Hopefully by now you read my post about my first day visiting popular places in Portland, Oregon. Could my Day Two top it? Yep, yep, yep. Long time friends S and her sister B, who were tour guides for my stay in the Rose City (S has lived in Portland for 35+ years and B is from Brooklyn), put together another agenda of fun things to see and do in Portland.
I left the Inn at Northrup Station, where I was staying (arranged by Travel Portland Tourism*), and hopped on the Portland Streetcar for a ride downtown. Having already traveled by Streetcar the day before, I was starting to feel like a local. I knew how to navigate departure and arrival times on the PDX Total Transit app.
The best-ever farmers market
Our guide Damon from the previous day’s Walking Tours of Portland had mentioned that there are 42 farmers markets in Portland. One of the largest markets is the Portland State University (PSU) Farmers Market at South Park Blocks between SW College & Montgomery Streets. The market is open year round on Saturday from 8:30 am to 2:00 pm.
How great was this market? It was SO GREAT! One of the best farmers markets I’ve ever experienced.
Portland’s soil is fertile from all the rainy weather, making it a wonderful place to grow fruits and vegetables and flowers. I was in awe of the abundance of unique produce — cranberry beans, red gold nectarines, long beans, bitter melon, artichoke flowers. Oregon is also known for its luscious berries, local honeys, and hazelnuts.
I bought packages of Sun Gold Farm’s “Ruby Red” and “Shaman’s Blue” Heirloom Popping Corn to bring home to my kids. According to Sun Gold Farm, their popcorn requires no extra flavoring to bring out the subtle nuttiness and sweetness of the real popcorn.
“Lauretta Jean’s homemade pies are delicious,” S said as we passed her stand. “I’m going to have to wait for my next visit to taste Lauretta Jean’s pies,” I replied, using my willpower to fend off buying an entire Blackberry Raspberry Streusel Pie that looked scrumptious.
Saturday brunch at Trinket
By the time we were done nibbling our way through the market, it was almost noon. “Where should we go for lunch?” asked B. S suggested Trinket in the SE part of town. “Trinket has a nice brunch on Saturday,” S said. We got in the car and drove to the restaurant. There was about a 20 minute wait for a table.
Trinket is rated #7 in Eater’s “These 18 Restaurants Rule Portland Brunch.” It’s a trendy spot open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The bartender makes what could be considered a healthy Bloody Mary made with beer, carrot, and ginger juice. There are quite a few coffees and teas served too. Their eggs are predominantly sourced from The Egg Guys in Rainier, Oregon, and one of their specialties is Duck Eggs Benedict. (Of course they serve Duck Eggs Benedict, it’s Portlandia!)
I ordered a fruit bowl with fresh Greek yogurt, berries, flax granola and bananas. It was so good, so good, so good.
A walkabout in the park and cider sampling
Wanting to walk off our brunch, B and I strolled around Laurelhurst Park. It is a lovely park in S’s neighborhood.
“Are you up for sharing a flight of cider?” B asked after finishing our walk. Not being a beer drinker (Portland is known for its breweries), I was curious to try Portland Cider from a tap. Cider pubs are gaining traction in Portland, it’s an “English tradition with a great Northwest flavor.” Portland Cider Company on Hawthorne Blvd has 28 ciders on tap — the largest draft selection in Oregon.
We ordered five 3 oz. tasters for $7 — dry cherry, sangria, strawberry, blood orange and cucumber hibiscus. My favorite was the blood orange. I like a sweeter cider.
More places to see and more food to eat in downtown Portland
It was late afternoon and there were more places to see in downtown Portland. S found a parking spot near the famous Voodoo Doughnut — Portland people love their donuts! (I prefer Blue Star Donuts over Voodoo.)
Not hungry for donuts, instead we walked over to the Portland Saturday Market by the harbor where local crafters sell homemade foods, jewelry, housewares and clothing.
We were close to Pine Street Market, an indoor food hall, so we wandered inside.
“Ooh, ooh, ooh, they have a Salt & Straw here,” I said. “I had Salt & Straw ice cream in Venice Beach, California, and it was so creamy. I forgot it’s originally from Portland.”
It wasn’t the same Salt & Straw as Venice Beach. This one was even better. It was a Salt & Straw Wizbangbar, serving Frozen Greek Yogurt with amazing toppings.
OMG, we shared a cup topped with half Greek Sour Cherry Syrup and half California Olive Ranch Olive Oil & Flaky Sea Salt. I know it sounds like a strange combination. The sweet, savory and salty flavors were so good, so good, so good.
Time to smell the roses
It was too early to go to dinner. “What would you like to do for the next hour?” S asked, as my Day Two in Portland was winding down. “How about we take a ride to the International Rose Test Garden?” S said. “What could be better than taking time to stop and smell the roses in The Rose City,” I replied.
The International Rose Test Garden is located in SW Portland. It is 4.5 acres with over 10,000 rose plantings and over 600 varieties of roses. Anything I tell you will not do it justice. The pictures tell more of the story. It truly was a grand finale with a rainbow of roses sending me on my way to end my final day in Portland.
Before saying goodbye and thank you to my wonderful hosts S and B, there was one more feast. We drove back to city center and ate at LúcLãc Vietnamese Kitchen. It’s a counter-service restaurant where lines are very long, yet move at a smooth pace. You order when you get to the counter, wait in line for a table to become available and once seated, your dinner is on the table in minutes. I don’t know how they manage such timely service or keep the line moving the way they do.
Their menu features Salads, Vermicelli Bowls & Rice Plates, Pho, Banh Mi and other Kitchen Specialties. Portions are very large, so be sure to bring a big appetite when you dine.
The Vermicelli Bowl I had was so good, so good, so good. One of the best Vietnamese meals I’ve ever eaten.
Sad to say adieu to Portland
I was sad to say adieu to Portland. I was pleased with all I had accomplished in two days. Granted there are so many more restaurants for dining, so many more parks for rambling, so many more museums for viewing, more farmers markets for noshing, and many more roses to smell. I could write another blog post on all the things I didn’t get to do and see and foods I didn’t get to eat in Portland.
Nope, I’m not going to do that. You’ll just have to wait until my next #PDX visit. Or go visit on your own and let me know your favorite things to see and do in Portland.
Meantime, have a “Happy Thanksgiving!” And if you haven’t bought your Thanksgiving wine — go buy a bottle of Ponzi wine — it’s from The Tualatin Valley outside Portland. It’s so good, so good, so good.
P.S. In case you want to read my other blog posts about Portland and its wine country in The Tualatin Valley, you can find them here:
♥ Exploring The Great Outdoors In The Tualatin Valley
♥ Enjoying A Day of Tasting and Touring in The Tualatin Valley
♥ A Beautiful Cycling Adventure on the Banks-Vernonia State Trail
♥ 10 Reasons Why You Need to Visit Hip and Cool Portland
|♥ A Glorious Day Exploring Popular Places In Portland
*Disclosure of Material Connection: Travel Portland Tourism secured my complimentary lodging and Best of Portland Walking Tour. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.