Places to eat in Portland

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    Sportsbars: Thirsty Lion Pub

    by Gypsystravels Updated Jun 7, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    After visiting the Chinese Gardens and walking around the Market we were in need of some hydration. We decided to take a quick rest and have a few beers here at the Thirsty Lion Pub.

    We hung out for about an hour and weathered the rain enjoying a few beers and watching a Rugby match. The bar is quite large with a homey atmosphere and great pub food.

    We didn't order any food, but the guys sitting next to us order this really strange appetizer it was a "breaded hard boiled egg"

    If any one is aware of what this is called, please feel free to let me know.

    Favorite Dish: We had a few beers. When I don't have a clue what to drink, I usually go for a Stella...

    Nice cold glass of Stella

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    Hush Hush Cafe: economical middle eastern in heart of the city

    by richiecdisc Written Oct 25, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Hush Hush was a great find. We only had a coffee for breakfast and were getting hungry walking around downtown Portland when we stumbled upon this little hole in the wall. The prices were posted outside and it was cheap and middle eastern food is one of our favorite cuisines. It looked very authentic so we gave it a chance. It was a simple place but clean with friendly welcoming owners.

    Favorite Dish: We ordered three plates to split and could have probably gotten away with two. Their Baba Ganoush ($5.50) was excellent. This is roasted eggplant, pureed with tahini, garlic, and lemon. The pita bread it was served with was homemade and served fresh and warm. The Tabbouleh ($4.99) was also very tasty as well. This classic salad of chopped parsley, onion, tomatoes, and cracked wheat had just the right amount of lemon and olive oil. The main course was a huge plate of hummus covered in shawarma made of lamb ($6.99). This was again was great. The service was friendly and quick. With more time in town, we surely would have returned. If you like middle eastern food, this is a great place to eat. If you've never tried and it sounds good, a great one to give it a try.

    huge portions of very tasty food
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    Widmer Brewing Gasthaus Pub: the hefeweizen king of the Pacific Northwest

    by richiecdisc Updated Oct 26, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Widmer brothers were pioneers in the craft brewing revolution that took hold in the Pacific Northwest in the early 1980s. I remember visiting their small operation in 1994 and just loving the grass roots feel to the place. Fast forward to the summer of 2008 and Widmer Brewing is one of the biggest regional breweries in all of craft brewing. Their hefeweizen is the most readily available of the style in the whole northwest. I nearly bypassed a return visit as time in Portland was limited but my wife and I were both in the mood for some Germanic food and Widmer was the place to cure that urge.

    The new facility is quite large and on the outskirts of the city center. It was only a couple of miles from where we were staying but not really an area suitable for walking. The pub was now deemed a Gasthaus showing the family's German roots. It was a much nicer place than I was expecting but despite its nice furnishings, it retains a nice cosy feeling. We sat at the small bar and the bartender immediately made us feel super welcome. It was mid-afternoon so it was not busy and he was happy to give us free small samples of the beer before we made any choices.

    We both had a hefeweizen as we ordered one weisswurt and one bratwurst. Each came out with sauerkraut, homemade potato salad, mustard and a fresh sourdough baguette. The portions were sizable for a very reasonable $6.95 especially considering the sausages are made on the premises and are of very high quality. That said, the weisswurst is not true to form. Though very tasty, it is not a real weisswurst and does not display any of the delicate flavors of this Munich specialty. We lived in Munich and have never found a good one in the US. But if you took it as just a sausage it was great. Everything else on the plate was excellent as well. We had ordered a large pretzel but it never came and it was probably a good thing as the meals were quite large in themselves. We had mostly ordered it as traditionally that is what is served with weisswurst and since this really wasn't one, we didn't really need it.

    This was supposed to be a short stop but it was a lot better than either of us expected and quite an enjoyable way to spend the afternoon.

    Favorite Dish: Now for the beer. 1)Hefeweizen-4.8%-This is the premier example of the American version of this Bavarian classic. Honey-hued unfiltered color with massive rocky head. Fruity w/ some banana notes but not much clove. This is a cross style that features some Pacific Northwest hops and hops are not present in the Bavarian variety. This makes for a much drier finish but it is very refreshing nonetheless. Ironically, German brewers are now making this type beer which I always thought would be popular. 2)Sommerbrau-4.8%-This Kolsch style brew is golden w/ thin lasting head and a floral hoppy nose. Fruity dry palate with clean dry finish. Very nice example of the style. 3)WO8-Crimsom Wheat-5%-Each year the brewery comes up with a W seasonal and this 08 version was a light amber wheat beer with a creamy head and soft malty palate. 4)Oktoberfest-5.3%-Amber w/malty spicy palate and semi-dry finish. This is a true Marzen, not an easy style to brew and one increasingly hard to find in Germany. 5)Belgian Golden-6.1%-Semi-filtered golden w/ creamy head and yeast filled nose. Spicy peppery palate w/ crisp semi-dry finish. Nice. 6)Alt-5%-Dark amber w/thin head and citrus hop nose. Fruity palate but dries immediately in bitter finish. Nice example of the style. 7)Half Nelson IPA-6%-Made with New Zealand hops, this light golden brew had a soft fruity palate and clean semi-dry finish. 8)Broken Halo-6%-A more citrusy cousin to the Nelson. Less fruity, more sharp & bitter. 9)Resurrection Rye-6.6%-Deep golden with creamy head, soft palate, and citrus aroma. Pine tree in a glass. Hoppy, bitter, dry. 10)Albina District Amber-5.8%-Deep amber malty brew with semi-dry bittersweet finish. 11)Barley-wine-9.5%-Deep amber w/ thin head & butterscotch nose. Great mix of malt and hops. Smooth and long dry complex finish.

    homemade sausage & their famous weizen
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    Deschutes Brewery & Public House: and you don't even had to go to Bend

    by richiecdisc Updated Oct 26, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Deschutes is another of Oregon's craft brewing legends that has gone regional. It has its roots in Bend, Oregon and I went all the way out to the Oregon desert just to visit this pub in 1994. It was well worth it. I was happy to see that they had since opened a branch in Portland, actually just before we arrived. This saved us a lot of time and gas (and money!).

    The new pub is right in the Pearl District of town so quite convenient and as you can imagine the pub is trendy. That said, it maintains a certain rustic charm despite its upscale furnishings. The restaurant has an open feel to it with large windows and high ceilings. The beams up above are part of what gives it a mountain lodge kind of feel. There are also buzz saw carved sculptures for good measure. The bar is long and smartly decorated. A window into the brew kettles is set in an ornate picture frame, another homey effect.

    The bartender was quick, attentive and friendly. We had already eaten a good size lunch as we had scoped our their menu on the Internet to find it a bit pricey. So, we got right to work on the beers.

    Favorite Dish: I got a free sample of the Crazy Buffalo-5.8%-made of spelt (a medieval wheat-like grain), it was a smooth amber brew with a slight medicinal minty finish. I opted for a full pint of cask-conditioned Bachelor Bitter which was amber with a thin lasting head and flora hop nose. The great balanced session ale uses Kent hops and has a true soft English palate and flavor profile. Dry hoppy finish but plenty of malt to keep you coming back for more. Doreen was not happy they were out of their cask Black Butte Porter so opted for a nitro Obsidian Stout which was black with a dense tan head and espresso flavor. It finished semi-dry and bittersweet. It was tough for me to not have another cask beer but the D Street Dubbel-7.1%-sounded interesting. It was deep amber with a dense thin head and a nose of dried fruit and yeast. This primarily malty brew had some raisin notes but seemed a bit simple for the style. It was better as it warmed up and with some food. Despite having had eaten lunch, we were tempted by their House Baked Pretzel ($6) which came out with a melted white cheddar dipping sauce which was still piping hot and house made Black Butte Mustard. It was very tasty and suddenly the Dubbel seemed not so bad. We finished up by sharing their Mirror Mirror Barley-wine11.5%-Deep amber w/ thick head that thinned but lingered. The nose was of caramel and dried fruit. The big malty palate again had notes of fig but was well balanced by a good addition of hops. This was far too easy to drink for the strength. We came back the next afternoon and Doreen was happy to find her Black Butte Porter back in cask form. This black beauty had a creamy tan head and rich coffee palate that dried out beautifully in the clean bitter finish. Of course, we had another pretzel and Mirror Mirror. It was hard to resist. We spent about $25 each days for a few beers and the pretzel/cheese combo.

    pretzel w/ hot white cheddar sauce & Mirror Mirror insice Portland branch of Deschutes Deschutes in The Pearl
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    Pizzicato: Slice of Pizza Pie, near your hotel.

    by ATXtraveler Updated Apr 4, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Realistically, if I were to tell you that this piece of pizza was as good as Chicago or New York City, you would probably doubt my ability to rate tips, and therefore not trust other recommendations that I put before you.

    Having said that, Pizzicato is probably the best slice of pie you will find in the Northwest. The spices in the sauce and the fresh basil on top really made this pizza for me.

    They sell by the slice, and have all kinds of salad variations for those on the healthy side of life.

    Favorite Dish: I had the old traditional, Pepperoni. Delicioso!

    Pizzicato Pizzeria

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    Portland Brewing Company: Grab a MacTarnahan's, fish and chips!

    by ATXtraveler Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    When I was in high school, I had a classmate named Ryan McTarnahan, who told me about his grandfather... it was not until 10 years later that I know how great a beer he produces!

    Go into the Portland Brewing company for lunch while you are in Portland, and you can see why this Northwest town is so popular with the microbrewers!

    Delicious beer and great food is what to expect here... try the fish and chips for an old world style... of have the spinach and bleu cheese salad for more of a noveau feel!

    Photo Courtesy of Portland Brewing Company

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  • Jefie's Profile Photo

    Mayas Taqueria: Good option for a quick lunch downtown

    by Jefie Updated Dec 5, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    As I was walking back from my second trip to Powell's Books, I spotted this colourful Mexican restaurant and decided to stop there for lunch. Mayas Taqueria is a Mexican/Tex-Mex fast food kind of place, with a huge selection of tacos, burritos, quesadillas, nachos and so on. I decided to order the burrito al pastor (pork marinated with onions and pineapples) and got to pick which type of beans I wanted, which was kind of nice. My burrito was filled to the brim and came with nacho chips and salsa - it was so filling that even though it was really good, I couldn't finish my plate. The one thing the place was lacking though is a little bit of ambience. Although there was a bit of salsa music playing in the background and a nice seating area on the second floor (and they have a full bar menu), it still felt first and foremost like a fast food place. It was fine for me since I didn't have that much time, but it did take a bit away from the experience.

    Burrito al pastor at Mayas Taqueria Mayas Taqueria in downtown Portland
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    Pastini Pastaria: Pasta a la Portland!

    by Jefie Updated Dec 26, 2010

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    As it's often the case in Portland, Pastini Pastaria is proud to include as many local products as possible in its recipes, which results in fresh, flavourful, and sometimes unusual pasta dishes. To give you an idea, I ordered the butternut squash-gorgonzola ravioli, served with a sage brown butter sauce, toasted hazelnuts and fresh parmesan. Needless to say, I'd never had anything quite like it before, and it was absolutely delicious! And it went really well with the glass of Italian red wine our waiter recommended (their wine list features several local products, but they also import wine from small Italian wineries). It's hard to describe the ambience of the restaurant since we were there in the middle of the afternoon on a weekday so it was kind of quiet, but service was fast and friendly, and the downtown restaurant (there are 3 other locations in Portland) is located in a really nice historic building (Studio Building), featuring high ceilings, tall columns, and beautiful pictures of Italy.

    A one-of-a-kind pasta dish at
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  • Moonstruck Chocolate Cafe: If you adore chocolate, this is heaven for you!

    by Pinguino Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I have never come across so many indulgent specialty hot chocolates. Each drink comes with whipped cream and a hand-crafted Moonstruck chocolate on top. Amazing! Don't miss their Espresso drinks either. Some can be very rich and full of chocolate, but you can also get a more traditional coffee drink -- but why would you ? This is all about chocolate!

    Favorite Dish: Chocolate Chai, Moonstruck Mocha... truly heaven on earth. Not for the weak-- be prepared, these are very sweet and rich drinks! You can get a regular espresso, though.

    Check the menu:

    http://www.moonstruckchocolate.com/cafeMenus.asp

    Jens enjoying some kaff

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    Sin Ju: Top Japanese food in Portland

    by Shaft28 Written Jun 4, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We just stunmbled onto this place by accident - Sin Ju (Pearl in Japanese) in Portland's Pearl District.
    Very nice place, definatley the first true high-end Japanese restaurant in town. And the food was amazing. The sushi was so fresh, well made and honestly could be the best I've ever had. Even better than the great spots in the Bay Area California.
    Amazing place, you'll love it.

    Favorite Dish: The gyoza and spider roll were the best I have ever had. A few rolls I'd never tried before were amazing too. Lovd it all.

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    Quiznos Sub: Somewhere Quick to Eat?

    by Geoff_Wright Written Jul 24, 2003

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    Just a smallish fast food place, where you can eat inside, or, as we did, outside. It was very warm!

    Subs come in three sizes - Small, Regular, or Large. The vary in price from about $3.99 for the small classic Italian, to $8 for the large Black Angus Steak.

    I only went the once, but enjoyed my meal, and would go back again. There are Quiznos in other areas too.

    Phil enjoying a sandwich

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    Dairy Queen: Phil's Favourite

    by Geoff_Wright Updated Jul 24, 2003

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    Naturally I've heard of McDonalds and Burger King, but Dairy Queen was a new one for me. Not that I ever eat in McDonald's - I never go there. The only Burger King I've ever been in was in Spain, just for quickness. However... It was exceptionally hot during my visit to Portland, and it's been many years since I've enjoyed a milk shake. I was introduced to DQ by Phil, as it is his favourite (there's that F word again!) fast food restaurant.

    Occasionally some of the staff left one wondering how the place made a profit, but between the three of them, they did manage to produce nice shakes!

    Favorite Dish: I have to admit that the milk shakes were first class! Real fruit, that you couldn't suck up through the straw, haha. Not like the wishy-washy stuff you get in England! And very reasonably priced too.

    DQ Staff

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    Nel Centro: Good for dinner, probably better for happy hour

    by Jefie Written Dec 4, 2010

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    Since we arrived rather late in the evening in Portland, we decided to keep it simple and stop by the hotel's restaurant for dinner. Nel Centro is located at the Modera Hotel, and its menu features Mediterranean dishes inspired by both Italian and French fine cuisine. The restaurant is just as nice as the hotel, with a lively bar section and a dining room section that's a bit more quiet and romantic. The menu offers some really interesting options, but I guess I was out of luck that night: first, I ordered the herb gnocchi with gorgonzola sauce, but after a few minutes our waiter came back to tell me they were out for the evening. So I decided to try the butternut squash tortelloni with sage butter, but again our waiter came back - deeply embarrassed and apologizing profusely - and told me they were out. In the end I decided to go with an appetizer platter (hazelnut crusted goat cheese, peperonata and tapenade), and although it's not the kind of meal I had in mind, I was still pleased with my choice because everything was really good. I also tried a bit of Sylvain's ravioli nicoise with butter and parmesan and it was good, but for $15 I would have expected something more special, or at least a bigger portion. So all in all, we enjoyed our meal and the atmosphere but we did leave somewhat disappointed, which is why I would recommend this place for happy hour (when it's cheaper) instead of dinner.

    My appetizer platter at Nel Centro Sylvain at Nel Centro, in Portland Ravioli nicoise at Nel Centro
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    The Melting Pot: Nice underground spot for fondue

    by Jefie Written Dec 5, 2010

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    I'd never been to a Melting Pot restaurant before but since I really like fondue and was rather intrigued by the Harry Potter-like entrance of this place (Portland's Melting Pot is located entirely underground, only a beautiful archway indicates its presence), I suggested going there when my friend Sylvia arrived in Portland. Unfortunately, I wasn't hungry enough to try a full table d'hote, which includes cheese fondue, salad, meat fondue and chocolate fondue, so I settled for the chicken breast fondue, which came with a really good house salad. There was an interesting wine list and I decided to keep on exploring Northwest Pacific wines by ordering a delicious glass of pinot gris from Chateau Ste. Michelle, a renown Washington winery. I thought the underground setting was pretty perfect for a fondue restaurant since it gives it a nice cozy atmosphere. We enjoyed cooking our meal, so to speak, right at the table (there are built-in stove tops at each tables), and I liked the fact that meat fondues came with plenty of different sauces and vegetables. It turned out to be the most expensive meal of my trip, but given the ambience and the food, I thought it was well worth it.

    Favorite Dish: Not a favourite dish, but a quick tip: from Monday to Friday, you can order one of the cheese fondues for only $12 during happy hour (4:00 to 6:30 pm).

    Pacific Rim fondue at Portland's Melting Pot My friend Sylvia at The Melting Pot Entrance to The Melting Pot in downtown Portland
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    Porto Terra: Not quite like Tuscany, but close enough!

    by Jefie Updated Dec 26, 2010

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    The one thing I did enjoy about the Hilton was its restaurant, Porto Terra, located at the Hilton Executive Tower (across the street from the main building). We had lunch there during our conference, and the menu offered a nice selection of Italian dishes inspired by the fine cuisine of Tuscany. My eyes immediately focused on the risotto section since that's my favourite Italian dish, and I decided to give the chicken risotto a try since it seemed different from anything I'd ever tasted (it's made with spinach, tomatoes, artichoke, chicken and goat cheese). It was really good, so good in fact that I made a mental note to try this recipe at home. The only thing I wasn't too crazy about was the atmosphere - even though the restaurant is nicely decorated in terra cotta tones, it somehow feels like the kind of place you go to for business lunches. For this reason, I would recommend it as a good place for a quick, affordable lunch, but definitely not for a romantic dinner.

    Really good risotto at Portland's Porto Terra
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