Whew, where did this year go? It is crazy to think that it was a year ago that I was in Asia on our crazy sabbatical adventure. Now here we are with the holidays quickly approaching! Do you have guests coming to town to celebrate the season?
With small families on both sides, Brice and I usually enjoy a pretty quiet Thanksgiving/Christmas/Hanukkah/Festivus. I often envy those people with tons of cousins, aunts and uncles and other extended family who all get together for big dinners, especially when they are goofy and do things like wear matching ugly sweaters. That is amazing. Who wants to invite me over? I’ll be a great addition, I promise.
Entertaining family and friends can be a lot of work though, but it is also a great opportunity to show off Portland. My approach to tourguiding is nearly 100% food related. Pastries and coffee, hike in Forest Park, followed by brunch, then a walk around town, happy hour, then lastly dinner. Yes, that is the agenda I provide people. Don’t come visit if you can’t handle the heat. Okay, that’s a little harsh. But really, you’re going to eat a lot if you have me as your tour guide.
My friend Rachel over at Love, Rachel always seems to have friends coming to visit, so she was the perfect person to ask for her go-to spots for this week’s #ThursdayToursPDX. I have to say I am a big fan of these places also, so she didn’t steer you wrong!
Entertaining Out-of-Towners by Love, Rachel
All photos courtesy of Rachel Lloyd
Out-of-Towners: (n) People who are clearly not from around these parts.
Hi there, I’m Rachel, the blogger behind Love, Rachel. I have lived most of my adult life in Portland, Oregon, but oddly enough, most of my family and friends live elsewhere in the world. One thing to note about me, I love making people fall in love with Portland. I eat, sleep, and breathe (mostly eat) this city. It’s quite an easy place to fall head over heels for. I’ve had people coming to visit me for awhile now- and have quite a solid list of “usual” places I showcase. I’m here to share with you the secret of entertaining guests- thanks for following along. Let’s begin.
Cheese and Crack: This is a recent addition to my usual list of suspects. Portland has evolved into this beautiful landscape of hyper local, fresh, and innovative little shops. They all have their own quirks. I am lusting over Cheese and Cracks plating for their cheese boards. It creates this awesome social experience over amazing tasting food- what’s not to love? I recommend the Beechers Flagship Cheddar and Brie Brulee, the Soft-Serve Cone, and the Seasonal PB&J.
Natural Selection: This vegetarian restaurant may seem like an odd choice (mostly because I’m not vegetarian) but, every time I try Natural Selection, I have one of the most wonderful dining experiences. I love the handcrafted menus they plan, the open kitchen, and the ambiance. The food is so fantastic, I never miss that I don’t have meat. I think this ideal fits right in with the Portlandian spirit. I recommend going with the coursed meal offering! Wine pairing is always a welcome addition in my book.
Ataula: This place is probably one of my top 3 favorites in Portland. 1. I’ve loved everything I’ve ever tasted from this restaurant. 2. They have the most stunning presentations 3. Every time I’ve been, the owner/head chef has come to my table and checked that I was having a great experience. If these reasons aren’t enough, the unassuming restaurant is charming, unique and offers seriously great eats. A MUST for dinner or brunch. My tops choices are Paella Ataula, Cojonudo, and Potatoes Bravas. Also: always say yes to house Sangria.
Honorable Mention: Eb & Bean: I think almost everyone loves a good frozen yogurt. Eb & Bean is doing it better than anyone in the industry, in my opinion. Again, I love the hyper local focus on fresh toppings. The creativity in this place is bursting at the seams. The seasonal flavors are not to be missed. The flavors change often, but my favorite toppings are : Honey Mama’s Cacao Nectar Crumbles, marionberry compote, and of course rainbow sprinkles (an honest classic)
Thanks following along- I hope you will join me at www.racheljanelloyd.com for more of my adventures around Portland. Huge thanks to Meredith and Erin for letting me contribute.