My previous food journey posts are really more like day trips. At least, it’s feasible to hit up a few food trucks in a day then relax at a cafe. However, this time we really went on a journey further south.
It was the long weekend so my friends and I decided to do a small road trip down to Portland with a pit stop in Seattle along the way. We did hang out at Pike market for a little while but didn’t eat much of while I was there. Pike place was vibrant and beautiful though – they have such an amazing array of flowers and produce and fresh fish. I can never get a good enough photo to do it justice.
There was lots to do in Portland as well. We had a chance to see the Saturday market – the Portland equivalent of Pike Place. On the way back we passed by Voodoo donuts with its requisite 1 hour plus waiting line. That night we also went to a McMenamin’s pub and watched Jack the Giant Slayer while eating deep fried bar food. So good but not good for you. There was also a requisite visit to Powell’s Books. I think I could spend a week there just to explore and read. And try to resist the temptation to buy everything there. Plus Trader Joe’s. And no tax. And SmartPark garages ($3.20 for 2 hour parking in the heart of downtown <3). There’s so many things I really liked apart from the food!
Portland isn’t really a huge city but navigating around it is sometimes not for the faint of heart. One way streets are a driving nightmare. But aside from randomly getting lost, we also ate at a bunch of different places.
Items ordered: Macchiato, latte
Cost: ~$4 each for the macchiato and latte
The inside of Stumptown Roasters reminds me of Revolver in Gastown. It’s got that same rustic red brick wall feel that I love, but it’s a very clean feel in terms of the way tables are arranged and the beautiful counters. I think their music was a little bit on the loud side for reading or studying though.
Beautiful macchiato with amazing latte art right in front of us. I don’t drink macchiatos much because they’re very intense and I prefer something I can sip slowly with a good book or while I’m doing something else.
The latte art was a little messier for mine but the taste was very smooth. Next time perhaps I should order a wet cappuccino because there was a tad too much milk for me. The coffee beans they used weren’t acidic at all and had a nice little chocolate flavor at the end.
There was a little food cart pod nearby that we went to check out. I think it’s near the corner of 3rd and Washington. I really love the idea of these pods because you can browse without having to go very far. I’m excited to see Vancouver slowly starting to adopt them.
The Sausage Shack (Food cart)
Items ordered: Bacon wrapped corn dog
Bacon! I think I’m a bit late on the bacon bandwagon. It’s been kind of drowned out by the donut frenzy lately. In my own defense I didn’t decide to get food here…the only thing I will hunt down bacon for is double chocolate chip candied bacon cookies. Sadly this food truck didn’t have any. He did offer to melt some chocolate over bacon but it’s not quite the same.
This lasted about 3 minutes. I think I spent longer trying to get a photo if it than it actually lasted. Yummy. I wonder if I could make it?
Hog Time (Food Cart)
Items ordered: Pulled Pork and Greens
Vancouver’s pretty famous for pulled pork now I think, what with Re-Up BBQ. Though I do like BBQ sauce with pulled pork, I find the pork ends up being drowned in sauce, which I don’t like very much. I decided on a pulled pork on greens because I thought it wouldn’t be quite as heavy as getting a burger or pulled pork on fries. I wanted space to try some other food!
It was a good choice. The pork wasn’t smothered in sauce and the vegetables lightened up the meat. The meat was really moist and fall apart tender. He had a selection of 4 different sauces and I picked the yogurt lime and habanero sauces to get a nice balance of spicy and slightly sour. It lasted slightly longer than the corn dog, about 8 minutes instead of 5.
Batavia (Food Cart)
Items ordered: Chicken Satay
It’s an interesting little food truck at the very end. They have a sandwich signboard up but I’m not sure they actually sell sandwiches. We got their chicken skewers in a peanut satay sauce with these rice cake things. The satay sauce was on the sweeter side but I couldn’t stop eating it. The rice cakes were kind of like a softer version of gnocchi. It was good at the beginning but started soaking up more moisture so they ended up getting softer and softer.
Items ordered: Smoked salmon chowder
I only tasted about a bite of each of the components. I liked the bread, but…bread is bread. It’s hard to go wrong with it except maybe stale bread. The chowder was really messy but that may have been our fault during transportation. It was a little too fishy for me with a strong smoky aftertaste, but I prefer my fish extra fresh and my smoked salmon intact on a bagel with cream cheese. Everyone else liked it quite a lot. The saffron rice was tasty but a little bit on the hard side and coleslaw is coleslaw.
And last but not least…
Items ordered: assorted donuts
Cost: $1 – 1.50 per donut
I’m not quite sure where the name Voodoo Doughnut originated because Voodoo is a very Southern/Haitian thing. Not what comes to mind when you think of Portland and Pacific Northwest cultures.
They’re supposedly open 24/7 but we went in the middle of the day on a Monday. It wasn’t as long of a lineup as on Sunday, only about 30 minutes. The staff were super friendly though and explained what each donut actually was. I can see why it would take such a long time. Besides which the stacks of pink boxes never stopped getting filled and leaving the little shop.
I don’t know/don’t remember the names of all the donuts because the staff also lets us point at the display case. I like the texture of cruellers the most because they’re much lighter than the typical donut, and rolling it in cinnamon sugar made it even more delicious. I had about a third of it left in the box and it was sneakily eaten before I could finish it. Goes to show how good it was!
The Captain Crunch donut was really good too, but a little too sweet. I liked the crunchiness of the cereal a lot. The only other donut I’ve eaten so far is the voodoo doll. It’s filled with raspberry jelly, which wasn’t overly sweet. I think there’s also supposed to be chocolate creme inside. However I ended up dismembering it slowly so I’m not sure if it actually does have some chocolate filling or I heard wrong.
There was lots of interesting food on this trip though not all of it was healthy. Worth it? Yes. Do the trip again? Yes. I haven’t even visited all the food cart pods yet!