portland

Postcards from Portland

[trip style = urban + beach & sun + food & wine + weekend getaway]

Portland is one of our most requested cities for Trip Styler-approved recommendations. As I tend to visit the City of Roses between the fall and spring, I decided to venture down for a summer getaway in the Pacific Northwest. Known for its award-winning restaurant scene, easygoing lifestyle and friendly locals, Portland offers a guaranteed good time. Besides the usual brunches, happy hours, bike rides and tax-free shopping, I set my sights on two spots I'd been meaning to visit: Sauvie Island and the Multnomah Whiskey Library. Together they make the perfect Portland day. We all know about après-ski and the nineteenth hole—let's make après-beach part of our social practice!

Things to know: Hotel rooms and Airbnbs are pricey and hard to come by during the summer, so plan ahead, stay outside town or snag a last-minute room on Hotel Tonight. I booked the Ace in late April for a July stay, and the rate was twice what I've paid during the winter.

Hot dogs or legs?! We chased the sun to  Sauvie Island  {pronounced  saw -vee or  soh -vee}, about 30 minutes north of the city, on a 37°C day. The most popular beaches, Collins and Walton, face the Columbia River. The northern end of Collins beach is clothing optional. Beware of sand so hot it will burn your feet ... etc. ;-)

Hot dogs or legs?! We chased the sun to Sauvie Island {pronounced saw-vee or soh-vee}, about 30 minutes north of the city, on a 37°C day. The most popular beaches, Collins and Walton, face the Columbia River. The northern end of Collins beach is clothing optional. Beware of sand so hot it will burn your feet ... etc. ;-)

Pack a picnic basket and stop for berries at one of the many farm markets and pumpkin patches on the island. Looking for a hike? There are a several 2-3-mile trails on the island. Can't get enough? Plan your trip around one of several long table dinners over the summer or stay in this modern farm  cottage .

Pack a picnic basket and stop for berries at one of the many farm markets and pumpkin patches on the island. Looking for a hike? There are a several 2-3-mile trails on the island. Can't get enough? Plan your trip around one of several long table dinners over the summer or stay in this modern farm cottage.

Things to know: Purchase a daily parking permit {$7 usd} on the east side of the island from the Reeder Beach RV Country Store or just north of the bridge from the Cracker Barrel Store to park in all beach and wildlife areas.

"I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany." I couldn't help but quote Ron Burgundy while sitting in a tufted leather couch in the  Multnomah Whiskey Library . As I watched bar-backs climb rolling ladders like Belle in  Beauty and the Beast  to access one of the 1,500 bottles of liquor, including 900 whiskeys, I marveled at the attention to detail and spectacle of the place.

"I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany." I couldn't help but quote Ron Burgundy while sitting in a tufted leather couch in the Multnomah Whiskey Library. As I watched bar-backs climb rolling ladders like Belle in Beauty and the Beast to access one of the 1,500 bottles of liquor, including 900 whiskeys, I marveled at the attention to detail and spectacle of the place.

One of the most unique features of the bar is the personal touch. Your cocktails are mixed and your whiskey is poured right in front of you by a bartender who wheels over a bar cart. I started with a 12-year-old Ezra B single-barrel bourbon that my bartender selected for me after I told her what I liked and my price point, followed by a delicious cocktail. Their most popular cocktail is the Old Fashioned, which my friend called the best she's ever had. Two drinks and a few hours later, we pulled ourselves off the leather couch and into the warm evening, passing dozens of people waiting to get inside.

One of the most unique features of the bar is the personal touch. Your cocktails are mixed and your whiskey is poured right in front of you by a bartender who wheels over a bar cart. I started with a 12-year-old Ezra B single-barrel bourbon that my bartender selected for me after I told her what I liked and my price point, followed by a delicious cocktail. Their most popular cocktail is the Old Fashioned, which my friend called the best she's ever had. Two drinks and a few hours later, we pulled ourselves off the leather couch and into the warm evening, passing dozens of people waiting to get inside.

Things to know: Anticipate a long wait for this popular, seated bar. Put in your name and wait in the new Green Room bar below the Library as you sip on a low-proof cocktail designed to open your palate while you wait to be seated upstairs.

This post is written by Trip Styler's Assistant Wayfarer/Editor Heather.

Related
Oregon Travel Diary :: Feasting on Portland
That Travel Meal :: Pok Pok Som Thai Basil Gin Rickey
Pant-Stretching Portland
Fashion Friday :: Falling for Portland

[images via @heatherlovesit & dana avila photography]

Pant-Stretching Portland

portlandfreshfood

[trip style = food & wine + weekend getaway]

If you read Trip Styler regularly, you know we try to take a bite out of Portland,Oregon's pant-stretching food scene at every opportunitythe provisions are that good. 

Completely obsessed with the city's preoccupation with hyperlocal and mouth-pleasing cuisine, I wrote an article in the Expedia Viewfinder Travel Blog about searching for Portland's freshest fare. Here's a taster:

There are conversations you overhear as a travel writer that cause you to grin and thank the heavens you were lucky enough to be within earshot of something so quotable. One such conversation, in Portland, was so perfect, I decided right then and there it would open this tale of the city’s fascination with fresh food (and my preoccupation with packing the right pants).

”Do they sell stretchy pants in Portland?” the guy behind me in the restaurant queue jokingly-yet-seriously quipped. Chortling, his friend replied, "By the weekend’s end, we’ll just want to go pantless.” I laughed out loud and exchanged knowing glances with the chaps because when in the Pacific Northwest’s nosh-central, I purposely pack jeans with a little stretch. It’s survival of the foodie-est.

Oregonians are not obsessed with food because it’s cool to post pretty pictures of plates with artfully arranged fare, or to brag about their culinary institutions that are sweeping the nation. For them, it’s about substance. It doesn’t matter how en vogue eateries or ingredients such as kale or bacon have become; if it’s not good or fresh, it won’t fly....

{Read the FULL article here}

portlandfresharticle

That Travel Meal :: Pok Pok Som Thai Basil Gin Rickey

[trip style = food + wine]

Editor's Note: In our "That Travel Meal" series, we recreate memorable dishes or drinks we've tasted while trip styling around the globe. Don't miss our previous posts with recipes for burrata and chèvre-prosciutto-pear-arugula pizza. 

Whenever I'm in Portland, I have to stop by one of Andy Ricker's restaurants for two things: Fish sauce chicken wings and drinking vinegar cocktails. Even if the idea of drinking vinegar makes you pucker your lips and say "heckkkkk no" you must try it—I've changed the tune of many skeptics with this creative cocktail.

Also known as shrubs, drinking vinegars have been around this continent since colonial times as a health tonic and form of fruit preservation. They've been around Europe even longer; Hippocrates prescribed apple cider vinegar with water and honey to cure coughs and Roman soldiers drank sour wine or vinegar with honey as a daily indulgence. These days drinking vinegars have regained popularity as craft cocktail mixers.

Pok Pok Som drinking vinegars, inspired by Southeast Asian street drinks, can be purchased online or in local specialty grocers. My favorite flavour, Thai Basil, is tart, sweet and peppery, and pairs well with cucumber gin and soda. This cocktail, inspired by my visits to Pok Pok, will make you dream of Phuket—or maybe just Portland.

Pok Pok Som Thai Basil Gin Rickey
- 1 oz Pok Pok Som Thai Basil Drinking Vinegar
- 2 oz Hendrick's Gin
- Squeeze of lime
- Ice cubes
- 4 oz soda 
- Cucumber slices
- Lime slices
- Fresh mint

Instructions
- Combine drinking vinegar, gin, lime and ice cubes in a cocktail shaker.
- Shake until chilled and well mixed.
- Pour into glass, top with soda and stir.
- Garnish with cucumber slices, lime slices, mint sprigs and extra ice as desired.

Trip Styler Tip: Forget the gin for an almost-as-amazing mocktail or swap gin for whiskey or mezcal for a smokier spritzer. Play with the drink; you really can't go wrong!

This post is written by Trip Styler's Assistant Wayfarer/Editor Heather.

Related
That Travel Meal :: Best-in-Show Burrata at Ava Gene's
That Travel Meal :: Chevre-Prosciutto-Pear-Arugula Pizza

[photos by @heatherlovesit]

That Travel Meal :: Best-in-Show Burrata at Ava Gene's

AvaGenesBurrata

[trip style = food + wine]

Last month we started a series called "That Travel Meal," a taste of the delicioso dishes I savor while trip styling and tasting around the globe. The plates that make it into this series are the cream of the crop, the ones I must recreateeither through the acquired recipe or hours of  trial and errorand share with you as the travel souvenir that keeps on giving. 

That Travel Meal dishes won't keep you in the kitchen {or driving all over town to source ingredients} for hours; they're pretty easy to recreate. For example, I'm OB-sessed with Parisienne croissants, but that's something I'll leave to Le Cordon Bleu alumni.  

The latest fare I'm adding to the TS menu is a burrata appetizer I ordered last month from Ava Gene's, one of my go-to restaurants in Portland. As a burrata lover, I've tested a lot of the melt-in-your-mouth mozza, but this rendition is the bestideal for a petite dinner paired with rosé, or as a dinner party starter.  

Ava Gene's Burrata {serves 2}
- 6" square of focaccia, sliced into 6 fingers
- 4 oz burrata 
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp jalapeno, minced
- 1 tsp shallot, minced
- 3 tbsp fresh corn 
- 2 tomatillos, sliced
- 7 gooseberries,  halved {or nectarine if gooseberries are hard to find}
- 2 tbsp chopped walnuts
- 6 mint leaves, slapped {to release flavor} and sliced
- salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
Warm and crisp sliced focaccia in the oven at 200 F for 12 minutes. Mix 1 tbsp of olive oil with jalapeno, shallot, corn, tomatillos, gooseberries, walnuts and mint in a small bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Take burrata out of the fridge, place on your serving dish and top with contents from your mixing bowl. Pour remaining olive oil over the burrata and mint mixture. Remove focaccia from the oven, place on your plate and serve. 

AvaGenesBurrataIngredients
MixingIngredientsBurrataTopping

Trip Styler Tip: Ava Gene's changes their burrata weekly depending on what's in season. Use this recipe as a guide, but feel free to take a cue from Portland's obsession with local bounty and add or subtract what's currently growing in your backyard.

Related
That Travel Meal :: Goat Cheese-Prociutto-Pear-Arugula Pizza

[photos by @tripstyler]

Oregon Travel Diary :: Feasting on Portland

WhereToEatInPortland

[trip style = food + drink + urban]

Editor's Note: While TS Sis was recently investigating Scandinavia, I was exploring the Oregon Coast's Northern beaches and tasting what's new in Portland's food scene. Here's the first of a few dispatches from that late-August city-to-beach jaunt.

I chose to write about the restaurants I frequent and drool over in Portland's food scene today for a buffet of reasons: 

1/ This weekend is Feast Portland, one of North America's prime-cut food festivals, and something I've reported on for Trip Styler and Fodor's for the past two years. Sadly, I'm not able to make it this year, but pl-ease go in my absence, K?  
2/ When I visited The City of Roses {which I'd like to rename "The Center of Taste"} in August, a bunch of restaurants had just been named by Bon Appétit Magazine to their prestigious list of 50 Best New Restaurants in America. Not surprisingly, one little luncheonette made the Hot 10 {more on this below}. 
3/ I make a point to visit Portland a few times a year to keep up with the latest dish and drink, so here's the complete menu of TS musts.

Eat
MÅURICE - I dined at MÅURICE, a pastry luncheonette, a few hours before they found out they'd been crowned one of the Hot 10 new restaurants in America by Bon Appétit Magazine. From the first bite of my current-rosemary scone, I knew they were a strong contender. As I ordered more, it was settled; this French-forward pastry kitchen was catapulted into the "always visit" realm in my Portland restaurant repertoire.

MauriceLuncheonette

Ava Gene's - Pair rustic Italian fare sourced from the surrounding foothills, a brasserie-style setting {and Grappa}, and you've got Portland's Italian stallion of restaurants. Don't visit without trying the burrata, topped with an eclectic mix of what's in season {in late-August: corn, jalapeño, mint, fig, walnuts and olive oil}.

AvaGenesPortland

Olympic Provisions - Aside from the word "bounty," which would be a weird name for a restaurant, there are two buzzwords which accurately describe Portland's obsession with local and meat, combine them and you've got Olympic Provisions, the embodiment of Oregon cuisine in the form of fresh food and local wine.  

OlympicProvisions

Luce - If Luce's black and white vinyl floor, wood tables topped with tiny vases of in-season flowers or shelves stocked with Italian cooking basics aren't enough to entice you to try everything on the menu, then the collection US$2 appetizers or US$5 tumblers of house wine should do the trick. From there you'll transition into the pasta and more tumblers of wine until you lose track of time and the stars light your way home.

LucePortland

*There are a bazillion restaurants I could write love letters to in PDX. Other not-to-miss picks include: St. Jack, The Woodsman Tavern, Ned Ludd, Grüner, Pok Pok 

Drink
Pépé Le Moko - One of the most anticipated speakeasy openings in the past few years, Pépé Le Moko is a throwback to the drinks your parents would have sipped at happy hourhello Amaretto Sour and Grasshopper Milkshakein a subterranean space rimmed by black vinyl booths and lit by vintage task lights.   

PepeLeMoko

Clyde Common - ...Because I don't visit Portland without stopping by this Euro-meets-West-Coast food gem. Plus, they employ one of the best bartenders in the USA, and their happy hour is my happy place. 

ClydeCommon

Driftwood Room - I first discovered the Driftwood Room when I was writing the Jetsetter hotel review for the Hotel deLuxe, and immediately fell in love with the retro landmark that's remained frozen in time since 1954.

DriftwoodRoomPDX

Breakfast
Tasty n Sons - A neighborhood bistro with a menu that's anything but. Think breakfast tapas like griddled bacon-wrapped dates with maple syrup and almond, or sweet biscuits with warm blueberry compote and crème anglaise.

Tasty

Broder -  Where Nordic and PNW cuisine harmonize in a pitch-perfect breakfast. Whatever you do, make sure you sample a potato pancake.

BroderPDX

Blue Star Donuts - In case you're still basking in 2010's trends, know this: Blue Star is the new Voodoo, so stop by to satisfy your carb craving with flavah-flavs such as Hard Apple Cider Fritter or Blueberry Bourbon Basil. And in case there was ever a feel-good donut, it's from Blue Star where the scratch and locally-sourced dough is made from certified sustainable bread flour, cage-free eggs, whole milk and European-style butter. Bonus: They serve dog donuts for US$0.25.  

BlueStarDonuts

Coffee
Stumptown Coffee Roasters - As the West Coast's most popular indie roaster and bar, Stumptown takes coffee as seriously as Portland takes foodsee the website's detailed brewing guides as evidence. Find five locations in Portland, plus a bevy of others in buzzed cities like Seattle, LA and New York. 

StumptownPortland

Heart Coffee Roasters - When I go into Heart, I long to linger and be that coffee devotee who stays for two-hour stints while listening to a self-made mix of ambient beats and planning their next terrarium design. With two locations in Portland and a number of shops around the US who carry Heart's brew, this sip is to coffee as craft is to cocktail. 

heart coffee westside

Coava - For serious java aficionados with a proclivity for minimalismboth in design and coffee cultureCoava's craftsmen are dedicated to making balanced and sweet espresso, perfect milk drinks and brewed coffee so good, nothing needs to be added. 

CoavaPDX

Treat
Salt & Straw - Raised in Portland and now expanding to LA, Salt & Straw is an ice cream institution {in the summer, line-ups can run 150 people long; in this case, buy a pint to skip the line] made famous by its farm-to-cone connection, creamy texture and inventive flavors (think: Bone Marrow Cherry or Black Olive Brittle and Goat Cheese). While I love to try these haute takes on crème glacée, it's Salt & Straw's classic tastes such as Sea Salt with Caramel Ribbons or Salted, Malted Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough that make my eyes flutter when I scoop them from my cup to my mouth.  

Salt&StrawPDX

Trip Styler Tip: Not all of Portland's restaurants congregate downtown. Be prepared to drive or bike to most of these hot-to-trot eateries

[photos: a mix of my own and restaurant website snaps]