A Saturday in Portland, Rain or Shine

29 Oct

Morning. If the sun is shining, then we’re on our way to the bakery. If it’s raining, then we snooze a little longer. Rain or shine, we eventually make our way to New Cascadia Traditional. This isn’t just a bakery; this is a gluten-free bakery. Even if you’re not gluten-free, this is a wonderful place to eat. You would never know the difference. The earlier you get there the better, because the goods go fast. I would recommend on a warm day, the decaf iced chai and a pumpkin scone. And if it’s a rainy day, the steamed chai and a cheese bagel are a dream. If you’re with your family you can pull up a chair around the generous butcher-block table in the center of the bakery, or if you’re alone that day you can bring your laptop and hop on their wi-fi at a table near a window. I always go back for a second round in line to pick out a dessert, be it a German chocolate cupcake or a specialty peach cupcake, or a gluten-free cookie. Grabbing a sandwich or pizza as well to bring on a picnic lunch for later in the day is also part of the bakery ritual.


Afternoon. Heading east out of Portland on 84 to Wahclella Falls with the gorge and Washington on your left-hand side, and Oregon and at least 100 different falls on the right, including Multnomah Falls, we find a spot for an afternoon hike. Once we’ve driven for about 30 minutes we come to the opening of the Wahclella Falls trail. There are many people with their dogs, walking on the trail, viewing miniature falls along the way. If its raining, it’s a mystical place, if its sunny it’s a magical place. I would recommend bringing decent walking shoes, as there are many rocks and tree roots overwhelming the path. There are tall trees with the sun peaking through, and a large rock overhang overlooking a water basin where I imagine the fairies choose to live. 



Evening. We head west back into Portland for a superb meal of authentic Mexican food. After a refreshing day walking along a trail, a warm dinner in a lively and welcoming environment on Hawthorne Street is just what you need. Por Que No is the best taqueria  in the world. Ever. If you’re lucky and get there at a decent time you’ll be seated quickly, if you get there later and the line is out the door, it is worth the wait. If it’s sunny, you’ll be sitting in the back patio on an array of vintage seating, and if it’s raining you will sit inside. All of the food is fresh, home-made, and free range. I don’t want to recommend anything specific off of the menu, because everything is delicious.  I will say the homemade guacamole and tortilla chips are  quite possibly the best you’ll ever eat. You can also pick a drink that will be distributed from a large jug on a table, dished with a ladle, featuring flavors of kiwi mango and hibiscus flower tea. Every time there’s some strange new combination of tropical flavors to choose from, which all end up tasting delicious despite the off-putting combination of fruits.




After a long day sipping creamy chia tea, taking a majestic hike, and soaking in the ambiance of a real Mexican restaurant, we head home and ponder another glorious day in Portland.



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