"To travel is to live."
Traveling is important to us here at Timeless Thrills® The experiences of new and different culture, food, art, people, and so much more is all found in travel. However, you can only discover new oceans if you have courage to lose sight of the shore. Here at Timeless Thrills®, we encourage you to travel as much as you possibly can.
As my wife and I travel I will continue to post our new "Timeless Travel Guides" in each city/state/country we visit. Let's start with The Rose City.
This is the...
TIMELESS TRAVEL GUIDE TO PORTLAND, OR
We had the pleasure of visiting Portland, OR for a couple nights earlier this Spring. This was our second trip to the "Drip City." We were determined to experience things we missed out on our first time around, but also excited to return to places we fell in love with originally. Portland offers an incredible cluster of restaurants and breweries, addicting coffee, legal cannabis, prominent shopping, welcoming people, and undeniable culture.
Yes, we Ubered straight from PDX to Blue Star Donuts, and for good reason. These are probably the best donuts we have ever tasted. If Marie's Donuts rules the world, Blue Star is the sustainable, environmentally friendly eco-planet galaxies away, light years ahead of anything we are accomplishing here on Earth.
Their donuts are made from a classic brioche recipe that originated in the south of France. The dough takes 18 hours to make and is made from scratch every day; they start with a sustainable bread flour from Shepherds Grain, add cage free eggs, whole hormone-free milk, and then fold in a European-style butter. Blue Star's donuts, glazes, and fillings are made fresh throughout the day, and they only cook their donuts in rice oil.
Everyone raves about Voodoo (and we'll get to that later), but Blue Star is the tits! Could I be more straight forward?
We found a lovely apartment on Air BnB in the Southeast neighborhood of Laurelhurst. This was one hell of a neighborhood! Surrounded with huge houses and even larger front yards, this place was captivating. We were not very familiar with Portland neighborhoods before booking, but it seems we got lucky.
Laurelhurst Park was quite astonishing as well. As big a park as any in Sacramento, this place had hills, ponds, trails, and all around awesome terrain. While we stayed mostly in the Downtown area during our previous trip to Portland, it was refreshing to see how much of a residential feel the city truly has.
Most the houses in the Laurelhurst neighborhood were elevated from street level, enormous in size, and had amazing, lush front yards with plants and flowers galore.
Our Air BnB was an eccentric, corky little one-bedroom apartment. It had a spacious backyard, superb kitchen, and was everything we needed to rest our heads a couple nights. Solid price, location, and our host was on point.
Portland has a multitude of killer coffee shops and brands. Stumptown is by far the most popular and seems to be the most successful. Even when you visit ice cream shops like Salt n' Straw (we'll get to them later) there are ice cream options using Stumptown Coffee in their recipes. Their shops are scattered throughout Portland so we made damn sure to stop in and grab a fix; Something we missed out on our first time here. I had a mocha. It was WAY better than their cartoned cold brew I buy at Target. All around, this place knows coffee!
Even Screen Door (just wait on it) served all you can drink Stumptown Coffee at their restaurant.
Heart was another very cool and hip coffee shop with several locations around the Portland area. We stopped at two of them. I had Vanilla Lattes. They were delectable, and the espresso had me wired.
The baddest of all coffee shops we visited in Portland was Deadstock Coffee, founded and operated by Ian Williams. I first heard about Deadstock on Hypebeast back in 2014 when they wrote about Ian's kickstarter. I always knew once we hit Portland this was a must stop, and the visit was everything we hoped it to be.
Nostalgia at its finest! While the Deadstock space is not the largest, Ian and crew do an amazing job utilizing their zone to work how they see fit. Throughout the shop you are hit with basketball nostalgia and it could not have been more stimulating.
Deadstock's current shop installment was motivated by March Madness and presented a sense of creativity and dexterity that seemed effortless to Ian and his crew. It actually influenced our current SF Giants installation in our Flagship Store. The way he threw the photo copied basketball references on the wall with straggled tape was genius! Thanks for the inspiration Ian.
Did we forget to mention the coffee was amazing? We had nonfat, iced white mochas with extra espresso shots. The espresso was so on point we purchased a bag to travel home with, which I have been making each morning since.
Ian was also kind enough to bestow me with custom packaging for an espresso blend that has been in the making for quite some time. I feel honored to have 1 of 3 samples ever produced. By the time this guide goes live on our blog I think Ian will have formally released this espresso for sale. Next time we go back I will grab one fully packaged! The attention to detail is just out of this world. Thanks again, for everything Ian.
Just like the coffee, Portland has amazing selection of food and restaurants. Little Big Burger was our favorite Burger spot. The employees told us they are considered the In-N-Out of Oregon. I will admit, their burgers definitely live up to that title. While they are smaller burgers than you might normally expect (hence the name) they pack a punch and are bound to surprisingly fill you up. They also have a solid selection of bottled beer and their restaurants all inherit eye-popping interior design. There are several Little Big Burgers throughout the Portland area.
Our most treasured foodie experience on our trip to Portland was at Screen Door.
Screen Door presents a celebration of Southern cuisine from the quintessential hearty fare to the everyday foods gathered fresh from the garden. Central to their concept is weaving the rich bounty of local fresh produce found in the Northwest into their menu.
Screen Door’s menu is a survey of the south, from South Carolina Lowcountry cuisine to soul food and Cajun one-pot cookery to the refined Creole and French preparations found in New Orleans. They explore all methodologies and preparations from the historical to the modern and from the rudimentary to the refined.
We had the buttermilk biscuit fried chicken and gravy sandwich with cheddar grits on the side. Then there was the bananas foster french toast, glazed breakfast hushpuppies, and all you can drink Stumptown Coffee.
The fried chicken sandwich was one of the most unbelievable things I have ever eaten, no lie! Check out this video of our brunch.
We made sure to stop by The Waffle Window which serves various types of waffles made from scratch. All locations throughout Portland harbor the catchy window stand as if you were walking up to a little league snack bar. The Waffle was a Belgian delight!
We calmed our late night food craving with Baby Doll Pizza. We must have called in our order at about midnight and they delivered a hot, fresh, delicious pizza in under 30 minutes. Not to mention, the pizza was quite appetizing! Similar to New York style, Baby Doll served large slices that fed our late night crave.
One very important stop in Portland was Salt n' Straw. They had some of the best ice cream we had tasted. Not to mention, it is all handmade in small batches using only natural dairy. They were making their waffle cones from scratch right their behind the counter. Pretty amazing stuff.
We were fortunate to have Laurelhurst Market directly across the street from where we stayed. This was a restaurant / meat market with every cut of meat you could imagine. We had lunch and went with the turkey sandwich and corned beef. Both were fresh and tasty as hell.
Of course we made time for the infamous Voodoo Doughnut. My cousin and his family live in Portland and after having dinner with them they took us to Voodoo. My second cousin is a tall, athletic, fast-growing high schooler who has the appetite of a Silverback Gorilla. Voodoo will give you an $8 box of day old donuts and boy did my cousin take advantage! I will admit, Voodoo is great, but as I mentioned above they can not fuck with Blue Star (in our opinion). But what do we know? We are not from here lol.
Another industry that is poppin' off in Portland (just like Sacramento) is the Brewery scene. There are several awesome breweries throughout the city. We stopped at Hair of the Dog and had the sampler. The ambiance was on point and the beer was cold and refreshing.
One thing I have to note about Portland is the branding throughout the city for businesses, restaurants, coffee shops, etc. Everyone's logos and overall look to their brand and business is nothing short of impressive. As a city, they make visitors want to stay. Hair of the Dog was no different.
We were extremely excited to visit some key shops in Portland during our trip. While we have been operating Timeless Thrills® almost 5 years and now have a store ourselves, visiting stores/boutiques/and shops in other cities is very important to us. We gain knowledge, inspiration, and overall respect for others doing what we know is terribly hard.
One of our first stops was Portland Gear. Portland Gear is a Portland based brand focussing on Portland based product. They are across from the Portland Timber's stadium, Providence Park and have essentially become the team shop for Portland sports throughout the city. Owner, Marcus Harvey was a very courteous and intelligent young man. We were fortunate enough to have a short conversation during our time in the shop and I was very impressed by his professionalism and business-minded attitude. He seemed as passionate about his brand as anyone I have met during my time in this industry. Not to mention, he is killing it with his product and the city seems to have his back like no other.
The Portland Gear Store was originally a laundry mat so when they moved in and Marcus was asked if he wanted to get rid of the shirt rotator, he said no way. He has put good use to it and yes, it works! I know because he let me push the 'on' button. One very cool addition to an awesome layout all around. Thanks for the hospitality Marcus!
Another key component to the Portland retail scene was Compound Gallery. They had a very large, beautiful space with open windows showcasing a ton of product. Compound carried a wide selection of brands, noticeably some rare finds like The Divinities and Raised By Wolves.
Compound currently had a remarkable Stussy installation in their up-stairs space. It was refreshing to see them pay such close attention to detail in every aspect. Their manager explained they were going to do the same thing in the coming months with industry heavyweight, CLSC.
Their UNDFTD basketball hoop was a lot like ours, except they branded the fuck out of it and it looked amazing! haha. By the way, b&w just seemed right for these photos we took at Compound. Don't you agree?
A familiar face, Upper Playground was across the street from Compound. Just as the Upper Playground in SF, Berkley, and the one that used to be on J street in Midtown Sac, they stocked the place wall to wall with Upper Playground branded product, all of which garnished eye-catching, clean design, usually reppin' the hell out of Portland. Their manager explained to us that Pacific North Fresh is Upper Playground's in-house brand for their Portland shop.
House of Vintage was a nostalgic stop just outside the Arts District. Their selection was monstrous! I was lucky enough to score a 90's Tommy Athletics windbreaker zip-down. My buddy Curtis at Major Look Boston would really appreciate this place. No joke, one of the best selections of vintage, 90's wear I have come across.
ART / CULTURE
They don't say "Keep Portland Weird" for no reason now. During our trip we made sure to visit the Alberta Arts District. I would compare it to the Haight / Ashbury district in San Francisco, to a certain extent. There were tons of cool stops including art studios, breweries, restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques, and second-hand vintage stores. This district was easily one of our favorite spots in town. The art was breathtaking!
A Lurk Hard sticker sighting in South East Portland. Always refreshing to see Sacramento around the world. Big ups!
Overall, Portland is one of a kind. We fell in love with this city, again. I would absolutely not mind raising kids here some day. It is that type of place. Everyone is so welcoming and kind. You get a home feel while being out of town, and that is rare. Thank you Portland. We will definitely keep you weird. Until next time!
If you have any questions, suggestions, corrections, etc. about our Travel Guide, please visit the contact page and write us! Thanks for your time.