I’ll be dreaming about that grapefruit radler by a creek in the Mt. Hood National Forest for weeks.
There I am, sipping on a shandy in the shade, and my kids are playing in the stream by some waterfalls. They are slathered in sunscreen borrowed from another family hanging out at this enchanted waterway under a bridge. We have just hiked a mile and a half along a fern-lined trail with soaring trees above and glitter afoot.
It was worth every step, they said on the way back to the car.
For two weeks, we are taking steps in every direction up here in the Pacific Northwest. First in Portland and soon, in Boise, where my sister lives.
Camp Mom, I’m calling it. Where we eat pizza next to a snow-covered mountain top.
In Oregon, I’m here with my closest girlfriends. We met as roommates in Spain, so our first endeavor was a tapas trail, where we hopped from restaurant to restaurant, eating as Spanish as we could.
Taqueria Nueve, St. Jack, Ataula and Pollo Bravo served us well in our efforts to drink lots of red wine and gin and tonics and eat patatas bravas, croquetas, pulpo and chicken mousse. (We were hoping for a thicker pate-like consistency in that meat puree, though. “Basically human cat food,” Rachel says of the canned stuff we loved in Alicante.)
A highlight has been Pine Street Market, where we already spent two meals’ worth of time yesterday. Portland’s first indoor food court opened last year in the historic Carriage & Baggage Building, a skylit livery dating back to 1886. You’ll find everything from burgers and espresso to ramen and bibimbap, with a little Salt & Straw ice cream and Spanish bodega thrown in.
Oh, and a juice bar and a “frankfurter test kitchen” from Olympia Provisions.
It’s a busy space glimmering with culinary delights.
Julian ordered the ramen from Marukin, a Japanese chain with nine locations abroad and only a couple in the U.S. My youngest got pizza from Trifecta Annex, whose owner Ken Folkish has several bread cookbooks for sale next to the breads behind the counter.
I sipped on a sake and munched on a happy hour chicken karaage from Marukin while we refueled after a long day of walking around downtown. Later, my friend Erin met us for the most amazing rotisserie chicken with aioli and romesco sauce from Pollo Bravo.
Another splendid afternoon in Oregon, even without the creek.