Harlow

Harlow, Portland, Oregon

Can we all just admit for a minute that breakfast in this town has gotten ridiculous? Don’t get me wrong — I love it, and when I’m on vacation in another city, I miss the incredible options we have here. All I’m saying is, we are seriously lucky.

Since we’ve been in love with Harlow’s sister restaurant Prasad (in the Pearl District’s Yoga Pearl building) for quite some time, we wanted to try the one across the river and it has wedged its way into our hearts for those Sunday mornings where we want to take our time over breakfast.

Harlow, Portland, Oregon

Prasad focuses on raw, vegan fare, but at Harlow the focus shifts to more gluten-free food. You can still get raw and vegan stuff though. I’m head over heels for the quinoa pancakes with blueberries, and Eric hasn’t yet stopped ordering the huevos rancheros (pictured below) exclusively.

Harlow, Portland, Oregon

The beverages are also sublime, from fresh juice concoctions that will start your day right to the dreamy Peruvian hot chocolate I enjoyed last weekend, complete with malty maca and melted dark chocolate.

Harlow, Portland, Oregon

Harlow is located at 3632 SE Hawthorne Blvd., right in the heart of that lively district. Go for weekend brunch or make a day of it and take in a bit of the neighborhood.

Sip Juice Cart

Sip Juice Cart, Portland, Oregon

We set up shop with a card table, a piece of recycled cardboard and some Country Time lemonade. There were at least four of us, between my sister Emily and the neighbor girls. We went three blocks away to the nearest intersection in our Beaverton suburb, to maximize traffic and therefore, profits. Then we used our impressive marketing acumen and I crossed the street from our awesome lemonade stand to lure in customers.

A big moving truck pulled up to the stop sign, and the man in the passenger seat rolled down his window and asked how much lemonade cost.

“25 cents!” I said, in my most salesmanlike tone. He seemed impressed with the value, and asked me to come closer to the truck so he could hand me his quarter.

Freshly primed on stranger danger videos, I panicked. Absolutely convinced that he was about to abduct me and out of sight from my friends and sister across the street from the massive truck, I froze for a second and then I went into fight-or-flight mode. I dropped my sign and I ran as fast as I could toward home. I turned the corner just as the truck moved, and my friends and sister saw, where I had been standing, just my sign on the ground. No sign of me.

So much for summer fun.

Sip Juice Cart, Portland, Oregon

It’s tough work selling juice from a stand, but that’s what they do at Sip Juice Cart.

On a very friendly personalized recommendation, I ordered the Sweet Greens juice, which has four kinds of greens plus apple juice for sweetness and ginger for a nice kick. It was delicately flavored and the satisfying color of the flesh of a perfectly ripe avocado. They also offer smoothies and vegan milkshakes, which looked pretty decadent. I think my favorite part about grabbing a quick afternoon juice here is the design of the place — in the back window of the trailer, you can see piles of fresh oranges, pineapples and other fruit just waiting to be juiced. You can sit on the picnic table and enjoy a moment of zen and it’s lovely.

Sip Juice Cart, Portland, Oregon

Sip, located at 2210 NE Alberta St. in NE Portland’s Alberta Arts District, is actually the second location of this fine cart. You can find the first one at 3029 SE 21st Ave. Follow them on Twitter, too!

Canteen

Canteen, Portland, Oregon

October, 2010. It was our fourth wedding anniversary, and we wanted to go out and celebrate with a nice meal. Not hard here in this city — so I donned a dress and some lipstick and put on my nicest heels and we headed out. We went to a restaurant with a James Beard award. Silly me for assuming that people would get fancy. What was I thinking?

In order to watch the celebrated chef cook our meal, we specially requested to sit up at the counter, where we could keep tabs on the food and take in the action of the kitchen. As my rabbit was prepared in front of my eyes, two dudes sidled up to the bar next to us, just out of the corner of my eye. I looked over and, for just a second, thought, “Are those guys homeless?”

They weren’t homeless at all — they probably lived in fancy houses in the Hawthorne neighborhood. But that’s our hipsters for you. This incident spurred a game that we play sometimes, guessing whether someone is a hipster or a hobo. As I sat there, in my high heels, ordering a fancy anniversary dinner, our hipster friends sipped at their tall boys of Miller High Life and ate their impeccably cooked burgers. Long live the Portland hipster.

Canteen, Portland, Oregon

Canteen feels like hipster ground zero. The juice, fresh pressed in front of your eyes by burly raw food enthusiasts, is great. It’s a place where our beloved hipsters with face tattoos feed their three-year-olds walnut taco crumbles and fresh pressed ginger juice. It might be indie Portland heaven.

In the summer, there’s no better place. The people-watching on Stark is good, the chairs are comfy (or try the long old-growth timber bench running the length of the restaurant) and you can kick back and drink fresh juice while you people watch and play my favorite game. Highly recommended: The Walnut Taco salad and Super Veggie juice.

Canteen, Portland, Oregon

Canteen is at 2816 SE Stark St. in the Sunnyside neighborhood – just watch out for hipsters. Follow them on Twitter for even more juice.