Frugal Finds, West Coast Roadtrip – Portland, OR (Part 1)

Still following my Oregon Trails (Check this link for the 1st Oregon entry)? Hope you’ve packed a voracious appetite because we’re going to be eating a ton of food for the next few entries 🙂

Portland is a quirky city known for their eclectic and creative food scene so naturally we checked out a few of the city’s hottest places to eat.  The first spot was Tasty n Alder, a local bar serving American fare with a twist. We sampled three items at the bar from their Mid-Day Menu (2:00pm – 5:30pm) and thoroughly enjoyed the offerings.

We started out with the radicchio, a salad mixed with lardons, manchego, six minute egg and gratted cheese. In some ways it’s like a caesar salad with a bit of a bite. A large is $7 and the portion is very generous. I definitely recommend trying that out! We also a side of fries ($3), which were adequate and ended with a panna cotta – which was extremely creamy and topped with Oregon rasberries soaked in vanilla. Yum!


A few streets down we headed to our next foodie spot – Lardo‘s, a restaurant and bar that specializes in pork sammys. Our meter was running so we called in (during our happy hour meal at Tasty N Alder) and ordered our sammy to go. We picked up our Korean Pork Shoulder sammy ($10) with house kimchi, and chili mayo so that we could grab and go, but I couldn’t resist and took a quick bite. It’s spicy for the sensitive eater and the meat is also on the more fatty side thus oozing with grease but I did enjoy the flavor combination.

If you’re at Lardo’s during Happy Hour (3pm -6pm) they do offer $3 pints daily.

With so much food in our belly we decided to take a stroll around downtown and check out the famous Powell’s Bookstore. With over 3000 Yelp reviews and a 5 star rating I couldn’t fathom what could make this bookstore worthy of  such an honor so I went to check it out myself.

Wow! Just by size alone I was completely floored by the space and number of books. Powells is enormous! With four floors filled with books of every genre and category this store is a bookworm’s dream house. They sell new and used books and also have handwritten staff recommendations (just seemed like a nice personable touch). I casually walked through a few aisle’s and was completely captivated by the different book offerings and easily could have stayed in that aisle for an hour or so. In a way I felt like Belle in Beauty and the Beast and lost in an adventure (although to be fair, I was drooling over some recipes in the food aisle lol).

I found the rare-book-room where limited edition and hard to find books are located. Guests need to check in their items and attain a pass from the info desk, but it was quick and simple process. They have a $12,500 book for sale (obviously behind glass for good reason!) The De Bello Judaico translated as The Jewish War is a  book bounded by parchment sheet from 1480. Considering how old it is it’s actually in pretty good shape!

I will have at least two other Portland entries coming up, but until then which aisle would you be venturing through at Powels? Politics? Religion? Food? Fashion? Comment below!





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