We started this beautiful day by walking to Hawthorne Blvd which is the hipster area full of restaurants, coffee shops, and bars. This was the first time I took my new DSLR camera out, so bear with me as I am still learning how to use it.
The houses around this area look cute like these…
Every single person you ask about restaurants in Portland will recommend Pok Pok, this very authentic Southeast Asian restaurant offers delicious dishes and specializes in fish sauce chicken wings, which is Eitan’s worst nightmare. We, of course, did not get the wings, but we got a delicious Tom Kah Kai soup and a waterfall mushroom salad which was superb.
The next stop was the very famous Salt & Straw ice cream place. They serve all the fancy-schmancy, organic, local, certified real, no GMO, no big corporation, cage-free cows fed with organic-true-green grass, handcrafted milk, and ingredients.
The flavors are amazing and super unique. We tried a bunch but we decided to get the Pear and Blue Cheese and the Petunias Peach Crumble. It was incredible!
We walked along Division St. after indulging like pigs.
Fun Fact: Neighbors organized and prevented a McDonald’s restaurant from being built at the site of a former Arby’s restaurant. The vacant building was replaced with condominiums and retail shops on the first floor. Don’t mess with the hipsters!
We needed a digestive so we tried a Cidery. We got a taster and a lengthy explanation of the differences between all the types of ciders. Dry, Sweet, Semi-dry, etc… they all tasted good, so we don’t discriminate.
It was a good change of pace after all the beer from the previous day.
We visited one of the many McMenamins bars around Portland. McMenamins is a family-owned chain of brewpubs, breweries, music venues, historic hotels, and theater pubs in the Pacific Northwest. They buy interesting buildings like elementary schools, libraries, movie theatres and convert them into bars.
We were curious about the Ginger Beer store we found around the area. We tried the guava one (non-alcoholic) and it was very tasty.
They shared the store with a snack bar. Sarah loves pickled cucumbers, so she was excited when they were able to sell her a side order.
We took an Uber to the Japanese gardens in Washington Park. These traditional gardens occupy 9.1 acres and it was deemed the finest public Japanese garden in North America out of more than 300 such gardens surveyed by Japanese garden experts.
They have several different sections, each representing a type of Japanese garden. They also had a bonsai exhibit which are always fascinating to see.
This garden is notable because a traditional Japanese garden normally takes hundreds of years to evolve and mature, but the Portland Japanese Garden evolved much more quickly—a fusion of hurried western style and stately eastern expression.
Great setting for a photo shoot of beautiful Sarah.
The Zen Garden: where everyone starts thinking about buying a small zen garden for their office desk.
More Beautiful gardens
There is a nice view of Mt Hood from the top of the gardens.
The gift store had many beautiful things.
And Eitan bought Sarah a beautiful natural-organic-underground-grown-hand-extracted-silver pendant.
Across the street from the Japanese gardens is the Rose garden. There are over 7,000 rose plants of approximately 550 varieties. The roses bloom from April through October with the peak coming in June, depending on the weather. New rose cultivars are continually sent to the garden from many parts of the world and are tested for color, fragrance, disease resistance and other attributes.
It is the oldest continuously operating public rose test garden in the United States and exemplifies Portland’s nickname, “City of Roses”.
For some reason there was a Holocaust memorial near by. We stopped by. Very well done monument with holocaust survivor quotes engraved on the walls.
We walked down the park to the Nob Hill district.
Another beautiful area full of restaurants, boutiques, and bars. This area looked more high end than the rest of Portland.
It was happy hour time, so we got some appetizers in a trendy looking restaurant.
There was another McMenamins bar that looks like an old Speakeasy bar. We checked that out as well.
We were not really hungry so for dinner we went to a famous irish bar to get some delicious Stout and some salads.
After a long day sightseeing, we ended up at the brewery next to our hotel. We asked if they had any flights (beer samples) and the waitress said that for $20 we could try them all. It didn’t seem like a big deal until we got the beers in front of us (total of 16 samples). It goes without saying that we slept like lions that night.
Bonus Pic Of The Day: In Oregon, there is no sales tax! So you pay what you see on the menu, price tag, etc… What a wonderful thing!