Pioneer Square Statue All-Star
Photo by Marc Kostic

All Star: Portland Timbers players give their guide to the city

The 2014 AT&T MLS All-Star Game is only a few days away (Aug. 6, 6:30pm PT, ESPN2) and soon All-Stars, Bayern Munich FC, fans, journalists and more will descend upon Portland, Ore.

There’s a slew of events every day from Saturday to Wednesday including concerts, parties, activities in Pioneer Courthouse Square, the Chipotle MLS Homegrown Game all happening across the city for all to take in.

But for new visitors and longtime Portlanders, we asked Portland Timbers 2014 All-Stars Will Johnson and Diego Valeri along with club captain Jack Jewsbury for suggestions on what they like to do around town. Looking for a place to nosh or just get out of the city for a bit, our guys have you covered.

Good Eats

Jack Jewsbury: “We just moved to Lake Oswego, so there’s a new brunch spot that we’ve hit up a couple times called La Provence Boulangerie & Patisserie (16350 Boones Ferry Rd., Lake Oswego, OR), They have a salmon hash that’s pretty good. Another place we like is Marco’s Café & Espresso Bar (7910 SW 35th Ave., Portland, OR) in Multnomah Village. It was one of our favorites before we moved.”

Will Johnson: “Breakfast is Babica Hen (15964 Boones Ferry Rd, Lake Oswego). It’s fantastic food. Great breakfast. My wife loves it. She likes those heartier American breakfasts. I like the French places, so La Provence (16350 Boones Ferry Rd, Lake Oswego). I can do a croissant and a coffee in the morning. We went to Brix Tavern (1338 NW Hoyt St, Portland) a couple times and that was cool.”

Jack Jewsbury: “I guess you could say Chipotle for lunch when I’m with the family. That’s an easy one for us because the kids will actually eat stuff there.”

Diego Valeri: “To eat lunch, Isabel (330 NW 10th Ave.), places close to our house and sometimes to the Cheesecake Factory (9309 SW Washington Square Rd.) when it’s raining a lot.”

Jack Jewsbury: “When my wife and I get out on our own, Morton’s Steakhouse (213 SW Clay St., Portland, OR) is a place we like to go, there’s a few things on the menu that we like there.”

Diego Valeri: “Argentinean food is similar to Italian food. It’s a mix you know, between Italian, Spanish and American food – pasta and some meats, steaks. We like the Pearl District, like Piazza Italia (1129 NW Johnson St.) or Andina (1314 NW Glisan St.).

Will Johnson: “Downtown, we like Portland City Grill (111 SW 5th Ave, Portland) for a special occasion. That’s a fun one. We like Andina too (1314 NW Glisan St., Portland), another nice one.”

Around Town

Jack Jewsbury: “We have a zoo membership so on any days off we’ll head to the zoo with the kids. That’s a pretty regular thing for us. Other than that, we head to one of the many parks around town and let them run around and go crazy.”

Diego Valeri: “We have two or three parks, like Wallace Park in northwest and, a few blocks from my house, we have another park. We go there. [My daughter] likes to play, sometimes with the ball, but she likes the playgrounds, the slides, the monkey bars, those kinds of things.”

Field Trips

Jack Jewsbury: “When we travel outside of Portland if we have a couple days off, we go down to Cannon Beach and usually get a place there. That’s a place that we really enjoy and the kids have a good time there as well. We went to Sunriver last year and spent two or three days there and that was unbelievable. That was the first time I’d been to that area.

Diego Valeri: “With my family, we went to the beach last year. I haven’t gone to the mountains but I want to go to Mt. Hood. We like the city. We live in the city center, so we love that. We stay there. We want to travel a little bit more, but we like the city so we always stay in the city.”

Insider Advice

Jack Jewsbury on keeping Portland normal: “Everybody wants to talk about how weird Portland is and how different it is. It was a bit of a culture shock when we first moved here from Missouri, but now it seems pretty normal and the only time it feels different is when we have family or friends from out of town come and they start talking about it. For us, Portland is home now and we enjoy it.”

Will Johnson on how Portland’s changed him: “Portland has changed me and my family for sure. I’m a lot more conscious of being green. No doubt about that. We recycle a lot more than we ever have. The glass bottles and everything. We’re super into it now. I think that’s been really beneficial. The culture’s rubbed off on us. Coffee shops are amazing. Stumptown is a favorite. All the local beers. Widmer again. And then the vineyards. We just buy local wine. The coffee, the beer, and the recycling and trying to be good for the earth. Reduce my carbon footprint a little bit. Those are the three things over the year and a half that have changed drastically for us. We’re very Portland now. Might even get a hybrid at some point soon here. I’m trying to look into it.”