Friday, February 24, 2012

Extreme PDX Urban Food and Drink Hike

Last weekend, an urban hike happened. We walked over 10 miles and consumed god knows how many calories. It was supposed to be pouring rain that day, but luckily, Portland weather PMS turned in our favor and stayed dry. 

We started off at my place in the deep Southeast, otherwise known as Outer Space with fresh orange-pear mimosas to, well, gather strength. This got us to His Bakery, a tiny Jesus centered bakery specializing in cinnamon rolls and cakes. They were about to close, but we managed to snag a few wrapped buns. *bonus: the little old lady running the front microwaved our pastries for us.

Jesus loves you, cinnamon roll

The next stop was to Arleta Library Bakery Cafe for the proclaimed "Portland's Best Biscuits-n-Gravy." In this town, those are fighting words, especially with joints like Pine State Biscuits around. I got a hot tip Arleta was worth its words from my pal H.C. L.A. and O.C. Foodventures, who is coincidentally the inventor of the urban hike, having organized epic urban hikes all over Southern California.

I totally ignored "The Grecian."

My big regret in the photo taking process is that I didn't get a cross section to show the glorious, yellow-gold, flaky biscuits. Rich, savory with a hint of piney freshness from the rosemary, the gravy proved to be a cosmic component of the dish.   Did we love every last drop?

Yes. The bragging rights are confirmed.

After the biscuits and gravy comatose, a walk was very much needed. 

We headed out on SE Foster, still in the Lents neighborhood, known for having a strong Russian community.

We continued down Foster for $1 espresso shots at Yo Mama's. The espresso tasted sour. It was bad, might have been the hungover looking barista? I tossed mine.

cheap shot, no back talk

Onward, we popped in to the Artistic Taxidermy, which features Antler Chandeliers permanently on sale. Upon entrance, the strong smell of animal and formaldehyde slapped us in the face. 

No Portland urban hike is complete without a visit to a strip club. It was around 2pm, so we figured it was late enough for a visit. We stayed for a drink and one of my hikers "put a girl through school."

We walked about two miles to Pub at the End of the Universe to find that it was not open yet, so we went to Ships Ahoy for $2 PBRs and $1 jello shots. Unfortunately, they only had one jello shot left and I got it because I am a sneaky mofo.  I didn't want to make this a naughty by nature drinking crawl, but one of my hikers insisted on visiting another strip club where we took fireball shots. 

Portland has its very own cider bar, so a visit to Bushwhacker Cider was necessary. Many of us had their featured dry cider, which looked like sparkling water, but tasted like crisp refreshment. We also ate a round of pickled hard boiled eggs here (not pictured and not for the faint of heart).

We walked to Hawthorne to one of Portland's most famous food cart conglomerates. You know, the one with Whiffies Pies and Potato Champion. Our strategy: get as much as possible and everyone take communion. 

A $5 BBQ beef and mozzarella whiffie pie was also destroyed somewhere.

Chili cheese fries from Potato Champion. To be perfectly honest, these were not memorable and I have no idea why poutine was not in hand. 

The sleeper of the night was Bubba Bernie's Oyster Po' Boy. There is nothing better than a freshly fried, perfectly crispy oyster with a touch of horseradish and all the cooling vegetables to balance for perfection. 

So good, another was ordered. 

No urban hike in Portland is complete without crossing a bridge. The Hawthorne got crossed in this case. 
We went straight to Hubers Cafe for Portland's best Spanish Coffee. While it was true that these coffees are delicious, I wasn't in the mood for a coffee this late at night and was unable to finish my drink. I will definitely come back for a late morning or early afternoon kick one of these days, sit in one of the dark booths and read something by Henry Miller. 

Photo from

And now... drum roll please... we made it to the Pearl for the grande finale: bone luges at Metrovino. A bone luge is a shot of booze funneled down an emptied shank bone. Thanks At Metrovino, you actually have to eat the marrow from the roasted bone first. 

At this point, the crowd has gathered (aka my MBA cohort and fiance) and the luging had commenced. 

I performed my bone luge with a recommended sweet Riesling while others opted for tequila and port. Was it all that? Not to me, but at least one of my friends said it was the highlight and favorite thing consumed of the trip. 

Don't knock it till you try it.

As we left the restaurant, I looked down at my iPhone and realized it had been a complete 12 hours of urban hiking. Extreme, indeed. 


Gastronomer said...

NICE!! What a fun and delicious way to spend the day :)

Nanette said...

What a fun adventure!

And I'm particularly intrigued by that His Bakery, which I pass a lot on my way back from the 205. (I live in Eastmoreland.) I love me some cinnamon rolls, and those looks *heavenly.*

JustinM said...

I went to Mary'sb Club once. I did not enjoy it.

Nubian said...

This sounds fantastic. May have to sign up with you next time we are in the PDX area.

Banana Wonder said...

Cathy - The ONLY way to spend a day... jk... I wish.

Nanette - Oh wow, you gotta pay them a visit. I personally love their marionberry cupcakes.

JustinM - Ok, ok, stop your hating.

Nubian - We have too much to plan for when you get back! Come back soon!

tasteofbeirut said...

I would invite you to a Beirut urban hike with all your buddies for more kitschy, trendy, funky, retro, type of food!