I've never been to Portland, OR, but was always told by friends that I would love it there. I had the opportunity to go to a wedding and a conference in Oregon, so I decided to stay there for about 10 days. When I first landed, I was greeted by the Pendleton store. I wanted to take home a wool blanket, but my trip was just starting so I just fought the urge and walked away.
My friends and I took the bus to our AirBnB, which happened to be attached to a delicious Cuban restaurant called Pambiche. We got there in time for happy hour and enjoyed all the fried nom noms.[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="2448.0"] Pambiche[/caption]
One of the reasons I came to Portland was for a conference called XOXO. It is described as "an experiment festival celebrating independently-produced art and technology." The 3-day festival gathered people from all around the world to come together for talks, music, games, food, drinks, and meet cool peeps. It was an inspirational festival, and I would go again if I have the chance to.
As part of the festival, I got to see the Wieden+Kennedy office in Downtown PDX, well at least the top floor, and it was beautiful. Besides how the office looked, I loved that they had a Mandarin tutorial playing in the restrooms.
Also, as part of the festival we got to go to Ground Kontrol and play all the classic arcade games and pinball machines for free! I didn't get a good picture of the place, but to the right is a picture from the second floor. Sorry it's so dark! I recommend going there if you get a chance.
For the music portion of the festival, they got YACHT to play which was awesome. It was a intimate setting, where YACHT would even jump off the stage to come dance with the audience!
Other places I liked in the SE were:
Tidbit Food Carts - delicious ramen at Hapa Ramen, delicious waffle sausage sandwich at Smaaken , and a great outdoor space with live music!
Pok Pok - has tasty northern Thai style dishes. I liked the Khao soi, chicken wings, vinegar drinks, and the nam manao.
Fifty Licks - Loved the staff, decor, and the blood orange creamsicle ice cream
Nostrana - late night happy hour with delicious pizza options. You cut your own pizza with scissors!
Toete Areparia - delicious arepes and nice outdoor space in the back.
Wildfang - women's tomboy clothing and accessories
Guardian Games - huge selection of board games
Coava Coffee - loved their space.
Potato Champion - get Poutine![caption id="" align="alignnone" width="2448.0"] zvLavender ice cream at Salt & Straw[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="2500.0"] Khao Soi from Pok Pok Noi[/caption]
While in the SE, I happened upon the New Deal Distillery. It was a great space with great gin. I loved that they had little $4 drinks to sample their liqueur. I loved their gin and tonic with their No.1 gin. It was so yummy. I wanted to take the gin home, but didn't have any room in my suitcase. I can't find it anywhere on the internet. I'll just have to get it next time I'm in Portland.
I got to explore the NE area of Portland as well. I stayed in a sweet mid-century modern AirBnB a few blocks from Alberta Street. It was fun walking around and seeing all the cool street art.
My favorite places in the NE were:
Salt & Straw - my favorite ice cream spot in Portland. Their lavender ice cream was my favorite.
Bollywood Theater - fun decor and good indian street food. I liked the goan style shrimp small plate.
Barista - coffee shop with great decor.
Cord - fun store full of home and camping goodies.
Pok Pok Noi - the smaller Pok Pok that had the same food, but no line!
Beam & Anchor - a big store full of beautiful home goodies and other knick knacks.
Tasty n Sons - loved their fried egg n cheddar biscuit with fried chicken.
Screen Door - I think my favorite meal in Portland. I loved their fried chicken and sweet potato waffles as well as their cheesy grits and the apple cider!
Heart - good coffee, and if you're lucky you can see someone roasting some beans.
Pie Spot - delicious mini pies.[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="2500.0"] Goan style shrimp at Bollywood Theater[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="1374.0"] Chicken and waffles at Screen Door[/caption]
Alright, that was a long post! I'll cover the west side of PDX in the my next post.