Three Things Thursday

Once again it’s time for the blog challenge Three Things Thursday, the purpose of which is to “share three things from the previous week that made you smile or laugh or appreciate the awesome of your life.”


Food in Portland

I’ve written about our trip last weekend to Portland, OR, here and here.

Although we weren’t there for very long, we did have some memorable food experiences.

1. Kells Irish Pub

The conference my daughter and I attended was at the Embassy Suites in Portland’s historic Old Town district. We arrived in time for a mid-afternoon lunch at nearby Kells Irish Pub:

112 SW Second Avenue, Portland, OR 97204
(503) 227–4057

Like most of the businesses in this redeveloped area, Kells is in a historic old building. This one was built in 1889 and is on the National Historic Register:

Kells Irish Pub
Kells Irish Pub

And of course we ate and drank traditional Irish fare:

A pint of Kells Stout between 2 pints of Guinness
A pint of Kells Stout between 2 pints of Guinness
Irish lamb stew
Irish lamb stew



Kells even has a huge wall of whiskeys that requires a library ladder for full access, which you can see at the right side of the photo featured at the top of this post.

They have a second site in Portland and—wait for it!—one in nearby (to us) Seattle and one in San Francisco, a city we occasionally visit.

2. Dan & Louis Oyster Bar

oyster bar 02After the conference Saturday night, we went for dinner to Dan & Louis Oyster Bar, also within walking distance of the hotel in Portland’s historic district:

208 SW Ankeny St. Portland, OR 97204

Opened in 1907, it bills itself as the “oldest family-owned restaurant in town.” It even has its name inlaid in the sidewalk outside the entrance:

oyster bar 01

My husband and I had lunch here when visiting Portland about 15 years ago. I remembered the restaurant having the best oyster stew I’d ever tasted, and I’m happy to report that it still does.

3. Voodoo Donuts

Voodoo Doughnuts
Voodoo Doughnuts

We never did get to eat the creations of the very famous Voodoo Doughnuts because every time we walked by there was a ridiculously long line.

Voodoo Doughnut ONE (original location)
22 SW 3rd Avenue Portland Oregon, U.S.A.
phone 503.241.4704

That may be a good thing, though, because it will probably take me at least a few months to decide which doughnut I want. Check the website for photos and descriptions of their many offerings.

Portland, OR: Powell’s Books & Saturday Market

My husband F., our daughter K., and I took a weekend road trip to Portland, OR, where K. and I attended a blogging conference while F. got to explore and take lots of photos.

Powell's City of Books windowWe arrived early enough on Friday afternoon to visit Powell’s Books. Our hotel was within walking distance of Powell’s flagship store:

1005 W. Burnside St.
Portland, OR 9729

I don’t remember when I first heard of Powell’s Books, but it was long before the Pacific Northwest was on our personal radar. It’s well known among book lovers.

This place is HUGE: It occupies an entire city block and stocks more than one million new and used books displayed in nine color-coded rooms divided into 3,500 different sections. The store also features a gallery that hosts a new art exhibit every month as well as many author events. Authors who have appeared here in the past include Roddy Doyle, Joyce Carol Oates, Michael Chabon, and Annie Leibovitz. But wait, there’s more: The Rare Book Room offers autographed first editions and other collectible volumes. And, in order to offer used books, Powell’s purchases used books from the public.

I dare you to visit Powell’s without coming home with at least one of these:

powells bag

Before leaving for home on Sunday, after the conference, we took a quick trip through the Portland Saturday Market , which now, luckily, is also open on Sundays.

Portland Saturday Market

The Portland Saturday Market (PSM) was founded in 1974 by two Portland-area artists as an open-air market selling handmade food and craft items. In 1976 the market moved from a parking lot to a location under the Burnside Bridge. In 1977 the market began opening on Sundays as well as Saturdays. Redevelopment of Portland’s historic Old Town district began in 2006, and the market moved to its current location in Waterfront Park in 2009.

Under Oregon law, PSM is “a mutual benefit corporation, a special class of institutions that do not make a profit, but exist for the economic benefit of their members, making PSM a non-profit organization that is not tax-exempt.” Today it has more than 350 members, generates about $8 million in gross sales annually, and is one of the largest tourist attractions in Portland. Seven full-time and 10 part-time staff members administer the market and its programs.


Everything at PSM is handcrafted by the vendor who is selling it. Vendors are small business owners from Oregon and Washington. The market is open every weekend from March through Christmas Eve, and is open the entire week before Christmas for last-minute shopping. Admission for shoppers is free.

My husband and I visited PSM about 15 years ago when we were in Portland to embark on a boat cruise of the Columbia River. We were amazed at how much bigger the market is now. There are so many great products to see: jewelry, clothing, pottery, art, photography, candles, leather goods. Because PSM is a juried market, all products are of high quality.

Even if you don’t buy anything, PSM is worth a visit for the street fair atmosphere, the original products, and the food. My daughter and I both exercised great restraint: We each came away with only one set of earrings and matching necklace.

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