Kelly the Culinarian: Travel Recap: Portland Sister Trip Part 2

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Travel Recap: Portland Sister Trip Part 2

If you haven't read about the Seattle leg of my trip or the first part of our Portland adventure, you might want to start there. We started our day at the Portland Farmers Market, which was an absolute blast. It was chock full of produce, jams, artisan breads, pastured meats and eggs, mead, hard cider and cheeses. I could have spent all day there.
We also sampled more bites. We got a cheddar and chicken sandwich from Pine State Biscuits, which was pretty tasty.

We also split a chicken tamale from Salvador Molly's, which was quite tasty. Not the best thing I sampled at the market, but we had to give it a try while we were there.
The next stop on our magical adventure was McMenamin's Kennedy School, which is where we were hunkering down for the night. That's right, we stayed the night in a school. This property might be my favorite hotel so far, period.

The school was built in 1915 and closed in the 1975, then was purchased by the brewery in 1997. Now, the school has a new life that I'm sure would make the man who donated the land at the turn of the century to build it a very happy ghost. The joint has an on-site brewery, a coffee roaster, several school-themed bars (think Honor Room, Detention, Boiler Room) and a great theater with tickets included for hotel guests. In addition, the campus has an outdoor soaking pool, community garden and heated courtyard. My favorite bar was the Boiler Room, which was a three-level bar with the original broiler and equipment refashioned into railings and balconies. We got a chance to watch two movies while we were there, too, which was fantastic.

Next up, we met up with Justin, a cyclist at PDX Pedicabs for a brewery tour.
We got a buy one get one free offer and the tour included three stops at our choice of breweries, along with two tasting trays at each. I did not finish my trays, but it was lots of fun. We started at Lompoc:
Continued to Bridgeport, which was the swankiest of the places we visited.
And rounded out the night at Rogue. I understand brewers think the guy who runs it is a jerk, but the beer was pretty great. I ended up ordering a pint here because Mandy and I both enjoyed a smoky stout there. Who knew I liked stouts?
We topped off that night at Pie Spot, where we split a peanut butter cup mini pie and a bacon jam empanada. My sister said the empanada was the best thing she ate all vacation, so I would say it was worth the out-of-the-way locale. Don't ask me how I'm missing a picture - maybe I was distracted by a jam made of bacon.
See, we were supposed to leave Portland the next morning after leisurely collecting our items and making our way to the airport. But a horrific tornado was busy ripping through Illinois. Just as my sister poured out what was left of our chocolate stout growler from Stoup, we got an e-mail that our flight was canceled. Not delayed, not postponed, but canceled. It took us two hours to rebook to the next available flight ... the following day. I was initially pretty upset because I had a ton to get done at work, but I eventually gathered my thoughts and decided to make the best of it. We took a bus to the brewing district to complete our vacation on a positive note.

We started at Base Camp Brewery, which our pedicab driver recommended for its smores stout. It's served with a toasted marshmallow on top! It was delicious and amazing, and this was my favorite brewery in terms of atomsphere. I could see myself hanging out there and eating schwarma fries out by the fire place. They even sell smores kits!

And while we were there, we had to stop at Buckman Botanicals and The Green Dragon. Here, I had my favorite hard cider the entire trip: the Schilling Spiced Apple Cider. It was the perfect combination of sweet and spice for my palate.

The place even had a dog menu. I love Portland.

Keeping the fun rolling, and mostly because we were lost in the brewing district, we stopped at Lucky Labrador Brewing, which my sister enjoyed, but I was nonplussed. The menu did look excellent, but I had to leave room for delicious stuff.

The final stop was Cascade Brewing Barrel Company, which specialized in sour beers. This place was delicious. This place's pumpkin smash beer was the best pumpkin beer I've had this season. It was complex and delicious. They also had this Oblique Coffee Black &White Stout, which was aged in rum barrels and had a smoky, coffee flavor, but was golden in color. It was surprisingly and delicious.

We finished off the day by heading back to our hotel to do some work, pack our stuff, change into our comfies and get ready for another movie! But first, we had to try McMenamin's brews. I mean, we were rounding out our third day at their properties and had only tasted the seasonal ales. So we ordered a tasting tray and split the tasty treats. I enjoyed the Ruby, which was brewed with a raspberry puree. My sister enjoyed the Hammerhead, which was stronger than I anticipated.

McMenamin's tasting tray
So there you have it. Fifteen breweries, three hotels, two airports, one flight delay, two markets, one train ride and countless calories consumed, our first sister trip was quite the success. We came, we saw, we ate, we drank. I am sad this trip was over, but will always have my photos and memories. I'm looking forward to another sister trip with the whole gang sometime soon.


Losing Lindy said...

looks like an amazing time


look delicious ..

Maggie W said...

Mmmm stouts AND sour beer??? My favorites!!!