Portland Vacation: Day 1

Now that camp is over, and my normal school schedule resumes tomorrow (GASP!) I'm planning on much more regular posting, more cooking, and of course, more recipes and photos.

I'm not usually one to do a recap day-by-day of a vacation, but I'd rather break it up for you than have you all be bored to death by my four days of fun in Portland! I had originally planned this trip to be back in March during my Spring vacation, but I had that whole lovely asthma bronchitis hospitalization thing, and my doctor said NO flying.

So I rescheduled for an 8 a.m. flight the day after camp ended. I was beyond excited to see my friend Ericka, sine we have the kind of friendship where, no matter how long has passed, it's like we just picked up the same conversation. Our history is full of hilarity, cooking, eating, and adventures, so I knew I'd have a blast.

Ericka picked me up from the airport, we stopped by her house to drop off my stuff, then we drove to the South West area of Portland for a food cart lunch.

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It was one of many food cart neighborhoods in Portland, but I think it's the biggest: nearly two city blocks of back-to-back food carts, selling everything from falafel to korean tacos. Ericka knew what she was getting before we even got there, but for my sake, we did a loop of everything. I was torn among three options: falafel, grilled kielbasa, or grilled cheese. I made up my mind while Ericka waited for her fish & chips from the Frying Scotsman.


I couldn't get one thing out of my head: grilled cheese. So we walked back around to the Grilled Cheese Grill truck and I ordered my "Gabby" grilled cheese: Tillamook cheddar, swiss, mozzarella, and colby-jack cheese on bakery bread. I added bacon, tomato, and raw onion for nutrition's sake.

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After getting my sandwich, we wandered around to the counter at a closed food truck to eat… There's something about eating delicious food outside that makes it so much better. Ericka's fish and chips had a saffron-laced batter that made it bright yellow and very distinctive tasting. The haddock fish was firm and flavorful… I couldn't believe it came out of a truck.

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Part of the reason I went with a grilled cheese over any of the other trucks was that the cheese was Tillamook, a local Oregon company, and three of the four cheeses aren't available here in Chicago in their brand. And I love cheese. And bacon.

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We walked off a bit of our lunches, then headed over to the movie theater to see Moonrise Kingdom. If you haven't seen it yet, I'd highly recommend it! It's quirky, adorable, and thought-provoking while still being funny.

After the movies, what's better than frozen yogurt? We walked up to TartBerry, and Ericka had warned me that there were really really a lot of toppings. I thought I'd seen "a lot of toppings" when I went to my local Red Mango… I had no idea.

The shop was brightly decorated with fun fro-yo themed decor



The flavors were delicious and unique. I went with chocolate, peanut butter, and a bit of cake batter flavored yogurt, but then came the toppings… holy *$&# were there a lot!

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That's just the "dry" section. There's a whole fruit section too! And about a dozen syrups! We had so much fun putting random bits of things on our yogurt (pretzel balls, raspberries, cookie crumbs, peanut butter, marshmallow, and nuts of some sort for me) and catching up some more.

We went back to Ericka's house to relax for a bit before dinner (I'm telling you, the trip revolved around food and scenery) and I bonded with her cat, Kitty.

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She has the best eyes!!! Dinner was simple: sushi at Sinju Sushi. Spicy tuna tower, crunchy and spicy rolls, and freaking local salmon nigiri? Oh yeah… the only problem? I don't think I can eat salmon nigiri here in Chicago again. This stuff was phenomenal!

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After another couple hours of chatting, brownie baking, and silly movie watching, I was ready for bed and our adventure the following day.

Stay tuned!



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5 Responses to Portland Vacation: Day 1

  1. Lisa says:

    Welcome to Portland! Glad you are having a great time here. There are SO many food carts here. There’s some really good ones downtown on SE Washington and 5th (get the burrito or the Indian food). The Grilled Cheese cart is good–last time I was there I had the one with cream cheese, bacon and jalapenos. SO GOOD.

    Try Mio Sushi if you can. Bamboo is good, too. If you’re doing a restaurant tour, try happy hour at East Burn, dinner at Laurelhurst Market and breakfast at Pine Street Biscuits.
    Lisa´s last blog post ..Be Safe

  2. I am so hungry now! LOL

    Why would you ruin a grilled cheese and bacon sandwich with tomato and onion? LMAO I read “bacon” and I was drooling. By the way, if you really love that lovely pork product, you should get to San Francisco and find the BaconBacon food truck (http://www.baconbaconsf.com/). It looks fabulous and combines three of my favorite things: good bread, bacon and cheese.
    Shan @ Skewed Design Studios´s last blog post ..Is Your Teen Addicted To Porn?

  3. Biz says:

    I laughed when I read this:

    “I added bacon, tomato, and raw onion for nutrition’s sake.” That cheese brand is my favorite too – Cabot is a close second.

    So glad you had a great trip – hope the beginning of the school year started good!
    Biz´s last blog post ..First Day of School!

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