After spending some time walking around and getting a bit rained on, we decided that we definitely needed some food to kill our hunger.
We happened upon this place while walking around Chapman & Lownsdale Squares. Located just a block away from the square it seemed like a nice restaurant to just stop and have a quick Italian meal.
The restaurant is more like a "dinner" type atmosphere. The food was good and cheap and we were able to spend a few hours enjoying our meal before we left for the aiport.
Favorite Dish: More info to come.
This restaurant is located in downtown Portland, you'll recognize it by the big purple octopus floating over the entrance door :o)
Favorite Dish: My favourite dish??? hmmm....almost everything here!...let's see...
1. SHRIMP (Oregon shrimp, garden greens, cucumber, tomatoes and cheddar cheese).
2. DOWNTOWNER (shrimp, swiss cheese, tomatoes, lettuce and thousand island dressing on rye bread).
I know, I know...sounds like Mexican food but trust me it is sushi. Small place we nicknamed the "boot shop" since it has no sign and is located next to a boot shop.
Always a wait, no reservations. Service is rude at best and if they are in a mood you only can order once. (Not so bad on that anymore). It add to the atmosphere.
The sushi is huge. Also very fresh and some of the better fish I've eaten. Especially in Portland.
I have some pretty picky friends concerning sushi and the pickiest said "finally somewhere that lived up to the expectations set of the best".
Favorite Dish: The salmon and tuna are excellent, have to be to be this big. Also a big fan of the spider roll. Remember, don't order too much, this sushi is HUGE!
Usually very fresh, but the place is small, crowded and the bathrooms are pretty ugly.
It may be a small chain restaurant, but it is the best Thai we have in town. Handful of other worth mentioning, but Thai Orchid offers something they don't- consistency.
Nice, clean places which is also not always seen.
Think there may be a new , "in" place opening up in the NW section but haven't ventuired there yet.
Favorite Dish: Love the Gaeng Mussman - a curry dish. Yellow curry and all the goodness that goes with that.
Noodle dished are all pretty good too.
A tad Americanized, so don't think you'll get the most authentic. Can't beat steadily good though.
Grolla is off the beaten path but well worth a visit. The small corner restaurant offers open wall views during the summer and wonderfully romantic settings in the evenings. The rich colors and European charm are throughout and the food amazing. I really could have licked the plates!!! The meals were fantastic and the sauces were to die for. Yum! The owners are Chris and Angela and are both very involved with the restaurant and planning. Chris comes from a Middle East background and Angela from Oregon. The two met and put the two tastes together in a way unexpected.
Favorite Dish: The last time I was there I split two appetizers [the cheese plate & shrimp dish] and the non-flour chocolate cake. I was stuffed! The meals are equally filling. Enjoy!
The interior is vague and nothing wonderful. White walls are adorned with items that represent or are from Ethiopia. There is a drink refrigerator in the middle of the room which is out of place and doesn’t add to the ambiance. In the corner of the room they have a space for the traditional Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony. The upside to Abole is the food and the wait staff which are both wonderful. There is another Ethiopian restaurant down the street called Mudai – but the smoke from the lounge above wafts into the restaurant (1st floor) so I don’t like eating at the place. The only smells at Abole are food, coffee and incense.
Favorite Dish: Doro Wat is one of my favorite Ethiopian meals. It is a chicken dish with a dark sauce that consists of onions, cayenne pepper, paprika, black pepper and ginger. It is usually served with one hard boiled egg. At Abole they cut the meat up and mixed with the sauce. I have always had it as a solid chicken leg – which I love.
I can't believe we have lived here for 9 years and JUST ate here! What a waste of searching for a nice restaurant when there was one right around the corner from us for the last couple of years!
Thai Spoon is nothing special to see from the exterior but the interior is delightfully Thai and the colors are warm and inviting. The tables are dressed to the nines and the service is fantastic.
The food …the food is to die for. We ordered the Sa-Tay ($7) which was five chicken skewers, with veggie garnish and a side of peanut sauce and cucumber salad. It was very good and I would order the cucumber salad on its own as it was one of the best I have had. The rice vinegar added a sweet touch to the cucumber and the onion and jalapeño gave it a slight bite – absolutely wonderful.
We also ordered the Tom Yum with combo seafood ($11). Although I have had one that I liked better in Vancouver (WA – of all places), I preferred the seafood collection in this soup much more! You can see why in the pix. It was well worth it!
To finish off the meal we ordered the pork fried rice ($7.95) and some yellow curry with beef ($7.95). Both were phenomenal. Thai Spoon is now my husbands’ favorite place to get fried rice. The flavors were wonderful and it was not greasy. Most asian places add to much oil/butter. The yellow curry was equally impressive with a mild spice and perfect vegetable accessories (potatoes, onion and tomato).
The Thai Tea was refreshing and although very sweet – one of the better ones I have had. We topped the meal off with a scoop of coconut ice cream.
Favorite Dish: I love the Tom Yum seafood combo soup. It is slightly spicy which gives the variety of seafood a nice base to rest within. The array of seafood is amazing visually as well as pleasing to the palate. My husband loves the fried rice and has not stopped talking about it since our last visit there. This is by far his favorite fried rice joint now. It is a perfect combination of salty and sweet and the rice was tender but not hard or goopy. It was very good.
Cha! Cha! Cha!'s Hawthorne location has a large outdoor patio that is separated from the sidewalk by a small fence. This gets people away from the traffic noise a little bit, and with SE Hawthorne becoming a fairly heavily trafficed street by autos this is a bit more pleasant that some of the sidewalk tables some of the other restaurants have. Also, their patio area is covered.
The food is of reasonable quality and the amount of food for the price is a fairly good deal.
It is a very popular place on Hawthorne, because of the reasonable nature of the food quality and price for what you get.
It is a mixture between self-service and wait-staff service. Order your food at the counter from the menu provided in the bin, or from the specials menu. They will then deliver the food to you. If you want water, then you can get it yourself from the cups and tank provided. All of this helps keep the food cheap.
It should be noted that there is an upscale version of the restaurant in the Nob Hill area that is also featured on the restaurant web site. These are two very different places in terms of the atmosphere and prices.
Favorite Dish: No particular favorites here. I've never had a complaint with anything I have ever eaten in a Cha! Cha! Cha!, at any of their locations.
The Oregon Harvest Burrito is almost entirely locally made, and the vegetarian substitute for meat comes from a local small business. It is a relatively new offering here, and seems to be a prticularly good choice in terms of what you get for what you pay.
Al-Amir is located in an old 1889 brick building in Downtown Portland. The buildings exterior is stylish and grand. The entry is narrow with high ceilings and an exposed brick wall. Even with all of this space you feel as though you are dining at a friends home. The staff is welcoming, the food is fabulous and the nightlife colorful. It would not be rare to see the local girls hop on the bar and shake their groove things! Although the late evenings are a bit more exciting the day and early evenings do offer wonderful belly dancers. If you have not had one - ask MO (at the bar) for a Lebanese Margarita. They are excellent.
Favorite Dish: I don’t have a favorite dish as all is wonderful. The last time we were there they brought us a platter with shrimp, chicken and beef. It was very good. You can see a small example of the food in the photo on this page.
Pambiche is one of my favorite places in Portland! Although they are working on expanding the restaurant it is currently a small space so make sure to check your personal bubble at the door. That is of course unless you are eating outside at one of the bench tables. The other thing to keep in mind is that the secret about Pambiche is out so expect long waits in the evenings. Weekends are the worst but are also the best time to take in the atmosphere and people watch.
The interior is brightly colored and has many colorful paintings for eye candy. The servers are mainly young, friendly and cute. I think all speak Cuban but don’t hold me to it. The seating is cramped but well worth it as the food is fabulous. I have tried everything at least once and some more than others. One of my favorite Plato dishes was removed (Picadillo, Cuban Hash) but there are many other to choose from.
The other reason to hit Pambiche is for their amazing desserts! They are made fresh daily and although you will see a few regularly (Tres Leches), they rotate more than you realize. On our last visit they had one I had never seen before - The ‘Cuban Cigar’ (in photo). It was very chocolaty and very rich The ashes were colored coconut shavings - clever!
Favorite Dish: There really are too many dishes to list but right now I am craving the Vaca Frita (aka Fried Cow). The meat is full of flavor and very tender considering it has been char grilled. It is served with rice and beans (I favor their black beans while the hubby likes the red), maduros (plantain) and a wonderful citrus dipping sauce for the beef. We usually split this one in hopes of having room for one of their deserts.
The name pretty much says it all: vegetarian Thai food, with no MSG added.
Take a look at the artwork on the walls too (some of which is for sale).
In terms of value, the food quality and quantity to price is quite good. Prices range from $6 for the most simple lunch items to $11 for some of the more involved dishes. I put down $10 or less, but really the price straddles the line right at $10 per person for what the average person is going to want to spend.
Favorite Dish: There is a pumpkin dish that shows up from time to time on the specials of the day board that is absolutely wonderful. The Thai Iced Tead ( $1.75 as of this writing) is very good. The Ginger Chicken is good too.
Cute small sushi place. Most seating is around a bar in the middle of the room although they have a few private booths. A toy train goes around the bar and you pull what you want of the cars. They also have a menu you can fill out and give the sushi chefs. My roomate is not a fan of sushi, so they also offer great teriyaki chicken. Each plate on the train is a different color. They price their food by color of the plate. Very inexspensive. plates range from $1.50-$3.00 for two to six pieces.
Favorite Dish: avacado inari....yummy!!!! I don't eat fish but they have amazing veggie sushi. MMMM MMM
Dragonfish was one of the few places still open as we searched for dinner on our only night in Portland. It was a hotel bar/restaurant, so not my first choice, but we didn't have many options. We sat at the sushi bar, and decided against sushi... since we had tried it in so many restaurants in the previous few days. We decided instead on shrimp spring rolls filled with shrimp and julienne vegetables with nuac cham and sweet chili sauce for dipping($8) and chicken satay skewers with sesame peanut and wasabi orange sauces ($8) with a glass of pinot noir ($9) and a few bottles of the local Full Sail Sessions ($3.50 each). We enjoyed our light dinner and the Session beer was very unique. The staff was friendly and we also enjoyed watching the sushi chef work... as we always do!
This is a decent little restaurant considering it's in a hotel.
Don't let the bright yellow entry door with crisp graphics spelling out fratelli fool you. Once you enter through the doorway you are greeted by a long narrow hallway full of color, ambiance and artwork. Once in the restaurant you immediately notice the high ceilings and warm colors, making you feel as though you have just entered a friend?s villa. You must pass the small bar before you reach the dining area ? I design I do not favor but perhaps it works for them. During a busy night I can only imagine that you would have to squeeze by those waiting at the bar for their opportunity to sit and eat. The main dining area is large yet feels cozy with dark wood tables and warm colorful walls adorned with paintings. The mid wall is lined with wine bottles that only add to the Italian character. Overall I would recommend trying fratelli?s at least once. The prices are very much with the setting of ?The Pearl? District ? but I do not know that it is justified. I will try it later this month and let you know what I think then.
Favorite Dish: Will update this later in the month...
This location seems to go through a new restaurant every four or five years. Prior it was Celedon (Jaoanese/Korean) and now it is BeWon (Korean). The food was great but the place was dead. The biggest downfall to it's location is that 1) parking is a pain in that neck of the woods, 2) It is hidden below eye level so you miss it unless you are looking for it. The interior is beautiful and very calming. The staff were very welcoming and very informative about the dishes.
Favorite Dish: Don't know that we had a favorite dish. If they still have a bibimbap - get it! It is fabulous.