Eat, Drink, Sleep : Portland

When we're compiling client itineraries or recommendations for great new experiences, we hit a fork: one direction is a dead end...meaning we've exhausted the best of the best, while the other direction seems to go on forever, rendering it impossible to see, eat or do everything. Portland sends us down the latter path. We've been to Portland on numerous occasions for work, pleasure and eating (that's reason enough). And we can wholeheartedly say, this is a city of innovation, discriminating taste and a unquenchable thirst for what's next. And that's why we love it. Though it's become known as a hipster mecca, the birthplace of the lumbersexual and a caricature of itself (even enjoying a spot-on satire by Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein), we never leave hungry or without a few new friends. So here's where we think you should eat/drink/sleep in Portland. 


Eat:

Breakfast at Maurice (MAURICE!): Amazing does not do the experience justice. We have suggested you visit for breakfast but anytime's the right time for Maurice. Are you on a quest for the best pastry + coffee combos in America? Here you go. Maurice offers a rotating menu based on the season with delicious housemade gluten-y goodness. Go in at 10 a.m. and grab a coffee and one of the daily pastries, catch up on the news or just sit and enjoy the aroma of fresh baked treats. 921 SW Oak St, Portland, OR 97205

Lunch: Nong Khao Man Gai - This food truck, which now has a brick and mortar restaurant, serves one dish: Khao Man Gai, one of Thailand’s most popular street foods.  The base components of the dish are simply chicken and rice, but the flavors will blow your mind. We offer our promise and no more. If you are in Portland, drop what ever you are doing, go stand in line, order a Khao Man Gai and then eat it standing it up. 1003 SW Alder St, Portland, OR 97205

Dinner: DOC - DOC is one of the best dining experiences we have had. Not just top notch for Portland, but for the entire area around Portland. Meaning, America. The restaurant houses no more than 20 seats and you walk through the kitchen to be seated. Imagine walking into your mom's kitchen, but instead of meatloaf you're served wonderful Italian-inspired fare focusing on the seasonal ingredients of Oregon and the pacific northwest (hint: that's delicious). Go on a Saturday and take part in the tasting menu, as it is the best way to enjoy all DOC has to offer.  Absolve yourself of responsibility and let the servers suggest a bottle of wine or two from the exceptional wine list. 5519 NE 30th Ave, Portland, OR 97211

Time to Drink: 

Coffee : Commissary - Tuck into this old Filmhouse-cum-coffee shop. You'll enjoy some of the best coffee in Portland and if you are lucky enough to see banana bread on the menu grab a slice without hesitation. Sit back and enjoy the space while you plan your weekend hike or spots to shop downtown or in East Burnside. 915 NW 19th Ave, Portland, OR 97209

Late Afternoon/Early Evening Cocktail : Cheese and Crack - The name is rather clear. Stop in for their delicious cheese and charcuterie plates. It might seem like a simple menu but when one of their Instagram-friendly trays arrives at your table you will see what all the fuss is about. Pair your cheese and meat with a local ale and enjoy on their sidewalk cafe tables. Also make sure to save room for the soft serve, topped with their espresso dust. 22 SE 28th Ave, Portland, OR 97202

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A Night Out : Expatriate and Rum Club - Portland does cocktail bars its own way. Expatriate and Rum Club are two shining examples of Portland's love for a fine made cocktail. The spaces are not a step back into the 1930’s, no secret doors or passwords required. Instead, both offer a low lit space, decorated as if everything was thoughtfully picked up from a local flea market. At Expatriate do yourself a favor and go with friends so you can taste your way through the cocktail list and bar snacks (you must get the Jalapeño Popper Bun). If you are not sure where to start just ask the bartenders and they will take care of you. After you are fully fortified and ready for a more lively crowd, head over to Rum Club. Belly up to the bar and order your favorite Tiki Cocktail, sit outside and enjoy the beautiful Portland evening. Expatriate - 5424 NE 30th Ave, Portland, OR 97211 . Rum Club -720 SE Sandy Blvd, Portland, OR 97214 .

Sleep: 

Ace Hotel - It's no secret we are fully in love with the Ace. If we are going to be loyal to any property, it's the Ace. From Panama City to London we think the Ace offers one of the best all-round hotel experiences in the world. From the thoughtful decor to the consistently inventive and hearty food and drink, you know what to expect and those expectations are always exceeded. The Ace in Portland is no exception to this rule. The property was the second edition to the family and you can truly see where the level of service, style and excellent food and drink began. From the moment you are greeted by the wonderful staff, have a coffee at the Stumptown coffee shop (or a lobby cocktail) and to kicking your Danners off in one of their tasteful-yet-comfortable rooms, you will see why we love staying at the Ace in Portland. While you make the Ace you homebase, don't worry about straying too far to find a good drink or dinner.  The on-property restaurant,  Clyde Commons and Pepe Le Moko bar keep the leash short and the night long.  1022 SW Stark St, Portland, OR 9720

 

The Indwell Interview: Siobhan Chretien

We met Siobhan Chretien through a mutual friend and just minutes into our first glasses of wine, she was recounting the anecdotes and memories and must-sees from what is an envious passport of professional and personal travels across the world. Siobhan has gained global notoriety within the travel, luxury and tourism categories frequently called on to speak or consult with a variety of clients — from well known brands to local travel + tourism councils.

She established her tourism and marketing expertise over a decade helming Destination Canada, the country's tourism marketing organization. In addition to running her new consulting practice, she documents the best in global food, beverage and cultural trends — all sourced from her extensive travels — on her SipTips blog and Instagram (a selection of her travels above). 

We got selfish and wanted to dig deeper into her tips, travels and worldview, and she graciously agreed to the Indwell Interview. Check out Siobhan's consulting company Me Marketing for more.

If you could spend a week anywhere on earth, where would you go? Why? I would spend a week the Normandy region of France. I am of French decent, my fathers’ family originates from the region. I am captivated by its rich viking history,  tranquil landscape, timbered housing, battlefields and castles. And of course the food and wine! As well, Canadians played an important role in the Battle of Normandy (D-Day) in World War II. We need to appreciate our history more. I value this knowledge when I travel.

What’s one spot (restaurant, bar, shop, etc.) that’s a MUST visit while in Normandy? Indulge your inner princess and have dinner at the castle Le-Mont-St-Michel island commune. Surrounded by a moat, what is not to love! To take glass of champagne and eat some Marennes-Oléron oysters, what could be better?! So romantic and fun.

What is one brand that best reflects your personality? Why? I love the classics of Chanel. Who can’t love anything that Coco Chanel and her wit, charm and beauty influenced? I love femininity.  Elegance and grace is something you cannot re-create. It exists. Chanel is this for me, it’s sophisticated but its roots come from a clever being that had edge and enjoyed a great life. 

I want a unique dinner in your home city of Vancouver, where do I go? Vancouver is nestled on an island, against the sea, surrounded by mountains, in a rain forest, so it is purely distinct and unique! I would suggest the bar/restaurant Lift to a first time visitor. The food and drink can be enjoyed as you sit outside next to the fire suspended over the water. It’s intimate: kayaks, cruise ships, sea planes will pass by as you relax looking at the city of glass, Stanley park and the mountains. 

What are one or two big trends you’re seeing in the travel/tourism industry? The “unhotel” would be one. By this I don’t mean Air BnB-type platforms. They are great. But for hotels that still strive to serve the hotel customer, that customer experience is totally changing. A great example is the hotel 21C in Louisville. The hotel concept was built around an art gallery experience. Furthermore, established hotel rules are being broken. No checkins, less stuffy service, free amenities, bikes, communal work spaces, personal stylists, etc. Simply put, lifestyle matters. When traveling, one's lifestyle preferences and rituals should not have to change. 

What does it mean to have city/local pride today? I would simply consider this to mean that you are compelled to share. If you feel this love of your location intrinsically, but also act on it, that is pride.  With millennials, there is a huge cultural movement toward celebrating the best of one’s city and life. Who wants to be bored or feel left out? Who wants a dull life? Technology makes us all advocates and media unto ourselves. I don’t know anyone that does not in some way use this to share their pride.  

Finally, we wanted to know what few essentials Siobhan can't travel without:

  1. A wine bottle opener.  Al fresco everywhere is best! I always head right to a market or grocery store for cultural insights. It’s like opening the refrigerator into someones home. Then I go eat my local finds and the wine to drink is a must. With your own opener, you can have a picnic everywhere!
  2. My moleskin and my pencil.  I provide trip design for clients and my journeys are my road maps. My Moleskin is like my diary of the decade. I keep each one I fill with my finds on a bookshelf for future reference. 
  3. Bumble & Bumble Beach Hair spray. I already have big beach hair so I keep fresh with this mist that has an amazing scent and keeps me fly-away free!
  4. My iPhone music. I don’t watch TV on flights. I find long flights are the best time to think, work, read, write, and simply relax. My playlists vary as on every trip you always learn of a new genre, artist or influence. Music is magic for the mind.
  5. My travel wrap from American Apparel. It can be worn about 10 different ways. From acting as a cozy blanket to a unique crossed wrapped sexy cross top, it’s amazingly versatile. I am not a fan of the “ I just came from the gym” look on planes and feel people should still feel comfortable but in style, when traveling. This gives you just that.

 

Eat, Drink, Sleep: Silver Lake, CA

With the long American Independence Day weekend approaching we hope you've plotted an escape from your daily environs or at the very least, a well-stocked fridge of yard beer and grill provisions. Summer is here, and the travel bug abounds. While it's been cloudy and unseasonably cool around our NYC HQ, we are dreaming of sun, beaches and a simplicity. We are thinking LA. And, specifically, Silver Lake. 

If you go, here's what you need to know. 

EAT: 
Breakfast : Millie's Cafe. We have a term in the U.S. for done-right diners that are simple and modestly priced, but turn out amazing food from scratch: “The Greasy Spoon.” The moniker might not be the most charming, but when it comes to breakfast and if you live in LA or NY you know this claim to fame means you get what you want. Millie’s fits the bill.  Pull up a seat to their bar and order pancakes or an omelet, and what you will receive is an amazing hearty breakfast made the right way. 3524 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026

Tacos Delta in all its simple glory

Tacos Delta in all its simple glory

Lunch : Tacos Delta - You just need to know two things about this place: shrimp tacos and Mexican Coca Cola. Order these, sit outside and enjoy. Pretty easy, if we do say so. And we do. So eat here. 3806 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026

Night + Market Song

Night + Market Song

Dinner : Night + Market Song - Amazing traditional Thai food that you will not be able to find anywhere else in LA. Seriously. Let the servers take you through the menu and give you suggestions. Everything is worth a try - and we suggest you split an assortment with friends. Especially if they are friends of the "spicy food" ilk. No reservations available and you will have to wait a bit, but this is not a downer, it's an opportunity: grab a few beers and sit in their DIY waiting area. 3322 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026

 

DRINK:

Coffee : Dinosaur Coffee - Beautiful space, great coffee and tea, and they even host events. The perfect place to truly enjoy a cup of coffee, work on a project, or just relax. Take it from Dinosaur's tagline: "Things Will Be Fine." And they are. 4334 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90029

Sawyer's back patio 

Sawyer's back patio 

Afternoon Cocktail/Noshing : Sawyer - One of the most beautiful new spaces in Silver Lake, with an amazing backyard. Go here for a late afternoon cocktail or glass of wine and stay for the seafood-focused dinner menu (or just accessorize your drinks), grab some oysters or the fried chicken sandwich. 3705 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026

 

Remember your evening at the Cha-Cha Lounge

Remember your evening at the Cha-Cha Lounge

Night Out : There is something nearly perfect about a night that starts with amazing cocktails in a beautiful space and ends with a cheap beer, dancing and a photo booth. Start at Bar Stella and do yourself a favor and just stick to the impressive cocktail list: low think, high reward. Service is wonderful and the space is low lit and cozy. After a couple cocktails make your way to Cha-Cha Lounge for cheap beers and good music.  Take a few photos in the photo booth to remember the night. Bar Stella - 3932 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90029 / Cha-Cha - 2375 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90039

 

SLEEP:

Hotel Covell

Hotel Covell

Hotel Covell - This tiny boutique hotel offers four rooms based around the concept of a novel.  Each room, or as they call them, "chapters" is uniquely and beautifully designed to tell a different story.  The hotel is conveniently located on Sunset and close to the best of the east and west sides. 4626 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Now get out of town, and enjoy the long weekend!