Portland: exploring the other side of the river

Today’s view is of a brick wall so we shouldn’t have any trouble motivating ourselves to get out on the town. After one last walk on the beach in Manzanita on a gorgeous day – a near record high of 69 I think I heard – we drove to Cannon Beach, stopping for coffee at the highly touted Sleepy Monk coffee-house then drove 1.5 hours back to Portland on Highway 26, which turned out to be a very scenic road through the mountains and farmland along a river or stream.

After some confusion, we finally found the aerial tram entrance at the Oregon Health and Science Center (0r some such) and rode across the south part of town with stunning views of snow-capped mountains and the downtown waterfront.

Because we had a car, we explored some neighborhoods east of the river that aren’t reachable by light rail – Hawthorne Street, between 34th and 40th, was fun and funky, with lots of people hanging out in the sun. Also went up to nw 28th “restaurant row” which had a handful of interesting looking places. And stopped at the food cart pod at 12th and Hawthorne for a fine lunch of pomme frites with tarragon anchovy mayo (one of several options.)

Dinner was an adventure at Pok Pok, a very different Thai restaurant from those we’re accustomed to. No pad thai, no thai people actually. The chef is an american guy who spent time in Thailand and brought back authentic recipes. Very popular place so we got there early – at 6p.m. and were seated at 7 p.m., happily waiting across the street at the restaurant’s sister joint, The Whiskey soda Lounge. Our wait was supposed to be 25 minutes (not). people who arrived at 8 p.m. had a 1-1.5 hour wait. Despite this, well worth a visit. Had a wonderful soup with homemade coconut milk; mussells with fried egg and bean sprouts, protisserie hen, a fantastic dessert with Vietnamese coffee over ice cream with a homemade donut, and a “Hunny”- fresh grapefruit juice, a drinkable balsamic vinegar, tequila. When in Rome…

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Filed under DINING, Oregon, Portland

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