Photo by Nathaniel James Zablan
I couldn’t be more pleased to introduce you to one of my best friends, Julia. She is a crazy good writer, and has impeccable taste—especially when it comes to food and booze. I would eat/drink anything she made for me (her baked goods are spot-on delicious) and she’s one of the first people I ask if I want to try a new place to eat at or grab a drink around Portland. She’s a wealth of good things, this lady, and her guide to Portland is no exception…
Where to get a facial/massage: I’m not much of a facial person. It’s like, isn’t washing my face enough? I use that fancy ass Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Face Cleaner, the Pink Grapefruit kind, and I try to remember to lotion up with an SPF on the daily.
BUT when I want a massage, which I often do, I call Maria Kintz. I’m terrible at stretching, and I’m a fairly avid runner, so my IT bands hate me. She’s tough on me, but it’s so wonderful. She’s my best kept secret, so you’re welcome.
Where to shop for yourself: I usually treat myself to coffee at Heart, or my new favorite…Good Coffee. If I’m feeling really fancy, I get a latte, otherwise I stick to my 8oz. Americano. Other times, I treat myself to a soak at The Kennedy School, or a cheap seat at the cinema, most often, The Academy Theater.
Where to get a sweet treat: The cornbread at Irving Street Kitchen blew my mind recently. It was a lot like a savory, corn based jalapeño poundcake (with a bourbon-maple glaze), and less like cornbread (in the traditional sense). But paired with the perfect old-fashioned, it’s my kind of sweet treat.
Where to get fresh juice: If Im too lazy to make juice myself, I go to Kure Juice Bar, I know, I know, everybody does. But it’s great! I usually get The Extra Mile with banana. Sometimes I get The Eisenhart (chocolate with strawberries)…or Queen Green.
(Julia and two of her sisters)
Where to get a cheap eat: Okay, I have four, I’m a rebellious rule breaker, sorry.
- Bai Yok. This was my first favorite restaurant in Portland. It’s on 82nd between Stark & Burnside, in a little purple house. It’s fan-freaking-tastic Thai food. A few times, I’ve ventured other places for Thai Food, but I’m always disappointed. The Evil Jungle Noodles are almost too legit.
- Pho Oregon. Cold, rainy, sick day got you down? This will cure what ails you.
- Los Gorditos. This is a relatively new favorite. On Fridays they serve fish at work [and while I won’t complain about a free lunch (you thought there was no such thing, didn’t you?)], sometimes the smell, the day after the weekly work happy hour, is just a little repulsive. So, we head west to the Pearl and gobble up burritos. I usually cover my carnitas burrito in their excellent habañero sauce, which makes me drip buckets of sweat, but it’s worth it.
- Nong’s Khao Man Gai. Stop. Just stop, and put this in your mouth.
Where to wine and dine: I’m so bad at narrowing things down!
- Ava Gene’s. I’m not typically a pasta person, it’s just not my thing. But this stuff, this stuff will knock your socks off.
- Ned Ludd. Get dinner here, it’s solid country gold. I went for the first time recently and I was kicking myself for not scooting over there sooner. Every bite was a delectable gift to my senses.
Where to imbibe: Angel Face. These drinks be like ooh-ahh.The bartender there is a treat. You basically just tell the man how you feel, and he’ll whip you up something perfect.
On a hot summer day about a month ago, I was feeling quite bored with gin, which I tend to prefer in the summer. I was interested in a whiskey drink, but disinterested in something heavy, that didn’t feel entirely refreshing. He whipped me up what he called a Ward 8. It was divine, I trust him implicitly now. So there’s that. Not complaining.
Where to brunch: The Woodsman Tavern or Roman Candle. It’s a toss up. If I need a quick coffee and amaze balls toast covered in eggs, or slathered with cheese and salmon, I choose Roman Candle. But if I want a Bloody Mary and something egg based and outrageous, I choose The Woodsman.
Where to play: Mount Tabor. I hesitate to share this with you (even though it’s a public park) because this feels like my mountain. I love this mountain. Morning runs, sunset runs, sun bathing in the summertime, autumn walks, sipping wine with a friend while the sun sinks over the west hills…I love this place. When I leave I miss no place more, and when I’m there it feels like home.
Thanks, friend, for sharing all your spots with us! I think you and I are due for an Angel Face date soon. xx