Portland was definitely a fun time. I spent five days in the city - traveling to the outlet mall, to wineries, Costco, Target... and a whole lot more. Food trucks are a huge must in Portland - they are famous for them! The Big Egg is definitely a favourite for everyone that I've talked to (and they've been featured on Food Network's television show, Eat St.). This tiny little truck is located about 15 minutes (drive) from downtown. It is a MUST. I had the Portlander (brioche sandwich, toasted, white cheddar, fresh chives and with an over easy, farm egg) and it was amazing. The Arbor Lodge Sandwich was another yummy choice: portobello mushroom, an over easy farm egg, balsamic caramelized onions and baby arugula - all in a ciabatta roll.
My parents are really into checking out food markets wherever we travel to. We walked to the Market district from our hotel, which was a short distance, to find a large market filled with stalls selling vegetables, meats, and more. You HAVE to check out Pine State's Biscuits. If you like your southern favourite of biscuits and gravy, do it.
The city itself is filled with character. Every little neighbourhood had its charms. I loved the Pearl district, as there was shopping and plenty of dining to check out. We had a very good meal at a Vietnamese spot called Silk (named after how the noodles should taste). Very good pho is all I can say.
Be sure to check out Saint Honoré Boulangerie while you're in town. It's a big hit with the locals. Absolutely packed, everyday, and they sell out like hot cakes! It was awesome because we got to watch the entire bakery do their thing. So not only were there sales clerks, but bakers, and patisserie chefs, and everyone else in between. We sat at the "bar" overlooking a baker make baguettes and various breads for the following day. We got to see their pizza oven (which they used to bake their breads). We watched a lady fill up tartlets with lemon curd, and another paint chocolate on top of eclairs. It was such a wonderful experience watching each baker do their specific job and to learn a lot about the making of breads. We indulged in brioche with a poached egg inside, a chicken salad sandwich, and of course a croque monsieur.
The wineries were beautiful - even though it was definitely an hour or two drive out of the city. We visited St. Innocent, Cristom and of course, Domaine Drouhin wineries. It was an experience for myself (as it was my first time doing a proper tasting with my family). It was a fun experience getting to try new wines and what the wineries had to offer.
Five days were more than enough in this small city. If you love to eat and drink - it's just for you. The neighbourhoods are fun to go and explore, and there is plenty of shopping in most districts. Downtown has all the shopping you need. The people are friendly, the restaurants love to serve pork, and everyone is guaranteed a good time!