Posts Tagged With: Portland

Kells Irish Pub – Portland, Oregon

Kells Irish Pub, Portland, Oregon

Kells Irish Pub

If you’re looking for a cool Irish pub to go to for St. Patrick’s Day, you need to check out Kells Irish Pub in Portland.

Kells Irish Pub, Portland, Oregon

Kells Irish Pub

There are a lot of authentically old establishments in Portland, but Kells is not one of them. However, they did a great job of making it look like it. There are Kells located in Seattle and San Francisco as well and a second Portland brewery.

Money on the ceiling, Kells Irish Pub, Portland, Oregon

Look at all that money on the ceiling!

We were in the area for something else when we noticed the entrance, which simply looked intriguing and inviting. As we entered, our jaws dropped open and we stood there in shock. The first thing you notice is – there’s money everywhere on the ceiling! Well, heck, that just made us want to look around even more! Luckily it was early mid-morning so the place wasn’t busy. We asked if we could just take our own little tour and it was no problem.

Money on the ceiling, Kells Irish Pub, Portland, Oregon

Money on the ceiling

The main floor has an inviting fireplace, warm wood furniture, and cute small chandeliers and exposed brick walls, all giving Kells its character.

Fireplace in Kells Irish Pub, Portland, Oregon

Fireplace in Kells Irish Pub

Kells Irish Pub, Portland, Oregon

Kells Irish Pub

When you go downstairs, the ambiance of the dark wood and stuffed chairs are so old-time reminiscent that you expect to see ghosts of mobsters smoking big cigars and beautiful women wearing diamonds and furs lounging off to the side.

Heading downstairs, Kells Irish Pub, Portland, Oregon

Heading downstairs

To the Cigar Room, Kells Irish Pub, Portland, Oregon

To the Cigar Room

In the Cigar Room, Kells Irish Pub, Portland, Oregon

In the Cigar Room

In the Cigar Room, Kells Irish Pub, Portland, Oregon

Also in the Cigar Room

Humidor in Kells Irish Pub, Portland, Oregon

Humidor in Kells Irish Pub

How was the food? We have no idea! We didn’t have time to try that part of Kells, but maybe you can and let us know. The character and personality alone is enough to make it worth checking out. And if you’re there around St. Patrick’s Day you’re sure have a great time with all the activities and events they have planned. Enjoy!

Kells Irish Pub is located at 112 SW 2nd Avenue in Portland.

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Categories: Food, Wine, Cider, Oregon | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

“YAY! You’re Halfway There!” The STP Bicycle Classic Stops in Centralia

Welcome to Centralia, Halfway Point for the STP!

Welcome to Centralia, Halfway Point for the STP!

Every year during the second weekend in July is the annual STP (Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic). Ten thousand riders start their trip in Seattle on Saturday morning. Some ride clear to Portland in one day, but most stop about halfway and finish the trip on Sunday.

Welcome to Centralia College, STP Riders!

Welcome to Centralia College, STP Riders!

Centralia is the halfway point. During this weekend the population and number of bicycles on the road explodes. For years I have always avoided leaving the house on this weekend in order to avoid the chaos, because years ago when I went to town it was very real chaos. It was stressful to drive through town and worry about grazing a rider.

STP Riders in Centralia

STP Riders in Centralia

But this year I decided to check it out. I went to Centralia College (where David and I work) about 10:30, not expecting much to be happening yet. Boy, was I wrong! Riders were coming in steadily and had been for a couple of hours. The college puts a lot of effort into welcoming the riders and providing all sorts of resources for them, encouraging them to camp on the grounds, eat, get a massage, and enjoy the beer garden. It has the energy and atmosphere of a fair!

STP One-Day Riders in Centralia

STP One-Day Riders in Centralia

Starting on the east end of campus was a blow-up arch, welcoming riders coming onto campus with people cheering them on and congratulating them on making it half way. As they proceed west down the “Aadland Esplanade” more people are cheering them, directing them to service, water, food, and handing out ice cream.

Riders weren't the only ones enjoying the ice cream being handed out

Riders weren’t the only ones enjoying the ice cream being handed out

There is a designated area for riders completing in one day. Food and port-a-potties are available for them. The rest of the site has vendors such as REI, bicycle parts folks, water and repair stations. There is a bicycle corral for riders to store their bikes in safety. This corral is overseen by the Centralia Police reserves.

Bike Corral at STP

Bike Corral at STP

The beer garden opened at 11:00 but I didn’t see anyone using it at that time. I assumed it would be much busier later in the evening. (Yes, it was – they apparently went through 20 kegs!)

Centralia College looks like a campground during STP

Centralia College looks like a campground during STP

One special booth that I had to visit was a dedication to a co-worker and friend, Jeanette Speigelberg,. She was the manager of the Children’s Lab School (day care) on campus. In June of this year, she passed away unexpectedly while training for the STP. Her friends and staff wanted to honor her by having a booth at the event. The college earns money for scholarships by hosting riders on campus, and Jeanette’s friends have started a scholarship in her name.

Tribute to Jeanette Spiegelberg

Tribute to Jeanette Spiegelberg

As I left campus, I intended to skirt the main roads in order to avoid the chaos I remembered from years ago. However, much has changed and I was very impressed! The road heading over the viaduct and leading south of town towards Chehalis is a two-lane one-way street. Orange cones blocked off the entire right-hand lane almost all the way into Chehalis. Instead of getting away from the riders, I decided to follow along in the other lane, knowing I wouldn’t have to worry about driving close to the riders. I finally turned off to head home, while the riders continued on south.

All ages and abilities can do the STP

All ages and abilities can do the STP

I see now why everyone gets so excited about the STP. It was the same energy and atmosphere as graduation day. In a sense, I imagine that it is like graduation day for those that have trained for so many months to prepare for this day – and they made it!

Little girl sprays STP riders to cool them off

Little girl sprays STP riders to cool them off

If you would like to be involved in the STP but don’t want to actually ride it, come on down to Centralia College next July and show your support by cheering on and welcoming the riders! Everyone really can be involved!

Spectators Needed! Enjoy the STP!

Spectators Needed! Enjoy the STP!

My friend and fellow Centralia College employee, Brenda, was in charge of making sure the Port-a-Potties stay clean and emptied. An important job with so many!

My friend and fellow Centralia College employee, Brenda, was in charge of making sure the Port-a-Potties stay clean and emptied. An important job with so many!

 

Categories: Bicycle Trail, Outdoors, People, Washington | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Cartlandia!

1-CartlandiaSignAhhh, the enticing aromas of BBQ, Thai, Asian, Gyros, Chicken and Waffles and more. This must be Cartlandia!

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Just a few of the carts at Cartlandia

If you think it sounds like the TV series, Portlandia, you are correct. Cartlandia is a food cart area located in Portland, Oregon. Portland is becoming very well known for its food carts so of course we had to check them out. We were told about a couple of different areas where there were food carts so we drove around looking for them. Then we found one full block of carts. First we had to walk all the way around and see what all they had available, and boy, did they have a variety to offer. We wanted to sample a couple of items, but not eat full meals so we could keep sampling. The only problem was, this is Oregon, so it was pouring down rain. There was no place to sit and eat and we hate eating in the car. So we stood under the overhang of one of the closed carts and ate as quickly as we could. Then took off to look for Cartlandia.

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Voodoo Doughnuts!

We found 82nd and followed it until we found Cartlandia at 8145 SE 82nd Avenue. It was off to the west side of the street and in a parking lot with a fence around it. It had a sign on the side of the building letting us know we were in the right place! The first thing we all noticed though was the bright pink cart – Voodoo Doughnuts has a cart there! Woohoo! But solid food first.

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Grandson Anden and Daughter Brandy Getting BBQ

So we split up and all looked around at the carts to see what delights we could partake in here. There were not as many carts as the other site, but still enough variety to make us all happy. We all chose our food then went to the best part of Cartlandia – the Beer Garden!

Cartlandia

Wine, Beer & Pulled Pork

It’s a huge, warm, dry tent where we could sit and eat. And they served beer and wine! What could be better? It even has a big-screen TV like a sports bar. But kids are also welcome there so we sat with our individual choices of delicious delectables and enjoyed a leisurely meal in the warmth of the tent. That alone made Cartlandia stand out from the other carts.

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Beer Garden/Tent

I’m sure it’s great to hit the food carts on a warm sunny day, but it’s nice to know that Cartlandia is prepared for Oregon weather by providing the tent. While on this particular day there wasn’t as many carts as the other site, I imagine that during the better weather there would be more to choose from as the website says they have 28 food carts. And again the tent with seating and shade from the sun would be a welcome relief.

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Beer Garden with TV!

It’s also next to the Springwater Corridor trail, a bicycle trail that runs throughout Portland. So you can take a nice long bike ride and stop and replenish your energy quickly and easily. There is plenty of room for bikes along with parking spots for 50 cars.

If you want to have a really different birthday party or special day, you can even book your event at Cartlandia!

To find out more about Cartlandia and the different foods that may be available there, check out their website at http://www.cartlandia.com

Categories: Bicycle Trail, Food, Wine, Cider, Keatons Out and About, Oregon, Outdoors, Roadside Attraction | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

The Original Taco House – Portland, Oregon

In my last post, I wrote about eating before we hit Voodoo Doughnuts, and said I would tell about it in a later post. So here it is.

Taco House OutsideYes, there are probably more “authentic” Mexican food restaurants, but the Original Taco House was the first Mexican restaurant in Portland that was open year round, so how can it really be beat?

 Chips

David really loves The Original Taco House so when we recently had an opportunity to be in the area, he followed his nose and took us right to it. Actually, he ate there about 30 years ago when he was living in Portland. At that time it was cafeteria style, where you got your tray and went down the line picking out what you wanted.  You can see from the pictures that it is still set up like that, but now it is regular sit-and-serve style.

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It opened in 1960, owned by Gene and Natha Waddle. They also owned and ran Waddle’s restaurant located in Jantzen Beach just off I-5. Waddle’s restaurant is now gone, but the Taco House is now ran by the Waddle’s grandsons.

On my first visit I was apprehensive. There are so many foods/textures/spices I don’t like. So when I asked the waitress what was in the burrito meat, she brought me a sample so I could see and taste. I really appreciated that because other places when I have asked that they said nothing else was in it and when I got it it was filled with peppers and onions. Note to restaurants – peppers and onions ARE something besides beef. So I ordered and devoured a beef and bean burrito and David thoroughly enjoyed his Mini Grande Tostada. Josh was in heaven with the huge enchilada and taco combo.

 BurritoFood

The restaurant is decorated in typical Mexican restaurant fashion, although the fireplace at the end of the room is a little out of place for the décor. But, hey, in the Pacific Northwest, not many of us are going to complain about a fireplace.

 Fireplace

The staff is very friendly and helpful. The portions are HUGE and delicious. You can get as bland as you want, the way I eat, or as spicy as you like. There’s quite a variety of foods, even gluten-free if you need it. Of course I added a Strawberry Daiquiri to my meal, a drink so cold the outside of the glass was frosty. Yum!

drinks

(Photo by Brandy Kirkendall)

While it may have to compete with tons of other Mexican restaurants in the Portland area now, it says a lot about a restaurant if it still sticks in your mind 30 years later. The only problem now is that David wants to eat there every time we go to Portland!

The Original Taco House has three locations, two in Portland and one in Vancouver. This one is located at 3005 SE Powell Blvd. Portland, Oregon. It’s open every day from 11am-10pm. (503) 234-6401

http://www.originaltacohouse.com/

Categories: Food, Wine, Cider, Keatons Out and About, Oregon | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

That Voodoo That You Do So Well – Voodoo Doughnuts, Portland, Oregon

1-IMG_25521-IMG_2565Who doesn’t love a good donut? Who can’t love a GREAT donut? Then if you are ever in Portland, Oregon you have to go to Voodoo Doughnuts! There are two locations, one at 22 SW 3rd Street and one at 1501 NE Davis Street. The one on 3rd is very small. I didn’t even see inside. There were two very long lines outside of it. We were around the corner waiting for my daughter who had an appointment in a photography studio. We kept seeing people walk by with big pink boxes. Josh, who can smell a donut a mile away, kept shouting, “Voodoo donuts!” We thought he was nuts (well, he is), but then David walked around the corner and it was right there. We walked over there and yep, there it was, and a lot of people were coming out of this little bitty storefront with boxes of donuts. People were lined up two different ways to get in – I never could quite figure out how the two lines looked. But I had heard of this place and that the lines were long and that’s why many people go to the other location. Since we weren’t ready for donuts yet (we needed to eat a solid lunch first) we just looked at the crowd and left.

In case you have never heard of Voodoo Doughnuts, you need to watch an episode of “Man vs. Food” on the Travel Channel. Adam Rich made a visit to the one that we intended to go to, and he thoroughly enjoyed his visit and the donuts. It truly is TV worthy!

1-IMG_25491-IMG_2554After a delicious lunch at a Portland-location-to-be-discussed-in-a-later-post, this was our first visit during daytime hours. When we have visited later in the evening there was not a big line. There was a bit of a line today but it moved quickly since there were three staff helping out. You actually keep pretty entertained looking at all the voodoo themed artwork, clothing, and decorations.1-IMG_2568

When it’s finally your turn, it’s almost overwhelming – you want them all! Beautiful fluffy donuts with thick frosting, smelling amazing! All shapes and colors. Old fashioned donuts, fritters, maple bars, bacon maple bars, donuts covered in Cocoa Puffs or sporting a piece of bubble gum. Pretty much if you can imagine it, it’s there. Of course, they have the voodoo-shaped donuts, filled with blood (OK it’s really a cream) but kids love this one.

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One thing to be aware of if you avoid gluten, eggs, nuts, soy, etc. there are no special anything-free donuts available. We typically avoid wheat and sugar in our daily diets but since we only get to Portland a couple of times a year, we allow ourselves to indulge in Voodoo Doughnuts while we are there. They are so worth it and put all other donut shops to shame.

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Daughter, Brandy and her boyfriend, Jason. It was his first visit. He was drooling…

For more information on Voodoo Doughnuts, see their website at http://voodoodoughnut.com/index.php

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Categories: Food, Wine, Cider, Keatons Out and About, Oregon | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Has Anyone Seen My Taste Buds? Great Balls of Fire at Salvador Molly’s!

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Adam from Man vs. Food – Pic on wall

1-IMG_1613On David’s 50th birthday we decided to head to Portland, Oregon to celebrate. While waiting for his mom, Sue, to come down to join us, we were watching Man vs. Food on the Travel Channel. The host, Adam, was at Salvador Molly’s in Portland taking the Great Balls of Fire Challenge. He was crying – that’s a signal to people who like spicy food that it’s an enjoyable experience. The challenge involves eating 5 habanero chile cheese fritters covered in habanero sauce. So that’s where we decided to go for the birthday dinner.

The other thing that intrigued us about this restaurant is the variety of foods provided. Dishes are offered from Jamaica, New Orleans, Hawaii, Ethiopia, and Thailand. David was very excited for the variety.

Getting there is a bit of a challenge if you aren’t familiar with the area and even though David knows Portland pretty well, we were glad I had my iPhone with GPS and Siri. It’s easy to pass the restaurant. It is just the end part of a very small strip mall. After we went in, we immediately order just the three Great Balls of Fire. The challenge requires a person to eat five of them. Even my spice-loving guys thought that might be a bit much. When they came, first David tried one, then Josh kinda licked at his. After a few seconds, David’s eyes started watering and he was sputtering a little. Josh had finally eaten his in one whole bite and started regretting it. I have to admit Sue ate half of one and just said it was very spicy but no crying from her. She’s no wimp!

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Great Balls of Fire!

Of course, I just watched and recorded their reactions on my phone. I’m no fool plus I don’t like much of anything. I asked the waiter, “What do you have for people who don’t like anything?” and he looked at me kinda funny. Sue said, “She’s not kidding, she doesn’t like anything.” So I ordered pulled-pork sliders with the BBQ sauce on the side. When it came, I just sniffed the BBQ sauce and my eyes started watering. I said to the waiter, “I know this is probably bad to ask here, but do you have just plain ‘ol ketchup?” They did.

David and Josh ordered Jambalaya. When it came, they took a few bites and David said, “I can’t taste anything yet.” But after a few more minutes, it finally went away, and he said the food was delicious. At one point we saw a baby outside on the deck waving his arms around. David said he must have tasted the Great Balls of Fire and was waving his arms, crying, and asking if anyone had seen his taste buds that had ran off down the street.

1-IMG_1628Fast forward a few months. We told my daughter, Brandy, and her fiancé, Jason, about Salvador Molly’s and she loves spicy food and he likes some of it, so they wanted to try it. This time we ordered five Great Balls of Fire, expecting everyone (except me, of course) to eat one. David and Jason each ate one. Brandy ate ½ of one, Josh ate the other half. After about a minute Brandy’s eyes started watering, then she started feeling hot all over, then her sinuses cleared. Jason did pretty good for a guy who doesn’t like very spicy things. He was disgusted though when he took a drink of his beer and said, “Now I can’t taste my Corona!” We laughed and told him that would pass.

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Our meals came and everyone was pleased with their meals which were flavorful and spiced just right. Or maybe they just seemed that way in comparison to the Great Balls of Fire. This time I ordered the Chickidee Do Dah (chicken breast with mashed potatoes and carrots) off the kids menu. Yes, I most certainly am a wienie – that’s about as brave as I get.

Salvador Molly’s is a small restaurant, but has interesting, vibrant décor from around the world. The service is excellent and the ambiance is fun. Most of all, it’s just entertaining to watch other people eat the Great Balls of Fire!

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Getting there: Located at 1523 SW Sunset Blvd., Portland, OR, 97239. Rather than give directions, if you don’t know the area, I recommend using your GPS. It is very confusing to get to.

Categories: Food, Wine, Cider, Oregon | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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