A while back I went to Portland, but I never gave it a proper roundup post. So here it is! Yay!
Some notes on Portland:
- Downtown is flat. This is going to confuse most Seattle visitors. It’s… flat! And vaguely walkable! You’re not going to get a huge workout going east two blocks! You’re going to want to walk everywhere just to say you walked it all.
- Getting past downtown on foot is a haul. THOSE BRIDGES. If you’re leaving downtown, get a bus or Uber. Something. I was dealing with walking limitations at the time, and it was seriously a challenge to get just to Ranger Chocolate.
- Food truck pods = ALL THE FOOD. A pod is more like a ring of small stands rather than a handful of trucks. You may lack seating space, but you won’t care because for once in your life there are 30+ options for a snack.
- Coffee shops are often baking awesome stuff. I felt like I was getting as good baked goods as some of the bakeries just by wandering into coffee shops and seeing what looked tasty.
- No one seemed to know that foxglove was poisonous. I saw a place with a foxglove bouquet right above the stand mixer. As a restoration ecologist I was super uncomfortable.
Here’s the good stuff, in alphabetical order:
Blue Star Donuts
1237 SW Washington St
I feel like I would come here just to watch it during a weekend morning, because that tiny shop got packed. (The first time I went in it was fairly chill, so I wasn’t expecting the Giant Line.) All while there was this constant stream of donut making going on in the background. There’s a dance to the chaos, and it’s soothing. And chocolate covered.
The doughnuts are giant brioche monsters with inventive toppings. Good stuff. However, I really wanted to see more intense chocolate flavors. Bring me an 80% chocolate custard!
712 SW Salmon St
This is the place in Portland where my budget goes to die.
No, really. They have an extensive stock of chocolate, even some stuff Chocolopolis isn’t carrying. And a lovely hot chocolate menu. Bar prices can get expensive, since they’re the place for stuff like Soma’s Porcelana bar ($20). So worth it if you’re on the hunt for something rare.
They also carry Fran’s Chocolates, which is super weird to see outside of a Fran’s store or a random grocery store shelf.
Courier Coffee Roasters
923 SW Oak St
Look, anyone who sells cannele off a cannele castle stack automatically makes me happy. (I ate the top of the stack. I regret nothing.) It did help that it was also surrounded by rather random cat art – and the actual cannele was tasty. A very nice and custardy center, not quite as near burnt as I’m used to, still good.
Here’s to hoping I can return, because they also had cookies that I was too full to try.
1022 W Burnside St
We’re starting to see more of Quin up north, but I need Dreams Come Chew in bulk. (Dreams Come Chew = the hipster Starburst you didn’t know you needed.) And we’re still getting a paltry amount of the sheer range they carry in their store. We’re talking Half and Half tea drops and so many lollipops and caramels.
I’m still mainly in for Dreams Come Chew in bulk. You do you.
118 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Yes, they have their own post, but I still want to remind you that they sell sipping chocolate made from their 80% Chulucanas Peru chocolate, which is lovely and should be sold by the pint.
And you should visit for the caramels and ice cream alone, which are totally on another level. They’ve got a creamy chocolate ice cream with gorgeous caramel overtones – and no added caramel anything. Just the Chulucanas chocolate. Perfect.
126 SW 2nd Ave
You should all go there for some of the best froyo I’ve had in ages, but plan your battle carefully.
As in, during our first visit, there was no line around 12:30 on Saturday. Our last visit at 10 am on Sunday? Super quiet and lovely.
Then when Chris tried to go there for an evening sundae run, there was this MASSIVE crowd waiting for froyo at 7 pm. We’re talking out the door and on the street. So go at off hours – or bring a book. Your choice.
(Note: since I tried everything once – except for Wiz Bang and Blue Star – these count as First Impressions posts. Yes, I’m going to fix that as soon as possible, because cannele and chocolate.)