Time to eat everything in sight! After two days of it really being too hot to eat much, Saturday was a prime opportunity to explore the street scene in Portland without the risk of spontaneous combustion.
We started with a journey to the Deering Woods area of Portland – a neighborhood of big old homes and bigger, older trees oddly reminiscent of Glasgow’s West End neighborhood. We headed for brunch at a place called “Hot Suppa” (that name should have been a flag – more on that momentarily). There was an hour’s wait so we walked down to the Portland Farmer’s Market in nearby Deering Park.
An absolutely lovely market – small, like the one in my own neighborhood. Interestingly, they had most of the tents set up crossing the paths – so you could shop each vendor while staying undercover (it was quite overcast). There were far more greens, blueberries, and other cooler weather crops than at my market. I tasted some excellent goat cheese and made a few other local purchases (the kitchen of the AirBNB wasn’t really set up to cook – there was a LOT more stuff I could have bought). My favorite was the apple cider stand, with a large board stating “We love to discover new apples! Please send the location of any random trees that you’d be willing to have us pick!”. Something about that just made me smile.
We completed our exploration just in time to head back to Hot Suppa. This was a recommendation from our AirBNB host, and it was cajun-themed. Given all of this I went in with some fairly high expectations. It was some of the strangest service and food I have ever experienced. The space was tiny, but comfortable, except for the the fact that the server couldn’t seem to set anything down without slamming it – SLAM, the water bottle. SLAM the glasses, SLAM the coffee cups. Doubly strange because she was perfectly soft spoken and pleasant in all of the other ways. The food was also bizarre (more in my Yelp review). Apparently there is a way of making eggs and omelettes that is “French style” that produces a bizarrely smooth and textureless egg experience. So not the best start.
Following, we walked through the neighborhood, headed for the Old Port, perusing a “lobster pound” (this is where they keep all the lobsters for sale – they can live in there for months and apparently it’s kind of good for them because the water is guaranteed clear – the more you know) consignment stores, old book stores, and my favorite – the Old Port Candy shop, where we did out best to clean them out of salt water taffy! So good, plus the “free sample” of fudge was a 1/4 pound chunk! Winning all around.
The rain came back at this point, so we ducked into the Nickelodeon theatre to catch a matinee – totally great retro moviegoing experience which was a great way to bring the afternoon to a close. Pizza from Otto’s for dinner (recommend the chicken/sriracha/avocado), and a foggy meander back up the hill – enjoying the novelty of shivering!
I didn’t buy this, but I REALLY want to read it.
Portland is just so mellow, and the perfect blend of activity and quiet. The contrast of the bay and the hills; the sea breezes and the sea gull cries; it’s really a perfect vacation city when what you really need is to not do too much of anything at all.
People in the dang way – bit look at that sky. 🙂