Eating your way through Portland
The Elder Wanker came down, and when he and I are out together there’s usually three things that happen: drinking, eating, and repeating the previous two things. This commenced as soon as we met up with him at the Mississippi food pod. Fruit Cup, Lola, E.W. and I dived in and it was pretty much a digestive disaster from then on. For those of you unfamiliar with Portland’s food pods, I won’t go into great detail as it’s been done already by people better than I. However, I should tell you that if you come to Portland and don’t avail yourself of one or more of these amazing pods, you will live the rest of your days with a vague sense of regret and emptiness. In fact, Portland is really just a flat-out excellent place for cramming comestibles down your gullet, so let me lay out a recommended guide for you when you do visit:
Breakfast: the Big Egg at the Mississippi food pod. Get the breakfast wrap. This is perfection in a tortilla. Any breakfast wrap you have had before pales in comparison. Warning: get there early, they will likely sell out before noon. If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, console yourself with one of the many other only slightly less magical things to choose from at this pod. A few to recommend: the Koi fusion tacos from Koifusion or the Arugula / egg / compote / bacon waffle from Miss Kates. Ridiculous and amazing.
If you find yourself there at a time of day where you also feel okay imbibing in a beer, you can order your food, then bring it right into Prost , which basically anchors the whole food pod and have some fantastic German beers (biers, if you want to be picky about it).
Next, I recommend you just amble down Mississippi avenue looking at all the cool shops. You can easily waste 2-3 hours doing this, especially if you go into Missing Link and try on masks.
Or get your picture taken as a pretty pretty princess.
You’ll have worked up an appetite by now, so go grab some ice cream made by flash freezing it with Liquid Nitrogen at “What’s the Scoop?”. Science tastes creamy and delicious.
Eventually you’ll want some real food though. Whether you call this “lunch” or “mid-afternoon noms” or “dude, let’s get some frickin’ tacos”, doesn’t really matter. You need to go get some tacos at Por Que No. Having eaten more than my share of tacos in this world, this is hands down my favorite ever.
After tacos, you know what sounds good? That’s right, more ice cream. Right. Off you go to Salt and Straw. Do not be a wuss about the flavors they have here. Be adventurous! If you don’t try whatever special they have concocted that day, you’ll find later in life that children don’t respect you and dogs glower and growl when you walk past. Please, do yourself a favor. I once had their Lemongrass and fish sauce ice cream. I know, right? Disgusting! I tried it and most of my brain fell out trying to process how those flavors in ice cream could be delicious.
Okay, so the day has been filled with eating. The sun sets, and it’s time to lower the food intake, but begin to ramp up the drinks. Start at Departure Lounge. Here you will order the shortrib buns and a Dark and Stormy to drink. You will consume both of these while taking in the scenery. Note: scenery consists of three things: vegas-esque interior design, views of the city from the top of the building, and beautiful people dressed, well, beautifully.
With that out of the way, your drinking night has begun. However, it’s time to take this to a professional level. Head to Kask (easy walking distance) and first try whatever punch they are serving that night. The fact that you’ll drink this punch out a delicate little cup, necessitating your pinkie be held aloft while sipping, will in no way dissuade you from enjoying this. After the punch (always amazing), dive into a serious drink. A manly drink. Have the bartenders make you something spirit-forward that you will have to sip gingerly to catch all the complexity of the concoction. Elder Wanker had a “leather parakeet”. I had a Valant Victory. Both of these put multiple hairs on our respective chests. Impressive.
At this point you can call it a night. If you are a wee girly man. If you are not, there are so many ways to go with this. Do you want to continue having some amazing cocktails? Dive into Tear Drop. Do you want to bro it up a bit more? Hit up Henry’s where you have more beers to choose from than you can shake a flagon at. Time to hit the floor and become the dancing queen? Multiple places in the Pearl are happy to put you on the dance floor.
At some point, the four of us (Fruit Cup, Lola, E.W and I) were joined by more friends (locals), so the night got more interesting as it progressed.
If you follow the above plan, make sure you do not, I repeat, DO NOT end up at Matador after your night of drinking. The combination of 8 drunk people around a table, each armed with a happy hour menu filled with perfect drunk food makes for an edible disaster of biblical proportions. I won’t chronicle what was consumed here as my shame is too great.
Good luck on your visit to Portland. Make it legendary.