Count me another Californian who got the Portland bug on a recent trip there. The thing was, it was sunny, perfect weather. Whenever we native Californians visit other beautiful areas on perfect days, suddenly we imagine ourselves living there.
The thing is I’ve always loved Portland and port towns united by bridges and divided by water. Portland, Maine calls me almost as much as its West coast brethern, although there are a lot fewer bridges in Maine. Before you can say “but Maine doesn’t have the food scene,” check out this cool food and entrepreneurship conference that happened in Portland, Maine this year.
What happened in Portland, calorically speaking
[If you’re an aspiring food company or farmer, be sure to read about an incredible resource to help food businesses develop and promote products and ingredients in the Portland area and beyond.]
So, the awesome thing about long roadtrips is we had the chance to visit Portland, Oregon not once but twice within a one-week period this summer.
Portland has some amazing Craftsman style homes
I’ll be writing separately about the magic that comes from meeting like-minded people when you travel. By the sheerest luck, we stumbled upon a room in this impeccably restored craftsman home in a great part of Portland — where my lives in tech and food collided with the owners, leading to some rollicking conversations about food systems and software systems.
(Get in touch if you’d like to hear more from me about this great place where you can sit on the porch and enjoy your food finds in the evening. If you’re not already signed up, please use my Airbnb referral link 🙂 )
With all this food, why is everyone so fit?
It’s the nature of Portland. Eat, walk, hike. Repeat.
Here are just a FEW of the food spots we really appreciated on this Portlandic adventure:
The folks at Olympic Provisions (who had to rename their company Olympia Provisions, lest we confuse their charcuterie with worldwide sports competitions) started as a small operation in 2009. Some funding, a lot of awards, incredible quality and a vision to grow led them to set up several beautiful eateries and expand their production.
Their amazing sausages and my fave meat sticks (see below) are still made using old-world techniques.
P.S. I wish I’d saved the boxes now that the company name changed. Collectible! 🙂
Time your Portland visit with the weekend
We weren’t there on a Saturday or we would have gone to Portland’s HUGE farmers market as well. There you can meet lots of the growers whose
So am I moving to Portland, Oregon?
Maybe, someday if an amazing food-related opportunity calls me there. (I have to admit, writing about the OSU Food Innovation Center, which is located along with Oregon’s agricultural trade promotion group, sparked my excitement about the bounty and food developments coming out of there!)
Then I got back to the SF Bay Area, connected with friends who are creating some really cool food programs and a culinary travel experience platform. There was a cool breeze, the kind that felt like old-school Bay Area summer. The kind that feels like you are out on the Bay, sailing. Sure, it hasn’t rained in 6 months and even my weeds are dying. But that breeze gave me hope.
Still with all the cities and industries and money and brainpower surrounding us in the Bay Area, there’s something dynamic. And it’s home.
With the sharing economy my dream is to be co-sharing living in both places…or maybe Portland, Maine too! There I put it out there: help me make it happen!
Stay tuned for more Oregon food adventures of which there will surely be many!