Though I’ve been to Portland before, I never really got a chance to explore its hidden gems. I’ve always focused on spending time with family. So this time around, my fiance and I decided to immerse ourselves in this weird, quirky city. Below are my recommendations for your next Portland trip!
Tapalaya is a Creole/Vietnamese fusion restaurant ran by Vietnamese head Chef, Anh Luu from New Orleans! The food was delicious and served in, you guessed it, tapas-style. I enjoyed every dish we ordered. Some notable shoutouts from the menu are the Steak Diane and the Deep Fried Oysters.
McMenamins Kennedy School
McMenamins is a historic elementary school that's been converted to a hotel, restaurant, bars (yes, plural), meeting rooms, banquet halls, and movie theater! To me, this was as Portland as you can get! Whoever's idea this was, props! I highly recommend the bloody mary from the cafeteria. It goes great with the cajun tots!
Complete with outdoor firepits and dog friendly patios, Stormbreaker serves delicious craft beer without breaking the bank! I was floored when my beer flight only came out to $8-9.
The words "german pub" almost always brings a smile to my face. An extensive list of beers, authentic german food, outdoor dog friend patio, and punch cards (yes I said punch cards) attract Portland natives and tourists alike. The part that I like the most is the food truck yard next door. Prost is so cool, you can bring food from the food trucks into the pub!
Hawks View Winery
This winery isn't quite in Portland but it's worth the 16 mile drive! The tasting room is beautiful, modern, and tasteful. And the view outside is fantastic! The tastings are cheap ($20 for flight of $5) and their charcuterie boards were just delightful.
For my first time in Hawaii, my boyfriend and I decided to spend a week in Oahu. We practically ate our way through the island. Below are my top 5 recommendations, honorable mentions, and skips!
This was our first destination on our way to North Shore. If this was the first and last meal in Hawaii, I would have died and gone to heaven. The burger was so good that I ate the whole thing when usually, I would only be able to eat half. Don't get me started on the fries! Every bite made me weak in the knees. The crispy bacon bits sent me over the edge.
If you ask anyone for the best poke in Hawaii, chances are they will mention a little grocery store called Foodland. We bought Poke from Foodland at least five times! It was so fresh and so yummy. Also, there are Foodland locations everywhere! My stomach did a happy dance with every single bite.
If you like Ippuddo (NYC), Santouka (Sunnyvale, CA), you’ll probably LOVE this place. The Shio ramen was absolutely delicious. I practically drank the bowl dry, It's located in the Shirokiya Japanese Village Walk which has $3 Sapporo. I repeat, $3 SAPPORO.
I ate here twice during our stay in Oahu. The curry udon was rich & savory. I'm drooling as I'm writing this. If that doesn't convince you, maybe the 5k+ yelp reviews will.
After finding out that two chefs from Alan Wong (the pastry chef and chef de cuisine) left to start their own restaurant, we obviously had to make a reservation! Michelle Karr-Ueoka and Wade Ueoka worked at Alan Wong for almost 20 years. It was by far the best meal we had in Oahu. From their cocktails to their dessert. Every single taste was spectacular. I also enjoyed the down to earth atmosphere. I highly recommend MW if you can swing it!