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Ling

Portland Restaurants: Reviews & Reccomendations

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Hi everyone, we're planning on a short trip down to Portland (2 days, 1 night) in early February. I read through ExtraMSG's awesome site, and also got a few ideas from this forum...

Here's what I'm considering:

-Park Kitchen

-clarklewis

-Ken's Artisan Bakery

-St. Honore

-Pix Patisserie

-Apizza Scholls

-Andina

We both love BBQ and I seem to recall there being some good BBQ in Portland (though I could be mistaken). Any other suggestions to add to the list? Which places on the list do you locals really enjoy, and which would you pass on?

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Hi everyone, we're planning on a short trip down to Portland (2 days, 1 night) in early February. I read through ExtraMSG's awesome site, and also got a few ideas from this forum...

Here's what I'm considering:

-Park Kitchen

-clarklewis

-Ken's Artisan Bakery

-St. Honore

-Pix Patisserie

-Apizza Scholls

-Andina

We both love BBQ and I seem to recall there being some good BBQ in Portland (though I could be mistaken). Any other suggestions to add to the list? Which places on the list do you locals really enjoy, and which would you pass on?

For BBQ, I would recommend Podnah's at NE 15th and Prescott. It is open for lunch and dinner Tues-Sunday and they do an amazing BBQ Prime Rib on Friday and Saturday nights. Podnah's is a Texas style BBQ joint, so beef is the main event and specialty, however the pulled pork, pork ribs and chicken are also very, very good. My favorite sides are the cornbread and pinto beans.

On Tuesday nights only, LOW BBQ is available at Ken's Place on SE Hawthorne Blvd for dinner only, which is also very good.


Brian Spangler

Pizzaiolo/Owner

Apizza Scholls

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I wanted to try LOW but I think it's more likely that we will be in town Friday and Saturday, so we'll probably miss it. Lunch at Podnah's sounds great, then we'll hit up a bakery and wait outside Apizza Scholls before the doors open. (BTW, that clam pie on No Reservations looked amazing! :smile: )

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I wanted to try LOW but I think it's more likely that we will be in town Friday and Saturday, so we'll probably miss it. Lunch at Podnah's sounds great, then we'll hit up a bakery and wait outside Apizza Scholls before the doors open. (BTW, that clam pie on No Reservations looked amazing!  :smile: )

And it tasted every bit as good as it looked, Ling! I second Brian's rec on Podnah.


Pamela Wilkinson

www.portlandfood.org

Life is a rush into the unknown. You can duck down and hope nothing hits you, or you can stand tall, show it your teeth and say "Dish it up, Baby, and don't skimp on the jalapeños."

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I ordered petit fours (which included the opera, framboise, pixie, and chocolate nougatine) and a tart citron from Pix for a party. The petit fours were a big hit, with many of the locals requesting details of where to buy them. I especially liked the framboise, and I don't even like raspberries.

As for the other stuff, I thought the sweet/tart balance of the tart citron was a bit off, and the crust was too thick. I also got a dacquoise (the marjolaine?) to eat in the car, and there was something a bit off-tasting about it--it was a bit stale, I think.

I think maybe for Portland, Pix is quite good. But I don't think I'd go out of my way for it on my own, although if someone were taking me there, I'd gladly go and try some of their other desserts.

I should add that I think the people at Pix that I dealt wtih were wonderful. There was some confusion about the price of the petit fours, so they gave me a larger amount for a much lower price, even though I was more than willing to pay what I thought was the fair (but higher) price. So in terms of customer service, I'd deal with them again (for eat-in customers, the day I was there they were having some trouble with staffing, though, so that's another story).

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Voodoo Donuts!!


Don't try to win over the haters. You're not the jackass whisperer."

Scott Stratten

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Thanks for the kind words.

Only one night makes it really tough. It looks like you're not in the mood for anything too fancy, not that Portland has much in that department. I would probably go with Apizza Scholls or Le Pigeon for dinner. Very different choices, both terrific. Both can have some hefty waits, though. Keep that in mind. Le Pigeon has some interesting and tasty desserts, so I might choose to eat dessert there if you go for dinner. It'd be worth the extra effort to hit Pix, though, after Apizza Scholls. Don't pass on the very good apps at Apizza, though, like one of my favorite caesar salads in town. Pix, btw, is open very late on weekends and has three locations, so they'd be pretty darn easy to fit in to the trip.

For lunch, I would do Pok Pok's Whiskey Soda Lounge and perhaps Podnah's. If you had more nights, I would suggest Podnah's for prime rib. Also, I still don't know if their BBQ is fresh or re-heated for lunch. Of course, on Saturday you're welcome to visit me at Kenny & Zuke's for breakfast or lunch (same restaurant as LOW BBQ/Ken's Place) for pastrami. Note that Whiskey Soda Lounge can get very busy and doesn't have an indoor waiting area. Podnah's just had a very positive review in the Willamette Week come out today, so I suspect they'll be pretty busy on the weekends, at least in the evening, for the next couple weeks.

I'd also recommend checking out the chocolates at Sahagun and getting some hot chocolate.

My last couple meals at Park Kitchen and Clarklewis have been less consistent than they were a year ago. Not sure why with PK. CL though has lost their chef. I haven't been to either in the new year, however.

I think St. Honore does a couple things well, but isn't as good as Ken's Artisan or Pearl Bakery. Get your breakfast carbs there.


Edited by ExtraMSG (log)

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I think maybe for Portland, Pix is quite good. But I don't think I'd go out of my way for it on my own, although if someone were taking me there, I'd gladly go and try some of their other desserts.

I think as Pix has grown and Cheryl has been less hands on they have definitely been less consistent. The big problem I've found is freshness on some desserts. But I think if you stick with their proven desserts that have good turnover, you'll get good stuff. Their macaroons, eg, are great when fresh. But they're not always fresh. Their chocolates are pretty good, too. Not quite Sahagun good, but 100 times better than what Godiva, Teuscher, or Moonstruck put out.

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I'd go to Sahagun for sure! I was gifted with some of their chocolates last summer, and I really enjoyed them--particularly the salted caramel, the pepitapapa (?) and a similar chocolate to the pepitapapa but with roasted something else--corn? I'm not a big chocolate fan, but I'd go out of my way for Sahagun chocolates.

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^Doesn't Whiskey Soda Lounge serves drinks?

<cut-and-pasted from another board>

I'm going to add Sahagun chocolates to my list, and DePaula chocolates too. (I've always thought they looked good in John's avatar on EG!)

I'll cross off St. Honore and go to Pearl and Ken's for the pastries.

We have two dinners in Portland, one on Friday (probably Apizza Scholls) and one on Saturday (probably clarklewis). The reason why we're leaning towards clarklewis is because my bf has a friend who works in the kitchen, and would like a chance to say hi.

Sunday brunch at Simpatica is out as we're only in town Friday and Saturday.

This is a pretty casual, short trip...I have heard such good things about the food in Portland that I'm really excited!

So I just checked online and Le Pigeon is open for weekend brunch! Has anyone been? I'm thinking either brunch there, or Podnah's. I don't know much about Portland BBQ, only that Vancouver BBQ is not all that great, and ditto Seattle BBQ. I guess the deciding factor will be whether either of these places take reservations.

ETA: Forgot about Voodoo donuts! I'm not such a fan of the crazy toppings--I like the plain, glazed donuts at Seattle's Top Pots. How are the plain (or sour cream) donuts at Voodoo?


Edited by Ling (log)

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Whiskey Soda Lounge (aka Pok Pok) has some of the very best Thai food around. And drinks. The conversation Matthew and I had while watching No Reservations was, "Why haven't we been to Apizza Scholls yet?" "Because we're always going to Pok Pok." It's just a few doors down from Pix, too.

Lorna, I figured you were planning to go to Apizza Scholls for the first course, and follow up with dinner somewhere else. I think they open at five.


Hungry Monkey May 2009

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So I just checked online and Le Pigeon is open for weekend brunch! Has anyone been?

Me - we were there last July and it was wonderful. Like a grown up version of Crave - better food and excellent staff. And the diner in the black plether jumpsuit really added an interesting touch.

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What's the word on Higgins?

Also, I wanted to check out Doug Fir strictly for the architecture. Any cool / interesting places for drinks?

I recently went to both in the same night...very different experiences.

Doug Fir for drinks first was a lot of fun, I was suprised however when they didn't know how to make a negroni.

Higgins was a surprise. It's pretty frompy: step back to 1986 style-wise. But I have to say the food was reallyreally good. I had a cured goose breast salad that was amazing.


"Godspeed all the bakers at dawn... may they all cut their thumbs and bleed into their buns til they melt away..."

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Ling, if you're coming to Portland I hope that you'll stop by for a free dessert. I'd be honored to serve such a distinguished egullet member. I can be found at Ten-01 in the Pearl district.

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^How generous! How can I resist? :wub: We'll stop by after pizza on Friday. I'm looking at the menu right now and it looks great!

ETA: We were originally planning on coming in early Feb., but we're going to have to postpone our trip by 2-3 weeks so I'll pull up this thread in Feb. Thanks! :smile:


Edited by Ling (log)

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If you had more nights, I would suggest Podnah's for prime rib.  Also, I still don't know if their BBQ is fresh or re-heated for lunch. 

According to the article in the paper, the lunch BBQ is from the previous night.


Check out our Fooddoings and more at A View from Eastmoreland

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Hi Ling, there is a very nicely written article on Podnah's on the Portland Food and Drink website that I enjoyed reading today. We've added it to our list for our next visit to Portland this Spring. I think you will enjoy clarklewis, we have been once for lunch and it was outstanding, some of the best Sea Scallops I've had in the area. Carlyle in the Portland Pearl also does some nice ones.

Too bad you can't make it to Park Kitchen, they do great things there, also. We also enjoy Verdun in the Pearl District for some really yummy chocolates and truffles. The space they are in is very nicely done, we call it the Portland jewelry store for candy.

Our meal at Higgins was good, the regular menu items are rather common fare, but the King Salmon special I had was very flavorful and nicely presented. I love the service at Higgins, we had a boisterous waiter that had been there for a long time and obviously loved what he was doing! For future reference, some places we have enjoyed in Portland include: Paley's Place, Wildwood, the Heathman, Hurley's, clarklewis, Gotham Building Tavern (now closed) Fenouil in the Pearl, Bluehour, Pho Van Bistro, Carlyle and Higgins as previously mentioned. We hope to try Lovely Hula Hands, Ten 01 and Olea and we must hit Pix from all I've been reading lately about it. We did enjoy the desserts at Papa Haydn's awhile back, which were beautifully presented in a cozy little dining room in the Nob Hill District of Portland. Cheers and enjoy your dining excursion next month! :cool:

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ETA: We were originally planning on coming in early Feb., but we're going to have to postpone our trip by 2-3 weeks so I'll pull up this thread in Feb. Thanks!  :smile:

Ling, if the Farmer's Market is open, I think you would really enjoy it.

I didn't get to very many restaurants (Andina and Pix) when I was in PDX before Christmas, but the cheese/bread (Pearl Bakery and others are there)/produce is beautiful.

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...

Our meal at Higgins was good, the regular menu items are rather common fare, but the King Salmon special I had was very flavorful and nicely presented.  I love the service at Higgins, we had a boisterous waiter that had been there for a long time and obviously loved what he was doing!   

...

I think the House-made charcuterie at Higgins is superb and I've certainly enjoyed everything else I've eaten there.


John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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There is a great 6 pages article in the Feb. issue of Sunset magazine on Portland dining. Kimberly & Vitaly Paley of Paley's Place are featured with a nice photo of them, several other PDX restaurants are mentioned, very nice read for those coming to Portland for great dining experiences. Enjoy! :cool:

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I'll be traveling to Portland in early April on business and would be interested to find out where I ought to eat for dinner on Wed, Th, and Fri nights -- as well as for breakfast on Saturday. (Not brunch. Breakfast. Don't be giving me no brunch suggestions.) I'll be staying at the Benson and won't have a car. I'm partial to moderately priced "ethnic" food and would be very, very happy to find a perfect cocktail lounge while there. Finally, I won't have the ability to drop major cash on any meal.

Thoughts?


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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