Spring Break 2017: Portland

Cathedral Park, Spring Break 2017: Portland | Delicious Not Gorgeous

the stereotypical spring break trip tends to be something beachy and warm. and yet, somehow portland has been on a lot more radars recently, including mine and a couple of my friends’. so it became spring break 2017: portland edition. we stopped by for a couple days, and it was drizzly and cold and decidedly sand/swimsuit/sun-free, but fun all the same.


Plain, chocolate and sesame croissants at Nuvrei, Spring Break 2017: Portland | Delicious Not Gorgeous

our trip started with croissants at nuvrei. it shouldn’t be surprising that this was our first stop, since the pastry/sugar addict (aka me) planned out our food for the weekend. we ended up trying 4 different ones: plain, sesame, chocolate and pistachio rose. oh my, these were so buttery and flaky and overall incredible. the plain or sesame is best if you really want a pure croissant experience, but might i recommend the sesame if you have to pick? it’s so nutty and toasty, and you can still focus on the buttery croissant. also, if you want a sweet croissant, i recommend the pistachio rose. you can get chocolate any other time, at any other bakery. but the pistachio rose is a revelation. the texture is similar to an almond croissant, but instead it has fudgey pistachio frangipane and crunchy pistachios and a touch of rose (not soapy or too much at all, especially coming from someone who doesn’t like rose).

it was rainy and grey, but we still managed to make it to st. john’s bridge (the image at the top of this post) and tom mccall waterfront park. the former was like the golden gate bridge, except so much prettier and less crowded, and the latter was teeming with soft pink cherry blossoms. not bad for a sleepy sunday morning.

Pernil Arepas from Teote, Spring Break 2017: Portland | Delicious Not Gorgeous

we opted for arepa bowls at teote for lunch. they looked small but were pretty hearty! (we were also still buttered up from all those croissants). i liked the pernil the best, since the tender braised pork shoulder was paired with mounds of vinegary cabbage slaw and tasted the most balanced to me. the pabellon and el diablo were tasty as well, though on the sweeter side.

after lunch, we met up with s’s friend k from high school (i’ve talked to him maybe once or twice, but that’s about it), and when he was trying to figure out where to take us, the conversation went something like this:

me and s: “is there anything white around here?”
k: “i mean, there’s a bunch of white people…”
me and s: “no, are the actual walls the color white?”

what can i say, b really enjoys the color white. you need to see her instagram feed to believe it.

there’s branches of salt and straw in sf and la, so i didn’t feel the need to stop by a location while we were in portland. however, i was excited by the prospect of wiz bang bar, salt and straw’s soft serve sister. on the left, roasted strawberry coconut soft serve with a black sesame shell. on the right, chocolate soft serve with a chocolate shell. the roasted strawberry coconut soft serve was a very fresh strawberry, though not very heavy on the coconut, which i wish came through more. the black sesame shell was nutty and soso inventive, albeit not the best for pairing with the roasted strawberry coconut soft serve. the chocolate was great… until b dropped it. very 18 flavors-esque, complete with the sniffs (and a snapchat accompanied by mild wailing).

we were planning on going to a jazz restaurant, since that and seeing nature were s’s big to do’s. but it’s very hard to find a restaurant and not a bar/club (ya girl wasn’t 21 yet). we actually found one that was scheduled to have live jazz 6-9pm… and then we ended up napping and didn’t get up until 8pm. we decided it wasn’t worth it since we’d have max 30 minutes to hear it, and opted for pok pok noi instead.

i was prepared for a long wait, and was expecting to get there and not end up actually staying, but surprise surprise, we got seated almost as soon as we walked into the door. we got the sai ua samun phrai, vietnamese fish sauce wings and papaya pok pok. the papaya pok pok, aka their green papaya salad, was really fresh and crunchy and tangy and nice to break up the other meaty things, but man, the heat creeps up on you (well, me at least). the wings were super crispy and garlicky and a bit on the salty side; some rice, as well as their mound of quick-pickled daikon and carrots helped, though. i do wish they gave us more pickles (s kept taking them alllll and i took to casually hoarding some on my plate). my favorite of the night was the sai ua samun phrai, aka their curried, herby sausage. it was super tender and i have no idea how to even describe the flavor besides complex and amazing. plus, it came with pork rinds (YESSSS) and steamed kabocha. overall a pretty tasty meal, though i’m not sure that the small portion size (this was perfect for 3 semi-hungry girls but i can imagine some unhappy patrons if you’re hangry) was worth the price.


Korean Fried Chicken, Spring Break 2017: Portland | Delicious Not Gorgeous

45 minute wait for 7 people on a monday morning at 10am for tasty n alder. don’t you have to go to work, people?! anyways, there’s lots of shops to pop into, so the wait isn’t too bad if you wander. s and i split the potatoes bravas and korean fried chicken. the potatoes bravas were crispy potatoes in a tomatoey, slightly bbq-esque sauce topped with runny eggs and a creamy garlic aioli. it was good, though definitely heavy. the korean fried chicken (pictured above) was my favorite of the two, with crispy nuggets of gochujang-rich chicken, quick-pickled cucumbers, kimchi, runny eggs, and rice. also tried some of b’s tasty steak and cheddar eggs. the steak looked like steak in chicken nugget shapes (weird…) and i didn’t try that (not a huge fan of steak in general), though the cornbread was crispy and the scrambled eggs had an obscene, but delicious, amount of cheese.

Latourell Falls, Spring Break 2017: Portland | Delicious Not Gorgeous

and because even i can’t eat nonstop all day, we drove 30 minutes out to the columbia river gorge, where there are waterfalls everywhere. above is latourell falls, and below is multnomah falls. they’re really nice because you don’t have to go hike to find them. park, then bam, they’re there. perfect if you want your waterfalls with a side of instant gratification.

Multnomah Falls, Spring Break 2017: Portland | Delicious Not Gorgeous

now, after all that hard labor (ha), we needed some refreshments. s and b got drinks at tea bar, though i opted to wait for ice cream. s’s rose tea was very subtle, with a slight floral note and a gentle sweetening courtesy of honey. b’s hong kong milk tea was fine, though the tea was a bit sweet for my taste and the boba was chewier than i’m used to.

Coconut Lemon Saffron Ice Cream, Spring Break 2017: Portland | Delicious Not Gorgeous

then onto ice cream at fifty licks, because my self-control is particularly limited in the face of unusual (but not weird. i don’t need to try humphry slocombe’s prosciutto) ice cream flavors. their famed thai rice was toasty, though i had it in my head that it was thai sticky rice AND mango in the ice cream, which was not true. i really liked the coconut lemon saffron though, since the coconut and lemon really came through. it was creamy from the coconut, with a hint of citrus from the lemon. mmm. s got the vanilla, which was a basic albeit tasty version of vanilla. b got the chocolate, which had FUDGEY BITS OF CHOCOLATE MIXED IN. bye wiz bang’s chocolate, you don’t hold a candle to fifty licks’ chocolate. and you can get a freshly waffle cone for free, no upgrade needed. and 1 “mini” (pretty sizeable though, and plenty for me) scoop is $2.50. what is this madness and can it come to the bay area and/or orange county? please and thank you.

we had planned to go to screen door for brunch, but ended up at tasty n alder instead. and then we found out that it was open for dinner, and were there in a heartbeat. we all opted for the screen door plate, which comes with a piece of cornbread and lets you pick 3 of the sides. i went for the fried catfish, bread pudding and beet salad, the latter two of which were on their special locals/organics list for the day. the catfish was flaky and moist, with a super crispy cornmeal breading, and was delicious with the pickle-y remoulade. the bread pudding had mushrooms, brie, leeks and kale and was topped with a celery root cream sauce. the bread pudding itself was tender and eggy, and the melty cheese and velvety sauce made it feel even more lux. i balanced things out a bit with the beet salad, which had beets and citrus and greens and avocado and goat cheese. so good, and you can bet your butt that i will be recreating this at home. s and b both got mac and cheese (which came with an entire lid of melted, crusty cheese and the creamiest, cheesiest noodles ever), as well as sweet potato fries (crispy and tender and sweet but nothing to write home about). s got fried chicken, and there was some judgement since that was the 3rd fried chicken thing in 2 days, but it was so worth. the chicken was so crispy on the outside, and the meat was so juicy. and it had a hint of smoke. even though the viet fish sauce wings from pok pok and the korean fried chicken from tasty n alder were good, this was hands down the best fried chicken we had all weekend. i’m not the biggest meat lover out there, but even i can say that it was a pretty solid way to close out our 2 days in portland.

1 year ago: Chocolate Babka French Toast with Caramelized Banana Creme Anglaise, Creamy Strawberry Avocado Yogurt (Italian Flag) Popsicles
2 years ago: I Hope She’s Happy: A Tortilla Speaks Out, Banana-Chocolate-Coffee Muffins

more travels??

crispy fried beets served with schimi togarashi-spiced kewpie mayo from east side king in austin, texas

Texas 2016

Seasonal peppermint ice cream in a chocolate peppermint cone from Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor at Disneyland. #peppermint #icecream #disneyland #icecreamcone

Holidays at Disneyland 2016

Spring Break 2017: Portland | Delicious Not Gorgeous

41 Replies to “Spring Break 2017: Portland”

  1. I’d LOVE to visit Portland one day. It’s just soooo far from London 🙁
    The landscape looks super impresive and rugged and there’s a really big vegan scene too. Oh well, maybe one day.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Wishing you a great week.

    1. highly recommend!! my stay was very not vegan, but i’m sure there’s plenty of great vegan options (tbh along the west coast i’m pretty sure it’d be fun to vegan it up).

  2. Sounds like an awesome spring break!!! I loved hearing about everything you guys ate! Yum!! Xoxo

    1. thanks, kelly! (:

  3. Sounds like you had a lot of fun! Your pics are making me homesick; I’m originally from Oregon, a couple hours south of Portland. But western Oregon in the winter all looks the same, and those gray skies are very familiar :). I’ll have to check out some of these places next time I’m up there!

    1. oh cool! previously, my only experience in oregon was astoria, which i can confirm was just as grey and rainy as portland during our trip (but portland >>>>>> astoria).

  4. Oh, I do love Portland! Fifty Licks now on my list, but apprehensive since I feel like Salt & Straw (the original) is the best ice cream around. Too bad you didn’t see it on a sunny day. Truly magnificent, especially those falls! But nice reviews on places to go (tasty n alder!) next time I’m there – thanks!

    1. i actually haven’t gone to salt and straw! they have locations in la and sf (both of which i visit much more regularly than portland), so i figured i’d get something exclusive to portland (: salt and straw will happen asap though. IT HAS TO.

  5. I have always wanted to go to Portland- it looks really beautiful!!


    1. it’s so gorgeous! and though i don’t think i’d want to live there, the rain and fog i saw when i went felt very portland-esque, so i felt like i got the full experience (;

  6. I’ve been dying to visit Portland, I can totally see what attracted you and your friends to this overcast spring break destination. These croissants are beautiful, I’m a sucker for chocolate croissants, but I’m willing to try the pistachio rose on your recommendation. These Arepa bowls look taste, I’m dying to know what they taste like. That Gochujang-rich chicken makes my mouth water. Wow, Latourell Falls is beautiful. Looks like you had an eventful relaxing and fun spring break 🙂

    1. if you’re into almond croissants, you’d like the pistachio rose! it has the same texture, which slightly different (but still sweet) flavors. and yeah, all the waterfalls were so lush! different from a lot of the dry california ones i’ve seen, sigh.

  7. This does sound like a super fun trip! One you’ll remember despite the lack of bathing suit time! Now I’m craving croissants and arepas all at the same time!

    1. yes it was so fun (: i don’t normally have arepas (when i’m home/at school, i usually go out for asian food and don’t even think about latin food), so that was a nice treat!

  8. Love seeing PNW cities on so many foodie radars now!!! Portland is awesome:)

    1. yeah!! portland seemed to be pretty popular this break. i had brunch with the two friends i went with, along with four other friends who happened to be in portland, and we heard about a couple of other groups of friends who passed through for break too (:

  9. Looks like you had a blast! I’m loving all the ice cream! Of course, I’m picking the chocolate on chocolate! ha! Gorgeous pics!

    1. i’m a sucker for ice cream :3 the chocolate from fifty licks had ganache swirled through it, and that was unreal. the ganache had hardened a bit so it was kind of fudgey, and then the chocolate ice cream…. they could sell that in stores and i would buy it all the time.

  10. Where do I even begin!? What a fab trip with friends. You know what? I would almost always take an adventure like that to the sun and sand. *Almost*. I read your whole post and I’m still thinking about the croissants at the beginning. I think you’ve given me a hankering! Glad you had fun!

    1. the croissants were so good. we had the three that are in my picture, and then i was on a croissant high. and i wanted more, so i got a pistachio rose for the road. no regrets whatsoever! (:

  11. This post makes me miss Portland! We travelled there last year and had a blast at Columbia River Gorge! The waterfalls and hiking was so much fun! All that food you had looks delicious! Now I’m craving croissants and ice cream!

    1. we didn’t go hiking (wrong shoes + it was pretty muddy + latourell and multnomah don’t require any hiking) but that sounds like fun!

  12. All that yummy food! And stunning waterfalls. So, was the ice cream finished in 50 licks?

    1. LOL my friend started counting how many licks but we were all laughing too much, and then she forgot to count. so the world may never know (;

  13. YUM! I used to live in Seattle and loved taking food trips to Portland. You’ve made me nostalgic! Tasty n Alder remains one of my faves; no, people in portland don’t have real jobs, the dream of the 90s is still alive, remember? 😉

    1. i had no idea seattle was so close to portland! if we planned better and had more time, we would have gone to seattle too. oh well, guess it’s time for another trip (; oh, i am jealous of jobless brunching portlanders.

  14. So I’ve been hearing some great things about Portland, too! The only problem for me is that it’s on the opposite side of the country. Your travel itinerary in Portland sounds a lot like what I imagine mine to be…foodie stop after foodie stop with a waterfall mixed in for good measure. 🙂 And that savory bread pudding?? What a fun idea!! Sounds like you guys really had some good fun. Thanks for sharing!!

    1. it’s worth the flight!! we got lucky because it was so close, but i’m sure you have fun trips to boston, philadelphia, etc that would be harder for me to manage (; my stomach isn’t endless (i wish it was, but also not), so the waterfalls added some necessary downtime.

  15. I’ve never been, but it definitely looks like a lovely spot and so many delicious eats!! Any time I go anywhere, my trip is usually planned around food, lol 😀 And, then, when I get home I’m so stuffed I don’t want to eat anything for a while! Ha! Usually worth it, though. Those croissants sound amazing! Love croissants and I would be happy with either selection. Though, I’m usually a sucker for chocolate ones, especially when they are still warm 🙂

    1. when i’m home, all i want is gently seasoned vegetables and salads and such lol. and warm chocolate croissants are always good!! speaking of which, have you had the frozen ones from trader joe’s? super easy, cheap, fresh, and tasty.

  16. Gorgeous photos, Heather. (Pinning!) Also, I love the stops for croissants and ice cream =) (I did a post after an interview with the owner of Salt ‘n Straw.) Next time I’m in Portland I’ll also have to stop by 50 Licks =) Ps. Love your flashback ice cream Disneyland photo, too.

    1. whaaaat you had an interview with the salt and straw owner?? will have to find that! (or maybe not, because then i’m going to want to go right about NOW).

  17. Portland. Hmmm I think I flew into there once a LONG time ago… But we didn’t stay long. Seems like a place I need to go back to and visit, however, I have heard that August is the best month to go to Oregon and/or Washington! ha!

    1. that was me and texas for a while. i was very well acquainted with the dallas airport before i ever stepped foot in the actual city! ohhh guess i might have to go back in august (;

  18. I need to visit Portland for sure! Thanks for taking us along and I am so jealous with all the delicious treats.

  19. Portland looks amazing at that waterfall! Immense! I’d love to visit and photograph that sometime.

  20. I have always wanted to go there but am a bit too far away to make a weekend trip of it. Sounds like a fantastic trip!

    1. maybe take a week trip and hit up some other west coast cities too? (; seattle is super close!!

  21. I have never been to Portland but I REALLY want to. I hear that their food there is amazing and it’s hipsterville? right up my alley apparently haha 🙂 Reading about your adventures and food stops always makes me feel like I’m right there experiencing it. I love it. 🙂

    1. i probably go to too many hipster-esque, minimalistic, white colored places, so portland didn’t feel that hipster to me (; so much good food though, and highly recommend! you could do a whole west coast extravaganza and do seattle, portland, sf and la (ahh that sounds like so much fun just mentioning it!).

  22. Portland looks epic! So do those ice creams! Lol

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