Hello Fellow Travelers:
Welcome to our world of business information, museums, adventure, birding, botanical gardens, good eating and fine wines. This newsletter provides you with “The Welge Report for Portland.
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Recognition: We extend special thanks to the people who manage and/or own the institutions, museums and restaurants featured in our guides. In some instances we have relied on their descriptions and photos.
Birding Opps: Info for our birding friends. Here you will see: loons, grebes, geese, kingbirds, shrikes, sparrows and longspurs.
The Audubon Society of Portland (audubonportland.org/local-birding) provides a lot of resource info for local birding.
Birding Oregon (birdingoregon.info) is a site for birding the state with specific info for Portland.
The Portland Birding Loop (theintertwine.org/adventures/portland-birding-loop) offers a guide featuring eleven of Portland’s best birding sites.
Shopping: Everywhere you go in Portland there are shops, boutiques, stores and galleries to tempt your indulgence.
Transportation: What you need to know is here (portlandoregon.gov/transportation/)
Amtrak (www.amtrak.com) – Your connection to more than 500 stations in 46 states. For online information and train schedules visit www.amtrak.com or call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245)
Business Information: Portland is open for your Business! Check out (http://portlandalliance.com/)
Day One: Head for Lan Su Chinese Garden – Daily: 10-6, 239 Northwest Everett Street, 503.228.8131
Lan Su Chinese Garden is one of Portland’s greatest treasures. Built by Chinese artisans from its sister city Suzhou (see The Welge Report for Shanghai), it’s the most authentic Chinese garden outside of China.
Lan Su is based on a 2,000-year-old Chinese tradition that melds art, architecture, design and nature in perfect harmony. Don’t forget the dancing.
Lan Su is a rare treasure that offers an extraordinary glimpse into Chinese culture. You can explore the garden, its history and meanings through a wide variety of fun and enriching activities.
Following this magical experience lunch today is a Pok Pok – L & D: Daily, 3226 Southeast Division Street, 503-232-1387.
We strongly suggest the specialties of the house. The service is family style where sharing is good.
Our choices are the charcoal rotisserie roasted game hen stuffed with lemongrass, garlic, pepper and cilantro served with spicy/sweet/sour dipping sauces, then order Ike’s Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings or maybe the prawns baked in a clay pot over charcoal with pork belly and a bunch of herbs and spices.
Beverages include beer, booze and house wines.
After these exotic Asian experiences let’s go to the Oregon Zoo – Daily: 9-6, 4001 S.W. Canyon Road, 503.226.1561.
The Oregon Zoo has 1,955 individual animals representing 232 species of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates. There are 22 endangered species and 37 threatened species living at the zoo.
For the horticulturists there are many native plants of the Pacific Northwest’s temperate rain forests that have been cultivated to create naturalistic exhibits, pathways and vistas within the zoo.
They have 1,000 species of exotic plants thriving in the zoo’s botanical gardens, including firebird heliconia, pelican flower and ground orchid.
After all we are in wine country, let’s enjoy our good luck with a stop at Thirst on the waterfront – Tu-Su: From 3 PM, 0315 SW Montgomery St, 503-295-2747.
Thirst’s revolving wine list features Pacific NW favorites as well as new local gems so you can always try something different.
Their beer selection focuses on Pacific NW micro brews by the bottle. They have specialty cocktails, a spirit sipping menu featuring local distilleries, and Scotch and Bourbon flights.
For a snack with your libation discovery we suggest one or more of the following offerings: artisanal cheeses, a charcuterie plate, hot crab dip, baked brie and seared ahi with wasabi aioli.
For dinner it’s DOC – D: Tu-Sa, 5519 NE 30th Ave, 503.946.8592.
For your antipasti we suggest the tillamook sweets oysters with fennel & orange or the summer squash with goat cheese, basil, controne and lemon.
A glass of the Prosecco di Valdobiaddene Casa Coste Piane ‘NV would pair well with either.
Your primi is the risotto with squid, nasturtium and olives. For your secondi a good choice is the king salmon, new potatoes, arugula, sugar snap peas and dill.
The Barbera d’Alba Mascarello ’08 would go nicely with these dishes. And for dessert try the sweet cream panna cotta with cinnamon honey.
Day Two: Breakfast is at Tasty n Sons – B,L,D: Daily, 3808 N Williams Ave, 503-621-1400.
At Tasty you can have Kyle’s Housemade Granola with cinnamon apples and sweetened lebneh or the Bambino Plate with scrambled eggs, bacon, biscuit & heather’s honey butter.
And if you’re really hungry dig into the boudin blanc omelette with asparagus, dijon and truffle cheese.
After breakfast visit the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry – Su-Th: 9:30-7, F,Sa: 9:30-9, 1945 S.E. Water Ave. 503-797-4000.
OMSI has five exhibit halls with hundreds of interactive exhibits and displays. OMSI is ranked as one of the top science centers in the United States, and has an international reputation for its innovative exhibits and educational programs.
OMSI’s attractions include a 315-seat dome-screen OMNIMAX Dome Theater, a 200-seat planetarium, and the USS Blueback, the last non-nuclear powered submarine built by the U.S. Navy.
Lunch is at Higgins – L: M-F, D: Nightly, 1239 SW Broadway, 503-222- 9070.
Start with a salad of Oregon bay shrimp & hearts of butter lettuce with garlic croutons and green onion-buttermilk dressing.
Then we suggest the open-faced sandwich of house-made pastrami, grilled onions and sharp white cheddar or Portuguese fisherman’s stew of mussels, calamari, clams, prawns and chorizo in a pepper-tomato broth.
Wash it down with the WillaKenzie Pinot Blanc 2011.
Your next stop is the Portland Art Museum – Tu-Su: 10-5, Th,F: till 8, 1219 S.W. Park Ave, 503-226-2811.
The Portland Art Museum features a center for Native American art, a center for Northwest art, a center for modern and contemporary art, permanent exhibitions of Asian art, and an outdoor public sculpture garden.
For our wine stop today let’s go to Taste On 23rd – Daily: From 2 PM, 2285 NW Johnson St, 503.477.7238.
They have a local selection plus world wines arranged by categories such as: Crisp, Juicy, Luscious and Soft for Whites and for Reds: Soft, Smooth, Juicy, and my favorite Full Body.
You can also get Bubbles and Rose.
Under the heading Wine Bites you can order prosciutto wrapped dates, olives and pop corn or meat and cheese Plates.
After your wine break take a walk around the International Rose Test Garden – Daily: 7:30-9, 850 SW Rose Garden Way, 503-227-7033.
The primary purpose of this garden is to serve as a testing ground for new rose varieties.
The first “Gold Medal” rose award was given in 1919, making it the oldest rose testing program of its kind in the United States. Portland is the only North American city to issue such awards.
The International Rose Test Garden is also one of 24 official testing sites for the internationally respected All-America Rose Selections (AARS).
The All-American Rose Selections is a non-profit association of rose growers and introducers dedicated to the introduction and promotion of exceptional roses.
Dinner tonight is at Le Pigeon – D: Nightly, 738 E Burnside, 503-546-8796.
Starters include grilled pork belly with peas, carrots and strawberry jam or the lamb tongue and potato salad with honey Dijon, fried capers and herbs.
A glass of the Crémant de Limoux Rosé — Dom. de Martinolles is a perfect foil.
Your main is the grilled veal breast with roasted corn, green beans and a huitacoche cream sauce or the braised rabbit shells and cheese with a truffle vinaigrette and crispy spring onions.
The Pinot Meunier — Eyrie Vineyards — 1993 would be delicious with either.
Dessert is corn pudding cake with smoked cherries, sweet corn ice cream and brown sugar whipped cream. Pair that with the Vouvray Moelleux — La Taille Aux Loups — ‘03
Day Three: Broder – B,L: Daily, D: W-Sa, 2508 SE Clinton St, 503-736-3333 for breakfast this morning.
The specialty here is the Swedish Hash which consists of potatoes, bell peppers, onions, 2 baked eggs, pickled beets and walnut toast.
They have many other Scandinavian dishes.
It’s time for a walk and meditation at the Portland Japanese Garden – M: 12-7, Tu-Su: 9-7, 611 S.W. Kingston Ave, 503-223-1321.
The 5.5 acre Japanese Garden is composed of five distinct garden styles.
When you enter a Japanese garden, the desired effect is to realize a sense of peace, harmony, and tranquility and to experience the feeling of being a part of nature.
In a deep sense, the Japanese garden is a living reflection of the long history and traditional culture of Japan. Influenced by Shinto, Buddhist, and Taoist philosophies, there is always “something more” in these compositions of stone, water, and plants than meets the eye.
Three of the essential elements used to create a Japanese garden are stone, the “bones” of the landscape; water, the life-giving force; and plants, the tapestry of the four seasons.
Japanese garden designers feel that good stone composition is one of the most important elements in creating a well-designed garden.
Secondary elements include pagodas, stone lanterns, water basins, arbors, and bridges. Japanese gardens are asymmetrical in design and reflect nature in idealized form.
Traditionally, human scale is maintained throughout so that one always feels part of the environment, not overpowered by it.
And while we are in this meditative spirit let’s visit The Grotto (The National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother) – Daily: 9:30-8:30, 8840 NE Skidmore St, 503.254.7371.
The Grotto strives to provide a welcoming presence and a beautiful environment conducive to peace, quiet, and spiritual inspiration. It offers understanding, compassion, support and hope through a variety of ministries including counseling, education, spiritual direction and liturgical celebrations.
The heart of the shrine is Our Lady’s Grotto, a rock cave carved into the base of a 110-foot cliff. A life-size marble replica of Michelangelo’s Pietà is featured in its center.
Your last meal on this mini-holiday is at Ned Lud – D: W-Su, Br: Su, 3925 NE MLK Blvd, 503-288-6900.
Start with the bruschetta of spring vegetables & fresh sheep’s cheese or chicories and boquerones with a green olive vinaigrette and pecorino.
Pair this with the ‘10 Domaine Michel Brégeon, Muscadet Sèvre et Maine,Loire Valley.
Move on to the roasted radishes with sorrel, almond pesto and brown butter and finally to the black cod with leeks, nettles and pea tendrils in a clam vinaigrette or the lamb with rapini, anchovies and olives.
Try the local Witness Tree, Chainsaw, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley.
If you have an extra day or so we recommend a visit to McMinnville. It’s about 35 miles from Portland and the area (Willamette Valley) is home to many wineries. McMinnville has several B & B’s, good restaurants and friendly people.
The last week in July they hold the International Pinot Noir Celebration that features 75 wineries from around the world and 15 local chefs. We have loved being there.
Until next time, best wishes and safe travels,
Dick & Dee Welge
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