A Local Guide to Portland's Ultimate Comfort Foods

By this point in the winter, it's all about getting cozy and treating yo'self. Luckily, Portland is home to a vast (metaphorical) buffet of local restaurants serving exactly the kind of indulge-worthy meals we all need to carry us through 'til those beautiful Rose City blooms come back for spring. In honor of the recent cold spell, I'm dishing on the trifecta of inexpensive eateries that specialize in Portlandia-style comfort food. I hope you came hungry! 


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Nong's Khao Man Gai

#1 on the Menu, #1 in our hearts: Khao Man Gai
 

Among Portland foodies, Nong's Khao Man Gai is universally hailed as one of the best (if not *the* best) comfort food in PDX. Personally, I couldn't even tell you how many times I've eaten at Nong's. The perfectly poached chicken and white rice hit the spot every single time. And yes, it is perfect. So perfect, in fact, that Owner/Chef Nong Poonsukwattana spoke in a TED talk about the dish and her business. (Check out Nong's TEDxPortland talk here!)

 

 

LOCATIONS:
SE ANKENY // psu food cart at SW 4TH AND COLLEGE //
 DOWNTOWN FOOD CART AT SW 10TH AND ALDER


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Pine State Biscuits

When calories ain't nothing but a number... THE REGGIE DELUXE
 

In a city where brunch is a time-honored pastime, Pine State Biscuits pulls out all of the stops. Think buttery, flaky biscuits topped with fried chicken, sharp cheddar cheese, applewood bacon, a deliciously gooey egg over easy, and that gravy— oh that gravy. If you're in need of the best food coma induced winter hibernation, look no further than Pine State. 

 

LOCATIONS:
NE ALBERTA // SE Division // PSU Farmers Market (Saturdays Only!) 


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Salt & Straw

Because, waffle cones.
 

I know, I know. Ice cream is not the obvious choice when it's already chilly out... If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, right? Trust me on this-- it's always the ideal time to indulge with Portland's most beloved waffle cone. The monthly rotation of flavors at Salt & Straw are inventive, quirky, and always pay tribute to local farmers and food artisans of the Pacific Northwest. 

Portlander Tip: Selecting a pint from the ice cream case gives customers a quick skip to the front of the line. 

 

LOCATIONS:
NW 23rd // SE Division // NE Alberta


Do you have any favorite comfort food spots in Portland or your OWN hometown? Share the love AND Let me know in the comments! 

 
 

5 Essentials for Your Best Road Trip Ever

There's a sense of true freedom out on the road that's unlike any other mode of travel. You're in the driver's seat of your own adventure. Literally. Nothing stands between you and the great escape but sheer volition and the amount of gas in your tank.

On my past road trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton, I spoke with a recently retired couple that sold their home, their belongings, and set off in their camper with their dogs across the United States. (Goals, right? If you need to find me in 40 years, that's what I'll be up to.) Even if a country-wide drive isn't in the cards for you, there are plenty of ways to get out and explore the open road. 

To round off this little ode, I've included my top five essentials to make your next road trip the best one ever. 

Took a little drive to catch the sunrise on the Tetons. | Grand Teton National Park

Took a little drive to catch the sunrise on the Tetons. | Grand Teton National Park

A Solid road trip buddy (or buddies) 

First and foremost, pick your travel partner wisely. You know how they say, "you don't know someone until you travel with them?" Road trips take that sentiment to the next level when you're in confined space with someone for 8+ hours. Pick someone who has the same sense of adventure and travel interests as you. Equally as important, be the best road trip buddy you can be. Communicate, compromise, have a sense of humor, and have fun. 

A realistic route 

The biggest lesson in road tripping is to always budget for more time than you think you'll need. I tend to err on the side of throwing caution to the wind and "just winging it" when traveling. As it turns out, this travel style doesn't work well on road trips. I've learned that the best way to relax and enjoy the ride is to plan well and build in a "time buffer" for the trip. You don't need to set a grueling, cross-country pace to get the most out of your travels.  Besides, sometimes the best road trips are the ones that are only a few hours away from home. (Take last summer's road trip from Portland, OR to Crater Lake National Park for example.)

An actual map and written down addresses

In the age of smart phones and Google Maps— it may seem unnecessary to have a physically carry a map. But here's the thing about traveling, if you're well organized and well prepared, you can be the ultimate wayfarer your heart desires. Nothing will ruin your road trip like having your phone die and then finding yourself stranded at a fork in the road in the middle of nowhere. Reading maps is not only a resourceful skill to have, it's also pretty fun. 

Additional reading: MASTERING THE ART OF UNPLUGGED TRAVEL


Snacks

More snacks the better. (Given.)

The Rally song

Honestly, a rally song is the most important item on this list. There will come a time when you've been on the road almost fifteen hours and you need a morale pick me up. On the Pacific Coast Highway, the rally song was "Tiny Dancer". I still laugh whenever I hear the song and remember my brother and I belting the chorus out of the windows at 2 a.m. Don't stress if you can't find the perfect rally song. It will present itself in your hour of need. And you'll know it when you hear it— it's all a part of the magic of the road trip. 

Pacific coast highway FROM SAN FRAN TO L.A.  WYOMING NATIONAL PARKS •  MIAMI TO KEY WEST • WASHINGTON'S CASCADES LOOP • NEW ENGLAND COASTLINE • mONTANA'S GOING-TO-THE-SUN ROAD • savannah, GA to CHARLESTON, SC • BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY • UTAH NATIONAL PARKS • SEATTLE, WA TO BANFF NATIONAL PARK •


 
 

Giving Back: Drink Good Do Good with Naked Juice

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In a place as bountiful as Oregon, no one should go hungry due to lack of resources. This year I've teamed up with Naked Juice to share the good work of #DrinkGoodDoGood campaign. 

For the second year in a row, Naked Juice has partnered with Wholesome Wave — an organization that helps create affordable access to fresh, local and regional food to those in need. Every social media post with ‪#‎DrinkGoodDoGood‬ and ‪#‎NakedJuice‬, Naked Juice will donate the monetary equivalent of 10lbs of produce to Wholesome Wave. (Equating up to $500,000 worth of produce.)

 

Want to join the cause?
Snap your fruits and veggies with the hashtags #DrinkGoodDoGood and
#NakedJuice to make your contribution.


SPONSORED POST: Naked Juice graciously provided The Paper Airplane with a sponsorship to share amazing adventures with you. As always, all opinions are my own. The goal of The Paper Airplane is to share the best of the best in travel experiences, products, food, and entertainment. If it’s reviewed, it’s because the given entity is genuinely awesome.

Portland Events | Bourbon Battles with Marriott Hotels

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happy national bourbon day!

To celebrate Marriott Hotels' bourbon program, properties throughout the country hosted "Bourbon Battles" where Marriott and local bartenders raced against the clock to serve handcrafted bourbon cocktails. At the Portland event, I had a blast sipping on classic bourbon cocktails such as the Manhattan and the Old Fashioned, snacking on delicious bites from The Marriott, and watching the competition unfold. The Portland Marriott Waterfront is beautifully redone and has a killer bourbon program to boot. I'd definitely recommend checking it out for yourself.

Miss the competition? Recipe for the winning drink below: 
Jasper Sour
2 Jack Single Single
1 Apricot Spiced Shrub
.75 Lemon
.75 Egg White
.5 Marionberry Liqueur

Creativity is 80% bourbon and 20% ice. 
- Jack Doom

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Thank you Marriott Hotels for the event media pass, the opportunity to make my Kentucky ancestors proud, and great bourbon.
As always, dear readers, all thoughts and opinions are my own.