One of the best aspects of any vacation is the food. This was a spur of the moment trip and aside from everyone (friends, people in Portland, the shuttle guy at the airport) telling us to go to Voodoo Donuts, we had no clue where to eat.
Our weekend of diet busting gluttony began at LAX airport with the most overpriced breakfast ever.
We each had a breakfast sandwich with no sides and a bottle of water. The bill was just shy of twenty. You could hear other patrons complaining about the steep prices vs minuscule sandwiches.
We had a good laugh reading the tips for Ruby's on Foursquare. Some of them are really hilarious and all of them mention the bad value. You expect airports to be overpriced, but this was kind of extreme. We would never go back there.
On the first afternoon of our trip, after recovering from The Bite of Oregon, we walked over to Voodoo Donuts and saw this line...
It wrapped around the street. We decided to try again later and satisfied our sweet tooth across from Voodoo at the Mix 'n' Match Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream.
The way Mix 'n' Match works is you pick an ice cream base and then you pick a mix-in. I had maple ice cream with Captain Crunch, which was delicious. Of course it was almost more fun to watch the ice cream being made than it was to eat it.
Dan had vanilla ice cream with marshmallows and Lucky Charms for his mix-ins.
We spent the afternoon exploring the city on foot and found a great little bar for happy hour. Ringler's Annex Bar had a European feel (Dan's words) and we found a seat on the patio to have a beer and people watch.
I thought the box that held menus on our table was very cute and a little quirky, much like the city itself.
Dan was very happy to sit down and have a local beer.
The happy hour prices were really great and for the same price as our Ruby's breakfast, we had three beers and a pair of fancy sliders. Yummy food and an excellent value.
It was rainy and cold out, so after dinner we warmed up by grabbing lattes at a local coffee chain, Stumptown Coffee Roasters. When I visited the World Forestry Center, I learned that Portland earned the nickname Stumptown due to deforestation and logging.
Stumptown Coffee Roasters makes a really decadent latte and of course, pretty patterns in the foam automatically add to the perceived fancy-value of the drink!
We ate a buffet breakfast in the Marriott Downtown Waterfront at their restaurant, Truss. I liked Truss, because they had a giant glass pig on the host stand.
The breakfast buffet was small, but high quality. I had a really great custom made omelette and a lot of fresh fruit. The stand-out was the cinnamon roll muffin. I ate two.
We found a great chain restaurant for lunch called Noodles & Company. It turns out we have Noodles & Company in California, but I had not heard of it, because the nearest location to Glendale is in San Diego.
Dan had a spicy Thai dish and I had shrimp Pad Thai. The food was so good that I'm sure this restaurant will explode in popularity and come to Los Angeles. They had all sorts of noodle dishes from various regions of the world. It's the type of place that has something for everyone.
We took our afternoon coffee break at a coffee house used in the show Portlandia, Oblique Coffee Roasters.
The building that houses Oblique was originally a Victorian era mercantile.
The interior of Oblique is crazy with art covering the walls. There are objects mounted on the walls and hanging from the ceiling, including antique farming tools and creepy dolls. I couldn't focus on my conversation with Dan because I was too busy taking it all in.
Even though they are known for coffee and even had a huge grinder behind the counter, we ordered tea. They make a good chai latte!
We took a recommendation from my friend Carrie (Thanks Carrie!) and ate at Paddy's Bar & Grill for dinner.
Paddy's is a really beautiful Irish pub with dark wood booths and a very impressive amount of alcohol behind the bar.
Paddy's hold the World Record for largest Irish Coffee. 159 gallons!!!
The food was good too. I had a burger smothered in bbq sauce and Dan ordered fish n' chips.
Our final culinary stop was Voodoo Donuts. We had absolutely everyone tell us that we needed to go there. It is one of the top Portland destinations when you search the internet. If we didn't go to Voodoo Donuts, we would have left Portland feeling like we had missed out on a quintessential experience.
We had two unsuccessful Voodoo attempts before we finally stuck it out. The first time, we saw the long line wrapping around the corner and didn't even bother. We came back later that night and although the line was still long, we waited in it for about twenty minutes. The line barely moved and there were some unsavory people hanging out in the area. Although there are a lot of cool buisnesses near Voodoo, it isn't in the nicest part of downtown.
Our third attempt was in the afternoon. The line was still long, but not nearly as crazy as our first two tries. It took about forty minutes.
Here are some pictures of the exterior of the store. They are a mix from our various attempts. It was not only nicer to go during the day, but at night, you can't really see the pretty glitter paint on the exterior bricks.
Voodoo Donuts is completely nuts inside. I was conscious of fact that there was a long line, so I tried to soak it all in and snap a few pictures as quickly as possible. There are so many donuts to chose from that I highly recommend going on their website and taking a look at everything. We used our iPhones to peruse the menu while waiting in line.
I was surprised to discover that for a place so trendy the prices were cheap. We got four fancy donuts for six dollars.
The first one is their signature Voodoo doll donut that had a raspberry filling. It got a bit mangled in the bag.
My favorite childhood cereal was Froot Loops.
The lemon cruller was light and a completely unexpected texture.
My favorite was the maple donut with vanilla cream filling.
Was it worth the wait and hype?
Hands down the best donuts that I have ever eaten.
Portland is a great city for "foodies". I look forward to future trips and future culinary adventures.