Day 2 was a big day for me because it was my only full day in Portland and I wanted to make the most of it. I got up bright and early, got ready, and headed out for the day. I decided to go to the “East Side” for breakfast. I was inspired by Crystalin Marie to go to Upper Left Roasters for some avocado toast. I took a quick uber and stepped into the bright and inspiring space. I wish I had my computer because it was a great place to work and spend some time. I ordered a chai latte with homemade almond macadamia but milk and avocado toast with radish and a poached egg.
Since it was such a beautiful day in Portland, I decided to head to the Lin Su Chinese garden after breakfast. I explored the garden a little bit on my own and then joined the free tour, which I highly recommend. There were tons of little details that the guide was able to point out and hearing more about the history and reasoning behind certain details was super interesting. After the tour, I made sure to spend a few extra minutes sitting alone and reflecting on my time and hopes for my trip.
I decided to walk back into downtown after the time at Lin Su because I had seen a ring the day before that I couldn’t go home without. I wouldn’t recommend making this walk. It was a little sketchy especially as a woman walking alone. But I made it back into town and got my ring, so I was a happy girl. After exploring more shops, I was definitely hungry and decided to try Lardo for lunch. I ordered the kale caesar salad and the dirty fries #balance. This was definitely way too much food for one person, but boy was it worth it!
After lunch, I decided it was time for Salt & Straw. It was only a mile or so walk, but after walking through the not so nice part of town earlier, I decided to take a uber. For the first time ever, I got the same uber driver. He had gotten a drastic haircut in the 3 or so hours since my first ride so it took us a few minutes to recognize each other. He dropped me off at Salt & Straw and as soon as I got out of the car I was welcomed with the most amazing waffle cone scent. Luckily I had beat the rush and had a few minutes to try some delicious flavors before deciding on almond brittle with salted ganache in a waffle cone.
I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I had ended up in the alphabet district and there was tons of shopping and cute restaurants to explore. I took full advantage and visited every boutique and shop on 23rd street. Everyone in Portland is so nice and welcoming. I spent tons of time just chatting with the people working in every store and learning about the city and the shops. After spending a couple hours exploring, it was time for my daily nap/rest and I headed back to the hotel.
I was starting to feel under the weather so I decided to treat myself and head to the hotel restaurant, Nel Centro, for happy hour and dinner. I had a couple glasses of wine along with the ricotta cavatelli with kale pesto, marcona almonds and pecorino; brussel sprouts with pancetta, and cinnamon creme brulee with chocolate dipped shortbread that the bartender let me take back up to my room so I could enjoy it in my bed!