Case Study Coffee

Case Study Coffee, Portland, Oregon

I could blog about coffee shops all day long here and never run out — and I don’t even drink coffee! But there’s something special about a place to sit and enjoy a warm beverage, a pastry and a moment of solitude. I love to hit a coffee shop in the morning as my day ramps up, or in the afternoon when I need a minute to sit and be quiet and be refreshed.

Case Study Coffee, Portland, Oregon

Case Study Coffee is located in NE Portland, in the Hollywood district (they’ve got another on SW 10th in downtown). It’s a light-filled cafe on NE Sandy Blvd. where you can find a warm cup of something — whether that’s Case Study’s own roast, or the full selection of Foxfire Teas they serve. Pair it with a pastry from local bakeries Nuvrei or gluten-free/vegan darling Petunia’s Pies and Pastries and you’ve got a real coffee shop moment.

Case Study Coffee, Portland, Oregon

Case Study Coffee is located at 5347 NE Sandy Blvd. Their downtown location is 802 SW 10th.

Local Choice Market

Local Choice Market, NW Portland, Oregon

I decided it was finally time to take Eric to Madrid. I studied abroad there — and he’d patiently take my calls at all hours because of the time difference — but he’d never walked the streets I loved, tasted the tapas, drank the wine and strolled through the Puerta del Sol.

For a week, we wandered. I walked him past the apartment I lived in, the school I attended and the spots where I used to meet my friends for dinner and drinks. And then, once the trip down memory lane concluded, we went off in a new direction, looking for a spot we could call our own. We found it in Chueca — a large, four-story gourmet grocery store with a restaurant on the top floor. We walked past fresher-than-fresh seafood onto an entire floor lined with small stalls. One sold hamburgers, another traditional tapas. Twice we ate dinner there, relishing the food, the view and the experience.

Local Choice Market, NW Portland, Oregon

I hadn’t seen anything quite like this grocery store in Portland until I happened on Local Choice Market. They offer seasonal veggies and high-quality meats, then have a special area for wines and beer (pull up a stool and taste something!) a deli section and an area with an espresso bar and fresh-squeezed juice selections. Pull up a chair and make some new Portland memories.

Local Choice Market, NW Portland, Oregon

Local Choice Market is located at 830 NW Everett St. in Portland’s Pearl District. Do your shopping, or stop in for a juice, lunch, coffee or wine tasting. Follow their blog for more.

Water Avenue Coffee

Water Avenue Coffee, SE Portland, Oregon

A neon sign reading “COFFEE” in big red letters loomed over Eric’s head at Street 14 Coffee in Astoria. We sipped our drinks and ate our breakfast in groggy silence until the Belgian guy at the table next to us leaned over and asked, “So, what happened last night?”

The commotion had started at almost midnight. We were curled up in bed with a Macbook, watching an episode of Maron when suddenly, directly through the wall, we heard screaming. Not playful screaming, but murder screaming. “POLICE!” the voice shouted. “SOMEBODY CALL THE POLICE!”

Eric jumped up out of bed, told me to call the police and stay in the room and bolted out into the hallway to bang on the door of the room next door. A young woman opened it and told Eric that her boyfriend was just freaking out. It wasn’t a big deal. But as he looked past her, he saw the riled-up man’s face was scratched and bloodied. Meanwhile, through the wall, I was arguing with a teenage front desk employee at the hotel who somehow couldn’t understand the words “call the police.”

The police came, discerned that the couple were extremely high, lectured them through the paper-thin walls for a good long time and then finally left close to 2 a.m. We never saw a single other person so much as poke their head out to see what was wrong — which was just impressive since this was a hotel with shared bathrooms down the hall. I certainly hope no one ever tries to murder me in a hotel room.

The next morning after a truly dreadful adrenaline-fueled night of sleep, Eric woke up, rolled over and said to me, “Let’s get out of here.”

Water Avenue Coffee, SE Portland, Oregon

The weekend was a total bust, which was extra disappointing because I had planned the whole thing as a surprise for Eric. Later in the summer, he knocked it out of the park with a surprise weekend away for me. But for awhile the morning after the weird domestic incident in our hotel, we did have a fabulous breakfast under that neon COFFEE beacon. They have one of those at Water Avenue Coffee too — although this one is blue. They serve really high-quality coffee that’s roasted about 10 feet away right in the same building. It’s tasty, simple and you can buy some beans to make at home or sit in the pleasant little shop on the couch and do what Portlanders do — work, surf and otherwise set up a combo mainline of coffee and wi-fi.

Water Avenue Coffee, SE Portland, Oregon

Water Avenue Coffee is a local coffee roaster and shop in SE Portland’s industrial district, located at 1028 SE Water Ave. Check out their blog for more.