This is final installment in my set of posts on our Portland trip. The previous posts: heading for Portland (see post here), arrival, ice cream and dinner, (see post here) spending the day in town and meeting with Evan Lewis and wife for dinner down south in Bridgeport/Tigard. (see post here) and a day in Lake Oswego (here).
Next day, we went back into Portland, a 10-15 minute drive, to the Embassy Suites Downtown where we stayed our last night. It is the old Multnomah Hotel, with a rich and storied history, and Embassy has done a beautiful job refurbishing it. Staying here put us within easy walking or light rail (the MET) distance to Powell’s and all the other downtown stores and sights we wanted to see.
After getting settled, we walked to the MET stop and took it to Pioneer Square Park, then walked up a block to Nordstrom’s, and then north several blocks to Powell’s. For anyone who doesn’t know, it’s one helluva bookstore.
The picture taken just inside the NW entrance and shows a tiny fraction of the store. There other areas, other floors… a mecca for book lovers. If it looks crowded, remember it was Sunday midday, though Powell’s is pretty much always crowded. We weren’t looking for anything particular, and wandered happily for some time. I picked up a book of essays, I Was Told There’d Be Cake by Sloane Crosley (recommended) and a couple of other things. Then it was time to walk down the slope to Voodoo Doughnut.
For the uninitiated, Voodoo Doughnut is a very funky local place featuring a wide and mind-bending array of doughnuts, many combining ingredients you would not expect, such as raised glazed doughnut with peanut butter filling and vanilla frosting topped with Oreo cookie pieces. They call that one the Dirty Old Man. Their maple bars are legendary. So we walked there in high anticipation, only to find a line. This is not unusual. Even before the place was featured on the Travel Channel, visited by Anthony Bourdain and later by the Man vs. Food show, it was very popular. Now, it’s…difficult. The line stretched down the block to the corner, then around and halfway down that block. Here’s what we saw from across the street as we approached:
Yep, the line goes around that corner to the right, and halfway down that block. So we got in line. You have to do that for a legend. After 15 minutes, we had taken one stride forward. There was a music festival with venues all around town, one of them a couple blocks away. Maybe that meant more people or larger orders. Whatever. We could hear the music and lots of people were walking by but the line wasn’t moving. Wife was getting a cold, and I was tired, so after another ten minutes and one more step forward, we bailed. But we had a plan. We headed back to the hotel and a nap, we needed it.
Next morning, we slept in, had breakfast in the hotel and headed for the airport. But we took a detour. You see, there is a second Voodoo Doughnut location on the east side of town (meaning the east side of the Willamette River), and it was on our way. We got there and found no lines, plenty of selection and got our Voodoo fix. Man, those maple bars are good. Also, I had a dirty Old Man, but without the peanut butter filling, just the vanilla frosting and Oreos on top. Pretty darn tasty. Then it was on to the airport, and the usual routine to get on a plane and fly home.
Every time we visit Portland, it gets harder to leave, though it was good to get home to SoCal, the familiar bed, the cats, the rest of it. Great trip!