Portland has always been one of our favorite places for a quick weekend trip. Not only is it a quick flight from Calgary but always a great place to visit.
If you haven’t been to Portland they have a popular saying “Keep Portland Weird”, so that’s true but it also very charming.
While we were there the weather wasn’t fantastic, but we still had a great weekend.
We flew in on Friday night. The flight from Calgary is direct and short. It is pretty convenient when you can leave work and make it to downtown Portland shortly after 7 pm.
We checked in at our hotel, the Hi-Lo Portland, and made it to the Pearl District for an 8:30 reservation.
Our reservations was at Brix Tavern. The food was good, the drinks were fantastic but out server was a little off her game.
We got up on Saturday morning with donuts on the mind. We headed to Blue Star Donut for a pre-brunch snack. Our expectations were high and they did not disappoint.
We walked over to their Downtown location. The space is bright and airy. The service was impeccable, the donuts to die for and the coffee really good. They have so many options… we did end up getting 6 to try out various kinds: Blueberry Bourbon Basil, Passion Fruit Cocoa Nib, Chocolate Almond Ganache, Cinnamon Sugar, Meyer Lemon & Key Lime Curd and the classic Buttermilk Old-Fashioned. Our favorite was the Chocolate Almond Ganache.
We toured around the Pearl District. If you aren’t familiar with this part of Portland, it is filled with trendy boutiques, many bars and restaurants, coffee shops and craft breweries and home to Powell’s City of Books.
We had brunch reservations at the Bluehour. Ladies, they have $2 mimosa’s during brunch. Only catch, you must purchase food.
We decided to do a tasting of 8 of their products. The favorite was definitely the Burnside West End Blend.
For dinner, we went to Oven and Shaker. This is a great option for delicious food and craft cocktails. They don’t take reservations, but they have quite a bit of seating and the service is fast. It is one of our favorite pizza places, anywhere.
After dinner we checked out Von Ebert Brewing. It’s a very popular place and they do have a large space. We managed to get seats at the bar and ordered a sample for only $12 and you get to try any 5 of their many beers. Since we had just stuffed our faces at Oven and Shaker, we didn’t order any food, but it did look good.
We also checked out 10 Barrel Brewery for a flight of 10 samplers for only $10. They have some very good beers but the Redside ALT was particularly good.
For breakfast we headed to Kenny and Zuke’s. We had been on previous trips and knew we wanted to go again this time. We weren’t disappointed! The food is great, the portions generous and upgrade your toast to a bagel. The Cheddar & Pecorino bagels are so so good! The Pastrami and Swiss omelette is great as well.
During previous trips we had wanted to visit Portland’s Japanese Garden but never had the chance. This time we did. The Japanese Garden is part of Washington Park and a bit out of downtown so we took an Uber there.
The garden is beautiful and it was great to spend some time outdoors. Luckily, it didn’t rain while we were there.
While walking around we noticed that Killer Burger seemed to always be busy. We decided to stop by for lunch. If you good burgers with interesting toppings and Heavy Metal music, do check it out.
For dinner, we had reservations at Irving Street Kitchen. We had been there previously and did remember it fondly.
We were there a bit early and got to take advantage of Happy Hour. I decided to try the Aviary cocktail and fell in love. It is made with gin, floral sage syrup, lemon and creme de violette. This cocktail is a winner!
The food here is great and worth its own post. So, click here to check it out.
Mother’s Bistro & Bar has been around for almost 2 decades and last time we went they were located in an old house. Recently, they have moved to new digs in the Embassy Suites building so we decided to check it out. The new space is much larger and brighter, but they have done a good job at retaining the charm.
During a previous visit, we tried the Crunchy Challah French Toast. If you are looking for something indulgent, I highly recommend those. This time however, we decided to go with Mike’s Scramble and the Two Farm Fresh Eggs. Solid choices if you aren’t sure what to get.
As we were leaving, we noticed that VooDoo Doughnuts was across the street and knew we needed to go. This location is open 24 hours per day and can be quite busy at time. Luckily, there was no lineup. We walked in and were overwhelmed by the number of choices. We somehow ended up with 6.
With our pink box on hand, we walked over to the Stumptown next door to pick up some coffee and head back to the hotel to pig out on our doughnuts.
On Monday night we had tickets to the Justin Timberlake concert at the Moda Center. Before heading over, we decided to grab some food and drinks at Oven and Shaker again, since we liked it so much. This time were there to take advantage of happy hour. Happy hour is definitely where it’s at. They have great drink and food specials, especially the pizzas!
We had a ridiculously early flight and were at the airport before 4 am. But were pleasantly surprised to see so many local vendors like Kenny and Zuke’s and Stumptown.
As previously mentioned, we stayed at the Hi Lo Portland. It’s a very nice boutique hotel. We are avid Marriott Bonvoy point collectors so we tend to favor the member hotels.
You might be wondering if you need to rent a car. During this trip, we didn’t. Public transit is really good but we either walked or Ubered everywhere. So, really no need unless you want to go somewhere outside of the city.
There are so many fantastic food and drink options in Portland and a weekend is not enough to even try a small fraction of them.
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