ate so much) in that time. I was hoping for nice weather to hike all the outdoor trails, but instead it rained all weekend. But that didn’t stop us from doing city exploring and going on a few outdoor adventures. The best part about the trip was that we didn’t have any set plans and just went with the flow.
We flew from SFO to PDX Friday night and the first stop was Deschutes Brewery in downtown. I really liked the ambiance of Deschutes; it wasn’t too crowded and the interior had nice wood finishing touches all around. It had a cozy but lively vibe and seemed like somewhere I could hang out with friends for a long time. We grabbed quick bites at the brewery and I ordered the Jubalie beer – hoppy, dark, and fruity, pretty delicious. Since we landed late, we only spent an hour at Deschutes until it closed.
On Saturday, the only plan we made was to get breakfast at Tasty n Sons at 9 AM. There were six of us, so we ordered different dishes to split. From the chicken & biscuit to the steak hash to the Shakshuka, everything was delicious! Would recommend going if you’re in Portland, but go early since it gets poppin’ pretty quickly. After Tasty n Sons, we went to Coava Coffee nearby to get caffeinated. I loved the honey latte and the décor. Everything was made from bamboo and was so aesthetically-pleasing. As Brandon called it, “everything was designed with intention.”
As the rain came down harder, we made our way to the Saturday Market. One of my favorite things about Portland is how so many artists come here to pursue the craft they love and sell it at the market. The vendor I bought my painting from two years ago was still there! We browsed the collections at the market but didn’t buy anything, and then made our way to Voodoo Doughnuts down the street. I’m not a huge fan of doughnuts, but they all looked so good and tasted delicious. We each got one and huddled under the umbrella munching on them.
Next stop was Powell’s Bookstore. It’s always so overwhelming at how big and how many books there were. This time, I got The Happiness of Pursuit by Chris Guillebeau to read. I’m halfway through it and it’s been very interesting so far; it’s about why and how people go on life quests and the gratification they get from achieving their goals.
We then attempted to get into 10 Barrel Brewing but it was too full, so instead we went across the street to Rogue. I guess when it rains in Portland, breweries are the place to be! We chilled for a while and then went to Cider Bite, a cider-only brewery! So cool! I’m not a huge fan of ciders and wouldn’t get a pint of cider, but it was nice splitting a cider flight and trying a bit of everything. Still not convinced I would order a pint of cider though.
We acquired passes to the Nike employee store through a friend’s dad and spent the next two hours at the store. It was huuuge and had pretty much everything you’d ever need from Nike. The lines were also massive and snaked around the entire store. The best part was everything was 40% off for us, so of course we splurged a little and came out carrying giant orange Nike bags.
For dinner, our original plan was Pok Pok, but the wait was insane so we went to Bollywood Theater for Indian food instead. The set up was like a food hall where you order at the counter and then pick a seat from the open area. The food there was delicious, especially the pork vindaloo. After stuffing ourselves with Indian food, we went to Whiskey Soda Lounge which serves Pok Pok wings, and ate even more. Their Tamarind Whiskey Sour, Pok Pok Colada, and Vietnamese Coffee with Brandy were also delicious. Would recommend for the yummy drinks and to avoid the giant Pok Pok lines across the street. And lastly, we finished the night with ice cream at Fifty Licks.
Day 2 in PDX! We started with brunch at Waffles to Go and as usual, ordered a variety to split. My favorite one was the bacon and pork belly waffle. Then we went to Tov Coffee for Turkish coffee, which was in a converted double-decker tour bus! It wasn’t very big but had open-air seating on the second level and very unique!
Today was our outdoor exploration day. The rain let up a little, so we drove to the Washington side of the Columbia River to Cape Horn Overlook. It was literally on the shoulders of the windy road but the view of the river running between Washington and Oregon was amazing. Because it rained so much, everything was so green!
We then drove further down the road to St. Clouds Recreational Area and walked to the water. From there, we had the perfect view of the entire Oregon side and even saw Multnomah Falls. The recent Eagle Creek Wildfire destroyed most of the Oregon side and everything was brown or black :(. That’s part of the reason why we weren’t able to do as much outdoor exploring this trip.
For our afternoon snack, we ate at Cheese and Crack and got $10 charcuterie boards. “Be Brie Peared.” And immediately after ate Thai chicken and rice at Nong Khao Man Gai… And then more desserts at the original Salt & Straw… And then more drinks at Elliptic Brewing. And then finally dinner at Luc Lac Vietnamese Kitchen. We ordered a bunch of food and shared it tapas-styled. Even being so full, all the dishes were still so good! The drinks, especially the Thai Tea (with Whiskey), were bomb.
This was one of the most fun weekend trips I’ve been on. It was a lot of our first time traveling together but we all clicked so well. And even without any set plans, winging the trip and being spontaneous turned out to be perfect because we did so much and the entire weekend felt like an adventure. I didn’t know Portland was such a big foodie city, but I really enjoyed all the top-notch (but still cheap) restaurant and the breweries scattered around the city. Who knows what adventures I’ll have next time I return to PDX.