Written by Brent Don on 14 Jul, 2000
Wednesday started off in Eugene City and took us up to Corvallis and Albany later in the day.
•Eugene City Brew
844 Olive Street
Eugene, OR 97401
Eugene City Brew is located on the lower level of a restaurant, which gives it an appropriately dark pub atmosphere — even…Read More
Wednesday started off in Eugene City and took us up to Corvallis and Albany later in the day.
•Eugene City Brew
844 Olive Street
Eugene, OR 97401
Eugene City Brew is located on the lower level of a restaurant, which gives it an appropriately dark pub atmosphere — even when you’re drinking there at nine in the morning like we did.
We ordered the sampler to get the full Eugene City experience and we were thoroughly pleased with almost the entire selection. We were particularly fond of the stout, which had rich coffee overtones and was heavy enough to rank as a meal in its own accord. After polishing off the sampler we each ordered a glass of our favorite to go with our meals.
All in all this was a spectacular way to start the day: a great selection of beers, good food and a great drinking environment.
•Wild Duck Brewery
169 West 6th Street
Eugene, OR 97401
Wild Duck had a great bar, which we naturally gravitated towards, and lots of merchandise such as pint glasses and T-shirts for sale with their distinctive logo.
The most unique beer we experienced at Wild Duck was their Hefeweizen, which was unusual in being very clear. Hefeweizens are generally cloudy due to the fact that it is an unfiltered beer, but Wild Duck’s process produces a remarkably clear beer with the same distinctive qualities. Served with the obligatory lemon wedge, it was very refreshing.
199 East 5th Avenue
Eugene OR, 97401
Steelhead is located in Eugene’s market district and has a lounge atmosphere. We relaxed in high-backed, plush chairs looking out on the street and enjoyed a variety of their lighter beers, including their amber and Hefeweizen.
420 Northwest 3rd Street
This was our first introduction to the Oregon brewing dynasty that is McMenamins. At last count, McMenamins owned and operated 28 pubs throughout Oregon. About half of the establishments brew the beer on location and the other half import it from their sister pubs. Their shared menu of beers means that you can find familiar micro-brews up and down the state.
The pub we chose for our first McMenamins visit was a small pub in the Irish tradition — high wood booths and a friendly atmosphere. This location didn’t brew their beer in-house, but that didn’t keep it from being good. I took a liking to their stout, which I would revisit in future visits to other McMenamins.
By this time we had worked off our early lunch at Eugene City, so we sampled some of the fare the restaurant had to offer. This McMenamins had more traditional pub food than the lavish brewery meals we’d been having recently: soup, salad and sandwiches were abundant. Inexpensive and good food.
•Oregon Trail Brewery
341 Southwest 2nd street
Corvallis, OR 97333
Oregon Trail is actually one of the older micro-breweries in Oregon, having been opened in 1987. It’s located at the back of a world market amongst art shops and a deli.
Their beer selection was nothing spectacular – this was a smaller brewery than most of the others we hit on our tour — but at the same time we weren’t displeased with anything we sampled.
•Oregon Trader Brewing Company
140 Hill Street
Albany, OR 97321
Housed inside Wyatt’s Eatery, the Oregon Trading Brewing Company was our dinner destination. The dining area is very spacious, with very high ceilings and art posted along the walls. The food was typical of an upscale brewery, but the beer selection was a little more exotic.
The brewers at Oregon Trader like to experiment with interesting seasonings in their beer. Their Hefeweizen is brewed with berries and their Hollybock has cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg added to spice it up. I chose the most extreme brew they offered to go with my meal — their Green Chili Lager. This spicy brew was definitely unique, but after a few sips I was less interested in its exotic flavor than I was in its lingering aftertaste. If you’re looking for a unique beer you should at least try it, but it definitely is an acquired taste.
As we moved farther north we started to pick up a little buzz amidst the brewery community. At one stop we told our bartender that we were headed north on a brewery tour and he said: "Oh yeah? You guys are going to stop at Edgefield, right?"
The only thing we had learned about Edgefield from our research was that it was a McMenamin’s establishment, so we didn’t really have any desire to go to yet another iteration of this franchise. We told the bartender as much.
"Oh no, it’s not just another McMenamin’s," our bartender admonished us with a twinkle in his eye. "Trust me, you want to check it out. It’s incredible."
Intriguing. Incredible was definitely on our to-do list.
Written by auntieanne on 14 Dec, 2000
Simply strolling through downtown Portland is an experience in itself. The downtown's short blocks and scenic fixtures make for a pleasant walk. There are also many retailers, restaurants, galleries, and specialty shops. What I most enjoyed about down town were the many…Read More
Simply strolling through downtown Portland is an experience in itself. The downtown's short blocks and scenic fixtures make for a pleasant walk. There are also many retailers, restaurants, galleries, and specialty shops. What I most enjoyed about down town were the many waterfalls constructed in the area. You may also want to visit Pioneer Square, a sort of commons area with an amphitheatre where many people (young and old, but mostly young) hang out and visit. At noon each day a sort of weather machine emerges to display the current weather conditions. So put on your walking shoes, grab a cup of coffee -Starbucks are located about every 10 feet- and take in the downtown Portland culture. Close
Written by Hank Jennings on 03 Sep, 2005
The screams you hear can only mean one thing — the monsters have returned to Scream at the Beach. This collection of haunted houses in Portland, Oregon, features low-gore, family-friendly attractions, but that’s not to say that they’re not scary. The Scream at the Beach…Read More
The screams you hear can only mean one thing — the monsters have returned to Scream at the Beach. This collection of haunted houses in Portland, Oregon, features low-gore, family-friendly attractions, but that’s not to say that they’re not scary. The Scream at the Beach website claims 224 wet pants in 2004. Everywhere we turned there were people exclaiming, "I just wet my pants," as wave upon wave of monsters made their attack. We especially enjoyed the dark mazes where creatures with glowing eyes ran around the floors and crawled up the walls.
It was our second trip to this event, and we plan to return again this year. The crew works on this production all year-round to create the highly detailed environments that make the experiences so real. They also make use of animations created by the same people who build creatures for major amusement parks, so you can place your expectations high and not be disappointed.
Guest comments on the website say it all, and reviewers have consistently rated it as the top event in the Pacific Northwest. Industry peers say that it’s one of the top haunted-house productions in the country, and I agree.
The best time to go is early in the month, to avoid long lines later. We also recommend going on a weeknight instead of a weekend, when crowds pack the place.
Written by Backpackingrl on 05 Feb, 2005
This entry is intended for budget travelers and students wanting to visit Portland. I have flown to and from Portland around 10 to 15 times. For someone on a budget, the best option is Southwest Airlines (www.southwest.com), deals on the Travelocity fare watcher…Read More
This entry is intended for budget travelers and students wanting to visit Portland. I have flown to and from Portland around 10 to 15 times. For someone on a budget, the best option is Southwest Airlines (www.southwest.com), deals on the Travelocity fare watcher (www.travelocity.com, create a username/profile and click on fare watcher), or Student Universe (www.studentuniverse.com). You’ll fly into the Portland International Airport (code PDX). You will be able to find round-trip airfare from almost any major location in the US for $300 or less if you buy 2 weeks or more in advance. The standard Southwest internet deal costs $149 each way. This trip will not be the most comfortable or convenient (1 to 2 layovers and a much longer traveling day) compared to other airlines, but it can save you some major cash. Having said that, check Travelocity and Student Universe first. You have a good shot at finding something more direct for an equal or lower price.
For a two-city tour or a more extended West Coast trip, fly to Seattle. Seattle prices are generally cheaper than flying into Portland. Jetblue (www.jetblue.com) flies here, in addition to Southwest. I find the transcontinental Jetblue flight more comfortable and convenient than Southwest. For starters, the flight is more direct, you will have a TV at your seat, and you will be assigned a seat number rather than group boarding pass. This way, you will know before your trip that you won’t spend a very long flight crammed into a center seat. The major drawback to Jetblue is the return flight at 11:59pm - the only option for many East Coast destinations. If you can sleep on the plane, this won’t bother you. Otherwise, it may be a major disadvantage. However, if you are doing Seattle and Portland in one trip, a great option is to take Jetblue to Seattle on the way there, spend some time in Seattle, head on to Portland (via car or train), and return home on a Southwest flight from Portland at a more convenient hour. The great thing about discount airlines is the ability to purchase one-way fares at low prices.
To get from Seattle to Portland, you can drive (about 2 hours) or take Amtrak trains (www.amtrak.com, 3 hours at $27). Once you get to the Portland International Airport, take the Max to your destination. The Max Stop is located near the baggage claim area. See my entry on getting around the city for detailed information on the Max.
This is easy in Portland. Portland is a city far ahead of its time in environmental policy. This way of life stretches from green spaces and large sections of untouched land to the way people travel. Portland gets our vote for best…Read More
This is easy in Portland. Portland is a city far ahead of its time in environmental policy. This way of life stretches from green spaces and large sections of untouched land to the way people travel.
Portland gets our vote for best public transportation system in the world. The Max is Portland’s super convenient and efficient rail system. The Max covers an extensive area, including the east and west sides of the city and outlying suburbs, including the airport. You can get to almost all major sites in the city by riding the Max and walking a few blocks (at the most). The website has a trip planner where you can enter your starting point and destination and print out the best route (http://www.trimet.org/).
City dwellers and travelers are encouraged to use the Max through an extensive fare-free zone. This zone includes all of downtown Portland between the Willamette River and I-405, and also includes the Lloyd center on the east side of the city. Beyond this area, tickets are bought and used on the honor system. That’s right, you heard me correctly. You buy your ticket from an electronic ticket vendor at any Max stop for $1.25. There is no one to take your ticket, however. The city of Portland relies on your honesty for ticket sales. What other city could operate on a system like this?? For visitors to the city, the all-day pass is a good option at $3.50 per ticket for unlimited use of all tri-met services. For a 3-day version, you will pay $10 per person.
The Portland Streetcar operates under the umbrella of the Max system. The streetcar is the first modern trolley system in the US. It opened for the first time in the summer of 2002. This is a nice way to step back in time and visit the city. The street car travels between the PSU area (including the Portland Farmers Market) and northwest Portland (NW 23rd Ave. and Washington Park). The fare system is the same as the Max. For a great day utilizing the street car, begin a Saturday morning at the Portland Farmer’s market (South Park blocks, see my other entry) and pick up some local produce, bread, wine, and cheese. Then hop on the street car at the far end of the market and ride to NW 23rd Ave. Spend some time window-shopping and walking here and then hop on the no. 63 bus (or walk about the half a mile up the hill) to Washington Park and the Rose Garden (see my Rose Garden entry for a great picnic location where you can enjoy your farmer’s market meal). The tri-met bus system links to the Max Rail system and offers wonderful service. Buses run about every 15 minutes or less everyday and can get you to just about every location that the Max doesn’t go. The same fare system described above applies to the bus system. On the note of environmentally forward-thinking policies, the city of Portland is one of the few in the process of testing hybrid-electric buses. The company is testing these buses over the next 2 years with the hopes of working them into the mainstream to replace existing buses. For more information on tri-met, including trip planners, maps, and schedules, visit http://www.trimet.org/.
Portland was also the leader in another environmentally friendly form of transportation - the bike share. Around the city of Portland, you will see yellow bikes. These bikes are part of a program run by the Community Cycling Center. Simply hop on a bike (completely free) and ride to your destination. Then leave the bike for the next person to pick up and use. This idea really embodies the spirit of Portland. The system relies on honesty, sharing with others, and living in a way that promotes healthy people and a healthy world. Since Portland initiated this program, other cities such as Toronto have created similar programs. Visit http://communitycyclingcenter.org/ for more information.
For those who must drive to a location, Portland offers a greener option. The flex car company was initiated in the city of Portland and has now spread to several locations throughout the country. Through this company, you can borrow a car from a number of convenient locations, use the car for a few hours, and then return it to a site at your destination. Gas, insurance, and parking are included in the price of $9 an hour. See http://www.flexcar.com/portland/default.asp.
The best way to see the city is via tri-met. But if you want to have use of a car for a short amount of time, a car share is a great idea. On a final note, don’t forget about Portland’s best transportation option - walking. Portland is a wonderful city for walking (try NW 23rd Ave,, NW 21st Ave., or a walk down by the Willamette River - see my other entries).
The Pioneer Courthouse Square (SW Broadway and Yamhill) occupies 40,000 square feet and encompasses a whole lot of history. This is the single most visited site in the city of Portland. You will find a healthy mix of tourists and locals spending the…Read More
The Pioneer Courthouse Square (SW Broadway and Yamhill) occupies 40,000 square feet and encompasses a whole lot of history. This is the single most visited site in the city of Portland. You will find a healthy mix of tourists and locals spending the afternoon here. Portland’s first real schoolhouse, the Portland Hotel, and the historic Pioneer Courthouse are all located here. The square features a waterfall fountain, amphitheater seating, and a lot of young people hanging out. Skateboarders also love the square. Powell’s Bookstore has its Travel Bookstore here. This is a great place for independent travelers to shop.
Many events take place here, including the Festival of Flowers (annually in early June) and an event featuring the Budweiser horses (late summer). Most weekends in the summer, something will be going on here. The square is very accessible, with a Max stop along its border.
While you are here, make a stop at Honkin’ Huge Burritos. This is a vendor-style stand at the corner of the square. For under $5, you will get the biggest burrito you have ever had in your life custom made right in front of you. This will be enough for two or three people to share for lunch, or enough for two or three meals. The burrito is very good. One of my husband’s friends basically lived off these burritos for a summer. You will encounter a large homeless population in the square. Read my other entry for some information on Portland's homeless population.
Kornblatt’s deli occupies a prime plot of real estate. Located on 23rd Avenue (628 NW 23rd Ave., 503/242-0055), this is a great location for feeding hungry walkers and window-shoppers. Seating is similar to a deli in NYC. You will be seated as…Read More
Kornblatt’s deli occupies a prime plot of real estate. Located on 23rd Avenue (628 NW 23rd Ave., 503/242-0055), this is a great location for feeding hungry walkers and window-shoppers. Seating is similar to a deli in NYC. You will be seated as quickly as possible, often sharing a table with strangers. This will bring the wait to about 10 to 20 minutes on a busy afternoon. For travelers, this can be a great way to meet some locals. For those who are really hungry, this will speed things up. For those who want to have a quiet lunch conversing with a friend, this will not be your first choice. For less of a wait and a quieter meal, come during off hours (11am or after 2pm).
The menu is overwhelming. You can order just about any deli-type food you can think of here: any sort of sandwich, bagel, soup, or breakfast dish. Kornblatt’s has a specialty, though - the Rueben. It comes with potato salad (a rather small portion, but homemade) or a bag of Kettle chips. If you come here and you like Reubens, this is what you should order. For vegetarians, the Vegetarian Rueben is one of my favorite sandwiches. They also offer desserts. Your eyes will be immediately drawn to the king-size éclairs in the display case. These can be split among four or five people. The food is well-priced at around $5 to $8 for a very filling lunch.
The service varies. There have been times we have been there that our drinks have been refilled promptly and have had no other problems. Most of the time, though, the place is just so busy that the service suffers a bit. You may have to wait for a refill on your drink or to get your check. The staff remains friendly and enthusiastic, however.
If you are walking around 23rd Avenue, we would recommend Kornblatt’s for lunch (Monday to Thursday 8am to 9pm, Friday 8am to 10pm, Saturday 7:30am to 10pm, and Sunday 7:30am to 9pm).
This restaurant is pricey but has completely delicious food. Higgins (1239 SW Broadway, 503/222-9070, dinner entrée around $20 to $30) uses fresh local ingredients to create one-of-a-kind entrées. The atmosphere is a smart,casual French bistro type. It is good for adult groups,…Read More
This restaurant is pricey but has completely delicious food. Higgins (1239 SW Broadway, 503/222-9070, dinner entrée around $20 to $30) uses fresh local ingredients to create one-of-a-kind entrées. The atmosphere is a smart,casual French bistro type. It is good for adult groups, couples, and friends who want to enjoy an evening of conversation. The location is a little out of spotlight (nice, but not in the hub of downtown), so this place is not overcrowded.
Keep in mind, though, that the food is so good, you need to make reservations in advance. If you are travelling to Portland for the first time, this would be our number one recommendation for a sampling of local cuisine.
We were here in late summer, when our entrées were constructed from local produce. I will never forget the asparagus risotto I had there. It was one of the freshest tasting dishes I have ever eaten. Dessert was just as good, featuring locally grown Marionberries. The service is wonderful: professional, friendly, and prompt. Don’t miss Higgins. Hours are Monday to Friday 11:30am to 12am, Saturday 4pm to 2:30am, and Sunday 4pm to 12am.
Written by Backpackingrl on 31 Jan, 2005
You will recognize Greek Cuisina (404 SW Washington St, 503/224-2288) by the large purple octopus on its roof. This place is a full-blown Greek experience. If you are in the mood for some dancing, plate-smashing, and all-out audience participation, come here. Greek Cusina…Read More
You will recognize Greek Cuisina (404 SW Washington St, 503/224-2288) by the large purple octopus on its roof. This place is a full-blown Greek experience. If you are in the mood for some dancing, plate-smashing, and all-out audience participation, come here. Greek Cusina has two parts: the downstairs restaurant and the upstairs bar/dance floor. For all the excitement, head upstairs. You will be charged a small cover (when we were there, it was under $5), but it is well worth the expense. Arrive around 8:30pm on a Friday or Saturday night for the Greek entertainment. You will experience a Greek conga line, belly dancing, plate-smashing, and a liquor-drinking contest (any audience member may volunteer for the owner to pour liquor above his or her head. Whoever can drink the most in one pour is the winner). The owner even lifts a restaurant table up using nothing but his teeth. By the way, we cannot figure out how he does this, since he does not touch the table with his hands or his feet, and there is no tablecloth on it. See if you can figure it out. If you want to be dragged onto the floor to participate, sit in the front section. There is a good chance you will be recruited by the staff. If you just want to watch, stake out a seat in the rear.
The crowd is mixed here from 20- to 40-somethings, from bachelorette parties to an older crowd. Everyone participates. Once all the Greek entertainment is over, the crowd normally dwindles down to the 20- or 30-something group, but of course, there are exceptions! At this point, the Greek party gives way to a dance floor with live band or DJ. The dance floor can get a little crowded here, but it is a lot of fun. If you have the energy later in the evening, stick around. Food and drinks are affordable: think typical mid-range priced Greek food (pitas, gyros, and burgers with fries are all around $8 to $10). Show up a little early on Friday between 3-6pm for $2 appetizer specials, and stay for the entertainment. Greek Cusina is highly recommended. http://www.greekcusina.com/
Art-lovers will have a great time at the market. Craft-lovers will have an even better one. Despite its name, the Portland Saturday Market is open both Saturdays (10am till 5pm) and Sundays (11am till 4:30pm) from the first weekend of March until Christmas…Read More
Art-lovers will have a great time at the market. Craft-lovers will have an even better one. Despite its name, the Portland Saturday Market is open both Saturdays (10am till 5pm) and Sundays (11am till 4:30pm) from the first weekend of March until Christmas Eve. It is located between Front Avenue and SW 1st Avenue under the Burnside Bridge. The market features vendors selling all varieties of handmade items. Ceramics, jewelry, wood carvings, and photographs of Oregon are a few of the many items offered. Local foods make an appearance as well, with loads of free samples. Carnival-type food is also found here.
The market occupies an area that is covered and "indoors," and it then sprawls outside onto a large paved section. Street performers are commonplace, and some of them are very good. There is a teenage boy that frequents the location, playing his instrument of plastic buckets that double as drums. His music is so good that he could have his own CD. Other people’s talent amazes me. There are also official music events in the covered area of the market. One weekend we had the pleasure of hearing a xylophone band play. This was some of the coolest music we have heard. It was very different and unique.
The market is very accessible, with a Max stop (Skidmore Fountain Station) only a few feet away. Many people enjoy walking by the adjacent waterfront (see my other entry, Portland Bridges and Walking Path) after a visit to the market. Kids cool off in the Salmon Street Springs fountain.