Sunday, April 12, 2015

A Portland vacation: Day 3

(A continuation of our adventures in Portland. Read about Day 1 here and Day 2 here)

Our last day in Portland. The boys ate their eggs benedict brunch while I sipped on another mimosa as we watched the garbage truck painstakingly line up garbage cans down the street in a neat and tidy queue so the worker could attack them all on the same front.

Seems like quite the process

We discussed what we wanted to do with our day. We'd seen quite a bit in the last few days, but there's just so much to explore in Portland. We finally decided on a tour of the brewery scene in Portland. Unfortunately, none of the formal guided tours were running that afternoon, but we didn't let that stop us. We decided to do our own self-guided walking tour of the various microbreweries downtown. Yes, I know that some people would call that a pub crawl, but we call it tourism. 

And so, after grabbing a bite from the food trucks down the street, we headed out for some day drinking an epic pub crawl an educational brewery tour.

Our first stop was Rock Bottom Brewery, which had a restaurant connected to it. This place, like many other breweries, gave you the option of ordering flights, smaller glasses of the different kinds of beers that the brewery makes, so you can sample them all.

Our next stop accidentally turned out to not be a brewery at all, but a famous stop nonetheless. We were at Huber's Cafe, Portland's oldest restaurant, operating since 1879.  

You could real feel the sense of history about the place. The owner, a friendly older Asian-American man whose family has operated Huber's for generations, took us through the story of the place, pointing out which parts of the restaurant were still original, and showing explaining the portraits on the wall. He told us how in the old days, if you ordered a drink, you would get a free turkey sandwich. The original bar had discreet entrances so politicians could come and have a relaxing drink without people recognizing them.

We didn't have their famous turkey meal or Spanish coffee (made with Bacardi 151!) but we did grab more beer and coffee and enjoyed the quaint ambience of the place. 

Next, we moved to another brewery, Deschutes.

I was really fascinated by the woodwork for some reason

We ordered another flight of tasty beers, and also some food, as Deschutes had a pretty impressive food menu as well.  Portland just knows how to do food and drink right.

We had planned to move on to Rogue after this stop, but we were feeling mighty sleepy by this point, so we decided to head back to our hotel for a little siesta.

After a refreshing nap, we grabbed more food from the food drinks and headed out to check out the live music scene in Portland.

Besides brunches, beers, bikes, and hipsters, Portland is also famous for its thriving artsy music scene.  During the 1990s, house shows were popular - concerts held not in large formal music venues like theatres but rather in the living rooms of people's homes.  This is where musicians like Elliott Smith lived and thrived.  Portland continues to be home to many amazing musicians, including Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney. So we definitely wanted to check out a live show.

We caught a show at the Star Theater, where a full lineup of indie bands were performing. It was a good mix of local bands and touring bands from other parts of the States (Cherry Glaczrr, Summer Cannibals, Sunflower Bean, The Buttertones, Underpass).

Portland seems to do live concerts right. A lot of the shows are all ages, which means teenagers can come and be exposed to all sorts of live music. But it doesn't mean they don't serve drinks; they have a separate section for those who are over 21 and want to enjoy a can of Pabst beer while listening to the music.  The alcohol section sort of has an "old people" feel to it - it's off in the back, with seats, while the all ages section is much more lively at the front of the stage where all the dancing is.  But I think that's how it should be. It's also a great way to avoid spilling beer all over other people.

It was a great way to end our trip to Portland, the magical city with so many things that I'm going to miss. We're definitely going to have to come back someday!

Portland: Where you can buy wine and small plates at the Starbucks

Parking tickets for smart cars

An airplane view of Mt. Saint Helens, perched above the clouds like a god