There are actually quite a few restaurants and shops that are located past security at PDX
. A full listing can be found at the PDX
Also, the new "Concourse Connector," a walkway connecting the C and D concourses, now allows you to walk between the south and north concourses (A, B, and C to the south; D and E to the north) without having to exit through security.
also has free wi-fi which the PDX
website indicates offers coverage to 70 percent of the terminal's main level.
As far as spotting, PDX
's main active runways are parallel to the south and north concourses, so there are good opportunities to watch arrivals and departures from the B and C concourses to the south and the D and E concourses to the north. As NWAESC points out above, there is a view from the east end of the E concourse towards Mt. Hood, so if the north runway is using east arrivals you can watch planes making their final approach with Mt. Hood in the background. It is quite a stunning view.