Manao Thai: Good Thai but Hidden
On the inside, this is a reasonably attractive Thai restaurant, with a few of the typical Thai themed decorations. It is very unfortunate that the outside is not more attractive, as the restaurant sits in a very plain strip mall next to a convenience store and a nail salon - it isn't the personality-dripping type of place that usually appeals to residents of Sellwood or those that visit here looking for a good place to eat.
Yet, I found the place to be fairly appealing on the inside, and certainly the food is good.
The restaurant advertises that it is a specialist in "Northern and Southern Thai Cuisine", for whatever that is worth to you.
Favorite Dish: I don't have a favorite yet, but I did like the Kbao Soi Kai served with the vegetarian option for $10.50. It is a curry noodle soup with pickled mustard greens. It is actually bigger than the photo makes it appear.
They also have mango juice for $2.50, which I thoroughly enjoy.
- Food and Dining
Thai Lahnna: Thai Restaurant Voted Best on Various Web Sites
You will definitely want to take the various awards posted on the walls here with a grain of salt. It's a good place, don't get me wrong, but there are many restaurants in Sellwood that can display awards of various types on their walls.
The portions are a little small for the price compared to, for example, Tom Yum in nearby Woodstock, but they still provide a pretty nice proportion of food, and tasty food, for the price.
The two major complaints about this place have two sources of origin:
1. the front door ( the building is an old house long ago converted to a store front), which not only isn't wheelchair accessible but also occasionally locks itself - creating a bit of confusion when people arrive and find the door locked but people inside eating.
2. the outdoor eating tables are set up in the former front yard of this house, but the tables face busy 13th Avenue and there is rarely a quiet moment at them.
However, neither of these should keep you from enjoying the food here.
Service is usually prompt but if there is a large group it may be too much for them to handle and give good service to everyone.
Favorite Dish: #40, the House Special Curry (Bell Pepper, Carrots and Broccoli cooked with Coconut Milk in Red Curry Peanut Sauce) with Tofu for $10 is good, but I found the curry a bit strong. Some of the other Thai restaurants in town use enough curry to flavor the meal but not so much as to dominate it - but then I am no Thai food expert either.
They do not have brown rice here, but instead black rice or white rice. Black rice is an extra $0.50.
- Food and Dining
Cha! Cha! Cha! Sellwood: Economical and Good Mexican
This is a local, Portland area chain of Mexican restaurants. Chain-wide, costs are kept low by using some self-serve parts to its operations, such as serving yourself drinking water from a container near the counter. This also means that you order your food and pay for it before you sit down at a table. The ordering counter is just as you walk in the front door of the house.
The Sellwood location is inside an old Sellwood house, with outdoor seating in what was once the front yard. Bybee is a busy street, even at this location, and I have never used the outside seating. Thankfully, it is set back from the road a little bit, and there is a nice barrier of bushes there. The outdoor seating seems quite popular, except when it is raining.
The Bathroom (there is only one) is upstairs, and if you have trouble getting up steep staircases this should be taken into account. If you can't do stairs, the Milwaukie location of the same restaurant is just only about 2 miles away.
Decorations are a mixture between Mexican and local, yet work pretty well at making this an interesting and extremely popular (at least on many nights) place.
On the one night I have been in here where it wasn't very crowded, the service was extremely fast (10 mins or less to get food), but more people definitely means the service is somewhat slower.
Favorite Dish: Check the specials list, but I've never had anything I would consider bad from here. Nachos or burritos or other standard Americanized Mexican food is quite good. They have started selling their Oregon Harvest Burrito here, but note that it doesn't come with any additional fare (rice, beans, etc.)
- Arts and Culture
Staccato Gelato: Ice Cream Store and So Much More
Now, the first thing I need to tell you is about that "So Much More" part of the description. It is hard to make a living in the ice cream business in Portland, since 6 months out of the year the vast majority of the population feels that it is simply too cold to eat Ice Cream.
Therefore, Staccato Gelato has branched out into other foods. For example, they do sell soups for the lunchtime crowd, and the doughnuts look astounding (I've never had one - I come here for the ice cream after all!). There are also coffee drinks offered as well, and some sandwich offerings, including a breakfast sandwich. There are also quiche and salad offerings.
The place has the exterior appearance of one of Sellwood's old storefront buildings, but insdie has been remade into a much more modern, much more eccentric appearance.
There are a few tables outside, but unfortunately most of them face the horribly busy Bybee Blvd.
You will find the sizes are named and are typical of what people would ask for when going into an ice cream parlor. For example, "not a lot" is two scoops, and a "tiny bit" is a single scoop, while "some" is a bit more than that.
Favorite Dish: Chocolate Ice Cream mixed with something with a bit of fruit in it - usually strawberry.
"Teeny" (kid's size) $2.35
"Not a Lot" $2.75
"A Lot" $3.75
Sundaes: small $3.50, large $4.50
Waffle cones are $0.75 extra
Doughnuts are $11 per dozen, and $1.25 each.
This doesn't even begin to touch the coffee drinks, the doughnuts, or the "actual food" - but let's face it: people come here for the ice cream and related delights.
- Budget Travel
- Food and Dining
- Family Travel
San Felipe Taqueria: Good Mexican with Jarritos and Other Specialties
While there is limited outdoor seating at this Sellwood establishment, it isn't a terribly pleasant place to sit due to the amount of traffic on SE Milwaukie Avenue - yet there are a number of those who do.
The restaurant arrangement is about halfway between self-service and served. That is, there is no wait staff to come to your table and pour your water or get your silverware. That is all done by you, from the supplies provided along the wall by the counter. The staff does bring the food to your table when it is finished being cooked.
The decorations on the wall are mostly Mexican movie posters and memorabilia.
Food here is "baja style" which means that it may not be the type of Mexican food you are used to having - regions of Mexico differ in their food styles.
There is a small bar in the second room, but generally it doesn't seem to be staffed until later at night. You can get a drink earlier if you ask, but generally there isn't someone there. (Most of the business until 6 or so seems to be phone in take out.)
Favorite Dish: The Fish Tacos here have received quite a lot of positive comments from others on a few dedicated restaurant review web sites, and I agree completely. They are wonderful.
(Note: the above reviews apparently do not apply to the fish burritos, which I have never tried and are not that well regarded by those who have reviewed them, as apparently the fish loses something in the taste in burritos, but I have no idea. I've not had one of their fish burritos.)
The burrito platters are fairly good, in my opinion, and their "Enchiladas Mexicanas" are good too.
Adobe Rose Café: Southwestern Style food on Bybee
In the collection of restaurants along Bybee, this is a very popular place, and generally seems to have quite a few occupied tables.
The theme is southwestern USA, and you will find the photos and decorations on the walls certainly are in keeping with that theme.
Figure $8 to $12 range for the typical dinner for the typical eater.
There is no outside seating as of this writing, and the restaurant faces the very busy Bybee so I'm not sure that would be of any benefit if it did exist.
Favorite Dish: Check the specials list. Generally, everything here is good, but you might as well get a reasonable deal while you are here.
Taco Salads, Enchaladas (particularly any of the ones with prawns) or La Casa Burrito (burrito of the house) are particularly good, though.
- Road Trip
Iron Horse Restaurant: Good Mexican with Reasonably Equipped Bar
There are two rooms in this restaurant, both of which are approximately of equal size. The room that is furthest from the main entrance (on the north side of the building) is generally where large groups are put. The south side of the building is generally where walk-in customers are seated.
Iron Horse is popular with large groups! There was one Friday night not too long ago where there was a group of 30, a group of 12, a group of 8, and a group of 11 that all came in about the same time.
I don't find the food to be significantly better than that produced by Cha! Cha! Cha!'s Sellwood restaurant, but there is more table service and the facility is more conveniently arranged rather than the old house format of Cha Cha Cha, but the Iron Horse is significantly more expensive - about twice the price for the same quantity of food.
However, prices are still a reasonably good deal, and expect to pay about $12 per person for dinner.
Iron Horse also has a fairly complete bar with a number of house specialty drinks, and current happy hour prices from 3 to 6, though my understanding is that the extension of happy hours is a temporary deal.
There is a railroad theme of sorts to the restaurant, but the most significant piece of that is the large steam locomotive sculpture in the north room.
There are outdoor tables along Milwaukie Avenue, but the road is a bit busy for my tastes in outdoor eating that close to the traffic.
the main room of the restaurant has two large screen TVs that are generally broadcasting some sort of sporting event.
Favorite Dish: The House Burrito, Taco Salads, or the Toastada (black bean variety)
- Road Trip
Oaks Bottom Public House: Popular Place to Meet with Friends
Oaks Bottom Pub is part of a small group of restaurants in the Portland associated with what used to be called the Old Lompoc Brewery, located in northwest Portland. The Old Lompoc House was a fairly well known establishment in Portland in the 1950s and 1960s, located on SW First and Arthur. With fond memories of this establishment, the owners of the New Old Lompoc House created an establishment with some effort to try to have the same unique Portland environment. With some success, more establishments have now opened.
More information about the establishments is available on the New Old Lompoc web site. A link directly to the part of the web site for the Oaks Bottom Pub is below.
The food selection is fairly typical of what you find in bars in Portland: an assortment of burgers, soups, and salads, with some vegetarian options.
The restaurant is a very popular place for people to meet with friends, and it may be difficult to find a table, or crowded on a Friday night.
The outdoor tables face Bybee, and that street can be busy during high traffic periods.
The actual walk-up bar space at the tended bar in here is very limited, and there is a lot of close-in traffic right next to it as people walk to the back to get to the bathrooms. However, there is a lot of table space, and there is a stretch of non-tended bar / lunch counter along the entrance walkway.
If the noise of the restaurant crowd is a bit much, and you don't want to sit outside, there are booths with dividers along the east wall of the establishment.
Favorite Dish: Oaks Bottom Burger or the Tatchos, or chech the specials board!
- Hiking and Walking
Papa Haydn's: Known Best for Desserts
First off, you need to know that this review concerns the Papa Haydn's restaurant in Sellwood, not the one in Northwest Portland. I don't understand why, but when I have visited the Northwest Portland restaurant it was an unpleasant experience, and therefore I don't recommend going there.
The east side location doesn't feature the good people watching, the outside tables, or the very stylish and upscale atmosphere. This is more of a traditional (before Sellwood went upscale too!) Sellwood neighborhood restaurant.
Seating is very limited, so you will probably have to wait a bit during peak meal times.
Favorite Dish: The desserts here are wonderful. The meals tend to be fairly standard and much less interesting - not that they are bad, but they are certainly not that much different than what you can find elsewhere in Sellwood.
Keana's Candyland: More Sugar than You Could Ever Want
This Portland dessert restaurant and candy store was started in 1996, in an old Sellwood house dating from 1893 (original construction, I am told, started in 1889). The family who currently owns it purchased it in the early 1970s.
The decorations are eccentric child-centered, and outdoors will soon feature an electric giraffe. Inside, the walls are painted with detailed fantasy scenes, and even the ceilings feature a number of artfully decorated treats hanging down.
Many of the rooms are named, and their names are above the doorway. Beauty (5th photo) is at the top of the sairs.
The dessert items sold here include both factory made (one can purchase M&M candies sorted by color, being only one example) and some home made (cookies and brownies, for example).
Don't ever walk in here hungry!!!
Various toys are also sold here.
Favorite Dish: I put the price down as "not applicable" as it depends a lot on what you buy here. However, I don't consider anything here to be overpriced, considering for example that some of the baked goods are custom made. I have thus put it in the "less expensive than average" category.
Take a look in the room on the left as you go inside the front door. It is filled with all manner of specialized cookies, and many of them are qutie appealing.
- Family Travel