Welcome to the second edition of “5 Favorites”. This past weekend the crew took a quick trip to Portland to get away from the San Diego heat and to enjoy some amazing food, hiking and shopping. We try to make the escape to the pacific northwest at least once a year with no real agenda other than to eat and see where the rest of the trip takes us.
So let's begin…
Now, I’m sure most of you that live in Portland or have traveled there have at one time experienced a meal at Pok Pok. It was about three years ago when we we’re recommended to try it and now we make it a staple for every trip. There are a few touristy food establishments in the PDX and I would say Pok Pok is at the top of the list. It’s at the top for good reason though, the food is outstanding! I personally have it in my top 5 places to eat as well. There is something special about every dish they have created. There is even something unique about the water they serve because apparently they use pandan leaves to give the water its wonderful flavor. I don’t actually eat poultry, beef or pork so there are some dishes I miss out on including their famous wings. Although the wings are super popular I would have to argue that their other dishes are equally great! I personally enjoy the Papaya Pok Pok (Papaya Salad), Het Paa Naam Tok (Mushroom Salad) and Cha Ca La Vong (Catfish and Vermicelli Noodles). If you are one of the few that haven’t tried it I would highly recommend it. I would even suggest to purchase a plane ticket just to eat here. Although that's a bit of an extreme I really would make said purchase just to enjoy the food. However, the rumors are that there will be a restaurant version of Pok Pok in LA very soon. So instead of the two hour flight we will be making the two hour drive.
Danner "Canoe Moc"
Part of our routine in Portland is to enjoy a little shopping. We like to hit up Sizzle Pie for the annual slice of pizza and t-shirt purchase and then make our way over to Union Way where two of my other favorite spots Danner and Self Edge are located.
Danner boots was founded by Charles Danner back in 1932. This brand continues to carry on the tradition of hand crafted, high quality boots. They make everything from, work, hiking, military to casual footwear and while I was browsing the shop a particular pair caught my eye. They’re called the “Canoe Moc” and they look just like the name suggests. At first glance I noticed they had a similar feel to the Clarks “Wallabee” and because I own several pair of “wallys” it was probably natural for me to be drawn to this shoe. Like the “wallabee” the “canoe moc” also has a gum sole however, its gum sole is a third the height of the wally. This is interesting because, I appreciate the comfiness the gum sole provides minus the occasional rolled ankle. Don’t get me wrong, the “Wally” is a classic that I will never give up on no matter how many trips I take to the hospital but this Danner "Canoe Moc" will be a refreshing change.
In addition to the thinner gum sole the pair I picked up was two toned with a full grain leather midsole and suede upper. I really like the stitch detail and the contrast of the two colors and leathers. This shoe is a perfect everyday shoe and although, they’re not a traditional Danner boot and more of a casual shoe I still appreciate the style and price.
Self Edge - PDX
I first walked into this place last year and hit it off immediately with Tyler and the guys working that day. Self Edge is a high end denim and apparel shop and is also the brainchild of the founders of 3sixteen. 3sixteen was originally a street wear brand that truly discovered itself when selvedge denim started to become popular years back. These guys were smart, did their homework and learned everything they could about making a great pair of denim jeans.
I personally do not own that many nice jeans so last year I took the leap and purchased a pair of 3sixteen 14.5 oz 100x classic tapered jeans. It’s important to note that you will need to spend some of your hard earned cash for a really good pair of denim. In this current market of fast fashion we all want things for cheap. The cheaper the item the shorter the lifespan of the product. But, if you spend a little bit extra you can get one really great pair that will last you a lifetime and build character in the process. It will be worth it, I promise.
Although I didn’t buy another pair on this trip I did manage to pick up one of their new Ebbits Field x SEPDX wool caps. Thank you always for the great customer service Tyler, I will continue to support this business and look forward to seeing you guys again soon.
Self Edge has locations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Portland.
While we there we asked several locals for recommendations and someone suggested that we go try this ice cream spot called “50 Licks”. I heard the name and got a good chuckle but really had no idea what to expect. Of course we have all been to Salt & Straw and though it’s a great ice cream spot we we’re looking to try something different. Once we arrived we were immediately greeted by the friendly ladies working behind the counter. They then asked if there were any flavors we would like to sample. Big mistake because we were ten deep and of course we all wanted to sample multiple flavors. The girls were patient and gracious to us as they dished out several sample spoons. Terry and I tried the Thai Rice Pudding, Toasted Milk, Blood Orange Creamsicle and Hibiscus Lime. Sounds amazing, right? I personally loved every flavor but decided to go with the Hibiscus Lime. I love all things lime and was 100% percent satisfied with my decision. After we filled our bellies with the delicious treat we all decided to make t-shirt purchases. One of our things to do when traveling is to buy the tee of the place we ate at. Not sure how it started but I think it’s great to try and support these small business like 5&A Dime has been supported all these years by our locals and visitors as well.
If you’re in the PDX please check this place out. Heck, you may even get a chance to see their Ice Cream truck doing it’s thing out on the streets.
Btw, what's with ice cream and cold raining places? It just seems to work for some reason.
So let me start off by saying I was sorta tricked into going on this hike to the falls. Although it was all my fault for not doing any research I trusted that the information my girlfriend gave me about this particular hike to be true. She did inform me that it was a twelve mile hike in total but gave me no clues about the intensity. For those of you that have done this hike, I’m sure you’re reading and saying to yourself “dang, what a puss cake, it’s not that hard”. Well, let me tell ya…First off, I don’t think I’ve ever walked twelve miles anywhere let alone on a constant incline and over rocks most of the time. Second, for some reason I decided to wear jeans and Nike Roshes’. What was I thinking!? Really not the best options and by the end of it my feet were begging for something more suitable for hiking!
All of this makes it sound like I hated it and even though there were moments during the hike that I wanted to turn back I’m super glad I made the six mile trek to the Tunnel Falls and back. As soon as we arrived I was completely reinvented! What a site! It’s definitely one of those things that pictures can’t do justice for. If you love the outdoors and find yourself in Portland I think it’s something you should experience. I’m glad I did it. Not sure if there will ever be a next time but, if there is, then I will make sure I have the proper clothing and footwear. I would also like to try camping for the night as well.
For more info on this hike and the falls click HERE and please enjoy a few pics from our hike.
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