P is for Portland…

First of all, I must note that this is probably the first time I have actually written about the thing I said I would write about at the end of my last post.

Second of all, I DID go to Portland last weekend, and all I got was fatter. It was awesome.

Might as well just dive in, because it will become very clear almost immediately what I spent my weekend doing.

Friday PM

Amtrak from Seattle to Portland! Ah, trains. They are wonderful. More wonderful because you can drink beers on them. Yes. Picked up some bahn mi sandwiches from the nearby International District in Seattle and enjoyed a leisurely train ride with dinner, beer, and some pretty nice scenery.

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Checked into the hotel around 9:30pm and then, of course, it was time to hit the town. An internet hunt was conducted and a decision made: Tugboat Brewing Company. It ended up being nothing like any brewing company I’ve ever visited before, but it was super cozy and they were playing jazz records. So I was pretty happy. Also I was drinking beer, so that should inform you as to my level of pleased-ness. The bartender was perhaps the most talkative and energetic bartender I had ever met, especially considering he was working alone on a Friday night. Also, his name was Linsel. Yes, like tinsel.

It was important to conserve energy for all the eating and drinking that would happen the next day. So, I did some sleeping and then…

Saturday AM

THE MOST AMAZING FARMERS MARKET THAT EVER MARKETED.

Seriously. I am considering going back to Portland just to go to this Farmer’s Market. It might actually have been the highlight of the trip. First of all, there was fresh produce for DAYS, tons of cheese (including 4 stands dedicated solely to goat cheese), incredible pate and salami, some yummy jams and jellys, and really just everything you could possibly want.

Oh wait, there’s more. FOOD VENDORS. I ate two wonderful breakfast-y things while I was there. The first was a freshly made biscuit topped with a perfectly crisped piece of fried chicken, some spicy stone-ground mustard, and fresh honey. It was fantastic.

The second thing I ate was huevos rancheros from the most delicious-smelling stand in the place. First of all, they were making fresh tortillas:

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Second, they were grilling fresh vegetables:

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And third, they put two tortillas on a plate, topped them with two perfectly cooked eggs, and then heaped on piles of fresh grilled vegetables. And then there was cheese and a variety of salsas.

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HOLY CRAP. It was incredible.

Saturday PM

At this point, it was all I could do to stop myself from trying to eat the entire city. How is food so delicious in Portland?? In order to stave off some of the cravings, I spent a good while in Powell’s Books, which is a place I should never go because I buy things there. So yes, I bought some things. Including a book on PIES! (I am sure this book will appear again here in the future.)

It being 1:30pm, it was suddenly obvious that the beer drinking had to begin. Off to Bridgeport Brewing!

I love breweries/brewpubs because it’s almost impossible to feel uncomfortable in them. Everyone is there for the same reason: to enjoy some beers, perhaps some food, and have some great conversations with friends. (At least, this is why I think most people go to brewpubs. It seems to have proved accurate so far.)

Bridgeport had an upstairs bar/lounge area with couches, so it really was the perfect way to while away the afternoon hours. The first beer I tried was an imperial red, which was really quite good and surprisingly drinkable. The second was an absolutely fantastic barleywine, which makes me sad only because they don’t bottle it and I really would like to have it again. Guess I have to go back to Portland.

So here we are, it’s 4:30pm, and I know dinner is going to be a good one-and-a-half to two-hour wait. (Yes, that long, but totally worth it. You’ll see.) So that’s all well and good, except for the fact that I’m tipsy and hungry right now. So how to solve this problem? MORE STREET FOOD.

A plate of pierogis was the perfect snack. Barely made it to the giant Saturday Market before all of the vendors closed up shop for the day. I feel that it’s important to note that the pierogis were delicious, but I hardly noticed because I inhaled them. It’s a shame, really.

This street-food inhalation endeavor was followed by a speedy power nap in order to recuperate some necessary energy. And then I was rip-roarin’ to go. Bring on the cocktails!

[To be continued…]

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