This will be a very disorganized, relentless rant and will probably irritate the crap out of those who enjoy traveling. Believe me when I say, I am very much prepared to be called out for “wasting” a great food city. This is not my formal travel blog for Portland – and practically has nothing to do with Portland if I’m honest – so if that’s what you were wanting to read, please skip this post and I’ll have the actual travel portion covered in the coming weeks. I had absolutely no intention of doing a post like this but I had to get all of the following off my chest.
Where do I even begin?
Here’s the thing, when I travel, I like to experience different cultures through exploring while simultaneously enjoying local food and plenty of it. Well, I just got back into San Francisco from Portland, OR yesterday afternoon and I can honestly tell you, while I did an abundant amount of exploring, I owe PDX and the rest of the globetrotting foodie breed a big fat apology because I did not get to experience Portland through food like I normally did with every other place I’ve been to.
You see, when I travel, I like to eat as much as I can and what I mean by that, is that I like to try a ton of different things at a ton of different places. It could be a tourist destination, a locals’ spot, a fine dining establishment, or even a damn freestanding stall on the street, I’m down for it all. Well then, what seems to be the problem? Over the course of three full days, I only ate from seven establishments, not including the hotel – reason being? My travel companion had a tendency to load up on complimentary hotel breakfast every morning, and by “loading up” I mean eating enough to fuel him through dinner time.
Don’t get me wrong, my friend is great at scouting places to see and explore and he even made it a point to bring me to the local food scene since I had mentioned I travel for food. The only problem is that he had little to no stomach capacity for anything I might’ve been interested in trying because he ate a breakfast for three (five if you’re not American) every single day. Now, though I claim that I eat a lot, I realistically only eat about two or three bites of everything when I travel. You can probably see why I didn’t jump at the opportunity to check out different eateries. Literally 60% of the food would’ve ended up in the trash because I simply can’t eat that much in volume and my friend just simply wasn’t hungry. It fuckin sucks. Again, I was asked many times if there were anything in particular that I wanted to do or any eateries that I wanted to visit. My fault for not doing my own research and failing to remember that my friend is a buffet champion.
What the Mr. and I normally do is hunt for breakfast or brunch or whatever meal time of the day it is when we wake up at our travel destination. We seldom help ourselves to complimentary hotel breakfast (unless it’s world class and gourmet like Park Hyatt Shanghai) because let’s be honest, how much liquid eggs and bacon can one eat? And it’s definitely not the most enticing food that’s usually served at mid-range chain hotels though we will grab a bite if we’re starving and there’s no decent spots nearby (ie: Anaheim, CA). Our normal travel day would consist of a quick but local breakfast, followed by a ton of walking, a mid-morning bite, more exploring, and when lunch time comes around, we go from one place to another back to back to eat at as many different places as we can. Neither me nor the Mr. obscenely overeat on a normal basis but we make room when we travel because seriously, what’s the point of traveling if you’re not gonna eat? We very much like to explore and eat at the same time. Both of us enjoy quality food at a steady pace, not AYCE at the very first meal of the day. I’d honestly consider the both of us to have a more refined palate. Eating for the sake of just being full doesn’t cut it for either of us.
Another thing is, I like blending in with the locals when I travel. You’ll never take The City out of me no matter how hard you try because I’m a true San Francisco native with secret invisible New Yorker blood (if you know me, you’d get it) but I do attempt my best to fit in with the local culture. It’s in my nature to always be on the go and I’m always in a rush for absolutely no reason at all but Portland was not like that, not anywhere near anything like that. Both me and my friend tend to power walk everywhere we go but when I’m in a slow ass city, I have no problem slowing down a bit to enjoy the scene. Everyone in Portland was super nice and I’m a firm believer in common courtesy or even just being a decent stranger to others in general – this statement cannot be concluded because I’m about to offend someone if I do. Don’t even get me started with airport etiquette, that topic in it’s own right deserves it’s own blog post. Traveling frequently does NOT mean that you’re well-traveled. I’ll just leave this right here.
See? Told ya this will be disorganized.
I’ve already voiced my philosophy regarding food to my friend and honest to God, I will only ever travel with the Mr. who’s on the same page or just simply by my own damn self if I want to continue doing what I do when I travel. I better shut up before I get personal because I have a lot more ugly things to say that has nothing to do with traveling. To end this post on a lighter note, other than an apology, I also owe Portland another visit, but that probably won’t be in the immediate future.