Monday, April 2, 2012

Portland With Kids part I: Grilled Cheese & Books!


YUM.

What could be better than A REALLY GOOD GRILLED CHEESE?

I'm glad you asked. 

How about A REALLY GOOD GRILLED CHEESE served on A SCHOOL BUS?




Welcome to The Grilled Cheese Grill on Northeast Alberta St. (at 10th) in Portland Oregon.
(there's another location in a double-decker bus!)

I thought I'd start a little occasional series on all the awesome things there are to do with kids in this wonderful city, starting with something less obvious than a museum or a kid's concert. Sometimes you just want to get out of the house for a little while, you know? Try Alberta, for a grilled cheese followed by kids books!




But wait. It gets better. The tables are all old school pictures, and ceiling is a huge mural.




Yeah, it's a little creepy. Creepy-awesome. (by Eatcho & Jason Graham).








You know what was really fun at the bus? When we ordered, I put in Clementine's name, and then I started to notice that all the songs playing had "Clementine" in them. They did that! A phone app. It was the coolest.

And did I mention books? 

Just a few blocks away on NE Alberta at 16th: tiny, adorable Green Bean Books!






Let it be said that I love all bookstores. But I love independent bookstores most. And Greenbean is a perfect example -- it is such a labor of love, so many delightful unique surprises. That yeti in the window above? Handmade by the owner, Jennifer. (I want it.) And look how cozy:




And there are secret boxes, also made by the owner. I wonder what's in here ...




I'll just open that up ...




Tableaux, always changing. Another box:






Did I mention the repurposed vending machines? This former cigarette machine now contains critters ...




Need a mustache?






Or maybe you'd like a baby. The Miraculous Baby Machine!




There's an original Carson Ellis picture on the wall. 




There are green beans.




And I have kind of a fixation for these tiny teddy bear breakfast food collectibles.

Tiny teddy bear-shaped pancakes and flans! GAH!




Not well-represented in these photos is how truly wonderful their book selection is. My bad.


Anyway, there you have a couple of hours of fun with munchkins in Portland, Oregon. Also, Grasshopper is right down the street at 18th Ave, a great toystore that carries tons of EEBOO stuff (LOVE) and its own line of handmade kids dresses and stuff. And nextdoor to THAT? Pastries abound at Le Petite Provence. Or there's always honey-balsamic-strawberry-with-cracked-pepper ice cream at Salt & Straw at 20th Ave. Or, dear god, pear with blue cheese. 



Go play!








21 comments:

Jen H said...

OK. So I'm in my early 30s and I freaking LOVE a good grilled cheese! With tomato soup please! And I love books (of course). That local book store is adorable... those are sooo hard to find these days. I wish we had something similar near us. Thanks for sharing!
~ Jen @ A Book and a Latte (http://bookandlatte.com)

Jennifer Morian Frye said...

I'm overwhelmed with "Wow!" right now.....How fun! Love that bus!

Fletcher of the Day said...

Is this a warm up for our visit? Grilled cheese is a favorite...and so are book stores!

Can't wait!

xx

Lori

Daphne Unfeasible said...

Laini, you should totally submit this post to Design Mom's Love Where You Live series! Her readers would just eat this up!
http://www.designmom.com/category/love-the-place-you-live/

Irene said...

Too bad there aren't any schoolbuses where I live, so I guess the chances of finding one that sells FOOD, are slim.. Nice post!

Laini Taylor said...

Lori, YES for sure! And so many more things to do:-) Can't wait! XO

Daphne: will check that out! Cool.

Irene: what land is this, with no schoolbuses?

Laini Taylor said...

Irene, ah, Netherlands! Fletcher of the Day, above: also an American living in Netherlands with [Dutch] husband and son!

Candilynn Fite said...

Fan here, TX SCBWI member, writer and lover of YA. I started following your blog after reading Daughter of S & B. Loved it. :)

Great photos, loved seeing Y'alls the visual adventures! Grilled cheese, the bomb and oh yeah, with tomato basil soup plz!

bronwyn said...

I love all the little food trucks, um, buses you have in Portland. They are getting big here in san francisco, but there is something about the ones I've seen in Portland (online, not in person - mostly on your blog). I don't know how to describe it. They have a nice vibe to them. We certainly don't have any school buses here that I know of. Fun day. :)

carrierobinw said...

I live in the NE and love that book store. Also love A Children's Place Bookstore in Beaumont. It's so great (and rare) to have two good children's bookstores nearby -- and everyone in both stores really knows their stuff. As far as breakfast goes, I would also recommend the blueberry pancakes at Pine State Biscuits. Kids can sit (carefully) on their bar swivel chairs and watch them get flipped. :>)

Kate said...

So wish I could instantly go play there. However to play in Portland Oregon would require some ahead planning on and a long drive. Fine by me though, I love road trips! Let's go! :)

Sarah said...

I love your Portland/Oregon posts, Laini; thank you. I hope I get to visit one day but it's a bit of a long walk from Scotland... Still, a girl can dream!

H. E. Gryphus said...

I want to live in that bookstore....forever...

DANI HARPER said...

Totally LOVED your post and all your pics! Thank you so much for sharing. Now I want to go there, and better yet, take my daughters and granddaughter. :)

DANI HARPER said...

PS - made me laugh that I was eating grilled cheese at the time I found your post in my inbox!

Jeni said...

Oh my gosh, that has to be one of the very coolest bookstores ever. LOVE. And now I am hungry for grilled cheese. :) Thank you for sharing!

Katie Anderson said...

Portland is just too cool.

Kristin Bassett said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Order flowers said...

Quite interesting and different post.. Keep posting..Stay blessed!!

Amber said...

Portland is so odd! But in the good way, quirky way. I doubt there is another city much like it.

:)

Jennifer said...

Grilled cheese bus!?! For serious? And all we have in NYC is a Milk Truck. Good stuff, but it's not a bus with murals though!

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