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Nov 21, 2006 05:00 PM

Portland Post-Thanksgiving Reccs?

SF Hound here. We'll be up in Portland Friday and Saturday night, and looking for reccs that can accommodate a group that includes a youngster, a couple teens, and several adults, including one vegetarian. Was considering Higgins, but was just there again a few weeks ago, and decided it wasn't the best fit for the younger ones in our group. Looking for something a little more casual, but still with a great menu based on seasonal/local ingredients. We'll be staying downtown, but will have a car. Thanks in advance for the help!

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  1. Tabla. There's something for everyone (even vegetarians), the price/value is great, they welcome families and their menu is always seasonal. The menu on the website is not up-to-date, btw. Their ravioli is awesome, as is the duck, and the pasta carbonara they have on the menu now is some of the best I have ever had. They have a great 3-courses for $24 deal, too.

    2 Replies
    1. re: JillO

      They don't seem to be kiddie friendly to me.

      1. re: FoodGroupie

        Well, it ain't Chuck E. Cheese, but I see plenty of folks with kids there - both babies and "youngsters" as well as teenagers. I've even seen the bar mix up a "Shirley Temple" kind of drink for a girl who appeared to be about 8 yrs. old last time I was there. Everyone seemed to be enjoying fact, staff never seems to be upset with children around.

        Why don't they seem kiddie friendly to you, FoodGroupie?

    2. Navarre. Now open for breakfast and lunch as well as dinner. we finally made it to lunch there on wednesday. it's philly-style sub sandwiches! and salads and stuff. Really good and fun. or if the kids are adventurous, go for supper, which is their showcase of locally-inflected quasi-Spanish small plates. A somewhat raucous atmosphere generally pervades and makes me think that kids would not be a problem.

      2 Replies
      1. re: patrick

        I think navarre is way too small for any kind of group, and it doesn't seem kid friendly to me. I agree that Tabla is kid friendly, they have a back room if you have a larger group of people. We're taking our kid and relatives to Vindalho tonight, they have a lot of veggie options if you're into Indian-style foods. Clinton and 21st

        1. re: nagrom

          well, I'll admit my perceptions of Navarre w/r/t kids and groups are that of an observer. My partner and I usually eat there as a pair, at the counter. But I've seen plenty of groups of 8 or 10 people take over half the restaurant on a busy night, and lots of kids there too, and it all seems to work pretty well.

          I suppose "kid-friendly" means a lot of things to a lot of people, but Im curious what places people have found to be good to take kids, without specifically accomodating them. For example, I've met many kids who are terrified of any food that is not white or bland. (Heck, I know a lot of adults like that.) Navarre wouldn't really work for them. But I also know some kids who are culinarily adventurous, and for them, Navarre's small plates, unflappable staff, and widely varying selections would seem to work just great.

          Vindalho seems like a good place to take diners of all ages. how'd it go?

      2. My perception of Tabla is that it is kind of dark. Sort of a restaurant that you would go with adults or with a date, not with curious toddlers.

        Older children may be OK.

        1. Belated thanks for the reccs ... unfortunately not able to pick them up while in oregon, so left to our own devices we ended up at mother's bistro one night, which had a good range of choices for our group (adults, teens and one grade schooler) and a nice atmosphere. I had the chicken and dumplings, one of their signature dishes, but found it to be underseasoned and the dumplings a bit dry. Their seared fish, steak with pommes frites, and macaroni and cheese got rave reviews, however.

          Stumbled into bijou cafe for breakfast saturday morning ... also a good choice, if a bit chaotic and authoritarian (the latter no doubt a function of the former), as we saw parties refused seating because one of their number was waiting for the light to change across the street, refusal to make simple substitutions on the menu, etc. Food was good, tho, and that cures a lot of little evils in my book.

          Jake's Crawfish saturday night was decent but forgettable, but I expected that going in. I suggested bread & ink based on reviews elsewhere, but was overruled ... don't know whether that was a good thing or a bad thing tho!

          1 Reply
          1. re: djh

            We like Jake's Grill much more than Jake's crawfish. I had an awesome wild game dinner there last week, and have also had stellar fish there.