Cosmic Soda Pop & Candy Shop
(formerly Fizz Soda Pop & Candy Shop)
817 SE 34th Avenue (between Belmont and Morrison)
Portland, Oregon 97214
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily
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Candy money: $$
With more than 200 varieties of unique and hard-to-find bottled sodas, more retro candy than you could ever desire, a counter-service soda fountain with floats, malts, shakes and egg creams, how could you go wrong?!
Also, did I mention the shrine to Portland icon “Ramblin’ Rod” (the charismatic hero to children growing up in PDX from the ‘70s to the ‘90s*)?
Seriously, what could be more fun than that??!!
Fizz Soda Pop & Candy Shop, which opened in January in the Belmont Dairy Building, offers a convenient trip back to your childhood and a place for modern kids to explore some sweet treats from the past.
There’s free Wi-Fi and lots of space to peruse the products or simply sit, relax and enjoy a fountain drink.
This is a great place to stop on a rainy afternoon or a cool destination for a weekend bike ride…or just pop in anytime you are looking for some fun!
My only complaint is that I found TOO much candy I wanted to buy, and they don’t currently seem to offer baskets to carry around as you explore the store—but you can stash your growing candy pile at the counter while you shop.
[*Note: I was a Ramblin’ Rod Smile Contest winner, but my sugar-conscious mother never let me drink the Pop Shoppe grape soda I received as my prize. I guess I can have all the Pop Shoppe grape soda I want now!! Take that, Mom! ☺]
19 NW 5th Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97209
Lunch money: $$-$$$
My recent visit to Portland’s “new” Hamburger Mary’s was on a whim. I was meeting up with a friend and we hadn’t devised a lunch destination in advance. As we headed toward our planned meet up spot, he text suggested Mary’s. I immediately agreed.
I had yet to visit the new version of this venerable eatery…and I hadn’t been to any other Hamburger Mary’s since the original Portland location closed in the ‘90s. Now the “new” Mary’s has been open for a full year…totally time for a visit!
The self-proclaimed “gayest” restaurant in town certainly has an expansive menu, but what else could you want from an establishment called Hamburger Mary’s other than a big, juicy hamburger? And the hamburger menu alone is fat with options. There are standard burgers and specialty burgers, but then you get to pick your meat (or meatless) patty options—they offer everything from vegan to black bean to buffalo to Kobe beef.
I went with the simple Mary Burger with cheddar cheese and tater tots on the side. My lunch buddy went with the Spicy Mary, which comes piled high with jalapenos, spicy Mojo sauce and blackening seasoning, and chose a side of fries.
I wasn’t truly prepared for the size of the burgers that soon landed on our table. Huge. Massive, in fact. I liked that each burger came with a extra large steak knife because a.) the heaping burgers are stuffed with toppings and b.) unless you are super-duper hungry, you’re probably going to have leftovers for later.
The burger verdict? The meat was juicy, the toppings were very fresh and the bun was, like, WOWZA! Seriously, the buns are amazing. Our server told us they are made locally daily and (*cringe*) made of 25 percent butter. So, so, so good. Continue reading Review: Hamburger Mary’s (Old Town)