Once again, we made good use of our Southwest Companion Pass by taking a long weekend and checking out Portland. Vale was mostly reasonable on the flight, and we arrived around 11 in the morning, just in time to be greeted by rain amidst the lush green landscapes. Upon landing, we immediately made use of our Priority Pass card and got $50 worth of food and drinks at a a deli/cafe that qualified for the lounge pass. We had a smorgasbord of antipasto veggies, tabouli, a pastrami sandwich, and chicken and black beans. We enjoyed our food along with pints of an IPA and Stout by Awesome Ales. The stout was particularly notable and was very rich, with possibly a cherry-flavored finish.
We took the metro to a stop near our hotel, checked in, and decided to hit up a few breweries. Portland is known for being a walkable City, and we were definitely down to do a little bit of walking, but the rain got progressively more severe as we embarked on our two mile walk (which turned into a jog, at times, to speed through the rain) to Ecliptic Brewing. We only had one umbrella, which we put over Vale’s stroller, so we were pretty soaked by the time we got there.
However, nothing makes you forget about being soaked to the bone like a nice pint of craft beer. We enjoyed a Phaser hazy IPA and a Capella Porter while Vale napped. We enjoyed the happy hour beer and a small bowl of vegetable soup here, but this place wasn’t great for kids so it was quite convenient Vale slept through this experience.
Next, we made our way to another brewery within walking distance (much shorter of a walk this time), aptly named Stormbreaker Brewing. Here, we hung out in a covered patio area and sat by a fire, which we shared with a Japanese backpacker. This was another decent beer joint and both of us decided to try something a bit different. Jenn had a New England style IPA, which she usually does not prefer because they are not as hoppy as West Coast IPA’s, while Kyle’s first round was a whiskey and beer pairing. The New England IPA was hazy and delicious. Kyle’s whiskey and beer pairing was a little more questionable. The stout was excellent, but whiskey was a bit intense for this early in the day. Vale was up by this time, and enjoyed watching the fire and playing with her toys while we finished our drinks.
We then stopped by Bluestar donuts, a clearly hipster donut joint boasting use of special European flour, where we had some donuts covered in a berry and basil glaze. The donut was definitely good, but perhaps not $4 good. After donuts, we hit up a few random bookstores and curio shops on Mississippi Street, which reminded me of a more expensive and curated version of Hillcrest book stores. For our grand finale of the day, we walked to a nearby gathering of food trucks, where we decided on Persian food and had some very tender and flavorful kebabs on a bed of fluffy basmati rice. By evening, the air was pretty cold, and we had to bundle Vale up and give her some gloves.