Portland – A Paradise For Food & Fun!

Recently, I had the pleasure of visiting Portland Oregon. I was there on business but gave myself an extra day and a half to tour the city. If you get to visit Portland, here’s a few places to go and some things to know. 
    It is extremely easy to get around Portland without a car. The MAX Light Rail (Metropolitan Area Express) is efficient. There are bicycle lanes and a bike share program. But, I found the city to be walker friendly and it’s how I got to most places with an occasional Uber home at night.
    There’s no sales tax in Portland so in restaurants and stores the price is what you pay.
    Let’s start with food! I’m a vegetarian and was excited when I heard that Portland had wonderful vegetarian restaurants. I expected good, but I was overwhelmed when I saw and tasted what they had to offer.
    Homegrown Smoker, is vegan, southern barbeque. Their “Macnocheese” is the best macaroni and cheese I’ve had. I had the Macnocheese with vegan ribs and a pint of craft beer for a total of $15. www.homegrownsmoker.com. 
    Aviv is vegan Israeli Middle Eastern food. Absolutely delectable. I had the vegan brisket and fries with a pint of craft beer for $16. www.avivpdx.com.
    Portland is a Mecca for craft beer lovers. There are close to 60 breweries in Portland and about 80 in the Portland metro area. I visited Deschutes Brewery and the beer was terrific. Also, I was able to attend the Oregon Brewer’s Festival at the Tom McCall Waterfront Park and tasted a whole lot more beers from the state. 
    In the mood for something sweet? You must try Voodoo Doughnuts. I sampled the Maple Bar. Their list of doughnut creations is enormous. So are the doughnuts. I promised    myself I’d only eat half of the doughnut. I broke my            promise. For a list of their tasty flavors, visit 
      Want something sweet and creamy? Visit Salt and Straw. I had the marionberry, goat cheese and habanero ice cream. Sounds odd, but the flavors are layered. A creamy, sweet goat cheese base, mixed with marionberries bursting with freshness, followed by the habanero which prompts you to take another spoonful. www.saltandstraw.com. 
       For a spectacular view of Portland, and some equally spectacular cocktails, visit Departure at the top of the     Nines Hotel. There are indoor and outdoor bars and            delicious non-alcoholic as well as alcoholic cocktails. www.thenines.com/departure-portland. 
       Ready to burn off some of those Portland calories?
Take a walk across Portland’s Tilikum Crossing. It is the largest car free bridge in the United States. Open only for pedestrians, bikes and mass transit, it is a beautiful walk over the Willamette River. www.trimet.org/tilikum/#about
       In the area near the Tilikum Crossing, is the Portland Ariel Tram (www.gobytram.com). This four-minute ride–eight minutes round trip– offers some stunning views of Portland and costs only $4.90, round trip. 
       Portland’s Waterfront, dotted with stores and cafes is another great place to walk and people watch.   
       Want a place where you can get lost for hours, without really being lost at all? Visit Powell’s City of Books. Claiming to be the largest independently owned book store, it has rooms upon rooms of different book genres and of course a café. As a book lover, I was in heaven. Www.powells.com           Time to leave Portland? Even the trip home can be fun. Portland’s PDX Airport has been repeatedly voted
America’s best by Travel and Leisure. The airport is an open, atrium-like creation with plenty of places to eat or drink (Deschutes Brewery has a location there too). I got there early for my flight, had breakfast, and spent some time in their free movie theatre which shows short independent films and documentaries by local filmmakers.  

Linda Delmonico Prussen is a 10-time award-winning journalist whose passion is wine. Her other forms of generating income including acting in TV and film, playwriting and coaching gymnastics. When not working she enjoys spending time with her three beautiful daughters, her husband, her friends and her best friend, her Maltipoo Powder. She can be reached at lprussen@optonline.net




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