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I am off to the Rose City for the annual Oregon Brewers Fest in late July and am looking for the must-go dining experiences.

2 years ago I enjoyed clarklewis, Noble Rot, Park Kitchen, Mother's (for incredible blueberry pancakes to die for), Sunday brunch at the Heathman hotel and a lunch at Edgefield resort. And of course 3 days of great beer at OBF.

So this July, with 3 dinners, 3 lunches and 3 breakfasts to indulge, what are the must-go places I should try? Is Stanich's a must for that famous burger? Is Apizza Scholls worth the wait in line? I would like to sample a wide variety, from fine dining to burgers and dogs and pizza, but just the best.

Thanks in advance for your ideas! And beer geeks, stop on ovrr and say hi in the Beer Forum!

Rich Pawlak

 

Reporter, The Trentonian

Feature Writer, INSIDE Magazine
Food Writer At Large

MY BLOG: THE OMNIVORE

"In Cerveza et Pizza Veritas"

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Dinner: Carlyle, Vindalho, Ciao Vito

I'm not much of a brekkie/lunch guy, but Byways Cafe is good for breakfast, the Tin Shed is a fun lunch place, Le Happy makes great crepes, Justa Pasta makes simple, delicious, pastas.

The best croissants in Portland can be had at Nuvrei's breakfast cart on NW 10th and Flanders (I apprentice there a few days a week.) I love the atmosphere at Sydney's Cafe in NW as well, and they carry Nuvrei's breakfast pastries.

Have fun!

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This isn't a restaurant recommedation, but I had the best apple fritters somewhere in Portland. It was a take-out doughnut place, but I can't remember the name. Perhaps a local can help out? If you have a car available, and just need a snack, I would highly recommend them. They were soooooooooo good I think I ate 3!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Any more specific recommendations? And what about checking out the famous burger at Stanich's? And the pizza culture?

Rich Pawlak

 

Reporter, The Trentonian

Feature Writer, INSIDE Magazine
Food Writer At Large

MY BLOG: THE OMNIVORE

"In Cerveza et Pizza Veritas"

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The Stanich burger is more of an historical icon than good eatin'....there are better versions (eg, made with better beef, served on better buns) all over town.

You can eat pizza for lunch at Nostrana, then hit Apizza Scholls for dinner (go early and be prepared to wait). Ken's is supposed to open before too long, and it's conveniently located roughly between the other two in SE Portland.

While the Hebberoy soap opera has been fueling the rumor mill, the food at clarklewis is still unbelievably good. Navarre's menu has been growing lately and is worht a visit. Por Que No on Mississippi has great ceviche and killer margaritas. Bastas' happy hour menu offers some real bargains. The Simpatica brunch shouldn't be missed, either.

Jim

olive oil + salt

Real Good Food

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Yes, Apizzascholls is worth the wait. I've never been a big fan of Stanich's but I know people who think their good.

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 am off to the Rose City for the annual Oregon Brewers Fest in late July and am looking for the must-go dining experiences.

Rich ... my wife and I have gone to the last 3 or 4 Brewfests, and will be making the same pilgrimmage this year.

I've blogged the trip the last two years ... HERE [2004] and HERE [2005].

Our plan is to do Andina & clarklewis this year. Breakfats is coffee and pastries from wherever. We'll pick up lunch at the Farmer's Market on Saturday. Nibbles at the Brewfest are pretty sad IMO, but there are a number of street-food vendors just off site worth checking out.

A.

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Some other places to consider for fine dining:

Wildwood, for lunch or dinner.

Bluehour, for lunch or dinner.

Higgins, for lunch or dinner. They have an excellent selection of bottled Belgian beer.

Sungari or Sungari Pearl, for excellent upscale Chinese, lunch or dinner.

For pub food, I've a fondness for Hedge House and the new Oaks Bottom Public House, both of which are part of the "New Old Lompoc" family. Oaks Bottom is near where I live, so I go there more often. They have great fries and a small but very eclectic list of beers on tap, which changes almost daily (on a recent visit I had two IPAs I'd never heard of before!).

Check out our Fooddoings and more at A View from Eastmoreland
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We had a very nice lunch at Fenouil in the Pearl several days ago. Very nice ambiance with excellent food and service. Our dinner that evening was on the front porch at Paley's Place. Very good Steamed Black Mussells and Pommes Frites and the Gnocchi was excellent. :)

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You know, I almost don't think a beer guy like you needs to even post on this site. Portland beer is just that good.

I remember my first time in Portland, with a bunch of campaign buddies in town for the Oregon primary, a couple of days ahead of the candidate or a real schedule, all stinking in the way you do when you've been working too many days in a row without access to a laundromat. With a rainy afternoon blissfully free, we turned up a laundromat in a slightly grim neighborhood downtown, stripped damn near down to our skivvies, threw everything else into the washing machines and headed out for an early afternoon beer binge. We stumbled into the kind of place where you could tell people occasionally paid for their drinks with accumulated nickles and dimes, and you wouldn't want to walk into the bathroomon a Friday night without making it clear that you were not a cop. But, because it was Portland, even a dive like that had something like six local microbrews on tap, and damn they tasted good. Best laundry run ever.

You're going to have a good time.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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You know, I almost don't think a beer guy like you needs to even post on this site.  Portland beer is just that good.

I remember my first time in Portland, with a bunch of campaign buddies in town for the Oregon primary, a couple of days ahead of the candidate or a real schedule, all stinking in the way you do when you've been working too many days in a row without access to a laundromat.  With a rainy afternoon blissfully free, we turned up a laundromat in a slightly grim neighborhood downtown, stripped damn near down to our skivvies, threw everything else into the washing machines and headed out for an early afternoon beer binge.  We stumbled into the kind of place where you could tell people occasionally paid for their drinks with accumulated nickles and dimes, and you wouldn't want to walk into the bathroomon a Friday night without making it clear that you were not a cop. But, because it was Portland, even a dive like that had something like six local microbrews on tap, and damn they tasted good.  Best laundry run ever.

You're going to have a good time.

Beer quality was not part of the question, Chas, and this will be my second trip to Portland. What I was looking for were the current must-go dining spots as well as opinions on some landmark places like Stanich's and Apizza Scholls, etc. I will not be short of beer during Oregon Brewers Fest weekend, as well as my own beer travels in PDX. But there is a famous strip joint I've heard about that serves a a=great slection of microbrews as well as a good steak. Anyone know what that place is called?

Rich Pawlak

 

Reporter, The Trentonian

Feature Writer, INSIDE Magazine
Food Writer At Large

MY BLOG: THE OMNIVORE

"In Cerveza et Pizza Veritas"

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Beer quality was not part of the question, Chas, and this will be my second trip to Portland.  What I was looking for were the current must-go dining spots as well as opinions on some landmark places like Stanich's and Apizza Scholls, etc.  I will not be short of beer during Oregon Brewers Fest weekend, as well as my own beer travels in PDX.  But there is a famous strip joint I've heard about that serves a a=great slection of microbrews as well as a good steak.  Anyone know what that place is called?

Sounds like the Acropolis

Brian Spangler

Pizzaiolo/Owner

Apizza Scholls

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Beer quality was not part of the question, Chas, and this will be my second trip to Portland.  What I was looking for were the current must-go dining spots as well as opinions on some landmark places like Stanich's and Apizza Scholls, etc.  I will not be short of beer during Oregon Brewers Fest weekend, as well as my own beer travels in PDX.  But there is a famous strip joint I've heard about that serves a a=great slection of microbrews as well as a good steak.  Anyone know what that place is called?

Sounds like the Acropolis

I think it does too- it's on McLoughlin Blvd.

Edited by petite tête de chou (log)

Shelley: Would you like some pie?

Gordon: MASSIVE, MASSIVE QUANTITIES AND A GLASS OF WATER, SWEETHEART. MY SOCKS ARE ON FIRE.

Twin Peaks

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Personally, I'd avoid the popular touristy/sceney spots like Wildwood, Higgins', Blue Hour, Paley's - their food is just so utterly safe. Now, a lot of people like that, so if safety and a taste of "northwest" food is your goal, those places are fine. But, for a bit more fun (and in no particular order):

Vindalho (for delicious, creative takes on Indian food), Park Kitchen (probably Portland's most creative restaurant), Fenouil (didn't expect to like it, but its lovely, elegant, and the oysters were terrific), and 820 for drinks and the sweet potato fries. Its too bad Gotham closed, their steak was outstanding. Pambiche is a bit of a portland institution and St Honore is a very charming french bakery with good desserts, and its right next to Patanegra, which serves a some very decent tapas.

If I had to choose one, I'd go for Park Kitchen.

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Personally, I'd avoid the popular touristy/sceney spots like Wildwood, Higgins', Blue Hour, Paley's - their food is just so utterly safe. Now, a lot of people like that, so if safety and a taste of "northwest" food is your goal, those places are fine. But, for a bit more fun (and in no particular order):

Vindalho (for delicious, creative takes on Indian food), Park Kitchen (probably Portland's most creative restaurant), Fenouil (didn't expect to like it, but its lovely, elegant, and the oysters were terrific), and 820 for drinks and the sweet potato fries. Its too bad Gotham closed, their steak was outstanding. Pambiche is a bit of a portland institution and St Honore is a very charming french bakery with good desserts, and its right next to Patanegra, which serves a some very decent tapas.

If I had to choose one, I'd go for Park Kitchen.

Loved Park Kitchen on my first visit 2 years ago, as well as St Honore, clarklewis, Noble Rot, Lucky Labrador and Mother's for breakfast, and the Heathman's Sunday brunch. Paley's interested me, as well as Wildwood, but I am still in the planning stages and really enjoying all of the suggestions so far.

Rich Pawlak

 

Reporter, The Trentonian

Feature Writer, INSIDE Magazine
Food Writer At Large

MY BLOG: THE OMNIVORE

"In Cerveza et Pizza Veritas"

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I find the bread to be absolutely horrible at St Honore. I agree the vibe of the place is minty fresh but it's a French bakery! They should have good baguettes. And they don't make their own puff. In my opinion, if you're just judging a place by how the food tastes then you're much better off at Ken's Artisan Bakery or even Baker and Spice.

I haven't been to Bluehour or Paley's but I like Wildwood better then Higgins (although I had the definitive steamed clams with herbs and garlic in the bar there a few weeks ago). I love the separate bar at Higgins, especially during Brewer's Fest, when they have Duchess de Bourgogne on tap!

I've had good food and really bad food at Park Kitchen. And I would argue it's just as "sceney" as any other place (same for Fenouil). I've been there about 5 times and I feel like I've won the lottery when it's good, but that's about 50%. I found the food at Vindalho ridiculous, but I'm used to eating a lot of home-style South Asian food. If you're into fusiony stuff then you'll like it, along with Pho Van. And if you're into elegant, fancy, less seasoned takes on Korean, there is Bewon. I like Pambiche, and it's a great place for dessert too.

For breakfasts, you might check out Genie's for casual but good, and daily cafe on Sunday (their Saturday offerings aren't as tasty). For funkier and plentiful breakfast that hasn't changed since the 50's, check out Fuller's (to tell you the truth, I don't find the food that good, but it's cheap and the partner digs the homemade bread and breakfast counters that haven't changed in 50 years).

Desserts at Pix can be fun, especially because you can get a bottle of Chimay along with your Queen of Sheba chocolate cake.

For really casual eats that might be too much of a trek for you, the Bahn Mi bakery near SE 67th and Broadway has the best Vietnamese sandwiches in Portland, and Otto's grills up their stellar, all natural casing dogs and other sausages all weekend on the sidewalk outside their shop.

regards,

trillium

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A couple of other places to consider:

Three Doors Down. An "Italian" place I went to years ago for their tomato vodka sauce. A friend of mine is raving about it again. It's just off Hawthorne in SE Portland.

Ginos. Another "Italian" place on SE 13th in Sellwood. Their Ceasar salad is to die for. Even the small size is too much for one ordinary person to handle. I've heard that their steaks are also extremely good, but I haven't had them myself. It's a funky Portland place in an old tavern, that's more about food than decor.

Good luck and hope you enjoy the trip.

Check out our Fooddoings and more at A View from Eastmoreland
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Well, I just got back from a very light dinner at Park Kitchen. They actually had a dish of fresh anchovies with shaved fennel. Who else in Portland has those kinds of balls? It was great. My friend's cucumber soup, spiked with lime zest and capers was good too. But the real killer was a berry crostada with sesame semifreddo, which was one of the best desserts I have ever had, and that list includes everything from Alinea to Le Cinq. I don't know any other restaurant in this town that operates in this league. (If anyone does, please let me know.)

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Not sure about the connection with balls, but I've eaten fresh anchovies and sardines at clarklewis and fife for sure and maybe Navarre.

I don't know if it's still the same pastry chef at Park Kitchen, I heard she went someplace else, but if it is, then it doesn't surprise me that your dessert was stupendous. Her stuff is my favorite too.

Last two visits to Voodoo have resulted in stale donuts, but I do have a weakness for the maple bar with bacon and that custard-filled obscenity.

regards,

trillium

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Last two visits to Voodoo have resulted in stale donuts, but I do have a weakness for the maple bar with bacon and that custard-filled obscenity.

...maple bar with bacon?! Wow.

Born Free, Now Expensive

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