Powell's Bookstore

Powell’s Book Store (Portland, OR)

Powell’s Bookstore

1005 W Burnside St

Portland, OR 97209


I love books.  I have since I was about seven or eight.  I was a rotten kid, so I spent a *lot* of time grounded.  I had no tv, and pretty much had to spend my time in my room or outside doing chores.  This left me a lot of time on my hands.  Luckily for me, my parents always let me go to the library (even if I was grounded).  This became my escape.  It also ended up as a boon when I got older – I read faster than my classmates, had better retention, and read at a higher level.  Small favors I guess!

Since then, I haven’t given up on my love for reading.  Before I had children of my own, I read a book a week – minimum.  Now, I read at a slower pace (and split things up between the written word and audiobooks).  One of my favorite things is still spending time in a good bookstore or library.  Add in a bit of the labyrinthine and I am a truly happy camper.

Enter Powell’s. Continue reading →


Let’s Talk About Doughnuts… (aka Review – Blue Star Donuts (Portland, OR))

Blue Star Donuts

1237 SW Washington St.
Portland, OR 97205
Visit Date: March 16, 2018

In today’s health-conscious environment doughnuts are a bad thing.  No one in their right mind is going to describe them as healthy.  That being said, who cares.  Personally, I head to a doughnut shop to enjoy a nice tasty confectionary treat – not a bran & fiber egg white omelet. I also make a point of not doing it that often.  With that in mind, it is probably a good thing I don’t live anywhere close to a Blue Star Donuts location.  If I did, I would likely be on first name terms with a heart surgeon. Continue reading →

The bar!

Review – Pepe le Moko (Portland, OR)

Visit Date: March 15, 2018

407 SW Tenth Ave

Portland, Or 97205

Pepe Le Moko

Getting in

Pepe le Moko is a pretty awesome little bar.  And I do mean little – it seats a maximum of thirty-four.  Thirty-four people who don’t mind getting in each other’s personal space.  The bar is hidden away around the corner and down a flight of stairs underneath the Ace Hotel in downtown Portland.  Before you head down the stairs (I recommend making a reservation), you enter through a door that sits next to an oyster shucking station and a hostess stand. If you have a reservation, or if there is space, they will take you down the flight of stairs to your table. Continue reading →

Ramen from Marukin

Review- Marukin Ramen (Portland, OR)

Visit Date: March 15, 2018

Pine Street Market

126 SW 2nd Ave #109

Portland, OR 97204

Marukin Ramen – Pine Street Market Location

Since we were going to be in Portland, and there are some really great restaurants there we decided to get some Ramen.  I am of course speaking of the real kind of ramen, not the stuff you get ten of for a dollar at the grocery store.  I am talking about the real honest to goodness Japanese slurping kind of ramen.

So after a bit of research, we headed to Marukin.  Marukin is the first US outpost of a Japanese ramen chain.  They make their broths and noodles in-house and with a fair degree of care.  Besides ramen, they also have dumplings (gyoza), fried rice bowls, and several other sides.  Intriguingly (I never did get a chance to sample any) they also have a fairly extensive selection of Japanese whiskeys on hand at varying price points (~$10 to ~$50 a glass).

The Pine Street location is part of a dining hall that also features a burger shop, French restaurant, pizza bar, ice cream shop, coffee bar, and a couple other eateries.  Everything is open and seating is shared – pretty much like a food court but with much nicer food available. Continue reading →

Review – Frank’s Noodle House (Portland, OR)

Visit Date: March 15, 2018

822 NE Broadway St

Portland, OR 97232

Bill with tip: $45.30 (3 entrees, 1 appetizer, 1 beer)

Frank’s Noodle House is located a bit off the beaten path in Portland’s Eastern district.  A lovely old home has been turned into a den of earthly noodle delight.  I first heard about Frank’s in an article in the Oregonian about cheap places to eat in Portland.  The pictures and the description hooked me.  Later on, I learned it had also been featured on an episode of Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives – a fact that probably would have taken it off our list of go-to places had I learned of it early on.  Happily, for all of us on a Thursday in Portland, I didn’t find out about it until a few days prior.  Also, we had seen the menu. Continue reading →

Review – The Jupiter Hotel (Portland, OR)

The Jupiter Hotel

800 E Burnside St

Portland, OR 97214


The Jupiter Hotel is located on the East bank of the Willamette River in Portland, OR.  By car, it is about a 5 min drive from the Pearl District and downtown.  You can walk to Powell’s bookstore in about half an hour.  We never used the public transportation to get around, but I can recommend Lyft in Portland for speed and value.

There are lots of great restaurants and bars nearby that you can get to in minutes.  While you might not be in the heart of Downtown or the Pearl District, you also aren’t that far away.  And there are *plenty* of excellent food options nearby (Le Pigeon is right next door). All in all, it is a great spot to be in if you’re looking to explore Portland. Continue reading →

Review – Douglas Fir Bar (Portland, OR)

Douglas Fir Bar, Jupiter Hotel, Portland OR

Visit: March 15, 2018

Web: Douglas Fir Lounge

800 E. Burnside St

Portland, OR 97214


The Douglas Fir is part of the Jupiter Hotel and serves triple duty as an event venue, bar, and restaurant.  There is a seating area in the restaurant for minors, but be warned it is adults only in the bar area.  This seems to be a common theme throughout Portland – everywhere we went had signs saying where minors were permitted.  Considering the overall theme of the hotel, as well as the more adult nature of the lounge itself, this makes sense.

The interior is made is reminiscent of a log cabin inside.  Lots of golden wood and glass.  To the left of the entrance is where you will find the restaurant.  Anna did not make it in to eat at any point during our trip since Portland is great for food.

The beer selection is heavy on local beers (a plus in my book) and features a good selection of liquors as well as some pretty nice sounding craft cocktails.  My wife went for a glass of wine, while I went with a Deschutes NWPA.  The price was good (happy hour) and we were waiting for a friend so it was a good spot to spend some time.  I particularly enjoyed the punk music playing while we were there.

While I admit to not having spent much time there, I enjoyed the beer I had and the atmosphere.  From observations going to and from our hotel room at the Jupiter, I don’t doubt the place gets rowdy.  That being said, the menu sounded good and on another trip, I wouldn’t mind giving the Douglas Fir a shot for food if we didn’t want to wander far.  Decent beer selection of microbrews and booze though looked a bit high on some things.


  • Location if you are staying at the Jupiter
  • Good Happy Hour deals
  • Beautiful decor


  • A bit loud inside
  • Awkward seating in the bar area
  • definitely gets rowdy when there is a band playing