Pie-Cation 2017: Portland, Oregon
Lauren Bolden, Pie Bar
The trip between Whitefish, Montana, and Portland, Oregon is about 9 hours long with lots of tiny mountain towns in between. We were so lucky as to e-meet the owner of Sweet Things by Julie and she graciously offered to host us at her shop in her tiny (adorable!!) mountain town, Bingen, Washington. Julie operates a wholesale pie business, so her shop is allllll kitchen. If yall know me at all, you know I get kitchen envy..and I sure enough did at Julie’s place. Julie is known in her area for making amazing fruit pies, and she was so kind as to educate us a little bit about the difference between some of the North West’s most famous berries: marionberries and huckleberries. To give you the short of it: huckleberries grow in the wild and are reminiscent of blueberries, but they tend to be a bit smaller than the blueberry as well as a touch more tart. Marionberries (my new favorite berry) are like blackberries, but are longer in shape as opposed to the fat blackberries we are accustomed to in Georgia. They make a gooooodddd pie, and when Julie makes it, it becomes a great pie! She was kind enough to gift us with a whole Marionberry pie, and now I have her to blame for my new obsession.
The color..the flavor..amazing!!
After leaving Mrs. Julie’s, we rolled into Portland with one mission, eat all the pies. As I reflect on our trip, I must say, mission accomplished, friends. We hit up three pie shops, a motorcycle-coffee shop (because Cody needs to have fun on this trip, too), and the world’s most amazing book store. I have now decided that next year is going to be book-cation 2018. How amazing does that sound? Travel around checking out really cool book stores!?! Crickets when I mentioned it to Cody….
Lauretta Jean's was our first pie stop in Portland and it did not disappoint. I started following them on social media about a year ago, and since then, I became obsessed. I loved their cool, laid back vibe. Ya know how sometimes someone is so cool they are almost intimidating? They are Danny Zuko and I am Eugene wishing one day I could be so cool as to join the T-birds (if you get this reference, I love you). BUT, as it turns out, they are both cool AND super nice; total Frenchies! We had the opportunity to eat lots of pie and chat with the owner, Kate about her experiences owning and operating her own pie shop. She was gracious and kind and answered all 1 million questions. I loved her pies and the crust was buttery and flaky. We tried the Cherry, Chocolate Pecan, and had a slice of quiche. The cherry pie was tart, but not overly so, the chocolate pecan was rich and delicious, and the quiche..oh the quiche..so cheesey..so eggy..so vegetably… ok, that’s enough..it was fantastic.
Following our first stop, we headed on to another Portland favorite: Pie Spot. This shop immediately charmed me thanks to the giant flamingos painted on the side of their building. Now I want to paint some kind of giant mural on the side of our building..maybe this shot. Aside from the giant water fowl, what really made Pie Spot unique is their pie presentation. Each pie was its own self-contained mini pie. They were adorable! Cody squealed with delight! We had the opportunity to meet the owner, Jessica and she was so kind as to chat about pie with us! Cody ordered a lime-coconut macaroon (whhhhhaattt??!!?!) and I ordered the world’s most adorable Lemon Meringue Pie. Both were outstanding and made us forget we were not on a beach somewhere, but rather in the middle of Portland in January.
Yes, there is a man behind me and I still have no shame. Where there is a giant mural of flamingos, you can't hold back your excitement.
After a morning sponsored by pie, we decided to give our sugar levels a chance to calm down, and headed towards Powell’s City of Books in Downtown Portland. It was amazing and huge and we bought enough books that we now must employ the Dewey Decimal System for our personal book collection. (Tiny side bar..who else remembers having to learn about the Dewey Decimal System in elementary school?? Why don’t we Dewey Decimal Systemize more things in our lives? The organization of it all is intoxicating). Cody finally drug me out of Powell’s and in to See See Motorcycles and Coffee. Think of the coolest coffee shop you have ever been in, add motorcycles and moto gear, and suddenly you’re all hopped up on caffeine and motor oil. Roles reversed, I finally drug Cody out of See See and on to our next pie stop.
Cody B. in front of See See. That was his third cup of coffee that day..and not his last..I told yall we are all hopped up on caffeine!
Random Order Pie Shop was our final stop, and it came highly recommended. Everyone I asked on the plane..on the street...our AirBnB host..her neighbor..all agreed, Random Order is where it's at. We decided to replay Lady and the Tramp and shared a slice of Chocolate Cream Pie. It was not quite as romantic as I remembered the movie being, but still quite delightful. The chocolate pastry cream was rich and smooth and I could have eaten the whipped cream by the handful. We also decided that mayybbeeeee we needed a vegetable or two to balance out all the sugar we had consumed in the past few hours, so Cody ordered a slice of quiche (his new favorite??) and I had a slice of Chicken Pot Pie with a side salad. We ate and ate and got so comfortable we even got into a whispered argument over the table (like the whispering disguises what we were saying..yeah right). When we were finally done eating and arguing, we were both quite content. Random Order provided us what a good pie shop should -- great pie but also a great atmosphere..one where you feel so comfortable that you forget that you're in public.
We left Portland early Saturday morning with our sights set on Whidbey Island and then Seattle. I had never been on a drive-on ferry before, so my fingers were crossed that our ferry to Whidbey Island would not hit an iceberg.
P.S. -- I didn't.
Next Stop: Whidbey & Seattle