Portland Brewery Tour – Day 2 (Part 1)

Today we definitely got our money’s worth out of this Portland trip. It being Sunday, we considered finding a brunch place but eschewed that after some research, in favor of a food truck breakfast. We rode the bus to the Historic Mississippi district which boasted blocks of interesting shops, restaurants and cafes. We started with the little food truck arena (basically the size of an empty parking lot with around eight permanent food stalls). The best candidate was Miss Kate’s Southern Kitchen which featured a slew of different biscuit sandwiches.

Miss Kate's

I chose one with a fried egg, bacon, arugula and strawberry aioli and Nick went for the one with fried chicken and bacon. Oh boy, have a nice day!

Biscuit breakfast!!

Both sandwiches were really delicious, huge and a bargain at $7.50 each. We washed ‘em down with a buck cup of coffee from Dogfeathers Coffee.

Thus fortified, we walked all the way up and down Mississippi to get a better look at the stylish storefronts we’d seen zipping by on the bus. The area had lot to admire and we marveled at the housing prices in a real estate agent’s window. It’s obvious the area’s still in transition (ie – a little scary/sketchy) but it’s quickly becoming an enclave of hiptitude so it was unreal to see you could buy a great four bedroom turn of the century home for around $370K.

We bought me some cute fingerless gloves at a funky shop full of local artists’ work, but the best thing in the area by far was a place called The Rebuilding Center. It was kind of like San Francisco’s SCRAP, but focusing on architectural salvage. So much reclaimed wood, doors, cabinetry, bathroom fixtures, moldings, lighting – an installation artist’s dream.

The Rebuilding Center - love this place!

I wanted to make sure we’d get to the Alberta Street arts district so we had to rush the Mississippi area a little bit (dammit, I knew we’d regret only staying three days). We hopped on the bus again and hopped off near Bolt, a charming little fabric boutique. They have a limited selection but the textiles they carry are almost all beautiful, as opposed to your regular fabric store which is 75% hideous crap. Of course, their wares don’t come cheap, so I only made away with a small remnant of a gorgeous floral print (I have no idea what I’ll do with it) and a bit of ribbon with an adorable octopus pattern.

My other goal in visiting the Alberta Street area was to go to Random Order Pies, which were recommended by a good friend. Like so many places in Portland, ROP was hip and interesting, but I have to admit I was let down by the pie. The lemon meringue looks fantastic, but when they served me a piece, I saw that the crust on the bottom was burned to a cinder.

Not tasty.

I removed the offending portion, but was then underwhelmed by the lemon filling which lacked the tartness and punch you expect from a great lemon pie. The best bit was the meringue, which was at least five inches high and nicely browned. Even with that though, I left a good chunk of the pie uneaten (gasp!)

Nick’s caramel apple pie was similarly disappointing. Although not burnt, the filled was a little mushy and completely missing the expected contrast between sweet caramel and tart apple. Random Order’s coffee offered a third anti-climax, although to be fair, I was warned ahead of time it wouldn’t be good. It had a bitter burned taste (I’m noticing a theme here) and I left half of it in the cup. Dangit, I knew I should have gone to Salt and Straw for some pear and blue cheese ice cream!

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