Roadtrip in Review, with a little Social Media Love-Fest.
I am completely submersed in the social web – I breath it everyday, and over the last few years it has affected my life in a big way. Everything from what I eat to where I travel or how I interact with people online has evolved, so it was only natural for me to seek the recommendations of my network when planning a coastal road trip.
I sought out suggestions from my Twitter loves because they’ve become my trusted voices (from all over) and for that I am grateful. I wanted to get the absolute most out of my trip and without their help (and google maps) my adventure would not have been as fabulous as it was. It was a LoveFest- A Social Media LoveFest.
Now that I’ve returned and have had ample time to marinate on my travels I wanted to take time out to say something about the places that really stood out to me along the way. Our trip started in Seattle and ended in San Francisco, so I suppose my reviews should work their way down as well.
Three words: Connoisseurs coffee shop. Trabant has a Clover machine – it’s incredible. I had never experienced anything like it before. Unlike a typical coffee maker the Clover only brews one cup of customizable coffee at a time, and leaves no muddy residue in the bottom of your mug. The smoothest cup of coffee I have ever indulged in. The shop’s baristas were so helpful and beyond pleased to explain to me how the Clover worked. If you’re into Chai I hear the Salted Carmel Chai is pretty irresistible.
I’ve been to Pike Place before and usually opt for the cheese place or a deli inside the market, but per David’s suggestion we checked out Matt’s. The meal left me speechless- great local ales, house made salt & pepper chips with hot bacon caramelized dip, pan-fried cornmeal crusted catfish with sambal aioli and lettuce on potato bread- I’m actually salivating just thinking about it. The server was very attentive even with a packed house, and when asked what he suggested from the menu he was unable to pick one thing over another- It’s THAT good. The ambiance is wonderful, and the view from the windows is picture perfect. If I didn’t have a reason to visit Seattle before, I do now.
I don’t have a bad thing to say about Jupiter. From the moment we booked the room to checkout it was great. I called ahead to reserve the rooms. They didn’t have the same room available at an identical rate for the entire weekend so (with no hassle at all) AL upgraded us to a suite for both nights with no extra charge. That is great customer service! It’s not a 5 star hotel, it’s a hipster joint with tons of character, chalk board doors, and mid-century modern furniture. The Doug Fir Lounge, attached to the hotel, has some of the best bands from all over playing every weekend- Foals, The Concretes, The Blow, National to name a few. I will warn you though when I say “hipster joint” I mean it, be prepared for flannel shirts, down vest/jackets, and mustaches- It’s Bedford Ave in Brooklyn minus the elitism.
Do you love bacon? Of course you do, who doesn’t? Take a maple bar, stick two pieces of deliciously salty bacon on top and you’ll have Voodoo’s signature masterpiece. Initially their spread is a little intimidating. From the Tex-Ass (a glazed sensation the size of your face) to the “Triple Chocolate Penetration”, or the “Grape Ape” which tastes like grape Big League Chew, you’ll be completely torn. Fortunately doughnuts don’t exactly break the bank so you can return home with all of them. You’ll wait 45 minutes in line to get in the doors but it’s well worth it, Voodoo will quite literally cast a spell on you.
I saved this review for last, and with good reason. We found out about this little treasure from a woman that runs a boutique across the street. The space is very small to say the least. There are literally four tables (including the chef’s counter) and it’s difficult to get a reservation, but far from pretentious. The Executive Chef, Gabriel Rucker, is award winning and there aren’t enough superlatives to describe the food. Yes, we ate Pigeon and yes, is was fantastic! Generous proportions, flavors and presentation of a 5 star restaurant, wonderful atmosphere- sincerely one of the best meals I have had in my life. The best part? It was completely affordable. We had wine, appetizers, entrees, and desert for $80 including tip! I can imagine the same meal in Los Angeles easily being upwards of $300 dollars. If you’re in Portland, even for a day, do not miss a meal here.
Best Corned Beef Hash. (it’s not your average hash)
Best Eggs Benedict I’ve ever eaten. I have it every time I’m in San Fran.
Thank you to everyone that reached out offering recommendations on places to see and food to eat – your information was absolutely invaluable. A very special thank you to David Lifson who went above and beyond in offering up his favorite places to graze. If you’re planning a coastal food tour make sure to give these places some attention. Your stomach and heart will thank you.