With plenty of food carts and restaurants with outdoor seating, it might seem silly to have a picnic in Portland. But upon discovering some of Portland's parks and scenic viewpoints, a picnic can be an out of the ordinary way to enjoy a meal while taking in the sights and sounds of the city.
It's no secret that I love macarons (French pastries have their own place on my personal food pyramid). MacarOn Café in New York City took notice of this and kindly sent me an amazing assortment of macarons to enjoy. But I couldn't just eat a treat so sweet in the confines of my own apartment, so I set out to find the perfect picnic place in Portland.
The South Waterfront is Portland's newest neighborhood. With shimmering skyscrapers and luxury condominiums, the neighborhood is strikingly different from the rest of the city's relatively humble architecture. In comparison to other neighborhoods like the cozy Eastside and the industrial Pearl District, this slice of Portland is filled with sharp-edges, clean lines and pristine landscapes.
The brand new Greenway at the South Waterfront is the perfect place for a picnic because of its wonderful Willamette River views, swatches of lush green grass and modern benches. On a hot summer day, this park feels like a futuristic, urban oasis. After walking along the promenade of this somewhat secret outdoor area, I sat down with my Snoqualmie Ice Cream and MacarOn Café macarons.
I'm a big fan of Snoqualmie Ice Cream, not only because it comes from my home state of Washington, but also because it's made with all-natural ingredients. The French Lavender and French Vanilla Custard flavors were a match made in heaven with my NYC-imported macarons. I scooped the ice cream into small dishes I bought from Sur La Table. Their size and slanted-edges aided in showing off the pigmented French confections sitting atop a pillow of fluffy ice cream. Don't forget to serve the treats with these hammered demi spoons also from Sur La Table.
I recommend pairing either fruity or floral flavored macarons with the French Lavender ice cream for a sophisticated and light dessert. For chocolate, coffee, peanut butter or coconut macarons, I recommend complimenting the flavors with French Vanilla custard. The custard serves as simple, creamy base for some of the cookies that have a bolder taste profile. MacarOn Café has so many unique flavors, like Peanut Butter & Jelly, Crème Brûlée, Apricot Smoothie and Nutella, that make potential ice-cream combinations endless.