Posted in Food, Travel - USA

I Scream for Ice Cream in Portland

I still can’t get enough of our Portland trip.  Portland is known for their micro-brewery.  However, I’m not a beer drinker so the next best thing are hit their food places.  My previous post was all about donuts, while this one would be all about ice cream!  Since we only spent two nights in Portland, we only enjoyed two nights of ice cream.
Day 1:  Salt and Straw
Salt and Straw opened in 2011 with 4 branches in Portland.  We went to the NW 23rd location on a Saturday night and it was drizzling.  Parking was a bit difficult to find and there was a long line around the block.  Wait time was roughly 45 minutes.  When we get inside near the counter, a friendly staff introduced all the flavors that they have at that time.  We also tasted most of the flavors that we were interested in and settled with the Sea Salt with Caramel Ribbons and Strawberry Honey Balsamic with Black Pepper.  The verdict:  strong sea salt flavor, and non existent black pepper flavor.
If you yourself want to try their ice cream they have other locations in West Coast (Seattle, San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco).  You can also get them to go or have it deliver in pint sizes.

Day 2:  Fifty Licks

Another local favorite ice cream parlor is Fifty Licks.  It has 2 locations in Portland and we went to the SE Clinton location.  There was no line waiting for us and parking was still a bit difficult to find.  You also have the option to try all the flavors and I ended up with the Banana Pudding and Caramelized honey flavors.  Prices are a bit cheaper compared to Salt and Straw.  The verdict:  it doesn’t have a strong flavor compared to Salt and Straw.  Even though it’s a combination of two different ingredients, you can only taste one.
We talked to a local in the store and she said she prefers Fifty Licks ice cream.  Also, she mentioned Salt and Straw is all hype and catered more to tourists.  We walked out with good restaurant recommendations from her.
Not much to rave or rant but do try these two Ice Cream companies when you’re in Portland.  Let me know which one you like best.  Nope, they’re not available at the airport.
Posted in Food, Travel - USA

Donuts of Portland

Earlier this month, my sister and I visited the city of Portland in Oregon for their Tulip festival at Woodburn.  Of the trips that we’ve went throughout the years, I think I’ve gained the most weight on this trip.  Why wouldn’t I when the food in Portland is amazing!   On this post, I will be focusing on doughnuts or donuts!  Three days in Portland, three days of donuts.

Day 1:  Voodoo Doughnuts

After we got our rental car, we drove straight to Voodoo Doughnuts for to-go breakfast on our way to Woodburn for the Tulip festival.  Ever since Anthony Bourdain featured this doughnut place, Voodoo Doughnuts became a famous tourist destination with long lines.  There are two Portland locations and we went to the NE Davis location. 

We ordered a snickerdoodle, Portland cream, butterfinger and a raspberry with chocolate sprinkles.  For the four donuts in a pink box, the total came down to $8.70.  Cash only please!  The verdict… it’s like Crispy Crème with unusual combinations as toppings or fillings.

Day 2:  Pip’s Original Doughnuts & Chai

Another favorite local doughnut destination is Pip’s Original Doughnuts & Chai located at 4759 NE Fremont St.  Rain or shine, the line is long.  Since I’m a Chai fan, I was looking forward to the drink rather than the doughnut.  I made a mistake ordering one type of chai drink and should have ordered the chai taster set.  I was disappointed with the taste of the chai drink and feel like it’s more thai tea than Indian Chai.

For the doughnuts, they have 6 flavors at that time with 1 flavor which is seasonal.  You can order 4, 6, 8 or 12 with a maximum of 4 dozen.  You might think that’s too much but it’s bite size doughnut so you won’t feel guilty ordering more.  Since we were visiting, we decided to order 12 to taste all 6 flavors each.  The verdict… the banana custard was ok, the cinnamon sugar was just fine, the Dirty Wu was different but good, Nutella with cinnamon sugar and sea salt was ok, the honey and sea salt was forgettable and the maple bacon was the best!

Day 3:  Blue Star Donuts
On our last day in Portland, we decided to just relax and enjoy the city.   After a hearty meal at Tasty & Sons recommended by a local lady, we decided to head to their Mississippi location before heading to the airport.  The doughnuts are $3 to $4.75 each.  The person manning the store at that time gave us some freebies when we bought a box of doughnuts each.   We tried the crème brulee (photo on the right) and the blueberry bourbon basil.  I can’t give you a decent verdict since we were quite full at that time and the flavors were not registering in our palate any longer.  For the ones we did buy to share, my favorite was the earl grey.  Their doughnuts are quite different from Pip’s and Voodoo.  I can definitely say it’s way better than Crispy Crème. 

You can buy Blue Star donuts at the airport but the choices might be limited due to smaller storage area.   One good thing about PDX airport, prices downtown and prices at the airport are the same! 

So if you’re in Portland, do try all three doughnut places and let me know which one you like the best!  Makes me want to make my own doughnut.