Kelly the Culinarian: Travel Recap: Portland Sister Trip Part 1

Monday, November 18, 2013

Travel Recap: Portland Sister Trip Part 1

Picking right up where I left off, my sister and I arrived in Portland via Amtrak and walked to our first hotel, the Crystal Hotel in downtown Portland.

I kind of want these lamps from the Crystal Hotel
It's a converted space owned by the McMenamin's brewery. It was such a cool vibe and a great place. Our room was tiny and required a shared bathroom situation, but it was cheap and in the heart of downtown Portland. I wouldn't stay there again, though, because our window was impossible to close completely and we heard everything from the street below. Not the most restful night I've ever spent in a hotel, but oh well.

Hubers Cafe Spanish coffee
We started the night with dinner at Zeus, the in-house restaurant that had a fantastic happy hour food menu. The truffle fries with black garlic aioli were amazing. So fragrant, so fat, so worth it. We had the seasonal tasting there, then headed out to Hubers Cafe for the famous Spanish coffee. It was quite a show - the waiter starts with a sugar-rimmed glass, pours three different types of liquor, sets it on fire then tops it off with coffee and cream. However, the place was crowded and we couldn't finish our $10 drinks - it was straight up booze.
We totally bought those glasses

So we walked. And walked. And walked. To end up at Hair of the Dog brewery, where we split a tasting flight. My favorite was the one closest to the camera. Called Matt, this beer has notes of smoke, chocolate and leather. Bizarre, but so good.

Book shop wisdom
We visited the famous Powell's City of Books next, which is amazing. The place has an entire room of cookbooks. There is a floor to ceiling bookshelf filled with nothing except books about chickens. I was in love. I could have spent hours there, easily and happily.

Of course, we went to Deschutes Brewery as well. We split a flight there, too, but nothing there really caught my fancy. However, it was on my sister's must-taste list, so I'm glad we got to check it off the tab.
At Deschutes Brewery

This is more my jam
On a whim, we decided we wanted a sweet nightcap. We stopped at Cacao, which was right around the corner from our hotel (and is evidently a punchline in Portlandia?). We opted to split the hot chocolate flight, which featured three sample sizes of drinking chocolate. We tried the spicy dark, the toasted dark and the cinnamon milk. The cinnamon was our favorite, but each tiny cup was so luscious and creamy it was hard to choose a favorite.

After my run the next morning, we started the day at Voodoo Doughnut, because that's what you do when you're in Portland. I got the dirty old bastard and Mandy got the traditional maple bacon bar. Both were excellent - mine was a glazed yeast doughnut topped with chocolate, crushed oreos and a peanut butter drizzle. My sister thought it was overly hyped, but I don't eat donuts enough to have a strong opinion on the topic.


I think I'll take a break in the narrative here, because our next stop was the Portland Farmer's Market and it was amazing.

1 comment:

Alyssa Neiers said...

I am just not that into donuts. The ones Matt and I ate in Seattle were good but I'm still like "it's just a donut". Now I can really get excited about cupcakes and chocolate. And ice cream.

Portland looks like a lot of fun. Would love to travel there someday!