Portland Summer 2015

Can't wait to get back to beautiful Oregon. This was taken at Crater Lake last summer!

Can’t wait to get back to beautiful Oregon. This was taken at Crater Lake last summer!

Every summer I go home to Portland for a few weeks to see my family and friends. It is also a great time to eat, shop, and do things that I can’t do while I’m living overseas (this will be my third summer coming home from Venezuela, and fifth return overall). Some things on my list stay invariably the same, while others change, I keep making the list because I want to make sure I don’t forget to do all of the things I really love.

This summer I have to be even more strategic with my time because I will be spending nearly a whole month of it backpacking Europe. So, if you are a family member or friend of mine who happens to be reading this please feel free to invite yourself to any of these activities!

I will be home less than 20 days total, so please let me know if you are free from about 11AM on Monday, June 15th (flight arrives at 10:40AM) through about 9pm (EARLY flight the next day) on the 16th. Then I will be in Portland again from Tuesday, July 14th (flight arrives at 10PM) to Friday, July 31st (flight leaves at 8:45PM).

Family Dinner

Dinner is usually the first time I get to see all of my family after about a year away AND… I love food! I asked for lasagna as my first meal last summer but this summer I want my mom to make her amazing ribs! She has this giant crock-pot thing that is specially made for slow roasting ribs and I need some of these ribs in my life! I will even volunteer to make some corn on the cob and mashed potatoes to go with it!

Picnic in a park with my nieces and nephews

I never get to see these kiddos, and they don’t have Facebook (thankfully not!), so I want to hang out with them! I want to bring them cute presents, healthy food, and hang out in one of the many gorgeous Portland parks.

Happy Hour with my Favorite Ladies

There are so many amazing places for happy hour and I’m sure these ladies know the best ones, but I always think of Bartini first. I also loved the tiki bar (Hale Pele) we went to last summer and wouldn’t mind returning there!

Portland Cider House 3638 SE Hawthorne Blvd- I was looking at this place for a while and was on the fence, but my lovely friend Caris just suggested that we go there so now I’m sold! I’ve also read that they have 5 – 2oz samples for $7 (perfect since I want to try them all!).

Bushwhacker 1212-D SE Powell Blvd.- Happy hour: 2-4 pm Tuesday and Thursday, $1 off drafts. I love cider!

Church 2600 NE Sandy Blvd Happy hour: 4-6 pm daily. $3 wells, $1 off drafts, cheap food, including $5 ribs. I guess I can truthfully tell my grandparents that I went to church while I was in Portland…for the first time in over ten years. hahaha

Casino Fridays

No this isn’t a gambling night (I actually hate to gamble because I would rather buy a plane ticket than lose a bet), instead it is a Cuban Salsa night held nearly every week! I wish I could spend every Friday at this event year-round. Amazing people, great music, and fabulous dancing, what more could you want (maybe some bottomless mojitos to go with it?!??)!

Visit Oregon Wine Country

I’ve done this with Sophie the past two summers I’ve been home because she loves wine as much as I do…or more since she is willing to pay for a wine club! Anyone else want to visit some vineyards (you have to drive since I don’t have a car!).


Oregon has such natural beauty! I would love to camp near the beach, near hot springs…or in a forest with a river with a nice swimming hole. Ideas?

Go for a Hike

Caris and Sophie are both wonderful hiking buddies. Maybe Piyawan would even come down from Washington for a nice hike. Family members have also shown interest in hiking lately (as opposed to four wheeling). I’m open to locations as long as it is a day trip (time constraints!).


Even though I found a decent sushi place here in Valencia, I still crave the good stuff Portland has to offer. I haven’t been to Bamboo Sushi yet and I hear it has 100% sustainable fish (and a happy hour from 5-6)!

Fancy Dinner

One thing I love to do is to occasionally splurge on a meal. I don’t get to do that when I’m in Venezuela. I don’t think I have ever spent more than $15 dollars for a meal and drinks in Venezuela! So, this summer I want to go with Brie (another fancy food lover) to a nice dinner in Portland. Some places I haven’t gone that I want to try a fancy meal at Le Pigeon or Paley’s Place. I’m sure she has heard of other places to try too.

Brunch at Podnah’s

Last summer I think I went here three times because I love this place so much. It is kinda like Screen Door but without the giant line. I bet their brunch is just as good!

Pick Farm Fresh Food at Sauvie Island

Every summer I like to go with my friends to pick fresh blueberries, raspberries, peaches, and buy farm fresh products on this little oasis about 10 miles north of Portland.

Visit the Portland Zoo

One of my friends recently posted about the new elephant area at the zoo. I haven’t been to the zoo since I led a field trip there with my second graders in Oregon in 2010.  It would be cool if I could take my nieces and nephews there!

Other places I want to eat at:

Angel Food and Fun 5135 NE 60th Ave.- I want to try the cochinita pibil ($10).

Love Belizean (2880 SE Division)- I have never had Belizean food before!

http://www.muscadinepdx.com/new-page/ Food similar to Podnah’s but they have BEIGNETS!

EaT: An Oyster Bar 3808 N Williams Ave. I love oysters!

Laurelhurst Market So many things sound good on their menu!

The Country Cat I think my parents would love this place.

Tiffin Asha 836 N Beech St. Indian food in a food cart. Dosas!

What else should I add to my summer wish list?


6 responses to “Portland Summer 2015

  1. You knew it wouldn’t be long before I put in my two cents about Portland dining options!

    Bamboo Sushi is good, but for the price there are a lot more exciting sushi/Japanese places. Might I suggest Yama in SE? If you’re interested in Japanese food in general, Syun in Hillsboro is quite possibly worth the long drive. They also have sushi but I always end up pigging out on other menu items before I even it make it to the sushi list!

    The atmosphere of Laurelhurst Market is unlike any other steak place. But I have to admit, if I want a melt-in-my-mouth steak, I tend to gravitate toward good ol’ Ringside. I usually go to the “fish house” location near Directors Park. Another great Portland steak is the 1 kilo sharing steak (with lemon) at Nostrana. If you go there, you MUST order the fruit crisp with almond cream. It takes 20 minutes to prepare so let the waiter or waitress know when you order your entree.

    Country Cat is NOT worth it. Terrible service. Mediocre food. If you’re in the neighborhood, hit up Ya Hala for some Lebanese instead. They have the best baba ganoush I’ve ever had!

    I’ve also happen to have an oyster recommendation for you! Woodsman Tavern. This is my secret brunch spot. Never any wait. Small menu, but everything is tasty. The interior is very nice and the service is excellent (something lacking from most Portland dining options). AND they have an oyster bar! I hear they are a lot busier other times of the day, but I’ve only been for lunch.

    In the vein of breakfast/brunch recommendations, you should also go to Tasty N Sons! It took me a while to warm up to the place, but now it’s one of my faves and worth the wait. You’re not allowed to go without me!

    As for fancy (expensive) restaurants, I have yet to try either Le Pigeon or Paley’s Place but I would love to go! I’ve eaten at Le Pigeon’s sister restaurant Little Bird a few times and it’s always great. For my birthday, we went to Beast and it was amazing. I would like to try one of their (considerably cheaper) prix fix brunches as well. And Castagna and Kachka are on my personal list too.

    I’ll have to think of some more moderately priced suggestions later. So excited to see you in July! Wish me luck in Japan!


    • Brie, I love your thorough reply loaded with suggestions!

      I guess it someone else is driving to Hillsboro and felt like taking me along I wouldn’t have any problems with eating delicious Japanese food! Did we go to Yama before with Brendon?

      I love Lebanese food so I feel like I have to try Ya Hala, but I still really want to try Country Cat. I just read recently that it is one of the top places in Portland for brunch. Hmm. I think my inner optimist is at work here…

      The Woodsman Tavern came up in a couple of searches, but I was turned off by their website. For some reason I couldn’t get it to show me the brunch menu, but I will have to give it a try anyway.

      I went to Tasty N Sons twice last summer and it was really good. I would go again with you Brie!

      I haven’t been to any of the fancy restaurants you’ve mentioned and would like to try the prix fix menus at all of them (though I’m not excited by the prospect of Kachka)!

      Please post lots of pictures and updates on FB about your Japan trip! Whoo!


  2. Greetings from one Oregonian expat teacher to another. About to wrap up my first year teaching IS and am super excited for a few weeks in Oregon. Nice post.


    • I’m glad you liked the post! My family is going away for a long weekend in Central Oregon, but other than that I want to sped

      Where are you teaching? Aren’t we lucky to be able to go home when Oregon is at it’s best?!


  3. Pingback: Last Week of School Before Summer Break!!!! | Teaching Wanderlust·

  4. Pingback: 2015: In Review | Teaching Wanderlust·

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