We headed to Portland for the weekend because I wanted to participate in a world record attempt for the greatest number of redheads in one place.
Although our attempt was not successful, the weekend itself was a definite success– we had a fabulous time!
I had (of course) WAY over planned ideas about things to do. Brian reminded me several time we were only going to be there a couple days so I had to really scale back to things in the northwest quadrant.
We found free weekend parking on arrival so we wanted to focus on things we could do near our hotel in the Pearl District or just beyond that we could access by trolly. I narrowed down my list, and we still only saw a small portion of the many things to do in this city!
The redhead event was Saturday morning so as soon as we finished we headed off to explore downtown. It was a little early for lunch but we had skipped breakfast so I was absolutely ready to hop on the trolly and head to Deschutes Brewery Portland Public House.
The brewery looked busy but we arrived just in time for a small side table and ordered a sampler and a couple dishes to share. One of the more interesting tastes was a beer finished in a wine barrel– it really did carry over some of the wine flavor–still not sure how I feel about it!
Afterward we walked around the neighborhood, popping into Powell Books for a bit of perusing and stopping in Cacao‘s tasting room for a small box of hand-picked chocolates. We also enjoyed seeing the McMenamins Crystal Ballroom, where I had looked at staying.
It was busy and there were lots of people around, but I loved seeing the city art and taking it all in.
We headed back to our hotel to drop some things off and grab some things for the night and then headed back out for a little pub crawl.
We started at Clyde Common and shared a few happy hour snacks: popcorn with togarashi and honey, warm house-marinated olives, and small skewers of rabbit livers. Absolutely delicious and just enough to whet the appetite!
Afterward we walked around for a bit and asked about getting in a place I had completely forgotten until Brian noticed it on the map at the last second– the Multnomah Whiskey Library. It was reserved all evening so we couldn’t get in, but it’s on the very top of my list for the next time we’re in town.
I wanted to see some live music across town so we took the trolly across the river to check out the Bit House Saloon for dinner before making our way to our final destination. The saloon was fun–we grabbed some overstuffed chairs near the bar and shared a smorgasbord of buttermilk cheddar biscuits with pepper jam, pickled quail eggs and hot links, armadillo ‘eggs’ and pork cracklings. The quail eggs and pork cracklings were my favorite and there were tons of other main dishes on the menu that looked amazing. I would head back to this spot for happy hour or dinner again in a minute!
After dinner we headed south to Vie de Boheme for an incredible evening of live music. The place was amazing–open doors, strings of lights, tables full of people, packed dance floor and three bands. We were able to grab seats at the bar and enjoy an evening full of high energy music by the Gulf Coast Roadhouse Reunion, which included Rich Layton & the Troublemakers, Sister Mercy and Danny Gardner.
It’s been so long since we’ve been able to stumble across some great live music while we’re out, and I loved every minute of it! It was the perfect end to our Saturday night.
We slept in Sunday morning, checked out of our hotel and headed to the Raven and Rose for brunch. One of my former work colleagues recommended it, and the atmosphere was fantastic.
I was a little under the weather, likely from lack of sufficient sleep and knowing our weekend was quickly coming to a close, so I didn’t enjoy my meal as much as I had hoped. I’d love to go back for dinner, possibly on a night they have live music, and try again.
After brunch we spent our morning exploring more of the area and enjoying the beautiful weather. It had rained on and off the day before so I was happy to see some blue sky as we walked off our breakfast.
We ended up by the river and came across a couple Sunday markets full of people, crafts, food and music. Brian bought me some beautiful wooden earrings, we admired some gigantic oysters a guy was shucking in the alley, and we eventually made our way to the Pine Street Market so I could check out the Wiz Bang Bar.
There were quite a few people in line but that didn’t deter me from my small bowl of Sea Salt and Caramel soft serve or Brian’s taste of the Ancho Chili and Cinnamon.
I hope we can make it to Salt and Straw next time, but their soft serve bar definitely lived up to the hype. Delicious!
Despite my wishes we eventually made our way back to the car so Brian could drop me off at the train station for my 2 p.m. train home.
I had an awesome solo seat on the west side of the train with beautiful views of the ocean on my way home. There’s nothing like train travel–I think I can go so far as to say it’s my favorite way to travel.
It was a perfect end to a wonderful weekend in Portland–I can’t wait to go back!