Friday, September 28, 2012

Portland Day 5: Pine State Biscuits, Alphabet District, Salt & Straw, Portland Aerial Tram

This is post #5 out of 5 about a recent trip to Portland. Other posts in this series include: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4. God that took me forever.


Pine State Biscuits

Our last day's breakfast: the infamous fried chicken biscuits from Pine State Biscuits. Ryan decided to go all out and go for the "Reggie," the fattiest option available: fried chicken topped with bacon, cheese, and gravy, AND a fried egg, all stuffed between two hefty biscuits.

Since I am more rational, I went for the "McIsley," which was fried chicken smothered in tangy mustard and sweet honey, with some pickles sprinkled on top. Sadly this post is so delayed I don't remember much...only that I liked the fried chicken + honey combo.

We also got Cajun fries. I don't know why. They were nice and crisp...but my favorite will always be the limp slightly soggy ones (think Burger King ones circa the 1990s).

A shot of the interior.

A shot of me clutching my Stumptown drip.

Oh, and next door, we spotted what looked like a film crew on the premises. On that patio area above, I saw an actor whose name I didn't know (he's not pictured) – "the guy who does impressions of Obama on SNL," I insisted. Ryan didn't believe me. But then I accosted one of the film crew members and asked what was going on, and she told me they'd been filming Portlandia.

A Google search of Portlandia revealed that indeed, the guy on the show is the Obama impressions-maker guy. His name, which I had to look up again because it is very hard to remember, is Fred Armisen.


After our gut-busting dinner, we decided to walk around and explore the neighborhood. There were a lot of new-looking restaurants and cafes, and a sprinkling of quirky stores (we came across one devoted to scrapbooking, another to knitting). NE Alberta was described to me as the "artsy" district, and I could see that. A little funky, a little hipster...cleaner.

Some scenes from the walk:


Salt & Straw

We finally made it to one of the most highly-anticipated moments of the trip – the moment where I would feast happily upon Salt & Straw's famous freshly made ice cream. Unfortunately, our walk wasn't long enough for the biscuit volume in our stomachs to subside, and neither of us really had an appetite.

I didn't care. We sampled a bunch of flavors and went with one of their most popular ones – Sea Salt Ice Cream with Caramel Ribbon. I ordered the small cone, but it was huge – the size of my (small) fist.

Ryan refused to help me eat I did it myself.

And I loved it. Even if it's blasphemous to say – I think theirs is better than Bi Rite's salted caramel. Their ice cream was creamier and the thick swirls of salted gooey caramel "ribbon" were amazing.

The unhelpful ice cream eater posing against one of the walls.


We also stopped by a candy shop called Candy Babel that was packed to the brim with candy. The lady running the shop told us about how the candies were made naturally, with quality ingredients and without any preservatives etc. I tried some licorice allsorts and ended up buying some gummies.

She noticed that Ryan and I were wincing and trudging along due to the absolute gluttony of the morning and was able to GUESS that we had just been to Salt and Straw.

"A lot of people come into my store feeling sick from their ice cream. You know their ice cream has super high butterfat content, right? It's higher than any other kind of ice cream."

I felt much better after hearing that. Indeed, after doing some research, I found that Salt & Straw has 17% butterfat in their ice cream, "about as high as you can go without having little lumps of butter suspended in the cream" (source). Yeah...

To change the subject, I saw a really cool house – the trim was the exact same shade as the flowers planted on the front lawn.


Portland Aerial Tram

As our last activity, we decided to take the Portland Aerial Tram, which is a short roundtrip excursion between two Oregon State Health & Science University buildings. You get a lovely view of Portland as well as a view of Mt. Hood.

The tram technically travels up 500 feet in a ride that lasts 3 minutes, but to me it seemed like it traveled up 2049203402 feet in a ride that lasted 15 minutes. I was sweating the entire time and probably grabbing Ryan so hard he lost circulation in his hands, or arms, or whatever I clutched. I don't do well with heights. It wasn't a very good idea.

But the views were magnificent:

(You can't tell but in that photo I'm considering vomiting)

In any case, that wraps up my Portland trip in August of 2012.

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