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Old 02-19-2012, 07:52 PM   #1
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Default Visiting Portland, OR next weekend...tell me what to see

Staying downtown, there with my gf to visit her daughter who is a student at Reed. I'm sure she'll have some shizz planned, but wanted to know if you guys have any suggestions. I've never been before, only thing on my list right now is Voodoo Doughnuts, just because. Also considered hitting The Pitiful Princess while gf/daughter are at the Vagina Monologues, if for no other reason than to be ironic, so I fit in better with the locals. Oh and we're not renting a car, so it's got to be close-ish to a transit line of some sort.

Where's the best sushi, or local favorites? Any suggestions for places to see quality local music? Cool places to check out downtown? Art galleries or museums? Areas to generally avoid?

Thanks bros
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:10 PM   #2
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Having kids and all, we don't get out like we used to. But a list of favorite things to do would include

a) checking out who's playing at The Crystal Ballroom
b) pub crawling. There are lots of microbreweries; Deschutes and Bridgeport both have pretty swank brewpubs downtown. Rogue Ales has one as well. Henry's (not a brewpub) has 100+ brews on tap, and an ice rail to rest them upon and keep them cold. It's in the old former Henry Weinhard brewery building, thus the name. They have Terminal Gravity IPA on tap, one of my favorites.

The Portland Art Museum is nearby, check their current exhibits.

No trip to Portland downtown would be complete without visiting Powell's books on 10th and Burnside. Everybody deserves to live close to an outstanding bookstore like this one; sadly, very few do.

Mio Sushi on NW 23rd is good.

Our favorite restaurant is Tora Bravo, it's across the river but not far at all from downtown proper. Try the oxtail croquettes.

Transit in the downtown area is still free for now, bus/rail/streetcar to your destination. All schedules are linked into Google maps.
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:24 PM   #3
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Farmers market is one of the best I've seen. Not sure if they are operating right now but if they are check it out.
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:51 PM   #4
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If you have $100 to blow on an amazing dinner, try St. Jacks, they have their menu on their website. Kennedy school is fun, it's an old school converted into about 8 bars, so you can walk around inside and see a bunch of different places. They have a theater, so if you like what's playing, you can eat a burger and drink a beer on a comfy couch while watching a movie. I'm "meh" about their beer. Some people rave about it though.
http://stjackpdx.com/
http://www.mcmenamins.com/427-kennedy-school-home

One of the best aspects of Portland is that you're only an hour from the beach and mountains, but that's better experienced when you have more time.
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Old 02-20-2012, 01:54 AM   #5
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Kennedy School via Mass Transit from Downtown will take a while, but it is a very cool place. They show movies in the gym, filled with lounges and couches, and you can haz beer and pizza while you watch.

The Mission, downtown, is owned by the same company (McMenamins). You can haz beer and pizza while watching a movie there. But it won't have the ancillary cool stuff that the Kennedy School does (like the Detention bar).

If you don't mind taking a cab Edgefield is worth checking out if there's a good band playing. Another McMenamins establishment, this one used to be a mental institution. Now it's a Hotel/many bars/golf/winery/multiple bands playing kind of place. They have a theater also, with the Beer and the Pizza.
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Old 02-20-2012, 02:55 PM   #6
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Drive 12 miles south and take Curly out for an early 58th birthday drink.
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Old 02-20-2012, 07:13 PM   #7
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Dude go on a food tour. Portland has amazing restaurants.

And some of the best vegan food in the world.

I think voodoo has mostly vegan donuts too.

Seriously, go food truck hopping.
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:41 PM   #8
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Mobuis and Curly, if either of you guys want to grab a beer shoot me a PM and I'll let you know if/when I'm free. Henry's sounds like a huge win.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mobius View Post
Having kids and all, we don't get out like we used to. But a list of favorite things to do would include

a) checking out who's playing at The Crystal Ballroom
b) pub crawling. There are lots of microbreweries; Deschutes and Bridgeport both have pretty swank brewpubs downtown. Rogue Ales has one as well. Henry's (not a brewpub) has 100+ brews on tap, and an ice rail to rest them upon and keep them cold. It's in the old former Henry Weinhard brewery building, thus the name. They have Terminal Gravity IPA on tap, one of my favorites.

The Portland Art Museum is nearby, check their current exhibits.

No trip to Portland downtown would be complete without visiting Powell's books on 10th and Burnside. Everybody deserves to live close to an outstanding bookstore like this one; sadly, very few do.

Mio Sushi on NW 23rd is good.

Our favorite restaurant is Tora Bravo, it's across the river but not far at all from downtown proper. Try the oxtail croquettes.

Transit in the downtown area is still free for now, bus/rail/streetcar to your destination. All schedules are linked into Google maps.
Fantasic, thanks for all of that. Knowing the transit is free downtown will help in light of a forecast of pretty much rain the whole time. My gf and I talked about checking out the museum, and the current exhibits look interesting. She's also a huge reader and could probably spend the better part of a day in Powell's...she'll be psyched to know it's there. I found there's a jazz fest this weekend so maybe there will be a good show at the Crystal Ballroom. Gf works at a tapas restaurant here so we may have to give Toro a try for comparison.

Quote:
Originally Posted by curly View Post
If you have $100 to blow on an amazing dinner, try St. Jacks, they have their menu on their website.

http://stjackpdx.com/
http://www.mcmenamins.com/427-kennedy-school-home

One of the best aspects of Portland is that you're only an hour from the beach and mountains, but that's better experienced when you have more time.
This is going to be a budget trip, but I'll file St. Jack's away for the next time we're there. GF's daughter will be borrowing a car one day and we'll head to the coast if at all possible. Not ideal, and I'd love to go back at some point and just hang out there for a while, but I'll take any ocean visit I can get while living in a desert lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Faeflora View Post
Dude go on a food tour. Portland has amazing restaurants.

And some of the best vegan food in the world.

I think voodoo has mostly vegan donuts too.

Seriously, go food truck hopping.
Food truck, restaurant and brewery hopping is quickly heading to the top of my list now. I loves me some meat, but a veg restaurant usually has to be creative to survive so I'm down with giving some places a shot to see what they put together.
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:48 PM   #9
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You haven't posted the dates of your visit.

Food carts are a definite must. One of my favorites downtown (when in the mood for barbeque) is Smokin Pig, on 5th across from the big pink building.

Voodoo has lots of vegan offerings but lots of fully leaded donuts as well - they swing both ways. Go late night for greater possibility of "interesting" people-watching

Edit: I see title says "next weekend" now.

Edit2: I might be able to sneak out Saturday night for a pint or two. Friday/Sunday are full.
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:51 PM   #10
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Well, as for restaurants there are plenty and it kind of depends on your budget/what you like. My personal favorite is Paley's place in NW. Sushi restaurants are plentiful in Portland but none are really outstanding-Hiroshi in the Pearl just reopened. I have had good luck at Sushi Mazi on Division. PokPok is on Division and has some good Thai food. The Portland city grill has great views from the 30th floor downtown and ok food.
The farmers market on the south park blocks is still closed but the one on the north park blocks I think is open.
Usually plenty of live music-the Doug Fir lounge is on Burnside and not that far from downtown and usually has multiple bands on the weekends.
Go to a wine bar-I always like Oregon wines on Broadway.
If you like strippers Portland is the place to be. There are some interesting spots like Marys club(dancers play music from a jukebox on the stage) that are different
I'd meet you somewhere but my wife just a had a baby a week ago so I am not going anywhere this weekend
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:45 PM   #11
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I finally just lost the 5lbs I gained eating in the South last month, but the Smokin Pig sounds like my kind of place. Will hit the donut shop late night, sounds like fun.

Kaiser, thanks for more food and music recommendations, especially the sushi. And neither my gf nor I have ever been to a strip joint, but given a name like The Pitiful Princess we may have to pop our cherries. I also see that there's vegan strip club for ***** sake.
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:44 PM   #12
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Ah yes Casa Diablo in NW. Vegan thing is a bit of gimmick really
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:55 PM   #13
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I work Saturday and Sunday night, so I'm probably out :(

Good suggestions in here though, I need to get out more.

I was going to suggest Portland City Grill as well. Go during happy hour and get decent bar food and drinks with an amazing view.
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Old 02-21-2012, 12:29 AM   #14
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From a point of view of someone who has visited..and wants to move there...

I highly recommend Bushwacker Cider bar...trust me. Also, if you like fondue, try the Berlin Inn next door.....combine the two for epic winning.

The Original in downtown has a good burger and is open late.

Take a drive out to Astoria on the coast and eat at the Rogue Brew House out on the pier.

Walk around the Pearl district.

Drive out to Mt. Hood...this is best done driving out along I-84 (The Gorge) to Hood River. Along the way, stop by Bonneville Dam and gawk at the fish ladder...you'll giggle like a kid all over again.

Walk around downtown at any time of the day.

Go walk the Japanese Gardens and the rose gardens.

Drive up to Mt. St. Helens.

Beer and food....it's everywhere.


The place is incredible. Even with no planning, you can really just walk into places and find something to do.
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Old 02-21-2012, 01:08 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mobius View Post
Voodoo has lots of vegan offerings but lots of fully leaded donuts as well - they swing both ways. Go late night for greater possibility of "interesting" people-watching
Portland has a big goth scene.

Quote:
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If you like strippers Portland is the place to be. There are some interesting spots like Marys club(dancers play music from a jukebox on the stage) that are different
I'd meet you somewhere but my wife just a had a baby a week ago so I am not going anywhere this weekend
High percentage of goth strippers out there. Ask me how I know.
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:15 PM   #16
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Sounds to me like Faeflora is into the goth scene.
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Old 02-22-2012, 01:10 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faeflora View Post
Portland has a big goth scene.
High percentage of goth strippers out there. Ask me how I know.
Fae, we all had to fund college somehow.
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Old 02-22-2012, 01:13 AM   #18
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Quote:
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Sounds to me like Faeflora is into the goth scene.
Yup used to be.
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Old 09-06-2012, 01:29 AM   #19
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Headed back again this weekend, ostensibly for the NWMF, but will probably skip a good bit of it while my gf and her daughter are bonding over indie bands. Was told to go eat at Pok Pok this time. Will definitely be going back to Deschutes brewery. If any of you locals want to grab a beer let me know, I'll be there through early Monday before I head down to Northern CA to commune with the redwoods for a few days.
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Old 09-06-2012, 01:32 AM   #20
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Well I would, but I'm at ORP Saturday, and then the PCA Autox at PIR on Sunday.
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