We pass through various cities & towns, places that somehow look better from this side of the train stations. The conductor just informed us that we are pulling into Vancouver. He called it "the 'Couve", keeping it weird and we're not even there yet.
It's just a quick cab from the Portland Amtrak station to the Kimpton Vintage Plaza, where we are taking advantage of a discounted Ride the Rails rate. Once we are checked in we walk over to the Pearl District to check out the newly opened Riffle NW.
We were there to say hi to a friend and to have a few cocktails, but next time we are in town it's on my list for dinner. The menu was loaded with delicious sounding seafood (sea urchin & quail egg shot!) and gussied up staples (manchego & bacon grilled cheese).
Finding the Teardrop Lounge packed we decided on a repeat visit to Clyde Common, which resulted in delicious cocktails (one barrel aged natch), running into a friend from Seattle and meeting a new and very talented Portland bartender. And all with in walking distance of the hotel.
The next morning we met my brother and his wife at Veritable Quandary which we hadn't been to before but they've been serving up brunch, lunch, happy hour and dinner since 1971. It was very good and had a cute deck for outside seating.
My brother lives in the Ladd's Addition neighborhood so we strolled across the Hawthorn Bridge to his hood, enjoying all the gorgeous houses, rose gardens and American Elm trees.
Nearby there is a whole slew of distilleries setting up shop so we decided to check out a few of them. Back in the day, we had visited the well known House Spirits. This time we visited Eastside Distilling, which looks almost like a take-out window and makes a surprisingly good bourbon. For $5 you get tastes of their infused rums, the bourbon and a mini cocktail.
After all those little sips we needed a snack, Pok Pok to the rescue. We only had a short wait at the Whiskey Soda Lounge, enough time for some fried, crunchy pig ears, and then we were seated and served the famous Pok Pok wings. How many orders of wings do they go through a day? Who doesn't order these wings? When can I have them again? All questions that need to be answered.We also watched them put whole salt crusted fish on the BBQ. Yummmmm.
We had a wonderful family dinner that night at Beast. Our visit there 2 years ago for brunch had been excellent and this was no different. Our six courses included a chilled spinach veloute with smoked Arctic char roe, individual charcuterie plates of items like steak tartare with quail egg toast and foie gras bon bon's, a gorgeous brined piece of pork loin with crispy artichokes, a summer salad with fava beans and fried lemons, cheeses and a cherry trifle for dessert. All beautifully paired with wines. I've been twice now and I'd go again, any time!
Metrovino for brunch. It was good and had some nice riff's on the norms, including a chicken fried quail and waffles. And as we've done in the past we made a stop at Kenny & Zukes to get a snack for the train...
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