Localvore in Portland

What a treat it was to spend a whole rainy Sunday afternoon at Powell’s bookstore. With my hotel checkin at 4 p.m., I got to browse to my heart’s content. I made it out with only 3 new/used books, which for me showed great restraint.

The Hotel Lucia is minimalist chic in its decor. The walls are decorated with black and white photographs, including this one of Ansel Adams, in the elevator.


The tea bags and coffee in the room were provided by local suppliers. The toiletries in the bathroom were made locally. Oregon is much like Vermont in their endorsement of local products. After some research, I decided that I would take myself out for dinner in a restaurant that was one of the early farm to table restaurants – Higgins. It was an easy walk down Broadway from my hotel.

There is a fancy white tablecloth restaurant in the front but a cozy bar in the back where I found a table. An online recommendation raved about the seafood stew, a perfect dinner on a cool, damp night. I ordered a local red wine, a salad of local and delicious organic greens topped with roasted Oregon hazelnuts (we saw the trees driving in) and the stew. It was a great choice. Along with local fingerling potatoes and fresh tomatoes, there were hunks of salmon, halibut, calamari and mussels. I tried to save half for lunch the next day but couldn’t show the same restraint as at the bookstore. I mopped up the broth with the local whole grain bread. At least I passed on the dessert!

In the morning, I choose another local speciality – Voodoo doughnuts. It was a good morning walk away from the hotel and a good excuse to indulge in some extra calories (they don’t count when you’re testing local specialities, right?). There were lines outside the door, short on a Monday morning, but still a line. Who knew maple and bacon doughnuts would attract people? I opted for a Mexican chocolate doughnut, with cinnamon and a little chile pepper but photographed some of the other options.

The eyeball doughnut might have been special for Halloween but was unique under any conditions. I walked to a coffee shop, they are everywhere in the Northwest, to enjoy my treat with a local latte and free wireless.

Back at the hotel, I managed to pack my things into my original two backpacks which worked as long as I wore my new hiking boots on the plane. I took the MAX, the Portland mass transit, out to the airport. I enjoyed one more local meal there – a crab sandwich- before I boarded my propeller plane south to San Francisco. Once on board my Horizon/Air Alaska flight, I discovered one more local treat. The airline offers locally brewed beer and local wine free to passengers. I sipped a merlot as I flew over the mountains we had driven through just a few days before, eyes glued out the window like a 5 year old. Well, the 5 year old wouldn’t have a wine glass in her hand.

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1 Comment

  1. Voodoo doughnuts sounds like they would give Krispy Kreme a run for their money! Yum.


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