Field Trip to Portland in a Honda Pilot

“FieldTrips” is either a day trip or a few days where I visit food areas of interest which may include farm visits, producers, wineries, restaurants and/or other places that people can visit. This is about offering Vancouver Foodster readers a chance to get out of town and take a “Field Trip” for the day or a few days to explore, learn, taste and experience.

Field Trip to Portland in a Honda Pilot

A few weeks ago I took a trip South to explore Portland, Oregon as it had been years since my last visit. Honda Canada set me up with a 2017 Honda Pilot Touring to test drive for a week, I spent one of the days driving on Interstate 5 from Vancouver, BC to Portland for 6-1/2 hours with one stop along the way for coffee in Olympia.

Olympia Coffee Roasting

Olympia Coffee Roasting Nitro Cold Brew

Olympia Coffee Roasting is located in downtown Olympia, only a couple of minutes off the highway at 600 4th Ave E, Olympia. Enjoyed a glass of their in-house roasted coffee for an Iced-Nitro Cold Brew to go.

Once I arrived to Portland I checked into my hotel for the night, the iconic Jupiter Hotel which has a great location that is central to everything food and music around.

Honda Pilot Touring 2017

One of the features that I loved about the Honda Pilot Touring 2017 was the audio options, I found myself listening to SiriusXM Alt Nation channel much of the ride on this roadtrip. As well, another feature that I found particularly useful was the rear hidden cargo space, it was a compartment trunk at the rear of the vehicle that you lift up the latch, there I was able to leave my suit bag, and knapsack when in parked in places, allowing for nothing to appear in the vehicle if onlookers looked in, a great security measure.

The Jupiter Hotel began is a renovated an 81 room motor lodge that connects travelers to the vibrancy of Portland’s east side. It is an urban oasis located on Portland’s Eastside, upon entering the suite you will find a selection of local food and entertainment magazines for reading pleasure as well as a condom placed bedside for that just in case moment.

Metro Max suite

Metro Max suite

I stayed in a Metro Max suite on the 2nd floor, that featured a completely separate seating area – 340 square feet of self-indulgence, along with a comfy bed.

The Jupiter Hotel

The Jupiter Hotel ‘bike rack’

The Jupiter Hotel

It had been years since I last visited Portland and I was excited to explore the dining scene, one restaurant that I had been wanting to visit for quite sometime was the one that I had dinner at on the first night, an Italian eatery, Ava Gene’s. My friend Aaron who I hadn’t seen in over 20 years, joined me to share some dishes at this wonderful restaurant.

Corn, eggplant, walnuts, sweet onion, provolone

Corn, eggplant, walnuts, sweet onion, provolone

Sheep cheese, Cherry Tomatoes, Basil, Chile Bread

Sheep cheese, Cherry Tomatoes, Basil, Chile bread

Meatballs, Buckwheat cavatelli, and Corn Polenta

Meatball Monday tomato, ricotta, and its incredible

Buckwheat cavatelli, fennel, Basil, pine nuts

Amish butter corn polenta, ground to order

Ava Gene’s Restaurant is owned by Chef Josh McFadden and specializes in Italian cuisine, this was his first restaurant that opened 5 years ago, I has since opened more eateries in Portland.

Ava Gene’s

3377 SE Division St, Portland

Instagram @avagenes

Salt & Straw Ice Cream

Across the street was Salt & Straw Ice Cream and since it was also on my must try list, that is where we had dessert. The staff were so helpful and friendly, I ended up trying most of their flavours before deciding on these.

Cinnamon Snickerdoodle and Strawberry honey balsamic with black pepper ice cream on a cone

Cinnamon Snickerdoodle and Strawberry honey balsamic with black pepper ice cream on a cone, what an incredible combination of multilevel flavours!

Salt & Straw Ice Cream

3345 SE Division Street, Portland

11AM – 11PM DAILY – (503) 208-2054

Instagram @saltandstraw

Busking in Portland

Proud Mary

Proud Mary

The next day I was up early to drive to the Alberta neighborhood for a 7am breakfast at newly opened Proud Mary. It is a coffee roaster, a café with amazing coffee as well as a full restaurant with it’s Australian roots. Owned by Nolan Khyl Hirte this cafe had been open for 9 weeks at the time of my visit, he also owns one in Melbourne, Australia where he had lived for many years, he now runs the Portland cafe as he relocated there to open this place.

The Ricotta Hotcake

As I was on my own I was only able to enjoy one dish, and it was The Ricotta Hotcake, a delicious vanilla ricotta hotcake, sticky macerated berries, lemon curd cream, cinnamon cookie meringue. I also had an Iced Cold Brew Coffee as I had to try their coffee.

Proud Mary

2012 NE Alberta St, Portland

Instagram @proudmaryusa

I then headed back to my hotel to checkout before embarking on a media tour of Southern Oregon with Travel Oregon.

The Jupiter Hotel

800 E. Burnside Street, Portland

Instagram @jupiterhotel

Honda Pilot 2017

Thanks to the Honda Canada for providing me with the car for this road trip. The car was roomy and had good driveability, smooth ride, comfortable seating and got good mileage with a full tank of gas I was able to drive from Vancouver to Portland as well as around Portland without having to fill-up along the way. A few of the other things that I liked in this top of the line Touring model was the Blind spot detection, fuel economy updates, econo mode, and multiple USB charging outlets. The roominess of this car is also terrific for families or for taking friends on a long weekend roadtrip.

Thank you to The Jupiter Hotel for providing me with accomodation for a restful night as I explored the foodie scene of Portland.

Stay tuned for my next Field Trip outside of Vancouver.

By: Richard Wolak