Portland Wrap Up

Our last full day is Portland was relaxing and delicious: brunch at Mother’s Bistro and Bar was the first order of business.  But we had to wait  for a table

While Diana and Lisa held our place in line, Sarah and Julie (above) helped Rem and I search for a geocache but we were unsuccessful.

Mother’s interior is a contrast between rough brick walls and lots of gold-framed mirrors all lit with crystal chandeliers.

I like the attention to detail.

And the attitude.

The menu had a nice selection of traditional breakfast dishe and beverages like this Bloody Mary with practically a whole salad for a garnish.

They offer slow -cooked comfort food like meatloaf, pot roast and macaroni and cheese and local ingredients like Apple Crisp with at least 7 different types of heirloom apples.

A group sitting near us included a mother with her baby.

After brunch we strolled Hawthorne Avenue and visited fun and interesting shops including a branch of Powell’s book store.

This one was tiny compared to the main store, aka Powell’s City of Books, and was a home and garden shop with cookbooks, decorating and remodeling books, gardening books and yes, more craft books.

Like this gorgeous book on paper cutting.

In addition to all of these wonderful books there were also lovely cards, notebooks, candles and tools and utensils for home and garden.

An adjacent shop was equally enticing with beautifully displayed produce, pasta and other food items.

A drive took us around author Beverly Cleary‘s neighborhood and an elementary school named after her.  We saw Klickitat Street which appears in some of her books including my favorite, Beezus and Ramona.

We also met a gnome in a tree, a location that just calls for a geocache.

We ended the day with phenomenal ice cream at Salt & Straw a farm-to-cone ice cream shop.

This is one of those times when you just need to taste it and reading what I write about it will fall short.

The flavors are interesting and unique and tastes are offered so if you aren’t sure about Pear Blue Cheese, Brown Butter Popcorn with Pink Peppercorn, Coffee and Bourbon or Aquavit Beet Ice Cream, you can try it first.  I tried about six flavor and though I found all of them good, some were just not what I wanted in a cone.

The most strange one, Foie S’Mores, was from their Chef Series collaborations where they invite local chefs to work with them to develop special flavor I admit this flavor had me pretty skeptical and in the end I decided it wasn’t for me, but I’m glad I tasted it.

Husband and wife owners and chefs of Argentinian restaurant Ox, Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quinonez, created this flavor: Toasted foie gras marshmallows and smoked vanilla ice cream ribboned with veal chocolate sauce and hazelnut graham cracker crumble.  The first taste was of a not-too-sweet S’more with chocolate and vanilla flavors laced with other subtle notes of toasted marshmallow and nutty graham cracker.  I didn’t catch the smokiness that represents the campfire, then when I swallowed there was a distinct flavor of meat.  It was really kind of amazing and like something out of Willy Wonka!  It was also better than it sounds.

The one I decided on in the end, Malted Plum, was absolutely delicious: a rich plum ice cream flavored with amber malt from  FH Steinbart Co., a Portland homebrew shop.  I didn’t know what was in it besides plums when I ate it but it was a fantastic cone.

Lisa had the Malted Plum too.  She looks happy with her choice.

Our visit gave us a taste of some of the best Portland has to offer.  Just a taste, but it was delicious.

Thanks for your visit. Stop by soon for a taste of Seattle.

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