At the end of April, Jay and I decided to take a quick trip to Portland, Oregon, following his conference. Though it is known for its eccentricities, having the most microbreweries, and the end of the Oregon Trail, my expectations for the city were low.

Jay and Sophia say hello from Portland, OR!

Other interesting notes about Portland is that they have several food “pods,” which, according to Food Carts Portland, “has over 500 food carts at any given time.” These stations had a diverse range, from kale salads to gyro to fried fish. It also appeared to me that nearly all their top rated restaurants on Yelp centered around brunch. Since we only had a few days, we only had time to try one of the carts, and this made planning dinner a bit more difficult (most carts were only open from 11AM-3PM). However, trying new and interesting eateries remains a top priority when travelling, so I am satisfied with what we managed to squeeze in.

Waffle Window, Olympia Provisions, Blue Star Donuts, Salt & Straw, Lardo, Smith Teamaker
Waffle Window, Olympia Provisions, Blue Star Donuts, Salt & Straw, Lardo, Smith Teamaker

Clockwise (starting from left): The Whole Garden from Waffle Window was a nice balance of savory on a liege waffle. Mushrooms were great, and bacon was crispy. Olympia Provisions offers a great happy hour. The HH charcuterie board had a chef’s choice of 3 meats, pickles, coarse ground mustard, and bread. I was also happy that we did not have to wait in the terrible line that surrounds the overrated Voodoo Donuts and thought Blue Star offered nice, fluffy donuts with the perfect amount of sweetness. Salt & Straw offered a variety of unique, locally-influenced flavors. I loved the ice cream so much, I went to the Los Angeles location just a week after returning home. Korean pork shoulder salad (to offset all the carb-heavy brunches) from Lardo was so tasty and lived up to the hype! Kimchi, mixed greens, pork, and just a bit of dressing made for a perfectly portioned meal. Though Smith Teamaker is not the place to find boba, they did offer quality leaves and a tea sampler. Thanks, Aaron! We were pleasantly surprised at the prices of meals and cost of living in Portland – coming from LA, this was a relief.

Larch Mt. Trail

Plus, the amount of greenery was astounding. Southern California has been so arid and in a drought for so long, that the sight of vibrant plants was slightly overwhelming. We then drove up to Multnomah Falls to being a 6 mile round-trip hike. It was incredibly breathtaking, and I frequently commented that every sight seemed surreal. I’m also fairly certain that no hike in California could offer a single hike with 5 different waterfalls.

Multnomah Falls 2015

Multnomah Falls is the tallest waterfall in Oregon and was noted by Lewis and Clark in 1805. It’s truly a beautiful sight, and the amount of water is especially refreshing to see compared to the trickles waterfalls in Los Angeles. It is also mere steps from the parking lot and a very popular destination for those coming to town. After the first mile and a half, the hike is fairly empty, and the views continue to impress.

Fairy Falls

Portland is one of the only other cities besides LA where I could envision myself living there for many years. Its size offers the convenience of a city, but the familiarity of a smaller town. The weather was beautiful, its people were friendly, and I loved the numerous, humble shops peppering the city. Until next time, and stay weird.