After that exhausting first day in Portland, we dragged ourselves awake to begin day two. We got ready for our day at the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area and headed on our way for breakfast. “The Waffle Window” is a quick, cheap and delicious breakfast stop not far from our hotel.
The blueberry cheesecake waffle that I ordered was absolutely out of this world. It was garnished with the house recipe blueberry compote, cheesecake pudding, fresh whipped cream and baked graham cracker crumble topping. The entire masterpiece was perfectly sweetened and the flavours wrap around your mouth like a kiss. The waffle was light and fluffy, acting as the ideal stage for the toppings.
My mom and dad also thoroughly enjoyed their waffles. Mom exclaimed how the fresh made avocado-tomatillo salsa of her “spicy bacon cheddar jalapeno waffle” was deliciously and tangy. Dad was pleasantly surprised by the combination of sweet waffle with savory toppings of his “Rise and Shine waffle”.
We decided to grab lunch straight after we finished our waffles so that we wouldn’t have to come back downtown after heading out to the Columbia River Gorge. We drove further down the street to Lardo, a sandwich place. Now, I know what you may be thinking, “You go all the way to Portland and go to a boring old sandwich place?!?”. But wait! This isn’t just any sandwich place. As it says in the restaurant: they are bringing fat back.
We ordered the Porchetta sandwich, the Double burger sandwich, and the Korean pork shoulder sandwich. Of which, my favourite was definitely the porchetta. With gremolata, caper mayo, arugula, Parmesan, it was deliciously well made. The double burger was a very good burger–juicy with a soft and fluffy bun– but it wasn’t anything special in our opinion. My mom really enjoyed the Korean pork shoulder sandwich, saying how it was very flavorsome.
Completely stuffed, we got back in the car and drove to the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. There, we saw some outstanding views of the Columbia River Gorge. We drove along the historic highway, stopping to enjoy the views from way up high.
At the Vista house, we were literally pushed around by the wind. Never have I ever felt wind so strong in my life. We were laughing at this new feeling created by the power of the wind. We got soaked walking by the base of the falls at the Latourell falls. We were stunned by the height from which the water falls at the Multnomah falls.
Our last stop along the highway was the Oneonta Gorge, a seemingly magical place that is quite difficult to reach. Having to clamber some logs and tread through the water, I only got so far before turning around as to not get wet in the frigid water. I wish the water were warmer so that I could’ve gone further into the gorge.
After that last stop, we returned to Portland for dinner at “Tasty ‘n Alder”, a unique restaurant with innovative dishes that are meant to be shared. If you ever decide to eat here, be sure to come early as there is often a long wait. We were lucky and got seated fairly quickly. The waitress was very friendly and knowledgeable about the dishes as well as the restaurant.
All of the dishes were outstanding. The Raddichio salad, as the waitress recommended, was phenomenal; crispy bacon, creamy cheese and perfectly cooked egg, tossed together with raddichio to form an amazing salad.
The bone marrow was ordered out of curiosity which turned out to be a great thing. I would say that this was my favorite dish of the night. The rich and succulent nature of the bone marrow was struck down by the sweetness of the onion marmalade and bitterness of the watercress. A mouthwatering creation. (My mouth is watering just thinking about it…)
The house pasta was delightfully fresh, made with goat feta and nettles. This was my first time trying nettles and boy am I glad that I did. Similar in taste to spinach it packs a punch of flavour and a unique texture.
The Indonesian Rendang “lamb stew” had lot’s of great exotic flavours–lemongrass standing out from the rest–making this dish very tasty.
For dessert, we ordered one chocolate potato doughnut dessert to satisfy my sweet tooth. It came poised atop a pool of crème anglais. And holy moly, it was so good. Even Mom who doesn’t think doughnuts are anything special, fought for that last bite. Crispy on the outside, yet soft and light as cloud on the inside, this doughnut was truly something special.
This second day made me fall in love with Portland and the beautiful nature around it. Exploring the gorge was something really exciting while exploring the food scene of the city was truly delicious. I’ll be sad to return home so soon and leave this amazing eccentric city.
The Waffle Window
3610 SE Hawthorne Blvd
1212 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Tasty ‘n Alder
580 SW 12th Ave