This past weekend I escaped to Portland and northern Oregon. Here's part one.
Friday night in Portland = drinks. First stop = the Kennedy School.
McMenamins turned a historic 1915 schoolhouse into a hotel with multiple bars.
Besides the Brewery, seen here, there was "Detention," where you could smoke cigars.
There was also the Boiler Room, where I spent most of my time. Outstanding cocktails.
Stop #2 = the world-famous Horse Brass Pub, which had just begun their 35th anniversary celebration week. Specially on tap = "Don the Younger" from Russian River Brewery in Santa Rosa, CA. I'm an aficionado of RR, and of course I jumped at the chance to try this unique brew. Verdict = outstanding, and even though it was listed at 5.5%, it packed a punch.
The Horse Brass had plenty of other beers on tap, obviously including Portland-based breweries.
As a nightcap, I headed to Voodoo Doughnuts (#2 - less of a line), to get some of their kooky creations.
Yum... the bacon maple donut was easily the best (it's just to the left of the pure maple bar).
Raspberry-filled donuts never looked so cool. (Reminds me of Psycho Donuts in Campbell, CA)
Morning after = food cart time. The breakfast burrito at Nuevo Mexico (owned by the ex-drummer of the Shins) is outstanding (and half of it will fill you up).
A couple of carts down was a waffle cart, and their cornbread waffles are now in my top 3 all-time. I think this mixture of eggs, meat and waffle was called the Incredible Strong Man.
Next, it was off to Belmont Station to buy (surprise!) bottles of beer.
Their selection is outstanding, especially when it comes to local brew (like Rogue, seen here).
I was especially impressed with the number of beers from Hitachino Nest Brewery in Japan (one of my personal favorites). The Lacto Sweet Stout was pretty good, if mild on the alcohol (only 4%). You could pay an extra $1.50 to drink a bottle on the premises (good deal!).
After this, it was off to the Columbia River Gorge before heading to wine country. To be continued...