Portland Day Two – The Day With All Of The Eating

So the house is full of cocktails and enormous…this is where we left off, yes?
(BTW, want to rent this house yourself? I highly recommend it for a big group trip. Cozy beds, creature comforts and historic charm. Check out the VRBO listing if you’ll be in the area.)

Ok. Let’s carry on.

We enjoyed a few drinks and then headed down to the Opening Ceremonies of the SCAA Conference.
It was held at the Oregon Convention Center which was about a mile away from our house. Over the next couple of days Garrett and I walked to and from the conference, and I have to say it was so nice to be in an area so walkable and also full of public transportation. Sacramento Suburbs — you could use a lesson or two!

That night we decided we needed to hit up some food trucks. Unfortunately between 8 people with 7 smart phones, we couldn’t seem to find our way there, so we ended up back at home ordering a pizza. WOMP WOMP! We woke up with high hopes for the food adventures the following day, and we were not disappointed.

Garrett and I squeezed in a workout the next morning while the rest of our crew took some classes.
Rainy run!
We had hoped to squeeze in a WOD at a local CrossFit box, but in the end a rainy run had to suffice. The neighborhood where we stayed is full of huge tree lined streets and beautiful historic houses, so it was awesome scenery and a fun run.

We wandered down to a little coffee shop and enjoyed some pretty cappuccinos and then made our way back home to get ready for the day!

We made it down to the Convention Center in time to check out some of the finalists in the United States Barista Championship. Did you know this was a thing? These people take their coffee very seriously — it’s a full contact sport.
On a funny note though, the whole conference was a bit of a Hipsters Paradise. So many pairs of skinny jeans! Vests! Mustachioed men slurping espresso — it was a comedy sketch waiting to happen. Next year we decided we should all collaborate on a booth selling mustache wax. Obviously we would become overnight millionaires.

After watching the Barista Champions’ concoctions for a bit, we sampled all the Roaster’s Guild Coffees of the Year.
There were some delicious options, all brewed using the pour over method — which we saw EVERYWHERE this weekend — and we drank them with abandon! But we learned quickly that Coffee Conventions are serious business and you have to pay attention to your body. It’s like wine tasting but with MORE CAFFEINE! By lunch, I *needed* to get some food in my system! We met up with our group, and all hopped on the train to head Food Truck Mecca, and you all — it was life changing. And I say that without an ounce of hyperbole.

It was an entire city block filled with gourmet food trucks. So many that we had to take a lap first to size up the situation. It seems they were all ready for high volumes of people as well, with plenty of food stored in what we were told was a 5 Gallon Food Safe Plastic Pail with Tear Tab Lid. Interesting seeing food stored this way, but as they would explain to us, it is how restaurants often manage large supplies of ingredients, and is perfectly clean and safe. I found it quite intriguing as I have never worked in any aspect of the food industry at any point.

Garrett and I decided our strategy would be to get one of every thing we wanted, and then just split it. Our eyes…well…they were much much bigger than our stomachs, to say the least. What can I say, we enjoy the Go Big or Go Home attitude when it comes to culinary pursuits.

We started out small with a little Bacon Maple Waffle.
Innocent. Delicious. An amuse bouche, if you will.

The we moved on to a hot bag of cinnamon sugar mini donuts while we decided on our next stop, just because they smelled good.

Then we ran in to the rest of my cousins who were enjoying some Lamb Gyros — WHICH ARE MY FAVORITE — and they were gushing about how amazing they were in such a convincing manner that Garrett and I couldn’t pass those up, right?

Nope, says Garrett. It’s a must.

But the piece de resistance — the entire reason we had come to this grouping of food trucks, were for the Pork Belly Sandwiches at The People’s Pig.

They did not disappoint.

Delicious crispy pork belly on a ciabatta roll that was soft on the inside but with the perfect crustiness outside. Add some fennel pollen and arugula that was tossed with THE MOST DELICIOUS lemon vinaigrette, and you have one sandwich worth writing home about. I will recreate that vinaigrette all summer long, I’m sure of it. Get me to some arugula!

A week later, I am still thinking about this sandwich.

And just because neither us have an self control at all, apparently, we followed it up with Banana Nilla Wafer Pudding from a BBQ cart. Why not, at that point?

You are sick right now for us, aren’t you? As a group, at that point, we were mostly just blissed out!


But a few hours later when we had to go out to a business-y dinner, we were NOT so blissed out thinking about food. But that story will have to come next, because I’m too full from looking at these photos to tell it.

I wasn’t joking when I said we went big on this vacay. A week later and we are still recovering. 🙂 I hit up a workout this morning for the first time in a week and it was brutal! It’s so crazy how quickly you can get out of good habits, and how difficult it can be to get back on the horse.

While I definitely think it will be a while before we go crazy trying ALL THE FOOD like this again, I did enjoy the opportunity to taste so many diverse things over this weekend. I discovered Curtido, which I plan to make at home some time soon, I can’t wait to make some Gyro Salads in the future, and I may even try my hand at cooking my own Pork Belly.

Good food inspires me! I just have to figure out how to balance inspiration and…well, good health. This weekend was overwhelming in the inspiration department, not so much in the health department. Portland has a great coffee culture and a great food culture. I think if you love either of those things (AND WE DO!) it’s a town that can’t be missed.

Tomorrow I’ll tell you about our awesome dining experience at The Kennedy School (so cute! and we DEFINITELY got detention!) and of course we’ll have to talk about VooDoo Doughnuts. DUH.

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17 Responses to Portland Day Two – The Day With All Of The Eating

  1. Jesabes says:

    I have got to stop reading these posts in the morning. I want all the food now.

    • Holly says:

      Yeah, it makes me hungry writing it. But then I remember how full I was and am happy that I am quietly enjoying a reasonable frittata right at this moment. And not a bag of donuts! 🙂

  2. sizzle says:

    In all my times in PDX, I’ve never gone food truck dining. I need to do that next time, for sure!

    I love The Kennedy School! I stayed there once and the rooms are just so cute. I also got very drunk there but let’s not go into that…


    • Holly says:

      I kept hearing that we were going there and I was like, “Dinner? At an old school? What?” but it was such a fun experience! Also, the drinks were STIFF, so I’m sure the drunkness was totally NOT your fault 🙂

  3. AndreAnna says:

    I want to go on trips with you!! When I go, I force myself to be all healthy-ish and NO FUN. Although it helps that I love seafood and rarely get it in IA so whenever I coastal travel, it’s all I eat! (although, DUDE, that lemon souffle cake at Waterbar may have made my no-no place tingle).

    Also, I treat myself to a pour-over on Mondays and Fridays at my Dunn Brothers because it is THAT decadent and delicious that if I have it every day I will 1) be broke and 2) no longer appreciate it’s amazing powers. I like it even better than the trifecta.

    • Holly says:

      You know, we need to find a better balance for vacations. I mean, I’m never going to go on vacation and eat rabbit food 24-7, but by the end of the vacation I was eating Almond Joys for breakfast because…why not? It didn’t really matter at that point. And that is like THE POINT OF NO RETURN. Glad you enjoyed Waterbar! 🙂

    • Jesabes says:

      Wait, you live in Iowa? I do, too! I confess, I’ve never read your blog, but I’ve seen you around a lot (through Holly and Tara). Where do you cross-fit in Iowa? I wasn’t aware we had that here (thought I pretty much…don’t work out at all).

      • AndreAnna says:

        I’m in the Quad Cities, Davenport. I CF at QCCF and we have two locations, one in Davenport and one in Moline. There’s also one in Bettendorf, and a new one opening soon (neither of which are affiliated with the gym I go to). There’s also a couple in Iowa City. 🙂

  4. AndreAnna says:

    Well, when you vacation HERE, we will eat ALL THE HEALTHY THINGS! (And then go to Front Street Brewery for their famous Pulled Pork Nachos)

  5. sizzle says:

    I went there for a blogger meet up many years ago. Let’s just say it was a good thing I had a room there (or was it? that’s another different story!). 😉

  6. Erica says:

    The dream of the 1890’s is alive in Portland and you are living it with the hipsters. Awesome.

    • Holly says:

      I am so recommitted to watching all of Portlandia now. JAYSUS! That shit is funny…and so true!

  7. Erin says:

    My bf and I just had gyros this past weekend! The restaurant we go to is a redeveloped neighborhood in Omaha, with a bunch of hipsters to boot…

  8. Mandy says:

    I maaay have just had a touch of PTSD after reading this post. Truth, I am having a harder time getting back in the swing of things this week after such an epic weekend; however, you’ll be happy to know those giant Cheez Its and Almond Joys are being well taken-care of. 🙂

    ALSO: Baristache. Trademark that sh*t!

  9. bethanyrx says:

    MMMMMMM…. you had me at pork belly. I will just sit right here and wait for you to recreate the lemon vinaigrette for me. 😉

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