I thought it was unfortunate that my 21st birthday fell on a Tuesday, but really, it just gave me the opportunity to celebrate for TWO weekends… and a couple days in between.
Monday night before my birthday, my friend Katie and I went to a house show. When I first came to Portland, I thought this meant a showing of a house for sale – but I’ve soon come to realize that these events are much, much different. A house show in portland is a mix between a house party and a concert. They’re always focused on live music, but there are several people who go just to hang out in the backyard and drink and chat with each other. I almost prefer this scene to the traditional bar, because its much easier to mingle and you can actually escape the deafening music. Katie and I hung out here for awhile, but the show was a dud, so around midnight we headed to Montage for my midnight birthday drink!
I had heard magical things about the cocktails at Montage. I ended up letting the waitress choose my drink which was called “The Slim Reaper.” It was delicious! I don’t know if it was low calorie like the name suggests, but it definitely didn’t lack flavor! Katie ordered the “You’re Not My Real Dad” and it was really, really awful. I think we managed to drink only half of it between the two of us taking turns. The real star of the show was the mac and cheese! I ordered a Buffalo Mac on a whim but it was quite possibly the best mac and cheese I’ve ever had – even better than Nada’s in Cincinnati.
After we ate dinner, we stopped by the Plaid Pantry on the way home since the waitress didn’t card me when I ordered my drink. I figured a convenience store would definitely card anyone who looks to be in her twenties. I grabbed a cheap six pack of PBR and stood in line. When it was my turn, the guy working the counter rung me up and didn’t ask to see my ID! Two failures in one night!
My actual birthday was spent consuming a lot of food. I had cupcakes delivered to my office sent from my mother, several free treats from Starbucks and Baskin Robbin’s since it was my birthday, and a delicious dinner at an extremely trendy restaurant! Overall, it was a pretty good day, even though I did have to work. The ladies in the shop made it fun, though. It’s unfortunate that I finally feel like I’m getting to know them when I only have a month left in Portland.
I made plans to get dinner with my two friends Katie and Elizabeth. I wasn’t expecting gifts, but Elizabeth surprised me with a birthday sash and tiara! I had tried to find some earlier, but Party City had a dismal selection so I decided to pass. It definitely made my night feel more birthday-ish!
For dinner, we went to The Aviary and our dinner ended up taking two hours! It is a restaurant that specializes in small plates, so we all planned on ordering a bunch and then sharing. I took pictures with each course, but my favorite was definitely the sweetbreads (google it!). The plates we ordered were the edamame, zucchini soup, sweetbreads, curried goat, short rib, and vegetables charlotte.
Afterwards, we went to a nearby bar called The Bye and Bye. I had told a couple of other friends to meet us there so we all got a picnic table out on the patio. I ordered the signature “Bye and Bye” cocktail (served in a mason jar, of course) and a really friendly lady sitting at the bar told me she would pick up the tab since it was my birthday. Anyone who says hipsters are rude clearly has never been to Portland! The bar was surprisingly full for a Tuesday night. Another table was celebrating a birthday so I wandered over to them and started chatting. It wasn’t his 21st birthday, but his friends were extremely excited that it was mine.
After a few hours, we all decided to migrate down the street to another bar called the Hilt. On the way, we passed my friend Alex’s car and he said he had a gift for me. He handed me an entire liter of apple pie moonshine that he had made! I remember always hearing about apple pie moonshine from my coworker Andy at the pool, but I had never tried it. I honestly expected it to taste extremely strong, but it didn’t even taste like alcohol! It tasted exactly like apple pie. Alex said it took something like 5 cups of sugar to make the entire batch…
We spent the rest of the night hanging out at The Hilt. Before we decided to call it a night, I asked our DD to take us to one final place: Jack in the Box. Normally, I hate fast food. I DESPISE it. Half the fun is making your own meal and experimenting with flavors! Why consume something bland and mass produced? However, I had been seeing commercials on TV for their new breakfast sandwich that looked simply divine…
However, as with most commercials, the real product is almost never the same thing. Even though I had been drinking, which usually makes food taste 10x more incredible, this sandwich was floppy, soggy, and tasted like cardboard. Just my luck!
Overall, my birthday was a wild success and I had a great night hanging out with my friends. We went out again this past Friday night and the city was much more alive. I can’t wait to continue exploring the other half of Portland that I couldn’t experience until now!