The guest posts are starting! The first one this week is from our wonderful friend, Lin. You may remember her from her sassy piece on Hong Hong a few months ago, or if you live in Phnom Penh, you know her as the girl that gives the world’s best hugs. She is covering for us today, and outlining some of the coolest things to do in Portland, OR. Cait will be in Portland soon, and Lin just saved her from having to make her own list. Thank you Lin! We love you hard.
To set the mood for this one, I’d recommend interrupting the Mariah Carey Christmas album on repeat with this little tune by Typhoon.
As Cait does her Christmas Tour 2015 with a Portland stop, I’d like to honor the occasion with a fast, slightly yelly intro to things I get worked up over when visiting Portland. I’m pretty excitable so this is absolutely up for debate. Ready? Let’s do it.
To start, the coffee. If this is a conversation where food is involved, it becomes a whole different thing. See below. I’d skip the Stumptowns and go to Coava on the east side (of the river). I can’t talk about the coffee – too soon. I was only there 3 months ago. The original brew bar shares space with a sustainable bamboo furniture company. Of course it does.
GUYS. LIGHT ROAST. Amiright? Fine, it’s old news. But if anyone knows – is light roast harder to do? Why is it not a thing in Southeast Asia? Is it a thing in Southeast Asia? If you’re stashing for the trip home – Portland Roasting’s light roast holds up great. I drank a lot of Central City Concern’s coffee – the business funds homeless services. Heart on the west side is good looking and the company is making its name in light roast.
Next, brunch. This is important, but also quite simple. Everyone has their favorites vs line tolerance ratios so I’d go: Helser’s. It’s cool in that this rain jacket is only seen in the Pacific Northwest kind of way. (Uhm so, not cool.) I love it. In contrast, Tasty n Sons is so cool. And dammit, I love it equally. The polenta and sausage ragu, the boards, and the gin, that’s right – gin, bloody mary’s at the second location on Alder.
After a day of touristy things like walking along the new no cars bridge and hitting up Tender Loving Empire for music (record label of that Typhoon song from earlier) and stuff, and Beam & Anchor for expensive stuff (you know Campfire Cologne?), I’d go get ice cream and beer.
Salt & Straw is blowing up and the kid is a Forbes 30 under 30 whatever that means. But Oprah loves the olive oil ice cream and I love Oprah. Pro tip: split scoop of olive oil and honey lavender. I am having feelings.
One of my favorite places to drink beer is actually a cozy restaurant/bar (I think I am going to be comfortable saying gastropub soon, just not yet) in the former produce row of the industrial east side, called Produce Row. I like Laurelwood’s Free Range Red.
Ok! Go forth my friends! Double points if you troll a Cait selfie! Lemme know if you want to talk about restaurants. I have to go to bed but it’s totally a conversation I want to have.