Speaking Near Portland Next Week

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

I’ll be giving a talk on police militarization next week at Washington State University-Vancouver. Here are the details:


Dengerink Administration building, room 110



Who can participate:

Open to the public

Contact for more information:

Jimmy Kramer, manager@kougradio.com

Sponsored by:

KOUG Radio, the VanCougar and the Salmon Creek Journal


It’s my first trip to Portland, so I’m going to make a weekend of it. Portlanders: I have two-and-a-half days in your town. What should I do? Where should I eat?

MORE: Fixed the name of the school, which is probably an important detail. It’s Washington State University-Vancouver.

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60 Responses to “Speaking Near Portland Next Week”

  1. #1 |  B | 

    I don’t live in Portland, but I’ve spent lots of time there. Hard to have a bad meal, really.

    Saburo Sushi and Pine State Biscuits (I know you live in the south now, but it is still worth your time) off the top of my head. Had a great late-night meal at Little Bird last time I was down there.

    And of course, you can just go crazy on food trucks, though the locals can be more specific.

    Come to Seattle!

  2. #2 |  kriznol | 

    Looking forward to hearing you speak! Here are some recommendations:

    Best biscuits and gravy ever: Pine State Biscuits

    Donuts with Bacon (or shaped like cock and balls): Voodoo Donuts (go to the eastside location to avoid a 30 minute line)

    Awesome northern Chineese: Shandong (great happy hour apetizers)

    Sit-down breakfast: Tin Shed, Screen Door
    (shiw up before 10AM to avoid waiting in line behind a bunch of pajama-wearing hipsters)

    Awesome beer and awesome food: Deschuttes Brewery

    Be sure to check out lots of food carts. Portland is food cart mecca. And thanks to some recent deregulation, they now serve beer!!!!

  3. #3 |  kriznol | 

    Oh almost forgot … my favorite new breakfast spot is Tasty and Sons. Try Lincoln next door for fine dining. Ricardos in Lake Oswego for fine northern italian food and great wine selection.

    Plan on gaining some weight if you spend any ammount of time in Portland.

  4. #4 |  billb | 

    Also not a Portland resident, but as an occasional visitor an food lover:

    Deschutes, Rogue, and Bridgeport for beer and bar food. Clyde Common for great, sit down food, among many, many others. Also, hit the food trucks for lunch.

  5. #5 |  Tim | 

    Depends a lot on what you want to eat.

    Fine dinning I would hit Beaker and Flask (also excellent drinks), Tabla, Laurelhurst Market, Toro Bravo, St Jack, Metrovino

    Less formal but good: Wafu (Ramen-Izakuya), Biwa (Ramen-Izakuya), Spints Ale House (norther Europe tavern), Interurban (upscale bar food)

    Too many to choose but I like Viking Soul Food at the Good Food Cart in Vancouver

    Drinks -the bar programs in most of portland places is top notch but a few to call out for special notices:
    Teardrop, Beaker & Flask, Kask, Bent Brick

    Beer: Baileys Tap Room, Saraveza, Horse Brass

    Portland is not a late night scene. Most places will close by 10-11. Only a few are open later.

  6. #6 |  Tim | 

    I would actually avoid Voodoo (donuts are decent to good but it mostly known for its people watching). I feel the same way about Pine State. Podnahs, Tasty and Sons, and Screendoors have better biscuits.

  7. #7 |  Evan | 

    Saburo’s sushi is decent, but more than anything it’s big. I prefer Bara, which has a better variety of vegetarian rolls and (slightly smaller but) higher quality seafood. The service can be slow, though.

    Genies is also a great brunch spot, with a wide selection of eggs benedict-type dishes, but it also falls under the “get there before 10 AM” rule.

    For dinner, I recently went to The Original, a downtown (slightly) upscale diner. Great cocktail menu, good food, good atmosphere. The Woodsman is a new restaurant with a very interesting menu and a great attention to detail (it looks about a hundred years old).

    As far as beer, you can get a variety of great local beer pretty much anywhere. I’d avoid the Pearl district brewpubs, as they can be a real shit show at dinner time. Wherever you go, look for Ninkasi beer, particularly Total Domination IPA and Believer Double Red. Spring Reign, the current seasonal, is good, but not as good as these two.

  8. #8 |  B | 

    Holy shit, I can’t believe I left out Teardrop.

    I’m not even a “cocktail guy”, and I think that place is spectacular.

    Personally, I think Voodoo is overrated, but YMMV.

  9. #9 |  pt | 

    With all due respect to kriznol, you can do much better than Deschutes for food & drinks. Tasty & Sons, for example, has a better burger and better beer.

    Saraveza on N Killingsworth has one of the more interesting (eclectic?) tap lists; Interurban on N Mississippi has both a great tap list as well as a first-rate bar and good food. Also on N Killingsworth is Hop and Vine.

    Downtown, check out Clyde Commons for both drinks and food. (Near Powells books, Stumptown coffee, etc.)

    For something different, try The Sweet Hereafter (33rd & SE Belmont). Perhaps the most interesting, omnivore-friendly, hip vegan bar you’ll ever see.

    If necessary, check out SE Division (Nuestra Cocina, Pok-Pok, Victory).

    Finally, near Burnside, close in, are several interesting places: The Farm (veggie), Le Pigeon, Biwa.

  10. #10 |  ric_in_or | 

    The ‘Couv does have some fine food.

    Powell’s books. What a book store should be, should have been, and will be. Complete with radicals – expect to find the Bible in Fiction, for example.

    Coffee from anyplace other than Starbucks or Seattle’s Best. I recommend Black Rock and Dutch Brothers, but there are good number of single location shops serving excellent tea and coffee.
    If you do head north, the Tacoma / Pualup regions offer all the best in bikini baristas and the controversy of not wearing clothing.

    A local favorite are all the McMenanins http://www.mcmenamins.com/ – each is unique except for the -slow- leisurely service and greasy fry’s. If you like a burger try the Communication Breakdown. (the Tot’s are great) Each one has a different selection of Micro-Brews / local wine as well.

    WA and OR both have a terrific wine regions, try some local bottles.

    Plenty of good Seafood — Salty’s Seafood Grill‎ 3839 Northeast Marine Drive + McCormicks, McGraths, Jake’s Famous Crawfish

    Steak – I recommend the Urban Farmer or El Gaucho – but there are a few. I was disappointed by the famous Ringside.

    +1 Voodoo Donuts (bring your camera)

    Some key words to learn how to pronounce — Oregon it is not Oreeeeegone.
    Willamette. Tualiatin. Couch – It’s a favorite street in Portland, not a place to sit.

    Touristy things – Mt St. Helens. Mt Hood – both need the winter driving pack on your rental, we are still getting snow.

    There are about 12 waterfalls up the Gorge, access from Oregon side, but you get great views on the Washington side.

    Fort Vancouver.

    Longview – due west on the coast 90 mins – was just named one of the prettiest towns in the US.


    Some of our favorite boondoggles – the OHSU Tram, the Max light rail, the Street car light rail. The worlds ugliest building – the Portland Post Office in the Pearl (the DINK utopia) The house — some poor smuck got approval to build in the gorge but then after being completed got all kinds of heat for having done so … I don’t recall how that turned out tho. The million dollar toilet – got finished right before the interstate went in making it nothing more than a beauty spot – it is beautiful.
    Porland’s living room – keep your feet off the table – Pioneer Courthouse Square.

    You can come out West to Hillsboro (30mins-ish from the bridge) and check out the Little People Big World – Roloff Farm. Near the Helvatia Tavern which is my favorite place for a burger and a beer (cash only)

    Lars Larson might want to have you call into his local / national radio show.

    Sam Adams – Portland’s um, weird mayor – might be good for a quote or two. The old joke in town was how many bullets would a Portland cop shoot – all of them, reload and all those too. The previous Chief is now teaching leadership to the department after they fired him for conduct Un-becoming. Cop Shootings – Portland is your place.

    Tre Arrow. If he is not in jail, or clinging to the side of building or bridge might be a good interview – he is a candidate for mayor.

    You might check out the Yankee Marshall’s You Tube Channel – he’s in the ‘Couv.

    You are a little early in the season for all the gardens :(

    Based upon travel photos on the site – Hawthorne, Sellwood, Old Towne all provide good subjects.


  11. #11 |  ric_in_or | 

    And check out bojack.org for all the local political controversies.

  12. #12 |  bshellenbaum | 

    Le Pigeon http://lepigeon.com/
    and Little Bird http://littlebirdbistro.com/

    My neighbor’s daughter is the pastry chef, their son-in-law is the manager and another neighbor supplied the antlers over the kitchen at Little Bird.

    The tattooed head chef Gabe won the James Beard award last year for rising star.

    And by neighbor, I mean up here in Alaska. I’ve actually never been to either restaurant.

  13. #13 |  megamahan | 

    A lot of the places listed above are great. The dim sum at Wong’s King is really good, and there’s an Iraqi foodcart near SE 50th & Division that serves mahshi that could eat all day everyday. If you throw out some food preferences, we could probably tailor our suggestions more specifically to your tastes.

  14. #14 |  btf | 

    Since no one else is pointing it out, you mean Washington State University – Vancouver, not UW Vancouver, you’ll definitely want to get that straight before your talk!

    Wish i could make it…

  15. #15 |  roy | 

    Sights: Powell’s Books. Mentioned above but worth repeating.

    Food: Kenny and Zuke’s deli. They make their own pastrami.

  16. #16 |  Windy | 

    If you have time to drive along the Gorge on the WA side, do visit Maryhill Winery (http://www.maryhillwinery.com/) a gorgeous spot on the Columbia river with excellent wines. And visit the nearby replica of Stonehenge, awesome.

    Portland is a beautiful city, lots to do and see. If you like interesting things to do, visit OMSI (http://web.oregon.com/trips/omsi.cfm).

  17. #17 |  Ben Fenton | 

    The most amazing Indian food I have ever tasted is at this place: http://www.foodcartsportland.com/2007/08/31/real-taste-of-india/

    Even if you don’t like Indian that much, you should try this place. Location is great and easy to get to. The $6 daily special is haunting my dreams.

    I live in Ohio now, but I told my friend who is moving back that I’ll give her money to buy a cooler, buy 3 specials and overnight them to me. It’s that good.

  18. #18 |  Matt | 

    I 2nd El Gaucho for Steaks if someone else is paying… one of the best I’ve ever had.

    If you find yourself at a one of the many McMenimans pubs (and you should) be sure to get your tater tots cajunized.

  19. #19 |  Charles | 

    You should eat at Pok Pok.


  20. #20 |  Corey | 

    The Rhinelander / Gustav’s. The best German restaurant on the west coast, hands down. I was on a two day business trip to Portland and went there both days.

  21. #21 |  Jay | 

    Dang, you know you’re visiting a small town with a limited selection of good eats when the first two posters recommend the same place.


  22. #22 |  kashizzle | 

    Do not leave Portland without having a meal (breakfast is the best) at Tasty and Sons.

    The Grilled Cheese Grill (in NE, SE and now downtown) has every kind of grilled cheese sandwich you’d ever want to eat. And you can eat them inside a renovated school bus or renovated double decker bus.

    Pambiche (Cuban), Por Que No (tasty hipster Mexican) and Dick’s Kitchen (Paleo diner) are some of my favorite places in Portland to eat.

    Beaker and Flask for drinks.

    Rimsky Korsakoffee House for dessert.

    Townshend’s Teahouse if you’re more of a tea drinker. Coava if you like coffee.

  23. #23 |  Resistance | 

    Portland may have the best food truck scene in the country. Stay downtown and enjoy!

  24. #24 |  Resistance | 

    P.S. for seafood hit Jake’s.

  25. #25 |  Fill | 

    Le Pigeon.
    James Beard Award for Rising Star.
    Get there at 4:30 to assure a bar seat at 5. It’s like a Chef’s Table, and the food is astounding.

  26. #26 |  roy | 

    I was at Le Pigeon a few weeks ago and it was probably the best meal ever not prepared by my mother.

  27. #27 |  Nathan | 

    That should be Washington State University-Vancouver, not University of Washington-Vancouver.

  28. #28 |  CSD | 

    You should go to this gig on the 11th.


    The bands logo is a gun and a guitar (Nashville guy in town talking about SWAT, that should be your logo)


    You would probably find the Jupiter Hotel interesting. Who doesn’t love a “renovated motor inn”

  29. #29 |  v ~ | 

    indeed portland is a small town w/ a ton of awesome spots for excellent grub…

    a few of my faves have already been mentioned – biwa. le pigeon. bridgeport brewpub. teardrop lounge. clyde commons. toro bravo. tin shed. the woodsman. if you like you’re beer hoppy ( like me ), definitely try ninkasi domination IPA.

    a few faves that haven’t been mentioned…
    sushi: masu or mirakutei.
    breakfast: the j & m cafe.
    wine + stellar view of the city from the eastside: the noble rot.
    cup o joe: ristretto roasters.
    live music venue: the doug fir or mississippi studios.
    licensed massage therapist: me [ a friend of scott b of ij ] :)
    portland day trips: 3 capes scenic drive along the oregon coast ( i’ve only cycled it… ). columbia river gorge – highlights to take in along the way: vista house at crown point and/or 2.5 mile multnomah falls hike. view of the gorge from bridge of the gods. walking man brewpub in quaint town of stevenson, wa. ten speed coffee and full sail brewpub in hood river.

  30. #30 |  Goober | 

    Radley – Don’t you mean Washington State University Vancouver? I’m not aware that the University of Washington has a campus there.

    Understand that this is not semantics, and I’m not nit-picking. If you go there and get the two mixed up, you may not walk away from the incident in one piece. Being a Coug, myself (that’s Washington State University) I would be somewhat offended if you called me a purple-wearing pansy (that would be University of Washington), even if it were on accident. i would not resort to violence, but I can’t speak for my peers.

  31. #31 |  Jimmy Kramer | 

    We’re actually Washington State University (Go Cougs!), not University of Washington.

    As for food, Montage is absolutely fantastic. If you feel like spending a fistful of cash, check out Portland City Grill. Amazing view of the city, and ridiculously good food.

    Also, I don’t care what people say about Voodoo Donut. I love it, but the line can be a bit much at times.

  32. #32 |  EBL | 

    Is it local?

  33. #33 |  Brian | 

    @Jay Dang, you know you’re visiting a small town with a limited selection of good eats when the first two posters recommend the same place.

    Laughably wrong with respect to Portland. First, “small town” is pretty relative. At 2.2 M in the metro area, it may not be New York but it isn’t exactly “small”. And as for food, Portland has become sort of a mecca for foodies and chefs over the last 5+ years. Probably more good restaurants per capita than any other city in the country.

    From the NY Times (about 5 years ago but still relevant today):

    “This is a golden age of dining and drinking in a city that 15 years ago was about as cutting edge as a tomato in January. Every little neighborhood in this city of funky neighborhoods now seems to be exploding with restaurants, food shops and markets, all benefiting from a critical mass of passion, skill and experience, and all constructed according to the gospel of locally grown ingredients.”


  34. #34 |  Brian | 

    Longview – due west on the coast 90 mins – was just named one of the prettiest towns in the US.

    @ric_in_or: Longview is about due north and nowhere near the coast. I presume you had another city in mind.

  35. #35 |  Jay | 

    @Brian #23
    “Probably more good restaurants per capita than any other city in the country.”

    Two words: Bay Area


  36. #36 |  bud | 

    LongVIEW is best known for the scene that went nationwide awhile back, where the Longshoreman’s Union official threatened to punch out a TV newsman. It’s a gritty (for the west coast, ok?) industrial town.

    I’m assuming the OP was referring to Long BEACH (northwest as well), which is on the Washington coast, and is a cute little town. Of course, most of the coastal towns between the Olympic Peninsula and Eureka, CA are. Cute, that is.

    If you’re going to be in town Monday night, the Soulmates have moved their regular Monday night gig from the just-closed Candlelight (another victim of eminent domain and Portland’s fascination with light rail) to the Blue Diamond at NE 20th and Sandy Blvd. It’s a strange name for a band with 4 white guys, but they are all excellent musicians. No affiliation, I’m just a fan.

    Have a vegetarian dinner at The Farm Cafe (E. Burnside and 7th), celebrate the Oregon Constitution with a drink at Union Jacks (E Burnside and 10th) (one of 34 strip clubs within the city limits), and then listen to some damned good live music 10 blocks away. A gen-u-wine Or-ih-gun evening. :-)

  37. #37 |  Tom | 

    Great Thai = Typhoon! on Broadway

    Red Star for meat, etc., American…downtown on SW Alder x 5

    Oba! = Andean…very interesting choices here.

    Zinc Bistrot…light but authentic French…try the crab beignets!

    Can’t go wrong with any of those!

    (And many others in PDX!)

  38. #38 |  ric_in_or | 

    mea culpa — I was thinking LongBEACH but the story at Forbes says LongVIEW, and that is what I heard on the news this am.

    I guess union members beating police is not that big a downer to the aesthetic.


  39. #39 |  Brian | 

    @Jay # 25 Two words: Bay Area

    Two words: per capita :)

  40. #40 |  Jimmy Kramer | 

    Oh, and for breakfast/lunch – Le Petit Provence will blow your mind.

  41. #41 |  James Barber Sr. | 

    I think the chart house would fit your style of back drops whilst enjoying your quite time whisking away at the daunting view from what your profile leads one to believe .

    A word from Chart House Restaurant – Portland- http://www.opentable.com/chart-house-restaurant-portland

    Located on historic Terwilliger Boulevard overlooking the Willamette River, Chart House features magnificent views of twinkling city lights, the river and on a clear day, Mt. Hood and distant Mount St. Helens. It’s one of the most remarkable settings in the Pacific Northwest. Since 1961, Chart House has been dedicated to providing the ideal dining experience. With 29 historic, waterfront & showcase locations across the U.S., Chart House offers spectacular views and exceptional service that you’re sure to enjoy. From fresh fish specialties to our slow-roasted prime rib, our renowned chefs have tailored a menu to complement local cuisine while introducing a hint of the exotic. Choose from our delicious entrées such as Lobster Francese, Macadamia Crusted Mahi or the Blue Cheese Filet Mignon. We also offer a daily selection of fresh fish, an extensive collection of fine wines and decadent desserts like our famous Original Hot Chocolate Lava Cake.

    All 5 star recommendations

    “Both the meal and setting were just perfect for the day. The server was excellent.”
    OpenTable Diner since 2010 – dined on 04/01/2012

    “This was our anniversary dinner it wat fantastic! Dinner was great and the sun lit up the mouintains. picture perfect!”
    VIP OpenTable Diner since 2008 – dined on 03/24/2012

    “A wonderful Portland institution that did not disappoint. Whether you eat in the restaurant or the lounge, the view is stupendous and the food was fabulous! The complimentary valet parking also very…”
    OpenTable Diner since 2012 – dined on 03/23/2012

    Hope it is a clear day or at least one clear day as to see the beauty of the PNW. It is a daunting sight to see all the scenes described above in one location.

    I myself have dined here a few times myself and loved it every time.

    Thank you for coming to the Portland-metro area. Welcome.

  42. #42 |  SP | 

    If you go up to Longview, eat at Parker’s Steakhouse – excellent and reasonable. If you like a show with your burger and beer, go to the Acropolis on McLaughlin.

  43. #43 |  AKA | 

    Skip Screen Door, go Pine State Biscuits, Jam or Tasty and Sons for breakfast.

    For lunch, go to downtown Portland and find one of the various foodcart gathering grounds, or try Cartopia on the SE side.

    For dinner, Beast, Laurelhurst Market, Le Pigeon, suggested in that order.

    Saburo’s sushi is not good at all, it’s just large. It’s not bad really, just very meh.

    Go to Voodoo Donuts for the experience, not the food – well, get like one donut, but don’t wait half an hour or anything.

    Make sure to checkout Powell’s.

  44. #44 |  Nick | 

    Just drinks? Bailey’s Taproom downtown has a slew of local brews on tap and and you can get badass Mexican food delivered from Santeria across the street. You can follow that up with a trip to Tug Boat next to Santeria for more beer, then go around the corner to Mary’s Club to see some naked ladies. I haven’t been to Mary’s so I can’t really recommend it, but it is, I think, one of the oldest strip clubs in the city and it is right be the other three amazing establishments. Tug Boat also has live jazz some nights, in addition to microbrews, particularly the Chernobyl Stout.

    If you’ve got time and company to help you eat: Toro Bravo for dinner, Tasty & Sons for brunch, and Apizza Scholls for pizza (get the one with truffle oil and sea salt and watch your companions take their first bite_. The wait at any of these places is worth it, and you can pass the time upstairs from Toro Bravo at The Secret Society and across the street from Apizza Scholls at The Space Room.

    Solo: Food carts. You could probably pick one at random and it would be delicious, but I would check out http://www.foodcartsportland.com or Yelp to find more unique/eclectic ones. Why eat something you can eat anywhere else?

    I would avoid McMenamens if you are only going to be here for a short time. The buildings are cool, they seem to be a good company, and they have a good concept, but the beers, coffee, and wine are only good, and the food and service are mediocre.

    Powells can’t be missed if you are a book lover. It would be best to come with plenty of time, spending money, and maybe an agenda to find something particularly rare, or you may just feel overwhelmed.

    Man, it is a shame that you won’t have more time. There is so much to see and do around here. I won’t be able to make your speech because I have class at PSU until 4PM. You should look into coordinating something with the Law & Disorder Conference next year though. You are just missing it this time around. https://lawandisorder.wordpress.com/flyer/

    Keep up the great work and have a great time in the Rose City. Cheers!

  45. #45 |  cks | 

    Come on folks! Here’s a guy from Nashville via DC and Indiana coming to visit the great Northwest and suggestions seem to be heavily leaning toward burgers, beers, and food trucks. Not necessarily bad advice, but someone needs to tell Radley where to feast on Dungeness crab, fresh winter King salmon, and Halibut. I wish I could help more, but I haven’t spent enough time in Portland lately. And as GREAT as the Oregon/Washington beer scene is…and it is GREAT(does McMenamins still have the movie house?)…fresh salmon cries for an Oregon pinot noir. Sure wish I had a bottle, uh glass, with my salmon tonight. :)
    Anyhow; Enjoy Portland, Radley. One constructive tip I would offer is a half day drive from Portland to Astoria, across the bridge, then back to Portland via the WA side.

  46. #46 |  Flight_714 | 

    Tin Shed and Genie’s are great for breakfast, there’s plenty of great spots, but these are my go-to places. I know Screen Door is pretty popular, but the wait time is a big factor there.
    It’s hard to go wrong with most of the food carts, whether you’re downtown or across the river in north or southeast Portland, but you should definitely check out Wolf and Bear’s on Mississippi Ave. Excellent Mediterranean-inspired wraps and the like. Further down the street you’ll find a little enclave of carts around a great German bar called Pröst.
    Clay’s Barbecue on Division is also something to consider. I’m a fan.

    Okay, coffee. Yeah, it’s Portland. Stumptown’s not bad, though I feel like Albina Press and Barista are the places to go for our particular brand of coffee snobbery. If you want to get good Java while being accosted by a smug hipster overflowing with knowledge concerning the specific neighborhood in Brazil where the beans were harvested (they didn’t just buy the beans from the farmers, they shook hands too), these are the spots for you. Also: they might just ignore you.
    For coffee that is amazing, really, truly amazing, go to Love Cup in the Sellwood area. The people that run it are super friendly, the coffee is great, and they make a damn fine Turkey sandwich. It’s easy to find good food, beer, and Coffee here, but not good service.

  47. #47 |  Windy | 

    Umm, Dungeness crab the best tasting crab in the world. Crab Louie made with Dungeness is to die for. I cannot name an eatery in Portland where one can obtain this wondrous salad, sorry, but if you find one, do try it (the Crab Louie, that is).

  48. #48 |  Vishnu schist | 

    Quick hits from a Portlander:

    Coffee: Crema
    Cocktails: beaker & flask
    Sushi: bamboo sushi
    Good cheap eats with a hip crowd: muu muu’s
    True Portland locals joint, Italian: Gino’s

    Grab a willamette week it will give you a calendar of everything going on.

  49. #49 |  Fill | 

    Salty’s on the Columbia for seafood.

  50. #50 |  kayfox | 

    Your speaking at Washington State University – Vancouver, not University of Washington.

  51. #51 |  EBL | 

    I hope no one mentioned Esparzas, because that place sucks now.

  52. #52 |  EBL | 

    Well at least last time I was in PDX. Terrible service and food.

  53. #53 |  Darby Shaw | 

    Kell’s for traditional Irish breakfast on the weekends, Pok Pok for great Thai food. Ringside Steakhouse just because. Paley’s Place and Blue Hour too.

  54. #54 |  Doug | 

    Welcome to Portland, Radley. I’ve been reading through the comments so far, seeing what’s been covered, and making some notes of my own about places still new to me after–now–quite a few years.

    You may have wanted to see what us Pacific NW people would suggest “cold,” which is fine. But I agree with some of the other commenters who have recommended you’ll read more tailored tips if we see more specifics as to your taste.

    But now, plunging ahead: do Powell’s at some point fairly soon in your stay. Set aside 1.5 – 3 hrs for a quick browse (downtown store) during which time you can decide how long you’ll want to spend on your return visit.

    Day trips: on an entirely rainy day, substitute a drive out to Astoria, coming back on the Washington side, for your otherwise trip up into the Gorge. But in any kind of hiking weather (includes fog, clouds, intermittent rain) DO visit The Gorge. Took me years of living here to fully appreciate THE GORGE.

    Drive up the Wasnington side from Vancouver all the way to Hood River (a long hour), but watch the rivier for surfers, the second half of the way. If the wind is right and surfers are out you’ll find a park about twenty miles downriver from Hood River (Washington side) where you can watch surfers flying past just ten or thirty feet out from shore.

    On your way back west (Oregon side) stop for the short loop hike between Oneonta Falls and Horsetail Falls. The hike is 2.5 miles max., as I recall, equals short, in any case, but will give you a very good feel for the magic that’s up all the green creeks and ravines that feed the Columbia.

    You’ll have been two hours or so on the road by the time you get to the trail. The trail’s an easy hike, but given the scenery, if it takes you two hours to hike you’re better off looking at a thirty minute drive back west to Portland, with the Washington side already traveled and seen.

    I’ll check with a few musician friends, see what they might suggest for live music, given what I can infer of your tastes from some of your weekend posts. I continue to hear that Portland music is pretty rich, multi-genre, but I still need guidance. On the other hand, I could steer you through Portland’s large and active Argentine tango dancing community : )

    Any developing plans for a meet up type thing such as has happened occasionally on your other trips?

    Meant to mention one more downtown hike: they call a walk along both sides of the Willamette River “the Esplanade.” This walk, crossing on bridges, let’s one see downtown from both riverbanks (east and west) in an easy couple of miles.. or one can continue upriver to the Sellwood bridge for river crossing and hike back downtown, in which case you’ll have around an eight mile hike, as I recall.

  55. #55 |  Brad | 

    Food: Fire on the Mountain (wings), Frank’s Noodle House (Chinese)

    Sights: Japanese Garden

  56. #56 |  Rod | 

    If your talk is on the 10th, the spring beer & wine fest is on the weekend of April 6 -7. That would be a way to sample a lot of what the NW has to offer in one spot, I think.

  57. #57 |  Rod | 

    Also, you could check out mill ends park – the worlds smallest (2 ft across) on naito parkway.

  58. #58 |  Erin | 

    I am so disappointed that your talk happens while I’m at work. Will a recording be available?

    Here are my recommendations. I’m repeating some that deserve it.

    To eat:

    Pok Pok – Thai, expensive, creative and delicious. The Whiskey Soda Lounge across the street has really awesome chicken wings while you wait.

    Tanuki – Japanese Izakaya, do the $20 chef’s choice, AMAZING. They play weird Japanese movies while you eat and don’t allow kids. I love it.

    Tasty N Sons – Mostly American, best for brunch, not too spendy, really good. The burger is top notch, and the rest of the menu is great too.

    Navarre – Tapas, not horribly expensive, great wine selection, excellent food. The vegetable plates are particularly good.

    Bunk Sandwiches – Mostly hot sandwiches, $8-10 range, very very good. I like the Pork Belly Cubano, but I’ve tried quite a few and haven’t been disappointed.

    Lucky Strike – Szechuan, reasonably priced, very spicy, VERY GOOD. I love the Mapo Tofu and the Dan Dan Noodles.

    An Xuyen Bakery – Vietnamese Sandwiches, super cheap, fantastic. Don’t get the baked stuff though, it’s all pretty gross.

    Pho An – Pho, around $8-10, terrible ambiance, good soup.

    Panaderia Cinco De Mayo – Mexican grocery and Taqueria. Best beans and handmade tortillas I’ve had in a very long time, and I moved here from LA. The pastor is also delicious.

    Taqueria Santa Cruz – Very popular spot. I’m a big fan of their carnitas tacos.

    To do:

    The Doug Fir and Mississippi Studios have the best sound, I don’t know who is playing in the next week though.

    Forest park is nice to walk around in if it’s not raining (it will probably be raining).

    There are lots of nice hikes in the Gorge, Wahclella Falls is a beautiful, easy hike. Again, better if it’s not raining.

    A drive to Astoria, OR or Long Beach, WA is lovely. The Depot Restaurant in Seaview, WA is DELICIOUS. Get the Clams Bucatini.

    Coffee shops are a nice place to relax. Crema has been mentioned, they have really good pastries. Random Order has the best pie in town. Fresh Pot or Albina Press are comfortable, and any Stumptown will get you a good cup of coffee.

  59. #59 |  Tom | 

    Dungeness crab…yes! Crab Louis…yes!

    Dan & Louis Oyster Bar at SW Ankeny near the river

    Jake’s, of course

    Salty’s too

  60. #60 |  ric_in_or | 

    Sake Festival
    Thursday 12 April 2012 – 6:30 to 9 pm
    The Governor Hotel
    614 SW 11th Avenue – Portland, OR 97205