Frugal Portland http://frugalportland.com Save 50%. Spend Consciously. Take Control. Thu, 03 Sep 2015 11:30:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Three Great Urban Portland Hikes http://frugalportland.com/three-great-urban-portland-hikes/ http://frugalportland.com/three-great-urban-portland-hikes/#respond Thu, 03 Sep 2015 11:30:36 +0000 http://frugalportland.com/?p=6806 If you’ve seen a thermostat or been outside lately it doesn’t feel like summer is close to being over. As it looks now we’ve got a good chunk of sun and heat left here in Portland. To take advantage of it while still padding your wallet can be challenging but the wonderful thing about Portland...

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If you’ve seen a thermostat or been outside lately it doesn’t feel like summer is close to being over. As it looks now we’ve got a good chunk of sun and heat left here in Portland. To take advantage of it while still padding your wallet can be challenging but the wonderful thing about Portland is the abundance of accessible parks within the city limits and the incredible scenery they offer. So if you’re looking to save a few bucks but still go out and enjoy what Portland has to offer, here are three great urban Portland hikes:

Lower Macleay Park to Pittock Mansion (3.8 miles)

Lower Macleay to Pittock Mansion

The Pittock Mansion sits quaintly atop the hills overlooking Northwest Portland. It is often forgotten but stands as one of Portland’s most iconic tourist destinations – marking the history of Portland in a museum fashion. The residence was built in 1909 by the Oregonian’s editor of the time Henry Pittock. Shortly after the construction of the building Pittock died leaving the residence to his grandson and another longtime resident. After some extensive storm damage in 1962 the home eventually made its way into the hands of the City of Portland where it has remained as a heritage and history site dedicated to Portland’s history and the impact of the Pittock family.

The trail leading from Northwest Portland’s Lower Macleay Park up to the Pittock Mansion is a 3.8 mile out and back trail that winds up the hills through densely forested land. Along the popular trail hikers can expect to encounter a handful of trail runners as it is a popular destination for training of the kind. The trail is rated as moderate, but for those who haven’t taken part in many hikes there is some fairly steep incline at certain points, so be prepared to work those lungs just a bit.

The trail head is located underneath the Northwest Thurman Street Bridge and can be accessed from Northwest Upshur Street. More information on the hike can be found here.

Marquam Shelter To Willamette Park (3.5 miles)

Willamette Park

Since 1983 Marquam Nature Park has served as one of Portland’s premier urban hiking options. The roughly 180-acre nature reserve includes many different hikes and connections to other trails running through Portland. The park is home to a number of indigenous species and is a small haven to wildlife inside the city limits. Although the park became controlled by the city in 1989 the original creators, Friends of Marquam Nature Park, still serve as the main maintainers of the land.

The Shelter to Willamette Park trail option offers a relatively short distance with varying difficulties along the way. It begins at the park’s main entrance and proceeds onto the Shelter trail. After a short climb continuing straight on the Marquam Trail will direct you towards Willamette Park. You will encounter some moderately steep climbs and descents, muddy sections and switchbacks.

Access to the Marquam Shelter can be found from SW Sam Jackson Park Rd. More information on the hike can be found on the Friends of Marquam Nature Park webpage.

Westmoreland To Reed Canyon

Westmoreland Park

Of all the Portland neighborhoods to experience gentrification and explosive development, Southeast’s Sellwood and Moreland areas have somehow been able to minimize their change. It’s a breath of fresh air for anyone looking to get a feel for what Portland is truly like – and to be surrounded by true Portlanders…for the most part.

This hike is a 4 mile out and back route which includes both city and park landscapes. Beginning your journey on the busy Sellwood corner of SE 17th and Bybee you will proceed to pass along both the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden and stunning Reed College campus. This hike is mostly on paved ground so hiking boots/shoes are completely unnecessary – just some good old tennis shoes should do the trick. The path is fairly straight forward. Moving eastward on SE Bybee Blvd you will then take a left on SE 28th Ave., which will take you along both the Crystal Springs Garden and the Westside of Reed College Campus.

Once you have reached SE Botsford Dr. take a right and you will loop around a small section of Reed Lake before backtracking along the same route you came from. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden has free admission, so if you can plan your hike for one of those days you can be treated to one of Portland’s beautiful hidden gems.

 

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5 Best Portland Parks for Your Lunch Break http://frugalportland.com/5-best-portland-parks-lunch-break/ http://frugalportland.com/5-best-portland-parks-lunch-break/#comments Thu, 27 Aug 2015 11:56:04 +0000 http://frugalportland.com/?p=6774 You’re on lunch. You have a burning desire for quiet and Vitamin D, and little time to appease it. A squishy chunk of grass would be bliss. Few people preferred. Inner-city traffic is insane and parking an added stress, so your feet or bike must take you there. Here’s a list of 5 best Portland...

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5-Best-Portland-Parks-for-Your-Lunch-Break

You’re on lunch. You have a burning desire for quiet and Vitamin D, and little time to appease it. A squishy chunk of grass would be bliss. Few people preferred. Inner-city traffic is insane and parking an added stress, so your feet or bike must take you there.

Here’s a list of 5 best Portland parks for your lunch break. Each escapes the bustle amidst the hustle. And the list is varied by taste and locale to ensure every Rose City nine-to-fiver an ideal chunk of green, regardless of work’s address.

1. Laurelhurst Park: SE’s Classic

Laurelhurst Park

Almost every local has been here, but you can’t recommend Portland parks without including this expansive and heavily wooded Mecca. What’s not to love? There’s delicious shade even in summer’s most sweltering days, and in fall, it’s vibrantly aglow with painted leaves. Fancy a mid-day jog? Well-paved trails traverse grassy hills and circle a large pond. Looking for a place to relax? The grass is forever lush and cozy. Maybe you want somewhere you can be alone. With so much space to meander, solitude is relatively easy to find and keep. Laurelhurst Park is a city staple for a reason, so if you plan to lunch on the eastside, consider this your hideaway.

Location: SE Cesar E Chavez Boulevard & SE Stark Street

More Information: Portland Parks & Recreation

2. Tanner Springs Park: NW’s Balance

Tanner Springs Park

If you work near the Pearl District, Tanner Springs Park is your ideal square of repose. Small and unassuming at first glance, this pocket-sized park offers a taste of the now-industrial Pearl district’s natural past. Its charms include an art installation made of salvaged railway tracks and Portland hand-painted glass, a Tetris-like walkway, a verdant meadow of tall grass, nesting birds, and reincorporated wetlands; and a waterscape reminiscent of the springs that once flowed freely through the space. If you’re looking for a combination of naturalism and design, ingenuity and simplicity, this is it. All conjoin to inspire a sort of pensive tranquillity. Bring a book, write a letter, or stretch out between the high-rises.

Location: NW 10th Avenue & NW Marshall Street

More Information: Portland Parks & Recreation

3. Lovejoy Fountain Park: Downtown’s Cement Jungle

Lovejoy Fountain Park

If you’re tired of the usual grassy knoll and desire something a bit more structural, this plaza should be your next lunch stop. Flanked by modern apartments, glassy office buildings, and paved pedestrian trails, Lovejoy is a park of the geometric variety. Visualize a fountain unfolding in cement staircases. The location, though still downtown, is tucked away just enough to escape traffic (no street access), and limit the presence of usual park suspects (dogs, children, homeless). For the full-on experience, go ahead and interact with the architecture; count steps as you climb to the top, then wade in the clear pool and enjoy the view: endless traffic streaming across the Marquam Bridge, just far off enough to appreciate.

If time allows, you can follow 3rd Avenue north and pass through Pettygrove Park—a pure green lawn space, cute and quiet—and Keller Fountain Park—perhaps more structurally beautiful than Lovejoy, but teeming with screaming wet children most days. Both are worth the few-block stroll.

Location: SW 3rd Avenue & SW Harrison St

More Information: Portland Parks & Recreation

4. Peninsula Park: NE’s Secret Garden

Peninsula Park

Portland’s first-ever public rose garden is not the test garden of Washington Park, as most suspect, but instead a portion of Peninsula Park—an unassuming block tucked within a residential chunk of NE Portland. While half of this park comprises the usual features (playground, tennis courts, picnic tables, a circuitous trail), the other half is an aromatic blanket of whites, yellows, pinks, and reds. Massive trees and an open field serve as a divider and help maintain the garden’s Eden-like quality. Steps lead down to hedged-in rose beds, interwoven grass paths, and a large oval fountain. There’s even a gazebo. This is the most picturesque park of the list, and can’t be beaten on a sunny afternoon. It’s rarely busy, but you may catch a wedding party mid-photo-shoot. Don’t forget to stop at Sweedeedee for a pastry on your way back to the grind.

Location: 700 N Rosa Parks Way

More Information: Portland Parks & Recreation

5. Cathedral Park: The Not-So-Central Gem

Cathedral Park

If you bike-commute and can manage a few miles’ ride (or if you work in North Portland), head to St Johns, and soak in this park’s idyllic waterfront view. Order the Sesame Peanut Noodles to go from Proper Eats, push your canoe off the boat launch, and dine afloat. If boat-less, stretch a blanket beneath the arches of Portland’s only steel suspension bridge, and find spirituality beneath the church-like architecture. Perhaps you’ll lounge in the very spot William Clark (Lewis’ buddy) once camped before there was a nice seat of grass for personal reflection, or napping. Don’t forget the Frisbee.

Location: N Edison Street & N Pittsburg Avenue

More Information: Portland Parks & Recreation

Now you have a guide to exploring Portland’s open-space beauty, whether tucked away or sprawling. Any pleasant afternoon is no longer an office tease, but an excuse—or demand, really—to escape the stale and breathe in the fresh. Your perfect park may only be a few blocks away. So start walking.

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Amazon Prime Now is in Portland! http://frugalportland.com/amazon-prime-now-portland/ http://frugalportland.com/amazon-prime-now-portland/#comments Wed, 26 Aug 2015 20:08:02 +0000 http://frugalportland.com/?p=6822 Post contains affiliate links. Bad news for waistlines in Portland, it’s Amazon Prime Now. Amazon Prime Now is in Portland! What’s Amazon Prime Now, you ask? Only the best and worst idea ever. It’s grocery delivery and snack delivery from their stores to your doors. And it’s free. If you want it in an hour, you have...

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Post contains affiliate links.

Amazon Prime Now is in Portland!Bad news for waistlines in Portland, it’s Amazon Prime Now.

Amazon Prime Now is in Portland!

What’s Amazon Prime Now, you ask?

Only the best and worst idea ever.

It’s grocery delivery and snack delivery from their stores to your doors.

And it’s free.

If you want it in an hour, you have to pay $7.99, but hey, if you’re in that big of a hurry, go to the store your own self, okay?

Participating Stores

  • New Seasons
  • Uwajimaya
  • World Foods
  • Cupcake Jones
  • Amazon

How it Works

First, become a member of Amazon prime.

Second, download the app. It’s oddly only available for smart phones (perhaps the thinking goes that if you’re too lazy to go to the store you’re also too lazy to open your computer?).

Type in your ZIP code. Mine is in their delivery zone.

Then, add the foods you want from the stores you want. I feel like one of the few things that keeps me the size I am is not having cupcakes readily available. This could go badly.

Or, actually, did you see that last store on the list?

Oh yeah, that’s Amazon. You know, the store that has all the things?

10 Random Things You Could Order from Prime Now

1. Roomba ($594)

I need a Roomba and I need it now!

I need a Roomba and I need it now!

I love this. Amazon appeals to the lazy person on so many levels (full disclosure: I am a convert of the church of Roomba, and I still think it’s lazy to push a button and have dog-hair-free floors). Want a robot vacuum? Want to stay on the couch while it comes to you? You got it, kid.

2. 30# Bag of Dog Food ($44.89)

taste of the wild dog food

I get this one. Really get it. I mean, it’s a 30-pound bag of dog food. That’s the size that you think you can carry, but if you walk six blocks to the store you only carry that back once.

3. Dasani 24-pack ($4.73)

do. not. buy. this!

do. not. buy. this!

Hold the phone. Are people seriously still buying bottled water? In Portland?!? That’s absurd. Portland has delicious drinking water, and, thanks to our oddly-specific politics, there’s never been any flouridation in our water. Plus, you should have a HydroFlask to make drinking water more fun. You do not need this!

4. Garbage bags ($15.29)

grabage bags

5. Diapers ($51.41)

diapers

6. Mini Bluetooth Speaker ($179)

bose soundlink mini

“Honey, did you get the new sound system for our dinner party in two hours?” “Uh… yes, dear. Yes I did. And it’s going to be here just in time!”

7. Gummy bears ($.98)

haribo

 

Few things here: 1. You cannot buy one pack of gummy bears on regular Amazon, you can only buy 12. 2. I should not buy 12 packs of gummy bears. 3. In fact, I should not buy one pack of gummy bears. 4. Gummmmmmmmmmy bears.

8. Xbox One Halo ($349.99)

xbox one halo

Only possible explanation? “Hey, look, Mom left her phone unlocked. Let’s buy something AWESOME.”

9. Hand soap ($1.47)

softsoap

I have been out of hand soap (or was that dish soap?) so many times that this one actually makes a lot of sense. Hand soap is important, but one of those things you constantly forget when you’re buying broccoli and cheese.

10. Greek Yogurt ($1.35)

greek yogurt

So, you’re making the healthy choice, are you? Ordering Greek yogurt is going to get you halfway there, but it won’t get you all the way. What I’m saying is, get off your tuchus and go on a nice brisk walk to the store!

What About Pricing?

I was interested in the price of Prime Now. Roomba is the same price, dog food is cheaper on Amazon.com, water bottles (do not buy!) are cheaper on Prime Now, garbage bags are cheaper on Amazon.com, diapers are cheaper on Amazon.com, speakers are the same price, gummy bears are cheaper on Prime Now, Xbox is cheaper on Prime Now, soap is cheaper on Prime Now, and yogurt is cheaper on Prime Now.

All that’s to say, check your prices, and if it’s worth a couple extra bucks to have something RIGHT NOW, then, by all means, go for it.

Plus, they’re running a deal now (only good on Amazon orders):

Get $20 off your first order using coupon code PORTLAND20.

 

 

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5 Fun Places to Stay in Portland http://frugalportland.com/5-fun-places-to-stay-in-portland/ http://frugalportland.com/5-fun-places-to-stay-in-portland/#comments Thu, 20 Aug 2015 11:24:39 +0000 http://frugalportland.com/?p=6751 When traveling to a new city it’s hard to know if where you are staying is as good as the advertisement, or even pictures on the web. I’ve gathered the following from personal experience either staying at these accommodations myself or having a friend or relative stay there. Portland has some cool digs and a...

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When traveling to a new city it’s hard to know if where you are staying is as good as the advertisement, or even pictures on the web. I’ve gathered the following from personal experience either staying at these accommodations myself or having a friend or relative stay there. Portland has some cool digs and a lot of variety for the money, so read below for a few places you can choose to rest your weary head.

Please note rates for all accommodations vary by season as well as events in town.

Here are five fun places to stay in Portland:

1. STAY IN A CARTOON PALACE: INN AT NORTHROP STATION

2012 sofa

This unique Northwest boutique hotel has vibrant and colorful walls of orange and green, with whimsical furnishings, you will feel like you are staying in a carton palace. The inn also features art by Portland artists. Northrop Station sits in an awesome location in the Alphabet district near some of the best restaurants on NW 21st and the bustling cafes and shops of NW 23rd.

The Portland Streetcar has a stop right out front so you can hop on anytime it’s running and see the sites. Originally built in the 1970’s, the industrial architecture of the Inn is still current today.

All rooms at the Inn are King-size Suites complete with their kitchen and high-speed internet. A luxurious bedroom set up and everything you would need including flat screen TVs to call your space home.

Website: http://www.northrupstation.com

Tel: 1 800 224 1180

2. FEELING CHILDLIKE? STAY AT MCMENAMIN’S KENNEDY SCHOOL

Kennedy_School_-_Portland_Oregon

The McMenamins are a local family who has taken over buildings from eras gone by and created amazing, beautiful, and functional accommodations, bars and restaurants, and even spas and concert venues out of them. All locations share a theme of incredible local art and photographs of Portland’s history. Touring these properties is quite a feat as there are so many, and one of my favorites is in Northeast Portland and is called the “Kennedy School.”

The historic Kennedy School was established in 1915 as an actual elementary school. Unique and well loved by locals and travelers alike, once you visit you will never want to leave, and actually you don’t have to because the Kennedy school has everything you need to stay and relax for a long while. Accommodations include a gym, and wading pool, a movie theater with big overstuffed chairs and couches, and did I mention the numerous bars and courtyard restaurant with a big cozy outdoor fireplace? Each room itself was a classroom, and the chalkboards are still there!

Stay here and have your friends or family come to you and enjoy dinner and a movie at McMenamins Kennedy School.

Website: http://www.mcmenamins.com

Tel: (503) 249-3983

3. GOING FOR THE MODERN TOUCH: HOTEL MODERA

450px-Hotel_Modera,_Portland,_Oregon_2012

Hotel Modera is a luxurious and modern boutique hotel located in downtown Portland. It boasts excellent service the minute you walk in the building. Though some rooms can be on the small side every room is done up to a tee, with all modern conveniences. Rooms are elegant and have colorful, fun décor and even a cute fur throw adorns every bed. The hotel’s restaurant “Nel Centro” is award winning, comfortable and open for all your dining needs. The hotel sits close to the Max train and is in a walkable part of downtown only about 6 blocks from the riverfront. Rooms vary in price but can be gotten online at hotels.com for as low as $120/night. A very comfortable, modern and fun place to stay in downtown PDX.

Website: http://www.hotelmodera.com

Tel: (503) 484-1084

4. PULLING OUT ALL THE STOPS: THE HEATHMAN

Heathman_Hotel_entrance_2014

Staying at the Heathman Hotel downtown you feel like you have “arrived.”

This posh boutique hotel built in 1927 has a stellar reputation for both comfort and style. (Curious fact: It’s where they filmed Fifty Shades of Grey)

The hotel has 150 rooms and is a member of the Historic Hotels of America.

Each suite is artistically designed for aesthetics as well as comfort. Luxury sheets, L’occitane products, bathrobes and slippers and free WiFi are just a few of the rooms’ amenities. They also have something cool called “The Art Of Sleep,” The Heathman provides you with a menu of types of beds to sleep on, yes unbelievable! You get your choice! Beds range from Tempurpedic to Feather Beds and European Pillow Tops. So take your pick!

The Heathman is in Portland’s bustling Theater and Arts district, blocks away from the Art Museum and steps away from the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall amongst others. They have a killer brunch buffet, and also a fantastic retro lounge with ginormous chandeliers, and cozy booths where you can listen to live Jazz nightly.

The Heathman Hotel is swanky, luscious and somewhat decadent, and something everyone should experience once in their lifetime. Check the website for rates.

Website: http://portland.heathmanhotel.com

Tel: 503-241-4100

5. STAYING ON THE CHEAP: MCMENAMIN’S WHITE EAGLE

576px-White_Eagle-Hryszko_Brothers_Building_-_Portland_Oregon

Ever roll into town with only a few bucks in your pocket? Or maybe you’re thinking of making a trip but just can’t handle couch surfing at your buddy’s place or worst, maybe your mom’s. Well have no fear; McMenanamins has the accommodations to fit your budget. The White Eagle is a small tavern and bar with live music weekly in NE Portland. It’s known for its Rock and Roll atmosphere. The dark and romantic saloon boasts an outdoor patio with fire pits and also has a little known about Inn tucked away upstairs in its ethers. Built in 1905 it is supposed to be one of the most haunted places in Portland.

Eleven Rooms start as low as $50 bucks. So whether you’re busting ghosts or just needing a pad to crash after the party, the White Eagle has you covered.

Website: http://www.mcmenamins.com/WhiteEagle

Tel: (503) 335-8900

As you can see, when traveling to Portland the accommodations available run the gamut. But why not make it an adventure and try something different each time you come? No matter what quarter of the city you stay in, public transportation has never been easier to use, so don’t let a lack of a vehicle hold you back. All quarters have walkable neighborhoods with shops and restaurants and fun things to explore.

Learn more about these and other great places to stay at http://traveloregon.com/places-to-stay For some great deals check out LivingSocial, Groupon, and Goldstar. Wherever you stay, enjoy the beauty, culture, and creativity that Portland has to offer and be sure to have a great time in the city of roses.

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7 Portland Food Carts You Can’t Miss http://frugalportland.com/7-cant-miss-portland-food-carts/ http://frugalportland.com/7-cant-miss-portland-food-carts/#comments Thu, 13 Aug 2015 11:46:52 +0000 http://frugalportland.com/?p=6740 With so many creative visions colliding in this funky town of artists, and entrepreneurs, it’s no wonder that Portland’s food cart scene is one of the hottest in the country. There is nothing better than taking a bite of something new and noteworthy. That umami blend of awesomeness that you discovered in order to drag...

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With so many creative visions colliding in this funky town of artists, and entrepreneurs, it’s no wonder that Portland’s food cart scene is one of the hottest in the country. There is nothing better than taking a bite of something new and noteworthy. That umami blend of awesomeness that you discovered in order to drag your family and friends to get that perfect bite. Many of these places will grow a following and become Portland’s brick and mortar spots of the future.

Here are seven Portland food carts that should not be missed:

1-3. NEW AND NOTABLE: The Gantry Food Pod at Zidell Yards

New cart pod!

Craving something new? Check out Portland’s newest food pod just outside OHSU’s Center for Health and Healing in the South Waterfront neighborhood of Portland. This pod is just steps from the Tram (Giant Prozac that flies high in the sky) and also steps to Portland’s newest bridge: Tillicum Crossing. The South Waterfront is home to many offices of OHSU, restaurants a great gym, shops and Dr.’s offices right along the riverfront. Some great stuff at this new pod with three notable favorites: Garden Monsters, PDX Sliders, and Neue Southern.

Garden Monsters creates unique and tasty salads of every kind tossed fresh!

Steak, Chicken, Ground Meat, Veggie or Shrimp! Love the Paul Bunyan.

PDX Sliders makes tasty burgers, beef, pork, chicken, veggie and gluten free.

Neue Southern sources everything they make locally and provides a creative globally influenced menu. Lots of soul here.

The Gantry Food Pod at Zidell Yards

Location: 3121 SW Moody Ave

Facebook: Gantry Food Pod

4. HOT CHIX at Tiffin Asha

At Tiffin Asha, get the Hot Chix

Tiffin Asha is in the middle of the Mississippi neighborhood. Mississippi is an older neighborhood semi gentrified in North Portland. It’s “cool” without trying and is the home of many great spots to eat and shop.

Tiffin Asha is at the back end of a parking lot on the corner of N. Mississippi and N. Beech. This isn’t your average Indian fare. There is no Makhani or Tikka Massala. No Naan or Raita. However, what you will find is a fresh new take on Indian Street food brought back directly from India. It’s South Indian inspired and delicious. This is the result of the two hot chicks (humans) that run the place. They are partners, and they make what I think is their best bite: The Hot Chix

Tiffin Asha’s “Hot Chix” are chicken breast lightly battered and fried pakora style and surrounded by a homemade dosa, which is like a crepe made from fermented beans (Dal), with a dollop of Black Cardamon Honey for sweetness, some pickled greens and , and yogurt cheese to round it out. One bite and you will wonder why haven’t you found this delightful cart and its creative Chef Elizabeth Golay. Elizabeth and her partner Sheila brought back these recipes straight from India.

Try the HotChix and a variety of other Indian delights (Vegetarian too!)

Check it out they even have a “Chutney Bar”, with all kinds of flavors to try.

For something unique, ask about the “Gun Powder” too!

Location: 3710 N. Mississippi Ave, Portland

Phone: 503-936-7663

Web: http://www.tiffinasha.com

Facebook: Tiffin Asha

Twitter: @tiffinashapdx

Average meal cost $5-$10.

5. Go retro and dine at Carte Blanche

Carte_Blanche_Food_Cart (2)

The first time I visited Carte Blanche was on a Saturday last spring. Curiously it appeared in my line of sight. The kitchen where the magic happens is inside a vintage silver Air Stream trailer. The menu board at Carte Blanche reads like a script to an old movie. Titles like “Frank where did you put my sweater?” or “The Helmut Bowl from Outer Space.” It doesn’t matter what you call it; it’s some of the tastiest stuff you can find in Portland.

All original recipes formed out of international cuisines, the food here crosses all borders.

Average meal cost $5-$10.

Location: 3207 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd, Portland

Phone: 971-258-2895

Web: http://www.carteblanchefoodcart.com/

Facebook: Carte Blanche

Twitter: @carteblanchepdx

6. Wolf & Bear’s

Wolf_and_Bears

Wolf & Bear’s is entirely vegetarian, but that won’t stop this carnivore from indulging in its savory middle eastern cuisine. Go for the falafel! ($7) Bar-none the best Falafel I have eaten since Me & Me’s which was an old Israeli standby in the heart of the Fairfax neighborhood of Los Angeles. Wolf & Bear’s Falafel is served hot, filled to the brim with hummus, grilled eggplant, roasted red peppers and caramelized onions. Is your mouth watering yet?

Wolf has an impressive menu that includes a Jewish breakfast sandwich, called Sabich, ($7.50) salads and other snacks.

Whether you grab a sandwich and an ice tea with lemonade and mint, or one of their many snacks, you will be delighted with your meal and also get it at a fair price! With at least two more locations that I know of in SE, this is something that I highly recommend if you like this type of eats.

Location: 3925 N. Mississippi Ave., Portland

Phone: 503-453-5044

Web: http://www.eatwolfandbears.com

Facebook: Wolf & Bear’s

Twitter: @wolfandbears

7. Kure

Get a smoothie at KURE Juice Bar

So you’re going to work out, or maybe just go for a walk, you’ve made a new years resolution to eat healthier too. So I am wondering have you been there yet?

Kure is Portland’s finest smoothie stand. It’s far from just a “whole food” cart; it’s got a cult following that will line up in the street just to get a Bowl of the Gods, or Chocolate Eisenhart. I am hooked. Their blends of healthy goodness are addictive which is what you need when you’re unfortunately already addicted to something like Diet Coke! So make the switch and explore the smoothie life beyond Jamba Juice. It’s fresh and clean, and they will make it any way you want.

Average cost $5-$18.

Location: 4409 SE Hawthorne, Portland

Phone: 855-777-KURE

Web: https://kurejuicebar.com

Facebook: Kure Juice Bar

Twitter: @kure

Those are the seven carts I’m loving right now. What’s your favorite?

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Frugal Day Trip: Silver Falls, Oregon http://frugalportland.com/frugal-day-trip-silver-falls-oregon/ http://frugalportland.com/frugal-day-trip-silver-falls-oregon/#comments Thu, 06 Aug 2015 11:00:37 +0000 http://frugalportland.com/?p=6724 Here in Portland, it’s warm. I won’t go as far to say hot, since I just came back from visiting my sister in San Antonio, which may as well be the surface of the sun, but it’s warm. Not all homes have air conditioning (it’s a luxury in the Pacific Northwest, whereas it’s a necessity...

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Silver-FallsHere in Portland, it’s warm. I won’t go as far to say hot, since I just came back from visiting my sister in San Antonio, which may as well be the surface of the sun, but it’s warm. Not all homes have air conditioning (it’s a luxury in the Pacific Northwest, whereas it’s a necessity in places like Sacramento, for example), and the hot air tends to come into our homes and make itself comfortable.

So, we go outside. We hike, we bike, we swim, we kayak, we spelunk… you get the idea.

A few weeks ago, there was a break in our heatwave, which made swimming less optimal, but hiking more fun. Mid 60s and cloudy? Let’s go to Silver Falls!

What is Silver Falls?

Silver Falls is a series of waterfalls along a path, several of which you can walk behind. There are something like ten waterfalls in nine miles, though this trip, we opted to take a shorter path.

It was built during the make-work Great Depression, and it’s beautiful. More info here.

Where is Silver Falls?

Silver Falls is between Silverton and Salem, and about an hour and a half from downtown Portland. It’s a state park, but as we found out, you do not need cash to pay the $5 admission fee.

What We Did

9 am: Looked up Silver Falls on the internet. Found out we cannot bring our dog on this hike. Walked the dog in the neighborhood, then cruelly left him behind.

10 am: Stopped in Woodburn for breakfast. Noticed they have a Panera now. Decided to travel the rest of the way on back roads instead of the interstate. GPS told us it would take seven minutes longer. Decided it was worth it. I’d recommend that to you if you decide to go this route. Also, the bagel with avocado was top notch.

11 am: Arrive, and park in the first lot we see. Brent’s thought was, “why try to park close to the trail head if what we came here to do was walk outside?” Find restroom. Fill trusty Hydro Flask (oh, and while we’re on the topic, add the straw and flip top attachment. You’ll be glad you did). Check out visitor center, find a map. Decide to do five miles, not nine. This is our first summer hike, after all.

11:15 am: Hike! Take pictures of your surroundings. Force your hiking companion to take the camera for a bit so you’re in a few pictures a year, too. Keep a good pace, but remember the reason you set out to hike was to be outside and enjoy nature, not to trail run or be extreme.

2 pm: Hit the lock button on your car a few times to hear it honk. Find your car. Go back home a different way. If you’re anything like us, stop for a late lunch in Salem (only do a better job Yelp! searching than I did, or you’ll end up in a weird cafeteria thing eating hummus salsa).

3:30 pm: Take the dog out again, even though you’re tired. He’s grumpy and he knows you were out doing dog things without him.

Realize how much beauty exists in your own backyard.

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The Sonics at the Star Theater: Frugal and Fun Night Out http://frugalportland.com/sonics-star-theater-frugal-fun-night/ http://frugalportland.com/sonics-star-theater-frugal-fun-night/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 11:25:26 +0000 http://frugalportland.com/?p=6718 It’s summertime and along with the heat comes many local music festivals. This week the Pabst Project brought me to the Star Theater to see The Sonics, The Pierced Arrows and eyebrow raising locals Fireballs of Freedom. The ticket was a steal at ten dollars, following a trend of low-cost ticket prices at this venue....

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The-Sonics-at-the-Star-Theater

It’s summertime and along with the heat comes many local music festivals. This week the Pabst Project brought me to the Star Theater to see The Sonics, The Pierced Arrows and eyebrow raising locals Fireballs of Freedom. The ticket was a steal at ten dollars, following a trend of low-cost ticket prices at this venue.

The atmosphere at the Star Theater is quite aesthetically pleasing, apart from the unnecessarily flashy stage lighting. The staff is exceedingly friendly and helpful with knowledge of the surrounding neighborhood. The drink service was fast even at capacity; you can purchase a 16-ounce PBR or Tecate for only three dollars, so a decent buzz is easily attained on a moderate budget. There is also a wide variety of well-mixed drinks and craft brews if you have recently cashed a paycheck and are feeling fancy. When all that cheap beer catches up with you there is Mediterranean street food available out on the patio, which looks and smells delicious but there were not many veg options, so I did not partake.

As for the show, the sound could not have been better. The Sonics were dynamic and looked comfortable performing, having only gotten back together in recent years after decades of hiatus. Judging by the crowd’s reaction to the new material, I think it’s safe to say they made it all that time, with their great music sensibility still intact. The Star Theater offers many great vantage points including balcony access at no extra cost if your days of rubbing shoulders with sweaty shirtless men up front are behind you. Taking this all into account I look forward to taking in some more shows at the Star Theater, with comfort in knowing my wallet will make it out guts intact.

You can check out the Fireballs of Freedom supporting a stellar Australian garage rock act Royal Headache at Mississippi Studios on August 11th.

For information on upcoming events at the Star Theater, visit their website.

For more information on the bands, visit:

Support Local Music!

-Carsten

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The Magic of Portland’s Little Free Libraries http://frugalportland.com/magic-portlands-little-free-libraries/ http://frugalportland.com/magic-portlands-little-free-libraries/#comments Thu, 23 Jul 2015 12:57:40 +0000 http://frugalportland.com/?p=6700 If you haven’t seen Portland’s little free libraries yet, you need to start walking around our lovely neighborhoods more (Gardens! Yard art! Sparkly Portland magic!). These priceless gemstones in Portland’s crown are labors of love installed and filled by your most neighborly neighbors. Located along sidewalks on posts in people’s yards all over our fair...

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The-magic-of-Portland's-little-free-libraries

If you haven’t seen Portland’s little free libraries yet, you need to start walking around our lovely neighborhoods more (Gardens! Yard art! Sparkly Portland magic!). These priceless gemstones in Portland’s crown are labors of love installed and filled by your most neighborly neighbors. Located along sidewalks on posts in people’s yards all over our fair city, Little Free Libraries are glass-fronted boxes full of FREE BOOKS. Why bike all the way to Multnomah County Library when you can just walk to the corner?

Most of the libraries in Portland are registered, official libraries (http://littlefreelibrary.org – and there’s a map!). The motto of these adorable receptacles of free entertainment is “Take a book. Return a book.” It’s that simple, and it’s old-school honor system. Doesn’t that make you feel all warm and fuzzy? And if you realize your personal shelves are a bit too full of books you’ve already read or know darn well you’ll never get around to, you can bring Ulysses, War and Peace, and Crafting with Cat Hair to your neighborhood library box and know the love will keep floating around Portland like a vast cloud of generous, Pacific Northwesty literary good karma.

There is a serious charm to the library boxes themselves, too. From Little Free Library’s website, folks can order from over two dozen cute-as-heck prefab libraries, although this being Portland, quite a few are handmade artworks on their own. Some sport recycled materials, some mosaics, some… just use your imagination. Or better yet, take a walk. At least one also has a tiny-cool-object-loan area, too.

Visit your neighborhood micro-library and you just might find something you never would have sought out, but actually NEED to read. Trust your neighbor. One book, traded in over and over for new books, will one day leave you so well-read and enlightened that you will have no choice but to install a Little Free Library yourself. It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood.

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Frugal Road Trip: 24 Hours in Tacoma, WA http://frugalportland.com/frugal-road-trip-24-hours-in-tacoma-wa/ http://frugalportland.com/frugal-road-trip-24-hours-in-tacoma-wa/#comments Thu, 16 Jul 2015 12:00:11 +0000 http://frugalportland.com/?p=6688 Summer is a season of spontaneity and adventure; it’s a time to throw an overnight bag in your car and get out of town for the weekend. Being on a budget certainly shouldn’t limit the occasional excursion away from Portland. There are plenty of cities nearby, some underrated, that offer cheap and interesting activities for...

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picnic in TacomaSummer is a season of spontaneity and adventure; it’s a time to throw an overnight bag in your car and get out of town for the weekend. Being on a budget certainly shouldn’t limit the occasional excursion away from Portland. There are plenty of cities nearby, some underrated, that offer cheap and interesting activities for a mini vacation that will satisfy the summer wanderer within.

One such city is Tacoma, Washington–not as popular a destination as Seattle, its neighbor to the north–but vibrant and cultured nonetheless (also: BONUS closer to Portland!)

Here is what an overnight, frugal road trip to Tacoma might look like:

Picnic at Wright Park

Metropolitan Market

Upon arrival, you could go out to eat–Tacoma has plenty of great restaurants–but a great money-saving alternative, especially on a balmy summer evening, is to grab a box of food from the grocery store and eat in the open air. I recommend dinner from the Metropolitan Market–they offer healthy options at reasonable prices; their salad and sandwich bar is delicious, and they have great hot food selections as well.

The perfect picnic spot to enjoy your food from the market is Wright Park, a 27 acre arboretum in the middle of the city. The park contains over 700 trees, ideal for taking shade and spreading out a blanket with a date or friends.

 

Greenhouse Tour

W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory

After dinner, check out the W. W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory, a stunning greenhouse located in the park. The greenhouse collects donations, so for a dollar or two, you could stroll among the 550 plant species in its permanent collection.

Grand Cinema

Grand Cinema

A lovely later evening activity, just a short walk from the park, is a visit to Grand Cinema, a non-profit arthouse theater. The Grand shows independent, foreign or local film, and the atmosphere is absolutely charming: small theater rooms, real butter on the popcorn, volunteer staff. It’s a wonderful experience for $10 a ticket.

 

Corina Bakery

Corina Bakery

The next morning, a trip to Corina Bakery might be in order, for a breakfast under $8. The place is sprawling, and they have gluten-free, organic goodies like chocolate croissants and egg sandwiches to go with your iced americano.

 

Vintage Shopping

Vintage Shopping

For afternoon shopping that won’t break the bank, Tacoma has a lot of fun vintage shops. At a store like Urban Xchange, you can trade in your unwanted clothing for store credit. Just being in the store will inspire you: the space is well-curated and full of creative outfit ideas. They always have a wide selection of trendy clothes on their racks that you can get for a fraction of the price.

Waterfront Walk

Waterfront walk

Before you hop in the car for the two and half hour drive back to Portland, I recommend a walk along the waterfront. Tacoma’s stretch of sidewalk along the waterfront is impressive, and the view is amazing (and free!) A perfect send-off for a nice couple of days in a different city, a weekend away that left plenty in the bank for more adventures before summer’s end.

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Free Admission with the Washington County Cultural Pass http://frugalportland.com/8-great-portland-attractions-thought-pay/ http://frugalportland.com/8-great-portland-attractions-thought-pay/#comments Thu, 09 Jul 2015 11:00:50 +0000 http://frugalportland.com/?p=6665 Washington County Cooperative Libraries wants you to brave water slides and enjoy some of our area’s coolest attractions as part of your FREE membership this summer! What?! It’s true! I get so excited when I find a way to have frugal summer fun! Check out the Washington County Cultural Pass to Adventure. This my most recent...

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Free Admission with the Washington County Cultural Pass

nelson1

Washington County Cooperative Libraries wants you to brave water slides and enjoy some of our area’s coolest attractions as part of your FREE membership this summer! What?! It’s true! I get so excited when I find a way to have frugal summer fun! Check out the Washington County Cultural Pass to Adventure. This my most recent favorite find and you couldn’t get a better deal for these great staycation destinations:

FREE ADMISSION to ALL of these Portland area attractions!

In Portland:

Lan Su Chinese Garden 

Portland Chinatown, 2 adults and 2 kids

Pittock Mansion 

Portland West Hills, 2 adults and 2 kids (ages 6-18)

Portland Japanese Garden 

Portland West Hills, 4 adults and ALL children (from same household)

A Short Drive Away:

Evergreen Wings & Waves Waterpark & Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum 

Both attractions in McMinnville, pass good for 2 admissions

 

A.C. Gilbert’s Discovery Village

in Salem, up to 5 guests

The Oregon Garden 

near Silverton, 2 adults and 4 kids

 

Rice NW Museum of Rocks & Minerals 

Hwy 26 @ Helvetia, up to 4 people

Washington County Museum

in Hillsboro, admission for one family

Have a guest coming and want to show them what the Portland area has to offer without making your wallet cry? Lived here forever and still haven’t made it to Pittock mansion to see the holiday lights? Heard about the water slide park and wonder why you’re not there splashing away stress? A bit of planning and a trip to the library and you’re there. For free.

Any of these adventures are fun enough on their own, but with the generosity available with most of these passes, the whole family can afford to come! My boyfriend and I love to take our niece and nephew out, but can’t splurge constantly. I added up the savings based on two adults and two kids. The passes will save us well over $400!

How the Washington County Cultural Pass Works

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All you have to do is go to one of the 15 Washington county libraries and sign up for a library card. It’s free and took me about five minutes. Make sure to bring your ID with your current address. Washington, Multnomah, Clackamas county and residents from parts of Clark county can join. Once you have your card you can make a reservation. If you call to make reservations, you even get to talk to a real live person! That’s rare these days! Each participating library has their own set of passes to check out.

Plan Ahead

If you know how get the good camping spots at the beach, this will be familiar! During peak times, you may have to wait a month or more for a reservation if you don’t plan ahead. Pick out a few dates that work and plan your daytrip!

One Day Only

You can check out two passes a day, but they are only good for that day. Your pass will only be held for you at one library, the library you reserve it at. You can only pick it up there and you can not keep it overnight!

This page has the rest of the info you need. There’s a list of destinations near the bottom of the page above the map. By clicking on any of destinations it will take you to a page with details specific to each pass. Most of them are available year-round, but some are seasonal or offered for a limited time. Hint, hint. Nudge, nudge… get your waterpark reservations soon!

Day trips do not have to be disastrous to the budget to be a lot of fun, and you save so much money skipping hotels and sleeping in your own bed at night. Pack the snacks to stay healthy and save cash. Go with a friend for built-in fun and to share gas money! Each of you can pick up a pass at the library closest to you on the way to meet up. I’ve always loved supporting libraries in general; who knew they would support my need for constant fun? Let me know what you learned from using your passes and any good spots you stopped along the way!

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