As I am typing this, I realize that I didn’t take many photos as we were in Downtown Portland. We had finished riding the Portland Aerial Tram and had come downtown. This is when the weather turned. We had turned our car into one parking lot to see if there were any spots and then came back out to a downpour. Egads! Save the camera!
If you must drive and park in Downtown Portland, my suggestion is to park in a SmartPark parking lot. The rates for the first 4 hours is the same as on-street parking at $1.50/hour. After that, the rate rockets up to $5/hour until a max of $7-12 depending on the location. Also, you can take advantage of the signs outside the garage that tell you how many spots are still available. We ended paying $6 for 4 hours and were relatively satisfied that we weren’t ripped off. Because Smart Park garages are owned by the City of Portland, then part of your money is going back to the city. That’s a concept I really like.
We had been to Downtown Portland previously, so we didn’t explore as much as last time. We went to the Nordstrom Rack for a brief stint and walked around the shops surrounding Pioneer Courthouse Square. We were killing time so that we could partake in Happy Hour. Happy Hour in Portland is great and there are deals for food and drinks in the late afternoon.
When three o’clock rolled around, we went up to the lobby of The Nines Hotel where you find Urban Farmer, the hotel restaurant. We had stayed at this posh hotel the last time we were in Portland. There was a grand opening deal of $99/night back then. Now, a room runs easily for $249/night. Yikes!
In any case, we had come to partake in the Urban Farmer happy hour menu. We had fond gastronomic memories of their Wagu Beef Sliders, their raw oysters, and their souffle dessert. We had very high hopes and expectations coming into the restaurant. However, we arrived and discovered they had scrubbed their happy hour menu for the day. It was Valentine’s Day. Oh the disappointment. They only had the lounge menu left and it did not have what we were looking for, so we left.
We roamed around the streets for another half hour looking for a restaurant that would suit our mood, but we didn’t. We must have been way put off by the lack of our highly expected happy hour meal. I thought we might walk over to the block with all the food carts lined up along the sidewalk. We didn’t find anything to our liking there. So we did the unthinkable.
We were so hungry that we gave up and headed to the food court of Pioneer Place Mall. Valentine’s Day meal in the mall. Grr. I was definitely beat. My feet were aching and I was really hungry and getting irritated. So I had some Cajun food that tasted eerily like Asian food. “Ca-sian” food?
So the food was really sub-par, but at least I was less hungry and less irritated. We went back to the SmartPark garage because our first 4 hours was about to expire and we didn’t want to pay an extra $5/hour just for being a few minutes late. In the end, we only paid $6 for 4 hours. Yes!