Sunday, November 21, 2010

Weekend in Portland!

I just got back from an amazing couple of days in Portland, Oregon, one of my very favorite cities in the entire world. I lived just across the river from Portland in Vancouver, Washington from July 2007 to September of last year, and when I moved to Texas I've never felt as homesick for a place as I did for the Pacific Northwest. When I arrived on Friday morning (the pic above is my view from my hotel room in downtown PDX), it was rainy and 43 degrees. Perfect!

While I was in Portland on business, I had two important objectives. The first, as you can see above, was to hit Voodoo Doughnuts. I guess every time I go to Portland I will have to get off the plane and drive straight to Voodoo, just like every time I go to Los Angeles I have to run from the airport and grab a burger from Tommy's. For those keeping score, I had a McMinnville Creme (a Bavarian doughnut with maple frosting instead of chocolate) and a Dirt Doughnut (which is covered with crushed Oreos).

I actually went to Voodoo Too, the second branch of Voodoo which is on "the other side of the river" from downtown Portland on 15th and Sandy. I learned this trick when I lived here--the original Voodoo on Second Avenue is in one of the scariest neighborhoods in Portland and there's absolutely no parking. In Voodoo Too, there's an actual parking lot and the surrounding area is quiet and clean. And the doughnuts are exactly the same. Exactly. But if you need to get married or learn Swahili, you'll have to get those services at the first location.

My second objective, immediately carried out after the first, was to have the greatest cup of coffee in the world at Stumptown on 34th and Belmont. The entire time I lived in Vancouver I would drive to Portland and get a pound of my favorite coffee from Guatemala or Panama or Costa Rica and then sit down for one of these unbelievable lattes. I'm a cream and sugar kind of guy, but I drink these straight because the flavor is so strong, smooth and pure. I once read a ranking of the greatest coffee places in the US in some foo-foo culinary magazine and Stumptown was second behind some joint in New York City that FedEx'd the beans from the coffee fields the day before and charged a fortune for a cup of coffee. With places like Stumptown in Portland, almost nobody I knew drank Starbucks. We enjoyed the best, and Stumptown, in my humble opinion, is it.
I miss both Voodoo and Stumptown, and it was such a pleasure to indulge myself yesterday. Unfortunately, I bought a pound of coffee to take home and left it in the car of the lovely lady you see below. If you recognize her, you'll understand the business side of my trip to Portland. Like I said before, I have a bit of a musical scoop to tell you, and as soon as I can gather my notes and write them down, I'll spill the beans (pun intended).

No comments:

Post a Comment