Oregon 2016, Day One: Portland

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Early morning was mostly Fred driving us through an onslaught of rain. Despite barely being able to see the road at times, it was nice to be back on the road.

We had been wanting to listen to Hardcore History after downloading some free episodes a few months back, so we hooked up my iPod to Ivan’s Bose speakers and listened to the first two episodes of Wrath of the Khans. It’s soooo good! I highly recommend checking Hardcore History out if you aren’t listening already! Tomorrow, on our 9 hour round trip drive, we’ll listen to a few more episodes.

By the time we turned into the Hollywood District off the U.S. 30/I-84 our stomachs were grumbling. This might have affected Fred’s focus on the road– at one point the car ahead of us slowed down dramatically and I had to shout loudly before Fred slammed on the breaks and prevented the second fender-bender of the week to one of my family’s vehicles (the first of which did not involve him, FYI).

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Inside Pok Pok.

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Pok Pok was our choice for lunch. Southeast Division St. is a mecca of good restaurants, and we spent most of our day in Portland wandering along the street. Near Pok Pok is a cute (though ridiculously overpriced) store called Little Otsu, and next to it is a female-friendly sex shop called She Bop that’s fun to peruse.

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To see my original review of Pok Pok, click here.

We ordered a pork belly & shoulder curry dish, fish sauce chicken wings, beef shin stew, baby back ribs, and a vermicelli and gulf prawn clay pot. They were all delicious, although the baby back ribs don’t have much meat on. They’re definitely skippable–unlike the chicken wings and pork belly & shoulder dishes. I got the sticky rice as a side, and Fred got a bowl of jasmine while Ivan opted for coconut rice.

Weirdly, I always feel conflicted about Pok Pok’s sticky rice. It comes in plastic bags, which is a turnoff for me, but halfway through the meal I always wonder how I could ever make the choice to eat at Pok Pok and not order sticky rice. It feels almost like a necessity.

I still haven’t figured out why.

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America.

Fred amused himself in-between dining, shopping, and driving by looking at the lovely variety of politically-minded wifi networks around town. #FeeltheBern.

Late afternoon was our Airbnb check-in time. We chose to stay with Ivy, which has been working out well for the three of us. Clean, comfy, and warm. Fluffy towels, a kind of transparent screen on the bathroom door but opaque shower curtains and that’s what matters.

We unpacked and settled in for a nap.

Eventually we dragged ourselves out of bed to find dinner. Back to Southeast Division street, because it’s easy and we’re lazy and Little Big Burger was the only place we could think of that wouldn’t be completely booked up because of Valentine’s Day.

Yes, Little Big Burger! We’re having burgers tomorrow, too, but like I said. It’s easy and we’re lazy. Also, it’s incredibly affordable and Fred and I like taking Ivan to our favourite spots.

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For my review of Little Big Burger, click here.

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My cheeseburger. Still full from Pok Pok and determined to eat ice cream later, I skipped on the truffle fries. To be honest, it was worth it. The burgers are the highlight of LBB! Also, the staff are super nice, and the recent apparent buyout by Hooters last August doesn’t appear to have changed anything about the little chain!

Dessert succeeded dinner. We walked several blocks down the street and joined the Sunday-night Valentine’s Day lineup that stretched around the store and out onto the sidewalk. Maaaaybe we hadn’t thought dessert through well enough. But! Sucking it up in line was one of the best decisions we made today.

I’m going to write a separate post about Salt & Straw, location: SE Division St (there are two other locations in Portland and another two in L.A.). Still, here’s a shot of my ice cream sundae.

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It’s okay. I drooled too. Warm brownie underneath sea salt ice cream with caramel ribbons, and topped with whipped cream, crushed hazelnuts, and hot fudge. What’s best–all three of us got our ice cream for free! Our ice cream scooper was super fun and nice and looked kind of like a mashup of Hannah Hart and Cobie Smulders… but more on that in another post! WE LOVE SALT & STRAW!

We had a fantastic experience with Salt & Straw–it might even be my favourite ice cream joint now! It’s certainly Fred’s, anyway. Hopefully I’ll get a full post up by Tuesday.

Until then… it’s time for me to sleep. Tomorrow we make our trip to Medford. In-n-Out, here we come!

Cheers,

Miriam

 

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