On the way into work this morning I got off the train two stops early. Despite the weather being back to the stereotypical PNW style, I needed to add 15 minutes to my walk in from the usual stop. It was time to hit one of my favorite ‘off the beaten path’ places.
These are places that I don’t tell many people about, if any. They will never appear on my Google Map of Portland that I send to people who visit, or ever appear in one of my “Award Winning” food reviews. These are mine.
They might not have the best food, best coffee, or the best views (for the ones outside the city), but they are out of the main target of the tourists and the masses. These aren’t places you’ll find on Trip Adviser or in ‘Portland’s Top Ten Secret Spots!’ which are the bane of my existence.
This is one of the main reasons I like the Walkabout, whether it’s local or on the road. You get out there and find the places no one included in their Top Ten while they were there for a weekend and now it’s crawling with people looking for an Instagram shot.
One of my all-time favorite spots was right near my old apartment from my first stint in Portland, Slabtown. It was a live music venue, and damn good one from what I was told. I wouldn’t know, however, never saw a show there.
I would show up at around noon, while Dave was still opening and doing prep. I’d have a few beers, watch some baseball, and eventually order some food. Dave’s a fellow baseball fan, so we’d crack wise about .240 hitters from the 90s and early 2000s, and shit on all the teams and players we hated. It was great.
Once the band started to warm up, it was my cue to hit the road. I wasn’t at the rock club for music, I was there to watch and talk baseball, in the last place anyone would come to watch and talk baseball.
Sadly, Slabtown closed to make way for another commercial/residential tower, because that’s what the NW needs. Hence why you’re hearing about it. I showed up at Dave’s new work, but apparently lamenting on Bobby Crosby’s career and drinking are frowned upon at a grocery store at noon on a Saturday. Bunch of reactionaries.
The point is, everyone needs an ‘off the beaten path’ place, if not multiples. You always know you’ll have a spot to sit. You always know what you’ll get. And even though you might be in the middle of a city, you can disconnect and get away from it all.