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Visiting Portland from Boston

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I am piggybacking on my husbands business trip. We are staying at the Heathman Hotel. I am looking for a few things. He will be busy all day so I am looking for some nice places to do lunch solo and a good place for dinner, nice but not extremely expensive.

I bought my own business 2 years ago and have'nt had anything remotely resembling a vacation in 3 years. I have never been to Portland and I am sooo excited to see a new city. It's just two days but I am going to make the most of it.

OH! I also enjoy the hard cider options that are available in my area, are they available in Portland? I spent a good part of my life in the U.K. and I like the dry, not too sweet kinds.

Thanks!

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  1. My favorite place for dinner downtown is Clyde Common, which is not terribly expensive and is walkable from your hotel. Ten01 is a few blocks further and a bit more expensive, but you can eat very well during happy hour. They also have a really good deal for lunch. Are you going to stay mostly in the downtown area for food, or are you willing to go to other parts of the city? Will you have a car?

    6 Replies
    1. re: Nettie

      I recall seeing Ten01on this board when I first decided to go. We will not have a car. What is the public transportation like? We are also fine with using cabs.

      I am so looking forward to this as I have been to most parts of this country except the Pacific Northwest. I just don't know what I can pack into two days of experiencing Portland. Part of me wants to just relax and NOT WORK but I mostly want to see new things. Any suggestions?

      1. re: nutzyP

        I will chime in and say Apizza Scholls is not to be missed! I Iknow that sometimes I can be a bit of a fanboy for the place, but with my dinner from there still lingering on my tongue, I cant convey to you how stellar the pizza here really is! If you go, you will realize that you flew 3000miles for pizza that is better than what you can get at home or in NY,

        http://www.apizzascholls.com/

        1. re: nkeane

          I've been to Scholls. To imply that it is better than all pizza in Boston or NY is ridiculous. Santarpio's in East Boston is a far more satisfying experience. While NY has plenty of bad street pizza, I could list many, many places in NY metro that have far better pizza than AS. Hell, there is better pizza in PDX. I have no desire to fight the crowds for that way overrated pizza: the first slice I had was ok, but as carry-over heat continued to roast the flour grains in the crust, the last 2 or 3 (two folks splitting the pizza) slices were nasty. Burnt (not just charred, burnt...I make pizza, I've eaten plenty of pizza, I know the difference...my palate told me it was burnt, unappetizing, nasty).

          That said, if the poster wants Mexican, go to Nuestra Cocina on SE Division....nice atmosphere, pretty decent interior Mexican food, a tad precious, but might just fill the bill. Doesn't have to be spicy. But can be if you want. They do a good job, in my opinion. Take a cab.

        2. re: nutzyP

          Portland is highly walkable and public transport is excellent. Cabs, not so much. Remember that the blocks are tiny. If you want sightseeing advice I'll have to decline, as the moderators will delete any nonfood responses.

          Ten01 is walkable by my definition. Or take the streetcar for free (within downtown) on 10th. Other downtown musts are Teardrop Lounge, Southpark, Clyde Common, Sahagun Chocolate, and our many amazing carts. We have carts that have better food than most restaurants do. http://foodcartsportland.com/ My current faves would be Give Pizza a Chance, Asian Station, Spella Coffee...

          Yes we have good local hard cider.

          But you haven't really told us much about the kinds of food you like. Please help us help you by giving more info of your taste, days of the week you are here, etc.
          Have fun, and please report back.

          1. re: Leonardo

            I like everything. My Husband OTOH can't do spicy anything :(.. We are flying in on Tuesday and flying out on Friday. I really miss good mexican (used to live in California) It is non-existant out here. I did see a website devoted to the carts and I am very excited about those. Cart culture has also not made its way to New England. WOW I'm leaving tomorrow! This has happened so suddenly! I'll be sure to report back.

            1. re: nutzyP

              The downtown places that have been recommended should be OK for someone who can't do spicy food. As for Mexican the best places aren't really downtown, but maybe that would be a good lunch destination when you're on your own. I've been liking La Bonita on Alberta St in NE Portland, and El Brasero cart at SE 12th and Hawthorne. That one is probably more accessible by public transit, but I'm not sure if they're open for lunch--those carts seem like more of a dinner place.

              I hope that you have a great time!

      2. Wandering Aengus Ciderworks makes some really good dry Cider in the Willamette Valley. He's at some of the farmers markets and I know they have it at New Seasons Market.

        1. One of my favorite Italian restaurants in Portland with a great menu and reasonable prices is Pastini. I went there recently with some friends and we loved it. They have a huge menu with lots of options (vegetarian friendly as well) and reasonably priced (under $10). The atmosphere was relaxing and the staff was really friendly. I believe they're locally owned because they serve Portland's Pearl Bakery bread and a large selection of Oregon wines. Great restaurant! Check them out while you're in town.

          1 Reply
          1. re: NedFlanders

            Wandering Angus, yes, that's what I was thinking of. Great stuff!

            Also consider visiting http://www.clearcreekdistillery.com/ which you can easily reach by the 15 or 17 bus. http://trimet.org/index.shtml

            While I sometimes go to Pastini, they are locally owned and support worthy local charities, I would hardly recommend them as a unique experience representing the best Portland has to offer a visitor coming all the way from Boston.

            Definitely check out the farmers' market Wednesday 10 am - 2 pm at SW Park & Salmon, right behind your hotel. Probably last chance for peaches & nectarines, plus berries are still around, and the fall items grapes pears & apples are just in. Get a cookie from 2 Tarts Bakery, have lunch from a cart. It's much smaller than the market on Saturday morning, yet still has the character and quality of the larger one.

          2. I'll second Wandering Angus cider, they have a couple great dry ciders, currently in 750ml bottles but they'll soon be bottling in smaller beer-sized glass.