Random last-minute trips without any planning seem to take you on the most amazing adventures. Within ten days of booking a flight and then stepping out of PDX International Airport, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. A Chicagoan landed in the state of Oregon without any true expectations. For the next seven days what was I to do? It was a cool summer night in Portland. The shuttle bus drive over to the Marriott Downtown Waterfront on Naito Parkway was long but adventurous in itself.

The long clear highways and darkness begin to tell a story of a beautiful city that many city life people like myself would overlook. Driving over the Willamette River bridges, lights illuminated the area shining over the city known as “The Weird State.” In actuality, there was nothing weird about this beautiful city. Driving down Naito, all I could think about was, “What do people enjoy the most here?” After some quick research, the next day I found myself on 10th street eating from various food trucks.  What an amazing thing to experience, seeing as though this isn’t common in my hometown of Chicago.

10th Street
Thai Food

Lunch included spicy lemon grass and sautéed chicken with bean sprouts from Eastern Tai Cuisine, absolutely delicious homemade recipes cooked with traditional spices and cultural history! I began to feel full, but couldn’t resist or deny the other trucks of their greatness. Up next, a fried grouper taco from El Taco Yucateco. Grouper fried to perfection in a golden crust with a spicy chipotle sauce, a crunch that was noticeable and ingredients that took you straight to Mexico City.

Walking with a mouth stuffed with taco I noticed a line wrapped around the  block; what was this food that everyone wanted? What was the big deal? As I turned the corner, and tried to see the top of this sign, I couldn’t read it clearly. Walking closer, I realized it was “The Whole Bowl.” You won’t understand the length of the line until you taste the hug! Calling all vegetarians, vegans and even meat eaters looking for something new… a bowl of greatness filled with healthy brown rice, beans, avocado olives and the secret Tali sauce is what makes this blend of healthy super amazing.

After eating all of this, I still had to make room for the famous Portland Voodoo Doughnuts. Another line of patrons, and tourists like myself that had heard about these pastries, and just had to get a taste to say that I’ve had ONE! Driving up to that vintage sign and building just to walk away with that famous big pink box full of a dozen varieties of sweetness. One bite wasn’t enough, pure sugar and a dozen delectables to choose from throughout the day was a small bit of heaven for us … the best workout came from walking through this amazing city.

After an amazing afternoon of random food trucks on 10th street, we decided to do a memorable dinner. Searching Google for a list of restaurants that specialize in seafood was the plan for the evening. Seeing the reviews for Portland City Grill made it simple to choose. The ambience of this restaurant is EVERYTHING! Perfect for a date but as I scanned, the floor seemed to be full of young business professionals enjoying an evening out on the town after work.

The dark lightening set the tone for the beautiful aerial views of the city of Portland. The restaurant is located on the 30th floor of the U.S. Bancorp Tower. Candle lit tables and jazz music filled the main dining area. Once seated, I already knew I wanted the fresh crab cakes for dinner. Accompanied by a glass of Chardonnay, the evening was flawless. Out of a 5-star rating, I would rate this restaurant at 4.5. Headed to Portland soon? Don’t let this restaurant escape you.

Portland City Grill
Dinner ! Crab cakes :)
Night View from Portland City Grill Although, Oregon is known as the “Weird State,” there is nothing to be hesitant about. Go with an open mind and feed your soul!