A quick trip to PDX isn't nearly long enough, but it's certainly better than not going. There are so many must-see, must-shop, must-eat, must-drink options, it's hard to pick only a few, but here are the spots I hit on a recent visit.
Lovely, peaceful spot in the heart of the rambling Arboretum, not far from the zoo. Ahh, the water features and the Zen Garden and the manicured shrubs and trees and bushes. A must visit when the cherry blossoms are in full flower. Go!
Yee-ha! This old-fashioned Western wear store is ground zero for snap button shirts and boot cut jeans. Oh, and a lineup of boots that will thrill cowboys of all stripes, urban and otherwise. Friendly, helpful service, too.
Octopus caught off the coast? Yes, please! That local delicacy was marinated and served chilled with a sun-dried tomato vinaigrette as a recent starter, shocking in its ultra-tenderness. This was just one of the impressive dishes highlighting the amazing ingredients from the Northwest. The beautifully prepared wild Chinook salmon with pea tendrils and fava beans was another seasonal treat.
The real treat was the gracious service in this busy dining room, especially our seasoned waiter, who suggested excellent Oregon wine matches for the food. The Adelsheim Pinot gris was brilliant with the first course, and the deeply flavored, Burgundian-style Domaine Serene was incredible alongside the salmon.
The menu might give potential diners that this venue is formal, but the crowd on a Monday night was a mix of casually attired guys and gals, businessmen and even a few stroller-pushing families. Everyone seemed united in their enjoyment of the plates set before them.
One of the coolest vintage stores, period. Carefully curated clothes are organized by decade. Love this place!
The folks at Powell's sent me here when they couldn't help me find a fairly obscure magazine. The selection of periodicals is impressive, as is the vast array of smoking supplies.
This historic hotel is so charming in so many ways. The service is Old School gracious, friendly and helpful from the minute you pull up to the curb. Rooms are comfortable, even if the bathrooms in some tend to be on the smaller side, keeping one foot in the past. Yet, the in-room amenities such as French press coffee, the free WiFi and much-appreciated slippers, are thoroughly modern. The location, just a couple of blocks from the heart of downtown, is terrific, too.
If you do stay, don't miss the early evening wine tasting in the hotel's super cool library. For more than 30 years, authors who stay here have made it a tradition to leave a signed book. It's possible to borrow books if you're a guest. Browsing the shelves is like devouring a delicious list of Who's Who in American literature and Pop Culture. Instead of watching TV at the end of the evening, my husband read Calvin Trillin's witty poems about the 2012 election from the book Dog Fight aloud. What a treat!
And speaking of treats, if you're a fan of afternoon tea, there's a lovely one served in the handsomely decorated lounge. (Pictured here.)
Indie movies and a full menu of interesting fare? Winning! Comfy seating, too.
Such a sweet spot, where breakfast in served all day, meals with a Swedish accent. Loved the loaded leftse, the Scandinavian version of a tortilla, and those Abelshevars were da bomb, the Danish pancakes that look like overgrown doughnut holes. Only wish I had room for all that and the smoked trout hash, too.