A quick and easygoing getaway to Portland.
PORTLAND, Ore. — The Portland Hop. I know, it sounds like a dance craze in 1937. But really, it’s what you do in Portland — drink small-batch beer, eat Northwestern locavore meals. Some suggestions on what to do, where to stay on a quick trip:
Once a Days Inn, the Hotel Modera (515 S.W. Clay St.; www.hotelmodera.com; rooms for two start at about $129 in spring) got a serious upgrade before opening in 2008. Its lobby and 174 guest rooms are done in modernist style, punctuated with lots of original art and accompanied by an accomplished upscale restaurant, Nel Centro. We stayed two nights, ate well in the restaurant and enjoyed being situated about six blocks from Portland’s central Pioneer Courthouse Square.
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It’s tempting, but I’m not going to insist you try “totchos” (the marriage of Tater Tots and nachos), which we encountered at the genial Oaks Bottom Public House in the Westmoreland area. Instead, keep an eye out for the tasty and casual Pacific Pie Co. (1520 S.E. 7th Ave.; www.pacificpieco.com; no single item over $9). The bakers here specialize in Australian-style meat pies and sweet pies. As is the Portland way, they value sustainability and local ingredients. If the Moroccan chickpea pie doesn’t seduce you, the grass-fed beef braised in stout beer just might.
In the trendy Pearl District, we browsed and bought at Oblation (516 N.W. 12th Ave.; www.oblationpapers.com), “a 19th century print shop designing wedding invitations for the 21st century.” We didn’t need wedding invites, but we appreciated such witty and gorgeous uses of good old paper and ink. We lingered long.