Portland is a city that I've always wanted to visit. Everything I've ever heard about it beckoned me closer, from its culture to the abundance of amazing hikes not too far from the city. While my sister and I weren't planning on getting down and dirty, I was more than excited to see what the hype was all about.
We arrived sometime between lunch and dinner, and made the big debate between sandwiches and biscuits. Given the fact that the sandwich place was about to close, we took it as a sign from above and headed on over to Pine State Biscuits.
We ordered a corn dog (andouille sausage encased in cornbread with honey mustard), loaded fries (copious amounts of cheese and what tasted like cream of mushroom), and what they all the Reggie Deluxe (a biscuit sandwich of fried chicken, bacon, and cheese topped with their gravy...topped with an egg).
I want to say that this place is great for a stop and that you should definitely go. People love this place and it's rated really highly on Yelp. But..I can't confidently say that this place is worth the trip. The prices are great, but the food itself was underwhelming. Most importantly, the biscuit wasn't as great as we had anticipated. It wasn't flaky, buttery, or anything that you associate with an American biscuit.
It felt kind of stale and dense.
The corn dog was just okay, and the fries were a little too creamy.
Despite all of that, I will say that we may have gone on an off day or during an off time. Or maybe my expectations were misplaced -- I expected biscuits to be spectacular, and I had really high hopes for something amazing.
(My hair is a complete wreck, and I am in the process of finding a place in LA to get it redone without paying an arm and a leg -- I need the green out!)
Our next stop in Portland was Powell's Books. Otherwise nicknamed as the City of Books, Powell's is lauded as being one of the greatest bookstores. It boasts an impressive size, taking up an entire city block and being several stories high.
In my head, I imagined Powell's to be somewhat like Strand in New York. I have very fond memories of Strand and spending afternoons browsing through the stacks, looking at books both old and new dispersed amongst the shelves. I used to go in and walk out an hour later with three books, ready to head up to Central Park for a read on the lawn.
Powell's is not so much like Strand.
It's much cleaner, in a way that resembles a university library more than a bookstore. The floors are split up by theme, and are separated by a large staircase.
There are also props. Lots of weird little knick knacks in between aisles for your perusal.
It was an interesting stop, but it was nothing what I expected it to be like. It was a little too neat. A little too clean.
The city of books looked more like a suburban town, everything uniform and in order. Though I can't deny how massive the place was. There is something about being in a place that is stuffed to the brim with books.
It's the tailored, clean, orderly version of New York's wild Strand. And each has its own merits.
Though with quite a bit of time on our hands, my sister and I debated on what we should do next. We headed over to the gardens, only to find that none of the flowers were yet in bloom. Other than going on a hike, we were running out of things to do. I'd run through all of the suggestions I had received from friends, and wasn't in the mood for going out for a beer or more food.
After a little search on Instagram, I found some amazing photos taken from the Pittock Mansion viewpoint. We thought, why not?
While the mansion was already closed for tours, we were still allowed to walk around the grounds and admire the views of Portland from above.
I call this my sister's pretend sorority photo.
Downtown Portland in all its glory!
If you look off into the distance, you can see Mt. Hood -- or what looks like a weird cloud cluster. I had no idea it was so large and in charge.
While the view was supposed to be beautiful at night, we weren't willing to wait around a few hours for the sunset.
We climbed back into our car and waved goodbye to Portland, making our way back down to Eugene in record time.
Something about my trip in Portland made me think that I was missing something -- that there was a hidden part of it that I had not yet tapped into. Maybe you need an insider to be your guide for the day. Maybe all there really is to do is hike. Or maybe it's a lot nicer when the flowers are in bloom.
Either way, it's not a place that I'm in a rush to get back to. The hikes, however, I am putting among my top things to do next time I'm in Oregon. Multnomah Falls, I'm coming for you!
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