Hudson's is a very nice restaurant in the Heathman Lodge. I experienced breakfast, dinner and room service. The bar is nice. On some evenings you can listen to piano music while enjoying a glass of wine. If busy, dinner can be somewhat noisy. There are two tables near the fire place which are considered romantic by some. I stay away because that fireplace puts out the heat!
Favorite Dish: The menu changes on occasion due to seasonal availability. My personal favorites are the leg of lamb and venison. Really enjoy the house smoked salmon. The spinach salad with smoked Ricotta is fantastic. I understand the Ricotta is smoked onsite.
Bacchus Restaurant. Highly Recommended.
This is a unique restaurant in Vancouver as it is not a chain and serves very modern Northwest cuisine. It is located in a strip mall but don't let that put you off. The interior is nicely lit with indirect lights and has lovely bronze sculptures. If you can manage a table by the window, you get a surprisingly good view of the Columbia River and the Portland International Airport.
Staff were exceptionally professional without being snobbish or pretentious. There is a separate wine room and while we were there, diners were allowed to visit and not only choose the wine they like but also discuss the wines with a member of staff. They have a nice separate function room which would seat about 10 people.
Favorite Dish: We did not have starters and it was just as well since we were still full from our lunch. Mains were an interesting variety of seafood, poultry and meat. TBN had a delicious potato encrusted seabass fillet, I had a pomegranate glazed salmon fillet and GF had a duck breast. Dad, of course, had steak. For dessert, GF and I, full as we were, could not resist the cinnamon creme brulee.
Hudson's Bar and Grill. Highly Recommended
Favorite Dish: I have eaten breakfast, lunch and dinner here and everything is absolutely delicious. The staff are professional, friendly and helpful with recommending dishes. The decor is like a giant log cabin but still manages to be cozy and intimate for a quiet dinner. The cuisine is nouveau Northwest with typical NW ingredients. Have a look at their website for sample menus: www.heathmanlodge.com.
Burgerville USA. Ok, I know - I'm a paid up member of Slow Food, I should be ashamed of myself for promoting a fast food restaurant. But Burgerville is different.
A little history: Burgerville was founded by the son of a Dutch immigrant, George Propstra, in 1961. George has since retired but the company is still family owned, which makes it very different from the majority of fast food chains. Another difference is that Burgerville always tries to source their ingredients locally through other Northwest companies. That means you get such treats as real Tillamook cheese on your burger, Walla Walla Sweet onions in your onion rings and real, local marionberries in your milkshake. The food is fresh, not frozen or processed.
There are 38 locations throughout Oregon and Washington and you can find them on their website:www.burgerville.com.
Favorite Dish: I have always loved their fish and chips. In the summer, I have to have a marionberry milkshake and during any time of the year, Walla Walla Sweet onion rings.
The food here is Pacific NW gourmet - local, in-season flavors (salmon, beef, mixed greens, berries). Portions are sized just right, leaving room for a delectable, seasonal dessert (pumpkin fritters in fall, raspberry cheesecake in summer, etc). The decor is sleek metal and smooth darker wood but not cold; the lighting is amber so it's warm, never stark. Although it is quite tiny and often crowded (especially during Happy Hours, 4-6 pm and 9-11 pm), we love getting a place in the bar. The bartenders are pleasant & attentive, the drinks inventive and always tasty. They offer two hour cocktail-making classes each month which are unbelievably fun and informative; they include at least 4 drinks and appetizers to complement each. The Happy Hour eats are an incredible bargain - nothing more than $6 - and a couple can easily make a meal. Dishes from the regular menu are a bit pricey but generous and delicious.
Waitstaff can be hit & miss - usually they've been friendly if a little aloof; occasionally we've seen attitude.
Favorite Dish: Their Caesar salad has an authentic anchovy flavor along with fresh shredded Parmesan and huge rustic croutons. I also love the Oregon Strawberry cocktail - muddled strawberries mixed with a lemon drop-type drink.
Pizza by the slice or a whole pie. Salads and pasta dishes. Great selection.
Favorite Dish: Sch'meat'za (Genoa salami, Italian sausage, German sausage, Canadian bacon, pepperoni) and the Veggi with white sauce(it was a flavor of the day and I don't know what the name of it was). Oh so good.
Fat Daves is located at the intersection of highway 99 and 99th street. If you are in the area, or near by, you should definetly go there for some deliciously greasy food. I recommend the Chicken Fried Steak followed by a homemade milkshake. If there is a waitress name Brenda there, ask for her and tell her you want some clam chowder. If she's gone, avoid the long-haired toothless waitress at all costs. Either way you will be happy with the food, especially if it is after midnight!
Opened by a German family with a successful Portland restaurant, Gustav's is a satisfying & delicious alternative for lunch or dinner. The atmosphere is warm and lodge-like (lots of animal heads on the wall...), with three separate dining areas (bar & two dining rooms). Hot cider is offered while you wait for a seat (lemonade available in the summer). They don't take reservations so we get there around 4:45 for dinner to avoid a crowd. The bar usually has seating if you don't have the kids with you & don't mind a bit noisier area. Prices are quite reasonable and portions are substantial.
Favorite Dish: We usually get the full fondue appetizer to share - sausage, breads, & pretzels. Soooo yummy. I always love the Bavarian Farmer's Schnitzel with grilled Portobella mushroom, feta, & garlic mashed potatoes. I like that many of the choices are seasonal and from local farmers.
We were privy to the original shop in Hillsboro and the next one in Forest Grove when we lived in Oregon - the story goes that the owner told his dad he wanted to open a great pizzeria to which the dad replied, "Pizza schmizza, why don't you get a real job?" And here we are, lucky to find them following us around the NW :)
The pies are huge, with a thin (but tasty) crust. They tend toward greasy, which I love. You can get whole or by the slice. I usually use a coupon as they can be pricey, but it's a decent deal because they are unique & yummy.
Each restaurant is decorated with different funky stuff, a la Hard Rock Cafe. The one by us has all kinds of movie memorabilia, including a frightening cutout of a bloodied Terminator and a huge plastic shark with a limb in its mouth. There are TVs suspended around showing sports or cartoons - this I don't like because my kids become zombified during the meal. But otherwise it's a fun atmosphere. Takeout available, no delivery except to businesses and special occasions (call, they're cool people).
Monday -Thursday: Mon - Thurs 11am - 9pm
Friday - Saturday: Fri Sat 11am - 10pm
Sunday: Sun 11am - 8pm
Favorite Dish: Pepperoni with pineapple is always my favorite, but because they are creative I have tried some of the funkier toppings at Schmizza. Foo Foo is great - artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, & feta cheese. The Greek is tasty, too. I did have the Gator when we lived in Oregon. It was kind of springy in texture and not particularly flavorful; it might be more lively now and it's cool being able to say I've eaten alligator :)
Their Caesar salad is good, not amazing, but a nice choice if you're not in love with the pizza.
They stock a fun assortment of bottled pop & beer (fountain drinks also available).
This is a great place for fresh not frozen burgers and hand cut fries. They cook everything when you order it which is always a plus. When you order you tell them what you would like on your burger and they add it for free. I always go for the grilled mushrooms and grilled onions. If you order a Hamburger it is 2 beef patties and a Little Hamburger is a single patty. The fries are hand cut and cooked in peanut oil. No cholesterol but if you have allergies to peanuts beware. They offer regular or cajun seasoned fries. Also offered are Kosher hot dogs and a few sandwich choices. The burger toppings are many and if you order a burger with everything or "All the Way" you will get Mayo, Pickles, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Grilled Onions, Grilled Mushrooms, Ketchup and Mustard. They also offer Relish, Onions, Jalapeno Peppers, Green Peppers, A-1 Sauce, Bar-B-Que Sauce or Hot Sauce. Excellent choice if you are hungry for a burger and do not want typical fast food.
One of the major parts of every one of our trips is to search for great restaurants. Not just high end or food you've never seen or heard of before, but stand head and shoulders above other restaurants with similar fare or theme restaurants. I was stunned by Bill's. It is a small, regular guy, middle aged waitresses, unassuming decor with booths, local restaurant in Vancouver, Washington in which we were immediately comfortable and cozy. The feature that put it head and shoulders above others was the chicken. It is so good I have never had a steak at Bill's. This was the best fried chicken I can remember having in at least 20 years.
Favorite Dish: Bill's has several - about 6 - fried chicken variations. My favorite is the 3 piece combination. It is simple in that it has no funky spices or thick coat of batter. It is just basically spiced and deep fried and comes with filling sides. Every time I have had it there, when it comes to the table I look at it and think about asking the waitress for a take home bag. The next thing I know I am looking down at a plate of bare bones and wondering if I can order and eat another 2 or 3 pieces.
I am a devotee of Fast Food Nation, SuperSize Me and Wild Oats Marketplace - "fast food" is very nearly whispered derisively in my home. However, Burgerville has a number of things going for it (my kids are so grateful!): The founder is Dutch, which brings a person up on my short list of good guys (2nd to being Texan, usually). Next, he and the smart people who paid attention held fast to their notions of being locally run, supporting regional food suppliers (Tillamook Cheese, Painted Hills Beef of Oregon, seasonal marionberries, strawberries, hazelnuts, & Walla Walla Sweet Onions among other things), and treating their employees with dignity & respect.
And of course the food is good - Burgerville is a safe haven in the garbage zone when it comes to meals on the go. The atmosphere is sweet ('50s innocence with red vinyl benches in booths, swivel stools at counters, checkered flooring, working jukebox stocked with oldies only), the workers friendly, and the food a nice variety & always delicious. I love the seasonality - Walla Walla onion rings, strawberry shortcake, & chocolate hazelnut shakes are only available for short times during the year, so they're fresher & more delectable. You can even get apples instead of fries with the kids' meals (before you laugh, my kids actually look forward to sharing fries & apples!) and milk (rBGH-free!) instead of pop.
In short - local, fresh, refreshing. Visit and be glad you did. The downtown restaurant, right off I-5 (the first in the area), is a drive-up/walk-up only; very retro!
Favorite Dish: Double beef cheeseburger is satisfyingly goopy - they have a special sauce that is tangy, smooth and so yummy. My husband loves the PepperBacon Tillamook Cheeseburger and I trust his judgement as a true carnivore. Also, the Mocha Perk Shake and, when it's in season, the Chocolate Hazelnut Shake are good for quiet, alone time with a book and no sharing :)
The placed ended up making me think back to choices that restuarant owners make to save money that are sickening subjects when you think too hard. Like gross ketchup bottles and serving jam out of jars rather than by individual packs. And Tabasco sauce that looks like it was sitting there since the dawn of time.
So, I was careful because I'm half-obsessive compulsive. I used syrup on my toast because it looked less scary. I know, small thing with germs. But, I'm not as bad as Monk.
Anyway! Two members of our party got extremely and violently ill within a few hours of eating there.
Favorite Dish: We figure the sausage we had for breakfast was improperly cooked. But, there are too many other places to eat in the Portland area. So, we will never, ever return to Caffe Roma.
However! There was a piano in there, and I can almost imagine that at certain points the place is hopping. Maybe people stop by there for a drink and music?
I've never had any issues with any IHOP that I've ever visited. The restaurant in Vancouver was clean and had courteous help. They were running through customers quickly enough so that the wait wasn't long despite cars parking on the street because their parking lot was full.
Favorite Dish: French toast... ;)
Everything they had was good. A buffet cost $9.99 plus tax. Lots and lots to chose from. The employees could hardly keep up with the signs so didn't always know what we were trying. But that was the best part, there was a lot of things I'd never tried before on their menu. I was most fascinated that all they had was double-yolked hard-boiled eggs. Didn't try them, there was too much to chose from and I doubt the eggs taste as unique as they look.
Favorite Dish: The Pineapple Shrimp was wonderful.