A Local’s Guide to Portland: Julia Herrington

Julia Herrington Eating Stories Like Grapes

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 your home: I don’t really shop for my home per say, but if I want a neat cook book, a fun rug, or a knick knack, I’m torn between Ink & Peat on Williams or Branch Birdie on Stark.

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 thrift: Maven Collective and Flutter, both are treasure troves.

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 Herrington Eating Stories Like Grapes

(Julia and two of her sisters)

Where to get a cheap eat: Okay, I have four, I’m a rebellious rule breaker, sorry.

  1. 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.
  2. Pho Oregon. Cold, rainy, sick day got you down? This will cure what ails you.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!

  1. 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.
  2. 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

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