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Portland: A City of Food and Fun

While there are many places around the country for foodies to indulge their taste buds, few serve up delicacies with a side of whimsy quite like Portland.

For example, with more than 700 food carts throughout the city, Portland has been named the best city in the world for “street food” by several publications. In fact, based on those numbers, you could hit a different truck every day and it would be two years before you repeated you ate at the same place twice. Among the more noteworthy additions to the convoy of food trucks are: The 9 Food and Drink, which mixes Indian and Asian cuisine; Bing Mi!, where jian bing (a Chinese breakfast crepe) is the specialty; Buki, the place for takoyaki, or bite-sized balls filled with octopus; and Holy Mole, named for the mole (pronounced “moh-ley”) sauces popular in Mexico.

Portland has also been named the best city for “happy hour” in the United States. The city’s more than 60 breweries (more than 75 in the metro area) – including more microbreweries than any other city in the world – is a big part of that. More than 50 percent of the craft beer Portlandians drink is made in the state. Another sudsy fact is that the Oregon Brewers Festival, held in Portland’s Waterfront Park, is the largest craft beer fest in North America. The city’s oldest craft brewery, BridgePort BrewPub, is still considered one of the best, but beer lovers should be sure to hit Rogue Distillery and Public House, Oregon Public House and Deschutes Brewery as well.

For people looking to tie the knot, but with frosting, you can get your life together off to a sweet start at Voodoo Doughnuts. This popular spot – with three locations in the Portland area – offers a number of different wedding packages, based on the number of guests (9, 24 or 40). The lucky couple receives doughnuts, a voodoo doll bride and groom, a doughnut heart centerpiece and coffee for all attendees. And if you weren’t planning on being in Portland for your nuptials, no problem. Just opt for “The Whole Shebang,” which includes the ceremony, airfare, hotel accommodations and a tour! If you’re just in town and want to snack on a few selections, you can’t go wrong with the Pot Hole (a cream-filled chocolate bar, with Oreos and a trail of frosting), the Captain my Captain (topped with Cap’n Crunch cereal) or the Marshall Mathers (with vanilla frosting and M&M’s).

If the doughnuts don’t satisfy your sweet tooth, this might: The Candy Basket is home to the world’s largest continual chocolate waterfall. This 21-foot towering cascade, crafted from Italian marble and sculpted bronze, has been around since 1991. It spews an astounding 2,700 pounds of chocolate from top to bottom. You can look, but don’t taste! The chocolate has been circulating for years. Instead, check out Candy Basket’s selection of toffees, brittles, chocolate truffles, fudges, jells and mores – which adhere to heavenly recipes and a back-to-basics approach based on three generations of expertise.

And at Old Town Pizza, the fare is definitely to die for – including such surprising toppings as feta cheese, slow-roasted pulled pork and black-pepper garlic chicken – but it’s the afterlife that gives this Portland landmark its true flavor. According to legend, the restaurant’s downtown location is haunted by a ghost named Nina. That’s because the building (formerly The Merchant Hotel) is built directly on top of the network of tunnels that lead out to the Willamette River – commonly known as the Shanghai Tunnels, for the 19th century practice of abduction that plagued the city. With a murderous past, the darker side of Portland can perhaps be glimpsed in the personage of an unforgiving presence – which, of course, you’ll miss if you get your pizza delivered.

To plan your own sweet-and-savory trip to Portland, or any of our other delicious destinations, drop us a line at info@takeagetaway.com.

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