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Portland Oregon


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#1 julierico

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Posted 04 February 2002 - 04:28 PM

Hello Hungry People!<p>I am now in Portland and am looking for good dives, diners, inexpensive places to eat. Can you advise please?
Thanks to all.

#2 mamster

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Posted 04 February 2002 - 06:35 PM

Laurie has piped up for Garbonzo's, the local falafel chain, though she notes that it is neither a dive nor a diner.

See another thread for a taqueria on Burnside that Jim Dixon and I like.

Is the Hot Cake House on Powell still there?  It's a totally greasy dive that got me through high school.


#3 girl chow

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Posted 05 February 2002 - 09:13 AM

There's a great little divey family Thai place I like next to the Benson Hotel. It's not the fru fru Typhoon (that's across the street), but a few blocks down on the same side of the street as The Benson.
Just around the corner from the Thai place is The 24 Hour Church of Elvis (the weirdest place on Earth, just off Burnside I think). There's also a little brewpub in between the Elvis Church and the Thai joint that I spent about 5 hours at on my last visit to Portland. Great brew, great people, great noshing.
Sorry I don't have names or addresses. Hopefully, you're familiar enough with Portland to know where I'm talking about.
The rest of my Portland experience mostly has been weird restaurants in the Hawthorne District and upscale eating at Caprial's, El Gaucho, etc.

#4 Jim Dixon

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Posted 05 February 2002 - 11:32 AM

Yes, the Hot Cake House is still dishing out eggs and pancakes on Powell.

Sorry, but I think the Church of Elvis is history. The local daily had a piece on it closing forever just last week.

I can't remember if I posted about diners here or on Chowhound, but there are no diners, at least in the sense that east coast refugees think of them, in Portland. Or anywhere else around here. We used to have a close approximation that we called a coffee shop or cafe, but with the advent of Starbucks and other coffee places, that name has become blurred. But the type of palce where you can get everything from a hot turkey dinner to breakfast all day is getting harder to find.

Waddles (I-5 north, Jantzen Beach exit just before you cross into Washington) comes close. Here's another great little spot that I wrote up for last year's WW cheap eats guide. Call first, because I don't get out to east county very often and can't say for sure if it's still open...but it was very good.

Mama's Corner Cafe
You almost need a shoehorn to get into the place, but the food served up at this sliver of a cafe makes the tight squeeze worthwhile. There are a few tables and one booth in the back, the only place for a group of four, but the best seats are at the counter. Perched on a stool you can watch chef and patriarch Pavel Shavlovsky cracking eggs, pouring pancake batter, and frying potatoes while the rest of the family takes orders and delivers plates. The menu includes all of the breakfast standards at below market prices, but check the board for specials like the buckwheat pancakes for only Ū.50. If you’re really hungry, get the Russian-style pork chops, a pair of boneless slices from the loin dipped in egg and seasoned flour, then grilled and served with a dollop of sour cream. Served with two eggs, homefries, and two thick slices of homemade bread for only ŭ.95, it’s one of the best deals for breakfast in town.
4035 SE Stark, 503-257-2753, breakfast and lunch Monday-Saturday


#5 Jim Dixon

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Posted 05 February 2002 - 11:41 AM

I just checked Chowhound, and that is where I posted a note about diners (the lack thereof, actually). It's an older thread, but there are a couple of good-sounding recommendations on this:

Portland diner-like places on Chowhound

Is that link to Chowhound an eGullet first?

Jim


#6 Fat Guy

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Posted 05 February 2002 - 11:44 AM

Three words:

Chang's Mongolian Grill.


#7 girl chow

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Posted 05 February 2002 - 12:08 PM

I am horrified that the Church of Elvis is no more. Besides a trip to Powell's, it was one of the only reasons I visited Portland. I'm off to go find that article and see what happened to the biosphere/elvis freaky lady....

#8 mamster

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Posted 05 February 2002 - 12:22 PM

Boy do I have fond memories of Chang's Mongolian Grill.  We used to go to the Tanasbourne Mall location and sometimes the downtown.  The first time I ever skipped a class was when a friend of mine was moving away freshman year of high school, and I took him out to lunch at the Mongolian Grill.

There's a Chang's on my street in Seattle, and I've been a couple times, but it's either not as good or my memory is inflated.  The lines seem longer, too.


#9 Jim Dixon

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Posted 05 February 2002 - 04:38 PM

Steven, Chang's is no longer, altho' Dante's, the edgy dance club that now occupies the spot, still keeps a fire going in the barrel-sized 'Mongolian' grill.

Another spot worth a mention, if only because I rarely get to type the words, is Hung Far Low. It's an old time 2nd floor walk up Chinese restaurant in our tiny version of Chinatown. I can't say much about the food since I haven't eaten there for years (but the last time I did it was spring, and I asked if they had any fresh asparagus and was served a big platter in black bean sauce). Hung Far Low (yes, that's really the name, and they have a great neon sign) is also widely known for cheap drinks.

Jim


#10 Fat Guy

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Posted 05 February 2002 - 05:28 PM

Jim, Chang's has more than one location. Portland CitySearch lists four. Are all closed?

#11 Jim Dixon

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Posted 06 February 2002 - 01:26 PM

I stand corrected.

I was referring to the original in downtown Portland (3rd and Burnside). The rest of these are in the 'burbs (except for the Jantzen Beach location, which is in a particularly horrible mall).

I try to pretend that these sprawling, strip-mall-filled, SUV-infested, California-like suburbs just don't exist, and I avoid going to any of them at all cost (Beaverton, home of Intel and Nike, is really hideous....when out of town planners and other new city types rave about how great our land use planning and other livable city attributes are, I know they were kept out of Beaverton).

So to julierico, who started this, I say this: Don't go out there! Especially not for for a dive, and probably not for any reason that's not life-threatening.


#12 mamster

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Posted 06 February 2002 - 01:33 PM

Jim, how dare you.  I lived right on the Portland-Beaverton border for seven years and...well, okay, everything you said about Beaverton is true.

#13 Fat Guy

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Posted 07 February 2002 - 11:54 AM

There's a Chang's on the way in from the airport, so you can hit your first dive almost as soon as you land. I highly recommend the experience. We don't have anybody around here who does Mongolian barbecue the right way, which is all-you-can-eat. Here we have to pay by the ounce, which I absolutely refuse to do. Any Mongolian knows you don't pay for barbecue by the ounce. Come on. To those Mongolians charging by the ounce: Go back to your yurts and leave us be! Chang's, show us the way!

#14 jhlurie

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Posted 07 February 2002 - 01:04 PM

Quote: from Fat Guy on 1:54 pm on Feb. 7, 2002
We don't have anybody around here who does Mongolian barbecue the right way, which is all-you-can-eat. Here we have to pay by the ounce, which I absolutely refuse to do. Any Mongolian knows you don't pay for barbecue by the ounce.

Steven, I think that "by the ounce" thing is a NYC innovation.  Several places I've been to in NJ charge "by the bowl", and I've been to others along the east coast which are all-you-can-eat.

Does this Chang's place have the absolutely wonderful warm sesame rolls I've had at a (rare) few Mongolian places?  The idea is to fill the insides of the sucker with the goodies after they are cooked up, and it a FAR more satisfying way to consume Mongolian than in a bowl or flat on a plate.


#15 mamster

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Posted 07 February 2002 - 01:09 PM

No, at the Chang's locations I've been to, they have rather sorry manufactured spring roll or mu shu wrappers.

Now I have the image of Chang's being overrun by an actual Mongol horde driven to a warlike frenzy after being charged by the ounce for their barbecue.


#16 Fat Guy

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Posted 07 February 2002 - 01:11 PM

Chang's has flat pancakes, like in moo shu pork.

By the ounce or by the bowl is all the same to me. It's totally un-Mongolian. It would never fly in Ulan Batur. They'd laugh you right out of your yurt and bounce that half sized bed off your head.

I found a place in Stamford, CT, once that had all-you-can-eat. I wonder if it's still around. Do you know names and addresses of others (or that one)?


#17 mamster

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Posted 07 February 2002 - 04:28 PM

Yeah, here on Pacific Northwest, we're experts on Stamford.

KHAN'S MONGOLIAN GARDEN
135 BEDFORD ST STAMFORD CT  (203) 975-0209
ฟ all-you-can-eat

You can call and see if they still exist at that number.

Hey, did anyone else watch that terrible reality show Lost?  We watched the first ep before leaving for Asia.  The premise was that they drop the contestants in some remote corner of the globe and give them like 贄 and they have to get back to New York.  The first order of business was to figure out where they'd been dropped.

Well, the contestants were dropped in rural Mongolia.  And all of them figured this out pretty quickly except for this one team that was totally convinced that they were in Czechoslovakia.  It must have been the by-the-ounce barbecue pricing that led them astray.

Out of my yurt,
Matthew


#18 julierico

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Posted 07 February 2002 - 05:08 PM

Thank you everybody!
This week in the Willamette weekly they listed a bunch of interesting inexpensive dive sort of places. I will look into that one area that was near the Elvis place. I have seen it and it sure looks like an interesting dive.

Hey how do I get this thing to quit notifying my about responses to my post. I made the mistake of asking e-gullet to do this with my post and now I have 20 e-mails every time I look up mu e-mail.
Peace and Love Julie Rico


#19 Fat Guy

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Posted 08 February 2002 - 12:45 AM

We're doing a software upgrade in about 24 hours that will allow you to control that. Stand by.

#20 Jim Dixon

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Posted 08 February 2002 - 03:05 PM

Julie,

You can also search all of the WW reviews online at the food finder.

Just today I ate my first Cheap Eats 2002 review meal (J&M Cafe, good basic breakfast, will go back for lunch). The issue (a guide to low-cost restaurants) will be in the paper sometime in March, I think. It's a good resource, but it requires an army of free-lancers and staff writers and the level of the writers' food experience and preference varies dramatically.


Jim


#21 Blue Heron

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Posted 11 February 2002 - 10:50 AM

For good barbeque, my step sister highly recommends Clay's Smokehouse Grill, 2932 SE Division St., especially for their brisket.

#22 Sam Iam

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 07:29 AM

DSCN0868R.jpg We are visiting Portland from Michigan, and our son and daughter-in-Law took us to Clay's. Everything was great, including a plate of house smoked oysters!

Edited by Sam Iam, 02 July 2011 - 08:16 AM.

Carpe Carp: Seize that fish!

#23 Genkinaonna

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 11:58 AM

The baby looks especially excited! :laugh: I'll have to check out Clay's, I was just out that way last night and I could go for some good barbecue without having to actually MAKE some...
If you ate pasta and antipasto, would you still be hungry? ~Author Unknown