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Since the plan for this leg of our trip was to spend the entire day downtown, we parked in the food cart lot at 10th and Alder for $11, which covered the whole day.

It was only a quick stroll around the corner to Powell’s City of Books. We were hungry and knew we were going to need some caffeine to fuel our book hunting. The cafe inside Powell’s is cozy and inviting. They allow customers to bring a stack of five books into the cafe, so anyone can pour over the pages while drinking World Cup Coffee and eating a scone or two. The baristas were down to earth and, like everywhere else, the price was amazingly low for a cup of joe. Woo! No sales tax!

I happened to be wearing my 1920s wave clips because my hair takes longer to dry in humid climates. Interestingly enough, the lady behind us in line complimented me on my hairstyle; aluminum clips and all! After that, we picked a seat next to the window and drank two cafés au lait with some very good, hot scones.

Powell's city of books

Chris and I are book fiends. He likes the classics, political commentaries, religious expositions, and history books. My heart belongs to adventure novels, women’s travel writing, natural history, and decorating books. The Powell’s store on Burnside has five floors and counting with abundantly more than enough books to satisfy any literary appetite. We each went our respective way and ate up the hours searching the shelves and adding to our piles. They sell both used and new books at competitive prices, so it is dangerous if someone has no willpower. Those rare volumes will call to you from the shelf!

I filled a basket in the traveling section and then moved to the next building, where I filled a basket with natural history books. Chris didn’t have a huge pile, mostly because the books he was looking for were either at the other location or in one of their warehouses.

books from Powells portland

All in a day’s find at Powell’s City of Books! We spent a total of four hours there, and we probably could have stayed longer if the food carts weren’t beckoning us from across the street! With more than 60 trucks to chose from, it took us a few laps around the block to decide where to start. I really wanted Korean tacos, so we jumped in the line for Korean Twist.

Korean Twist Portland sign

Korean twist portland

Korean Twist is everything you could love about Korean food, but with the added bonus of being wrapped up neatly in a flour or corn tortilla. We had a taco each; mine was beef bulgolgi with kimchi and Chris had spicy pork with kimchi. It was as incredible as we imagined it might be! We both inhaled our tacos and began hunting down the next truck to sample. The smell drifting from Emame’s Ethiopian truck lured us in and we ordered a plate of Siga Watt (a beef version of Chicken Doro Wat) and Gomen Wat cabbage.

Emame's Portland

One might assume that Ethiopian from a truck might be inferior, but it was as good as any that we’ve had in restaurants. The injera bread was fresh-tasting and they didn’t skimp on how much they gave us. The Siga Watt was spicy and we could taste the slow-cooked onions and complex layers of spice. If you love Ethiopian, or if you’ve never tried it before, this food truck is well worth the stop. The plate was only $8.00!

Emame's Portland

Look at that deliciously intense color. Lots of turmeric and Berber spice mix give the dish its signature color and kick!

Magpies Portland

After lunch, we stopped into a few nearby shops. Magpie Vintage had a collection of Edwardian and 1920s dresses that made my heart flutter. I was forced to resist the urge to try them all on, or to just rob a bank so I could afford to own them all. There was a black, Edwardian hat with an ostrich plume that I was certain belonged on my head. I waited a moment, hoping a kindly stranger would walk in and offer to buy it for me. Sadly that never happened.

Of all the vintage shops we perused, Magpie’s had the most authentically vintage pieces. Most of the other “vintage” shops we browsed through were more like musty basements filled with hideous nineties clothing.

If you are reading this, Magpie Vintage, send me that hat and I will “review” it for you 😉

Korean twist burrito bulgolgi

We thought ahead and picked up a giant burrito from Korean Twist to have for dinner. This time, I paused to take a photo just before devouring. Layers of veggies, cilantro, bulgolgi beef, kimchi, and rice; oh my! We both hunkered down with our books and spent the rest of the evening reading.

Korean twist burrito