Portlandia and Bacon Covered Donuts

I’m a bit behind in my travel blogs and will continue my Thailand memoirs, but don’t want to get too behind on current day. We’ve just arrived outside of Glacier National Park in Montana after staying in Portland for two nights. Neither of us had ever been to Portland before and decided to give it a go before we vacated the west coast. We spent about 11 hours getting from San Francisco to Portland and did an air bnb in a nice family’s basement around 16th and E Burnside.

If San Francisco was clean compared to Bangkok, you could eat off the sidewalks in Portland. Our first night we got in and carried our many things from the back seat into our little room. Every place we stay except perhaps the place in North Dakota, we’ll be carrying half a cars worth of things inside and then repacking. We get to do this 7 times. We went for some ramen and then a walk across the bridge and then back to a bar nearby our place. Portland is in the basketball playoffs so it was sportstasic. Then in typical Jenna fashion, I got really sick and had to go home and that was my night. Left A. with a full beer to watch the game by himself at the bar. Typical me. There may have been an experiment in self-medicating that technically worked but also went horribly wrong. I’m not sure what the lesson was.

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Anyways, woke up the next morning and was fine, as also per typical me. We took a walk to a good coffee place nearby and on the way A. got a haircut (first one in many moons). I had an ice coffee which was a little crazy, but couldn’t resist trying it. I’m a coffee fiend and quit successfully last April, but in Thailand I started dipping into it a couple of times. We’re casually flirting right now, but I have to watch it or we’ll end up u-hauling again.

We followed that up with a trip to Slow Bar, as recommended by a friend. One of the best burgers I’ve ever had. Amazing. Also amazing that it would definitely have cost around $15 in SF and it was $10 in Portland. What’s not to love about this place? Then we walked into the downtown and wandered around. We ended up going to Powell’s books because we were nearby, it’s huge.

I have a confession. I am a bookaholic, but I really dislike book stores, unless they’re someplace I can go on my lunch from work (I find them soothing then). As a kid I was a voracious reader (not a lot to do in rural Vermont when you can’t walk to any friend’s houses) and the small local libraries had poor selections (no Thoroughbred or Babysitter’s Club or Goosebumps). I couldn’t buy books to keep up with my habit and had to trade my books in at the used book store when I had a little money to buy new ones. Those of you that know what a huge rereader I am (partially based on not getting new books for so long in early life), this was traumatic. So I’ve held it against bookstores ever since and I’ll choose Amazon over local bookstores any day because I can buy super cheap used books and they always have the books I want. In short, Powells books wasn’t that exciting to me.

Then we started going to taprooms/breweries. Oh, I should also mention that the weather was incredible. It was in the 80s and the perfect kind of day to sit outside. So taproom number one I had a bitter ale with raspberry syrup, never had it with syrup before and it was delicious. So instead of being at a job on Tuesday, we sat outside and played boggle and drank beer around 2pm. Sorry, can’t help it. We then walked around more and hit two more breweries, these ones with the breweries onsite. The last one I got a chocolate stout with a toasted marshmallow. It was kind of amazing.image

Then we went to dinner and met up with two friends, former co-workers who are both living in Portland now. The place we went to is Papa Haydn and specializes in gigantic really good desserts. So after a huge burger and fries, three beers, dinner and dessert, I was ready to be rolled home in a wheelbarrow. Luckily we had the car and we went home and went to bed. The next morning we got some voodoo donuts and A. got a Stumptown coffee and I got an iced tea. The tea was super good, really spicy and delicious. The voodoo donuts we got were a chocolate peanut one (not pictures, already eaten), a chocolate donut with rice crispies and peanut butter on top, and a maple glazed donut with bacon. Bacon totally won. Usually novelty bacon food is not my favorite (hi SF bacon food truck, you’re really not very good), but this was d’bomb. An excellent end to our Portland travels.

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(More donuts in the case, note the fruit loops and captain crunch)

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(our donuts, bacon and rice crispies.)

We both really liked it and did a fair amount of complaining about how far it is from NOLA and VT as far as a place we could potentially live. We’ll definitely be back.

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