Love in each Bite: A Weekend in Portland Oregon

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A Romantic Weekend in Portland Oregon?

At best, my husband was dubious when I told him we were heading to Portland, Oregon for our anniversary trip. I suppose few would use the descriptor romantic if given three words to describe this eclectic, energetic, and weird (their term) city.

Of course, when you’ve been raising kids for 19 years, just being away from home without the offspring is romantic, even if it’s Barstow.

But I’d say Portland provided all the necessary elements for a fabulous romantic weekend getaway – tantalizing food, luxurious libations, stunning views, and a variety of activities for everyone’s tastes. Feel free to tweet @dormantchef and see if he agrees.

Here are the highlights (we barely scratched the surface of all the wonderful recommendations we received from fellow food-obsessed friends and acquaintances):

Dinner Friday Night

Cabezon – a fish market during the day and fish-focussed restaurant at night

Portland Oregon

Oysters are romantic right?

oysters cropped

Smoked sturgeon

Portland Oregon

Mussels w frites and saffron aioli with a spicy white wine sauce

Portland Oregon


Portland Oregon


Portland Oregon

Sturgeon with farro

Portland Oregon


Stumptown Coffee  – a short walk from our downtown hotel and the coffee lived up to its stellar reputation

Portland Oregon

Saturday Morning Farmers Market at Portland State University

The variety of fresh produce, local-made food products and fresh food vendors was inspiring. For food-obsessed people like me, a visit to this market will have you dreaming of moving to Portland. We decided on our next visit we would rent an apartment so we can buy more of the local food and cook and enjoy it at our leisure.

Portland Oregon


Portland Oregon


Portland Oregon


Portland Oregon


Portland Oregon


Portland Oregon


Portland Oregon

Biking Two Ways!

A bike ride through Washington Park and a visit to the stunning and expansive rose garden

Portland Oregon

A taxi bike over the bridge to Burnside Brewing Company

Portland Oregon

Of course we bought the drivers a beer!

Portland Oregon

Portland OregonThis “Cohiba Cigar” appetizer at Burnside – Oxtail, Crispy Crepe, wrapped in a Collard Green was as tasty as it was creative

Portland Oregon

Bar hopping and dinner Saturday night!

One of many moody and romantic bars in Portland, The Secret Society, where we happily waited for our table at the neighboring Spanish tapas restaurant Toro Bravo

Portland Oregon

At Toro Bravo, we enjoyed a traditional Basque country wine called txakolina that must be poured from on high and was the perfect drink on a hot summer night in PDX

Portland Oregon

Ice Cream!

We headed over to the restaurant-studded SE Division St. to stroll around and I found room to share a pint of Salt and Straw Sea Salt Caramel Ribbon ice cream. A hint if you find a line as long as we did, just head over to the pre-packaged section, pick out what you want and they’ll check you out immediately.

Portland Oregon

Doughnuts and Brunch! 

Before we headed out to experience the required Sunday brunch, we waited in line for a few Voodoo Doughnuts. Were they worth it? Voodoo doughnuts reminded me of the doughnuts I ate at midnight in high school. Next visit? I’d skip the wait and try one of the many fantastic bakeries in Portland such as Kim Boyce’s Bakeshop.

Portland Oregon

Brunch is a thing in Portland – perhaps as a hangover antidote, given the extensive libation offerings throughout the city. The meal at this close-to-our-hotel spot called The Imperial did not disappoint and yes, that was a virgin Mule.

Portland Oregon


Portland Oregon


Then a quick run to Powell’s Books. A mistake, the quick part that is. There is no way to visit this massively well-stocked bookstore quickly. Plan for half a day so you can truly appreciate the combination of used and new books stocked on the shelves. In the cookbook section, their endless bookshelves provide you with a historical perspective for each cuisine as you peruse the 50 year old books alongside today’s newest offerings. My words and photos do not begin to capture the enormity, depth, and expansiveness of Powell’s book collections.

Portland Oregon


And then it was time for more calorie burning in Forest Park, where we hiked until we found this view

Portland Oregon

Then we walked across the bridge to find the “blues brothers” playing a little brunch music

Portland Oregon

Back to our hotel for our luggage and one last food stop – Lardo, where our friends said we just had to try the dirty fries – sorry they were all gone before I could snap a photo!

Portland Oregon

Portland – you stole our hearts and our waistlines and we can’t wait for our next visit, when yes, we decided we just have to bring the kids along!

If you’ve been to Portland, what is your favorite food or activity?




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14 Responses to Love in each Bite: A Weekend in Portland Oregon

  1. Marye August 23, 2014 at 11:33 am #

    I love being able to virtually visit places… everything looks like a lot of fun…

    • Beth Lee August 25, 2014 at 6:39 pm #

      It was Marye. Thanks for stopping by. Glad to provide virtual travel inspiration. I often do the same reading blogs or watching House Hunters International. Daydreaming for the next trip…

  2. Betsy @ Desserts Required August 21, 2014 at 6:38 pm #

    I am SOOOO impressed with the amount of food you were able to consume in a short trip. We could travel together anytime!

    • Beth Lee August 25, 2014 at 6:37 pm #

      I think we need to get CCN to send us both together on a press trip, right?

  3. Sandy August 18, 2014 at 9:12 am #

    Sounds wonderful. Must visit there. we met some nice people when on our cruise last summer who live there.

  4. [email protected] TheGastronomicBong August 18, 2014 at 9:07 am #

    Looks like a fun weekend.. 😀 Love the photographs.. 🙂

    • Beth Lee August 18, 2014 at 9:10 am #

      Thanks Arpita – we really packed a lot in – it felt so light to travel with only adults. And what an amazing city of food and drink. Wow!

  5. Carol Sacks August 18, 2014 at 6:41 am #

    Sounds like an amazing time — happy anniversary!!

    • Beth Lee August 18, 2014 at 9:08 am #

      Thanks Carol – as I recall right back at you!

  6. Deb August 17, 2014 at 7:39 am #

    I agree a weekend without kids is to be savored! What a fantastic trip and very tempting ideas for our next trip north!

    • Beth Lee August 18, 2014 at 9:08 am #

      Oh my gosh Deb – you would have so much fun there, especially at the Farmers’ Market!

  7. Sarene (FringeFood) August 16, 2014 at 6:33 pm #

    OMG! It does sound yummy!! Love the in-the-know shout-out to Donut Wheel, too!

    • Beth Lee August 18, 2014 at 9:07 am #

      Thought you’d pick up on that 🙂 We should make this a destination for our FHS reunion trip one of these times.

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