WALL STREET JOURNAL ALSO LIKES US!Posted BY FRANCES MAY ON July 21st, 2009
Thank you Chelsea from Frolic for bringing this to my attention.
I hope all this national attention means good things for all or our small and talented artisans of Portland!
If Napa is the hotspot for all things wine in America, Portland very well may be the place to find the best microbrews. Twenty-two years ago, three local microbreweries came together to create the Oregon Brewers Festival–5,000 people came to taste the sixteen beers that were served on tap. Fast forward to 2009, and the Festival hosts 1,400 craft breweries and over 70,000 guests. If beers are your thing, head to west bank of the Willamette River starting July 23 and sip some suds like Eel River Brewing Company’s Organic Acai Berry Wheat (Scotia, CA) and Portland’s own McMenamin’s Concordia Brewery’s Hot For Teacher IPA (which got its name from the old school house in which its brewed). If beer isn’t your thing, Portland boasts a close proximity to outdoor activities, an insane reverance for coffee and a bustling art scene to keep you completely occupied.
We asked savvy Portlander Chelsea Fuss, to tell us her favorite places in and around town. Fuss’s experience comes from the two sites she runs. Frolic, a site devoted to fleamarket finds, gardening, local artists and designers and anything whose color and pattern catches Fuss’s roving eye. Urban Weeds, a collarboration with photographer Lisa Warninger (see her work below), is like the Sartorialist for the quirky thrift shop obsessed Portlandites—snapping them and their outfits as they bike off to practice with their ukelele bands. Taken together they’re a better view into the real Portland than any book shop travel guide.
Hotel Modera is just a short walk from the festival at Tom Mccall Waterfront. I think it’s an interesting (and successful) blend of 3 Portland loves: sophisticated urban living, mid-century style, and nature. The entrance is simple and sleek with wood slatted walls and graphic white chairs paired with oversized artwork and globe lights. Rooms are filled with luxurious bath products, down robes, and an Eames-style chair at your desk. An outdoor courtyard boasts a 63’ wall of ferns and foliage and scattered fire-pits. They also have a new Riviera-inspired restaurant by one of Portland’s top chefs, David Machado (also known for Meditteranean flavored Lauro and Indian-inspired Vindalho).
Broder, charming Swedish cafe, is my favorite breakfast spot in Portland (above). The space is tiny but oozing with modern Scandinavian style. They serve a breakfast sampler full of cheeses, meats, fruits and yogurt–all presented on a darling wooden cheeseboard. The Abelskivers with Lingonberry jam are also delightful. Broder is located in the quiet Clinton St. Neighborhood, a lovely spot a little off the beaten track and filled with a few cafes, coffee shops, record stores and antique shops (Clinton Street is a biker’s paradise). My favorite shop is Xtabay vintage- a perfectly chosen collection of vintage clothing.
I’m constantly heading to the Food Carts at 12th and Hawthorne- Portland’s latest hot spot for food carts and fabulous people watching. Yarp: At first glance you won’t want to eat here. The cart is covered in graffiti and anarchist quotes. The owner may ask to finish his cigarette break before making your dinner but it is definitely worth it. The portions are huge (will last at least two meals) and full of flavor. Yarp gets all their produce from local vendors and you’ll be able to taste the fresh tomatoes, basil and sausage in your spaghetti. You’ll also be surprised at all the interesting and delicious flavors coming from this cart. The 40% vegan menu changes daily according to what local meats and produce are available. Some of my other favorites include linguini covered in lemon dill sauce, dragon burgers, and halibut stuffed, breaded and fried in garlic oil.
Frances May is a beautifully curated clothing boutique started by a Grandmother and granddaughter. They carry many local designers like AK Vintage, Emily Katz in addition to great lines like Steven Alan and Built By Wendy.