Best of Portland (So Far): Part I

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Is it too soon to declare my undying love for places in the Portland-Vancouver area? Months before we've moved there? Can they really be favorites already? I am I a fickle, fickle woman? I say no, yes and yes. In that order. Let's begin.

Paxton Gate // I remembered that Natalie wrote a post about some of her favorite haunts in Portland early this year, so I used it as a guide when setting out to explore some of Portland's nooks and crannies. Paxton Gate was featured in said post and it immediately struck me as a place we'd find interesting. It was. Oddities, taxidermy, bones galore, books, plants... every square inch of that store was fascinating. Dioramas with bugs (a bookworm theme, for one) and rodents. The one in the ornate frame pictured above was pretty awesome. It's a mouse wearing a mustache and carrying an umbrella. It reminded me of the intro scene from Dinner with Schmucks. We aren't ones to decorate with dead things, but boy did I appreciate this store. So did the boys. We asked a zillion questions and enjoyed hearing about this and that from the lovely ladies running the register. (For instance, we discovered that all but the antique taxidermy pieces they carry are from animals who died of natural causes.)

City State Diner // This diner is just around the corner from one of the schools we toured. We knew immediately after laying eyes on the "We Serve Bacon All Day" sign that it was our kind of place. It couldn't have been cuter inside, and the food was off the hook. I had a crab hash that I couldn't stop eating, and Kiddo ate every bite of his Bananas Foster french toast. And dude. Did you see that Bloody Mary? I swear I heard Mario whispering sweet nothings to it. 

We are breakfast-out-on-the-weekends kind of people, and on our drive home from the airport I came to a realization: we could probably eat out for two whole years (or more!) before going to the same place twice. What an exciting prospect! There are all of 5 breakfast places in our immediate area and one of them closed this week. If that's not a sign we should be moving, I don't know what is (besides the zillion other reasons, of course).

Powell's Books // This place is a Portland institution. And while I've explored my fair share of bookstores, this is hands-down the most awe-inspiring. It goes on for ever and ever and ever. And they're adding on to the building. We spent a couple hours in there and will likely spend many, many more. One of the things I liked about it was that the store is divided into rooms based on the subject matter, and the new and used books are all on one shelf. No seeking out the used book section. Brilliant.

I proceeded to add photos of the next place before realizing that I may break some sort of Blogger page length barrier. And thus, a two-parter was born.

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