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USA | Wednesday, 21 November 2007 | Views [356]

We caught an afternoon bus to Portland and stayed at the NW hostel near the “Pearl District” for two days (three nights). We could easily have stayed longer because we really enjoyed the vibe and offerings of this temperate rainforest city. The hostel was a beautiful set up, socially. The hosts were very devoted, committed hostellers. There were lots of travelers and two kitchens and a reception area in which people interacted. The pamphlets, maps and bulletin boards were phenomenal. Hiking through Portland, the shops, the galleries, the views and nature all caught our interest and enhanced our stay. Talking to a local, a youth at the sit down area of the Whole Foods store, I had a list of organic restaurants to choose from. I thought I was in heaven and this impression was reinforced as we settled down to a modestly priced, mouthwateringly delicious meal at a vegan organic restaurant called The Blossoming Lotus (veganfusion.com). This, after an exhilarating uphill hike into the SW of Portland. The owner of the restaurant had operated a restaurant somewhere in Hawaii (Kawaii, I think). When he moved to Portland, the local community got after him to open up a restaurant there. It was a beautifully designed set up within an extremely spacious yoga studio. But, the kitchen was tiny, and the food had to be prepared down the street during the day and moved to the restaurant for the evening. Our waiter filled us in on all these details. He said that they were extremely rigorous with monitoring how much they made of things in order to eradicate waste, and that was how they were able to keep their prices so reasonable. They were scouting for a larger place. Every seat in the restaurant was occupied when we were there, and that was considered slow as usually there was a full line of people waiting. Dave and I were fortunate to arrive at the Blossoming Lotus in full hunger. We ordered two entrees each, without realizing it -- that is how reasonable their prices are. The waiter confided in us that he had left off cooking entirely since working there and pretty much relied on his free meal a day at the restaurant. I had to pause a bit from food preparation after that meal -- it was just so delicious!


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