Coffee Shops & Restaurants

1927 S’Mores Company

First off, let me tell you I am a little miffed that no one bothered to mention this Portland gem to me. How have they been in Portland since 2015 and no one told us?!?

Deep breath and moving on. As vaccines become more available and restrictions have been lifting, we have slowly been venturing out into the world again. 1927 S’Mores popped up on one of my social media accounts, and it seemed like a yummy place to start.

Tucked into a small storefront off of 12th and Alder in downtown Portland, it’s truly a fun experience. The space is small, but they have done a wonderful job transforming it into an urban campground. From stone walls, to maps, and even a canoe, it is charming and adorable.

Inspired by the Girl Scouts s’mores tradition, they have taken the treat to a whole new level. They make their own graham crackers (my favorite part, to be honest) as well as their own marshmallows. You can choose from the traditional s’mores, seasonal flavors, or other fun flavor combinations seemingly inspired by the famous Girl Scout cookies. We tried the traditional s’mores as well as one with caramel, chocolate and coconut (think Samoas). They were all fantastic!

Once you have made your choice, a staff member carefully builds your s’more as you watch. And then it gets toasted with a small torch! How fun is that?!? Chicken and Nugget were both quite impressed and lots of excited commentary took place.

And did I mention there is hot chocolate? While the hot chocolate itself is pretty standard, getting to choose between a homemade vanilla or chocolate marshmallow to go on top along with whipped cream, candy bits, sprinkles, and nuts made it a special treat. And very rich!

Because the space is small and we are still living in the land of covid, expect to wait outside if other customers are present as only a few people are allowed inside at a time, and know you will need to take your treat to go. If you’re wondering how you eat a s’more on the go, never fear! They thoughtfully include a wet wipe with each treat. Once you are inside, we found the staff to be friendly, patient, and kind. We mentioned Chicken is a Girl Scout, and the staff member excitedly chatted about Girl Scouts and its connection to their business.

If you’re not sure you want to eat a s’mores on the go, they also sell kits with their homemade graham crackers, gourmet marshmallows, and chocolate that you can take with you on your next camping adventure, or make them in your back yard!

What it is: delicious, rich, unique

What it’s not: budget s’mores, a sit down cafe

Do we recommend it? Sure! It’s very fun novelty treat

To find out more, visit their website here: https://www.1927smores.com/visit

Coffee Shops & Restaurants, Welcome and About

Crumbl Cookies

Holy cookies! This place is yummy! As Facebook is scarily in tune with my preferences and interests, Crumbl Cookies showed up on my feed with the handy announcement that a location was opening up in our town. Since the new location is very close to one of Chicken’s activities, we made a stop on our way there. Another location will be opening soon in the area, which is going to be quite dangerous for us.

If you haven’t heard of Crumbl, it’s a fun concept. They sell cookies- huge, warm, gooey cookies. They always have warm chocolate chip and chilled sugar cookies, as well as four recipes that change each week. It seems the rotating cookies are generally served warm as well.

The coolest part? They deliver. They deliver warm cookies and cold milk to your house. Until midnight. This would have changed my college experience. Or it’s perfect for those days when a warm cookie and milk would really hit the spot for the kiddos and you just don’t have it in you to make a whole batch of cookies which you know won’t all get eaten, and then you still have to do the dishes.

I ordered warm chocolate chip, Chicken got Nutella with sea salt, and Nugget got the chilled sugar cookie topped with pink frosting. Mine was delicious. Warm, soft, thick, melty chocolate chips- it was serious cookie perfection. Chicken’s Nutella cookie had a gooey Nutella center and warm Nutella drizzled on top, resulting in a very chocolatey face. Nugget also loved his cookie. It was a really good soft sugar cookie. It seemed to have an almond extract flavor instead of vanilla (I prefer vanilla), but he was very happy with his choice.

Cookies are sold individually ($4) or in a box of four. The boxes are adorable and make it feel more special. At this price they are definitely a treat, at least for us, but they really are exceptional cookies. White and chocolate milk are sold for $2.

Since their niche is cookie delivery, there isn’t much seating. There is a small cushioned bench next to the window, but no tables or chairs. There are some tables outside, which we took advantage of since it was a nice day, but otherwise be prepared to take your treats to go.

What it’s not: diet food, cheap

What it is: Yummy!, fun treat, warm, gooey cookies to go or delivered to your house

Do we recommend it? For sure!

Find more information and a location near you here: https://crumblcookies.com/#

Coffee Shops & Restaurants, Uncategorized

Nola Doughnuts- Portland and Lake Oswego

How have we missed Nola Doughnuts? Seriously. Where have we been? Nugget recently had soccer camp at Providence Park, so Chicken and I had the week to explore downtown. One of the days we decided to go to Powell’s Books, and we saw a sign right behind Powell’s. So we popped in. And fell in love.

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As soon as we stepped in, we were charmed by the environment. There are artistic and artful menus, decorations, and informational displays along the wall But the coolest part is a the facade that looks like the fronts of colorful New Orleans homes.

Samples of the different products were in a case near the front. We passed over the doughnuts, which looked like they had the structure of a cronut and went for the order of mini beignets. Then we settled in to wait. Considering there was only one other couple in the shop at the time, we started to wonder what the heck was taking so long to bring out some square doughnuts. Turns out they prepare the beignets to order and bring them out fresh and piping hot. Color us sheepish.

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I will be honest. I haven’t been to New Orleans to compare these to the real deal, but I can’t imagine them being much better. They were hot, slightly crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and sweet without being too sweet. They develop an air pocket when cooking, so it is like biting into a little pillow of heaven. They were dusted with powdered sugar and were delicious.

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So delicious, in fact, that a few days later when we decided to go to the Children’s Museum, we took the Max train so that it would be easy to zip down to Nola’s and treat Nugget to our new discovery. During rush hour. In the rain. They’re that good.

Nugget is a hard core fan of another well known Portland doughnut establishment, and even he was blown away. This time we asked for two orders, one with powdered sugar and one with their raspberry drizzle. Turns out, we needed that drizzle in our lives. Nugget may have wound up with sauce on his nose from licking it off the plate. Kids. Can’t take them anywhere.

Nola’s does have other doughnuts as well as a small selection of sandwiches and a variety of coffee drinks- including coffee with chicory. Yum! Order any of these if you feel inspired, but make sure to get the beignets!

Information about their menu and locations downtown and in Lake Oswego can be found here: http://www.noladoughnuts.com/menu

Happy eating!

Coffee Shops & Restaurants

Wizarding Tea- Clockwork Rose Tea Emporium

I’ll admit it.  I am 100% a Harry Potter nerd.  I love all things Harry Potter.  And now I have Chicken on my side!  She has read all the books, even the script for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, has seen all the movies, and is the proud collector of Harry Potter knick knacks.

So this year for her birthday I clearly had to take her to the 2nd annual Wizarding Tea at Beaverton’s Clockwork Rose Tea Emporium. She donned a wizarding costume and off we went!

We entered the door leading to the small gift shop area, where we were checked in and instructed to place a jewel in the container for the house of our choice. We were given a themed quiz and word search and were then escorted through platform 9 3/4.

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Upon entering the tea room, we were immediately struck by all the details. Letters bursting from the fireplace, Umbridge’s decrees are framed on the walls, the house flags are hung, and there is a photo area resembling the great hall complete with props and character cutouts.

We oohed and aahed on the way to our seats at a community table before settling in to our quiz and word search. I have to say, I was secretly super proud of how Chicken casually answered all of the questions that stumped our tablemates.

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Before long, Mad Eye Moody arrived to tell us about the days themed teas and take our tea order. Chicken selected pumpkin spice and I chose Slughorn’s potion, complete with a vial of gilley water that changed the tea colors. They were both delicious!

Once tea orders were place, Professor Trelawney came along to lead us through a tea leaf reading. She taught us how to swirl our cups, empty it, and read our fortunes. There was even a printed guide to help with our interpretations. Chicken and I both got good readings overall, although we each have some suspicious characters in our lives we need to keep an eye on. Hmmm.

The tiered tray of treats arrived and I was glad I hadn’t eaten breakfast! There was everything from Molly’s meat pies, sorcerer’s scones, pumpkin pasties, treacle tarts, house cookies, and more things than we could possibly eat. The food was delicious and anything guests couldn’t finish was sent home in small boxes.

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After eating our fill, we checked out the decorations up close. They were really above and beyond. They were incredibly detailed, accurate, and fun.

And this may sound weird, but make a trip to the restroom while you are there. It’s actually got some really cool decorations!

Overall, we it’s a very unique experience and we had a great time.

What it’s not: Inexpensive

What it is: perfect for the Harry Potter fan, decent food, fantastic tea, amazing decorations, a fun excuse to get dressed up

This event tends to sell out, but you can e-mail at any time and asked to be added to their interest list for the next year’s tea. You will then be able to get tickets before everyone else!

Clockwork Rose Tea Emporium has traditional tea service in addition to their themed teas, which include Halloween, Dr. Who, Charles Dickens, and others. You can find information about the Tea Emporium here: http://www.clockworkrosetea.com/

Coffee Shops & Restaurants

Driftwood Coffee

This week we met up with a friend and her son with plans to go to the park.  But as we are nothing without coffee, we decided to grab a cup first.  She suggested a coffee shop I had never been to before, Driftwood Coffee.  Trusting this particular friend to make such an important decision, I agreed.

Driftwood Coffee is off Vermont, not too far from Multnomah Village.  Unassuming from the outside, it is adorable and cozy on the inside.  The food and drinks were reasonably priced as well.  My vanilla latte was excellent, as were the bagel breakfast sandwiches we all ordered.  They also had baked goods from a couple of local bakeries.  We didn’t try any, but they all looked good!

They had an array of really cute merchandise for sale, the atmosphere was inviting, and I kind of want to remodel my bathroom to make it look like theirs.

Customers were friendly and there seemed to be a solid contingent of regulars.  The woman working was apparently one of the owners, and she was very nice and welcoming.

One of the things I really loved was a small children’s area with a small kitchen, some toys, and some books.  We didn’t take advantage of that today as the kids chose to play a rambunctious game of Uno as the grownups caffeinated, but I’m sure they will be all about it the next time we go.  And there will be a next time!

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So, Driftwood Coffee

What it’s not… a large chain

What it is: a local small business run by friendly people, great coffee and food, kid friendly

Should you try it?  Most definitely!

You can find more info here:

http://driftwood-coffee-portland.sites.tablehero.com/

 

 

Coffee Shops & Restaurants, Day Trips, Spring and Summer Activities

Unger Farms- 2019

Unger Farms is one of our go-to places when we have nothing to do on a lazy summer day.  Tucked off of one of the back roads between Hillsboro and Forest Grove, I had no idea the treasures within despite the fact that I drove by nearly every day on my communute.  A friend suggested meeting there a few summers ago, and we were immediately hooked.

Ungers Farms is a family run farm focused on berries.  You have likely seen their delicious produce at any of a variety of local farmer’s markets.  I suppose most people make the trek to the farm for the u-pick experience, but funnily enough, we have never actually done that.

So why go to a u-pick berry farm if you’re not going to pick berries?  Excellent question.  There are several great reasons!  The location is beautiful and peaceful.  The grassy area, cafe, and simple playground are what has my kiddos begging to go there nearly every week.  We usually go on weekdays, which tend to be less crowded than the weekends.

Chicken and Nugget can spend hours swinging, playing tether ball, and meeting new friends.  The fresh air and calm environment is a great place to meet friends or just spend some time sipping lemonade and watching your kids run around in a safe outdoor space.  Ungers thoughtfully maintains a basket of balls and frisbees, as well as a small stash of blankets and quilts that are perfect for picnics.

All items on their menu incorporate their berries in some way, and we have enjoyed everything we have tried.  The berry lemonades/smoothies/popsicles are a huge hit on hot days!  You can enjoy your treats at the picnic tables by the play area, or sit at one of the tables overlooking the beautiful pond.

This is a family run farm and business, not a public playground, so we make sure to show our support by buying snacks, lunch, treats, or berries each time we go.  We encourage you to do the same.

What it’s not: a public park, fully shaded (though you can chase shade on the outskirts of the play area)

What it is:  beautiful, peaceful, yummy food, a great place to enjoy a gorgeous Oregon summer day

More information can be found here:  https://www.ungerfarms.com/

Adventure Box, Coffee Shops & Restaurants

Slappy Cakes

Today we had some of the best pancakes I have ever eaten.  It was our first trip to Slappy Cakes and we are officially hooked!  For those of you who, like us, have never visited before, Slappy Cakes is an incredibly popular breakfast spot in southeast Portland.  The idea is to select a pancake batter, things to mix in, and toppings for serving.  There are nonstick griddles built into the tables and you are free to let your food creativity flow!

We chose chocolate batter and traditional buttermilk.  Chicken and Nugget talked me into chocolate chips, whipped cream, and strawberries.  How do you say no to that?!?  Examples of other options include blueberries, bacon, candied bacon, nuts, coconut, lemon curd, bananas, lavender honey, etc.

Chicken and Nugget had a blast drawing pictures with the batter, trying out different combinations, attempting to flip the pancakes, and eating the fruits of their labor.  Nugget cheered for me every time I successfully flipped a pancake, so that was an added bonus that put a little pep in my step.  We may not be pancake Picassos, but we had fun- and that seems like the point, doesn’t it? And the pancakes were seriously delicious.  I don’t know how they did it.

Like I mentioned, this place is popular.  We got there around 9:30 and were told the wait would be an hour.  Luckily they use a texting system, so we headed out to explore the area, finding and adorable hat boutique.  We wound up waiting about 30 minutes.

Once we were seated, service was incredibly quick.  Since we only ordered pancakes, they have all the batters already in bottles and the toppings already prepared, so the wait time is minimal.

If you don’t feel like going to a restaurant and still cooking your own food, they do have a traditional breakfast menu.  We didn’t try any of it, but many people around us did.  The servings were huge and it all looked really good.

Batters were about $8 a bottle, and toppings/mix ins were $2-3.  Maple syrup was available on the table for no additional charge.  The waitress said each bottle would make about 3 pancakes the size of their serving plate.  That seems about right.  Our two bottles of batter and three toppings, two of which we had refilled (which they charge for), ran about $30.  We ate it all and the three of us left full but not stuffed.  Well, Nugget was stuffed.  Chicken and I had a bit more self restraint.  You could get away with spending less, or spending quite a bit more.  Depending how many things you add in, you could wind up with some pretty pricey pancakes.  Just be mindful, and you should be fine.

Overall, Slappy Cakes was a huge hit and we will definitely be going back!

What it is: a fun, family friendly restaurant, design-your-own pancakes, delicious, interactive, a mix of communal and stand alone tables, quick service once seated

What it’s not: a short wait

Would we recommend it?  Totally!  Chicken and Nugget were trying to talk me into another visit before we even finished eating!  As they were getting ready for bed later in the evening, I heard Chicken say “Slappy Cakes was really good, wasn’t it?”  Nugget answered “Yeah.  I wish we could live there.”

More information about Slappy Cakes can be found here:  https://www.slappycakes.com/portland

 

 

Coffee Shops & Restaurants, Holiday

Tea’s Me- Hillsboro, Oregon

Tea parties are such a fun pretend play activity for both little girls and little boys.  If you have littles, I am sure you have been served many a cup of tea by a beaming child with a questionably clean pretend cup (or real, if you’re particularly brave).  Chicken was not a huge tea party girl, but once Nugget came along, he embraced the concept and led many a tea party on our living room floor.

However, as Chicken got older, she became increasingly curious about the real deal.  So I started searching the area and stumbled across Tea’s Me.   We took the plunge for Chicken’s 5th birthday- a tea party at Tea’s Me followed by a showing of the Lion King downtown.  Although not a dress-up kind of girl, she proudly put on a new dress, shiny shoes, and pranced into the tea house.  It is still a treasured memory.

We both fell in love.  Tea’s Me is housed in a small building not far off of a main road in the area.  But it is very easy to pass by if you do not know it is there.  The owner serves a variety of high teas, from simple tea and scones to the classic three tiered delight.  We, of course, went all in.  It is simply decorated but comfortable, and has a small gift area with tea related gifts as well as packages of their tea blends and other food items.

Service starts with homemade sorbet- a different flavor each time.  Now that we have been several times, we each look forward to the flavor of the day.  Our favorite has been prickly pear, which Chicken excitedly said she had always wanted to try since they talk about it all the time on the Food Network.  There is also soup (always yummy), house made scones (always a plain and one with additions like blueberries, cranberries, chocolate chips, etc.), finger sandwiches, phyllo dough purses, a pastry cup with cream cheese and pepper jelly, other savory treats, and a variety of bite sized desserts at the top.  It is all served with sides of jam, clotted cream, and lemon curd.

The tea menu is extensive and includes a variety of teas as well as non caffeinated teas.  Many of the teas can be served hot or iced and the staff is great about making recommendations.  You can also have tea refills and even change the type of tea.  Not, Chicken, though.  It is a solid eight cups of blueberry tea for her.

Tea’s Me does offer a “Princess Tea”- smaller amounts of food with foods that are considered more kid friendly- a heart shaped peanut butter and jelly, fancy pigs in a blanket, etc.  That, Chicken was not impressed with.  She is a total foodie and wants the grown up food.  So now we order her the smaller full tea service and she gobbles it all up.  So there are options to please the kiddos if yours aren’t very adventurous eaters.

Half the fun of going here is watching Chicken eat.  She oohs and aahs, proudly pours her own blueberry tea from her own tea pot, moans and groans in foodie heaven (I have to reign her in so it doesn’t become too When Harry Met Sally), and informs the waitress that the food they make there is divine.  We have now gone several times for special occasions like her birthday, Mother’s day, a date with a friend she hadn’t seen in a long time, and most recently, for their Chinese New Year tea.  The first time we went, she asked if she could have her wedding there, so I think she was impressed.

It is also a great place for a mom’s day out.  A group of friends I have had since high school (some of them since elementary school) have made a tradition for the past several years of going here around the holidays.  It is a wonderful place to relax, feel taken care of, and feel like you are doing something special with a group of people you care about.  I look forward to it every year.

Tea’s Me also does some special events.  They have done Red Hat teas, Mother’s Day teas, as well as event for Valentines Day.  As I mentioned, Chicken and I went to the recent Chinese New Year tea and it was great.  The tea service was mostly the same as the typical tea with a couple of Chinese influenced dishes.  There were Chinese New Year’s decorations, Chinese zodiac placemats, periodic sharing of information, and raffle give aways.  Chicken and I both won!  While there, they indicated they would also be doing events around the Queen’s birthday and would be doing a “baby shower” for the upcoming royal babies.

This is not a place for our tiniest friends.  All dishes on the table are breakable and service takes about two hours.  Each time we have gone she has been the only child, although I once saw another child there when I went with some grown-up friends.  But for the right child, it can be a wonderful outing and a delicious meal. You’ll be surprised how full you are at the end!

What it Is: a delightful tea house, a great place for a special treat with your child or friends, delicious food, a place where your child can feel like a grown up in a fun and wholesome way, a place to celebrate moments, a bit on the pricey side (although not out of line if viewed as a special occasion), cash only, reservation only

What it’s Not: meant for tiny people who may struggle to sit still for a two hour meal, a place catering to children (they are welcome but I wouldn’t describe it as a children’s restaurant at all)

Tea’s Me’s location, menu, and pricing can be found at http://www.teasme.com/