Hey guys! If you’re just catching up on my Portland travel adventures, be sure to read Part One first. It recaps our first day in Portland and what we did (and ate!) in the area.
As for part two, let’s get started with our Friday in Portland!
Our hotel had a really solid breakfast with made to order omelets, fresh fruit, eggs, bacon, pancakes, yogurt, cereal, toast, etc. Though I desperately wanted to check out places like Voodoo Doughnuts and Pine State Biscuits, it was easiest just to get up and eat at the hotel (and probably best given how much food we’d go on to consume later in the day!). Both mornings we were there I had oatmeal to which I added mashed banana, raisins, granola and peanut butter along with fresh fruit and a hardboiled egg.
(Although I’m not going to lie…I did totally check to see if Postmates delivered Voodoo…sadly…they did not)
Next up was a run along the waterfront path. It was BEAUTIFUL! Runner friends, should you find yourself in Portland, definitely plan to run along the river. It’s a great path and it makes a loop instead of an out and back, which I love. You get to cover both sides of the river!
I ran a little over four starting at the Hyatt House hotel, running down the waterfront, crossing the river at the Burnside Bridge and then running back down the waterfront and crossing again at Tilikum Crossing, which is a super cool bridge for pedestrian and public transportation use only.
Back at the hotel we quickly showered and got ready for the day’s activities, the first of which involved driving to the Willamette Valley for a winery tour. I required snacks and hydration for the short 45 minute trip there. 🙂
One of our yoga students works for Sokol Blosser winery and generously offered to set up a tasting for us. The grounds of the winery were gorgeous!
I also appreciated their commitment to sustainability. Sokol Blosser is apparently a leader in the valley when it comes to this. While I was there I learned that the tasting room is solar powered (if not 100% then close to it) and all of their farming is organic. They are also a Certified B Corp and have many other sustainability initiatives that you can read about here.
The tasting room is warm, bright, open, inviting and filled with natural light thanks to floor to ceiling windows that offer expansive views out into the vineyard.
We weren’t looking to get crazy so we chose the reserve flight of pinot noirs since we are typically red wine drinkers.
We were also treated to a charcuterie platter with meats, cheeses, crackers, olives, jam and toasted hazelnuts…which we quickly came to learn are a valley specialty!
The wines and the service were lovely. We always had a question for the staff when they came by with the next pour and they were always eager to answer and share their knowledge. We learned a lot and it was just so relaxing to sit there, chat and enjoy the scenery.
If you are planning and Oregon wine tour, you must add Sokol Blosser to your list. Hopefully we can check out more wineries in the area should we find ourselves back in the Portland area but we were glad we ended up at this one on this trip!
Next up was lunch! At the recommendation of our student, we visited Red Hills Market. It’s a charming little market located only about 5 minutes away from Sokol Blosser in the town of Dundee.
I had a ham and cheese melt with a cup of tomato basil soup. Hit the spot and would you believe that this was a half sandwich portion?
We arrived back in Portland about an hour later and beelined it straight to the offices of Wild Friends Foods. Guys, this was such a cool experience. The founders of Wild Friends, Keeley and Erika, have been reading my blog since they were in college…back in the VERY early days! We’ve followed each other from afar for many years and it was super special to finally meet them. I’m SO PROUD of all these two have accomplished.
I was sent home armed with some new jars of nut butter as well as samples of their new oat packages. More to come on that soon!
I really wanted to see Powell’s Books while we were in Portland because it’s so well known and I love a good bookstore. Wow, was this every a good bookstore. We were there for an hour and a half and I don’t even think I saw half of it. I wish we had something like this close by. I could see myself spending whole afternoons here.
Imagine my shock, awe and utter happiness when I discovered FOUR copies of my book, The Complete Guide to Yoga Inversions, on the shelf in the yoga section at Powell’s. That was an incredible moment.
We went back to the hotel for about an hour to rest and discussed our dinner options. We decided to drive over to Division Street which is known for being a foodie destination in Portland. On our list of potential dinner spots was Pok Pok, Bollywood Theater and Ava Genes. The wait at Pok Pok was like 90 minutes so we ended up at Ava Genes and waited about 30 minutes for a seat at the bar. Not too bad.
I loved the interior of this restaurant, so warm on a chilly evening! Our service was great and the food was nice too. I started with a drink that featured a mix of cranberry, lime, honey and ginger. It was so good that I’ve already bought all of the ingredients at the store to try and recreate it at home. The bartender was a true mixologist and was whipping up all sorts of fancy stuff while we were eating.
On the food front, we share a brussels sprout, barley and fennel salad, fried calamari (maybe one of my top 3 fave calamaris ever) and pasta with lamb and beef ragu. Word to the wise, Ava Genes is pricey so go in with that expectation. Overall, we were pleased with the portion sizes which we felt were generous with the exception of the pasta.
Regardless, I would recommend this restaurant, especially due to their focus on “locally source, aggressively seasonal” as well as the number of veggie-focused dishes that are available. This is most definitely a vegetarian-friendly restaurant.
Salt & Straw just happened to be a couple doors down from Ava Genes and MANY of you suggested I try their ice cream. Tanner very sweetly left me to wait in line while he walked to the car in the freezing cold and waited for me curbside.
Just take a look at the limited edition Thanksgiving Dinner flavors, crazy!
I went with a half and half waffle cone with almond brittle with salted ganache and sweet potato casserole with maple pecans. Tanner joked that since he was driving he only got a few licks and by the time we were back in the parking deck it was down to just the end of the cone and I was going on and on about how good it was. He told me later he was a little jealous! Oops. Not good at sharing my ice cream.
After a very solid night of sleep, we both squeezed in a quick workout at the hotel gym before we went to the airport. Note: the Portland airport is amazing and has great food options. It’s also very easy to navigate. If you’re renting a car, I recommend going through Enterprise because it is SO easy to drop off and get to the terminal.
Thanks y’all for your amazingly helpful and spot on recommendations! I wish we could have done more but I think we squeezed a lot into the short time we had.