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Portland this weekend with kids

Hi,
Coming up from Eugene to hook up with friends at a conference and am looking for casual but good kid friendly places to chow, particularly for Friday earlish dinner. We're having, sans kids, an anniversary dinner Saturday night at Park Kitchen and brunch with everyone at Simpatica on Sunday AM. We're staying downtown (Embassy Suites) and our friends are at the place at Portland State. Thoughts? Is the Saturday farmer's market a good place to walk around even if you aren't buying produce?
Thanks in advance
Mike

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  1. The Farmers' Market is a great place to walk around and there are lots of things besides produce such as cheese, pates, wines, pastries, breads, nuts, jams, soda, a few prepared foods vendors, etc.

    Have a great time and happy anniversary! ;o)

    1. I'm not sure if you mind driving out of downtown, but I understand that the restaurant in southwest Portland called "Peanut Butter & Ellies" is a great place to take kids. I've never eaten there, so I'm sure someone who has might be able to weigh in with more credibility, but here's the web address in case you want to check it out. http://www.pbecafe.com/index.html
      Also, we love the Farmer's Market, rarely miss a Saturday morning, BUT, it can get really crowded, I've noticed it seems particularly crowded so far this year. Shouldn't deter you from going, but just wanted you to know that with little ones/strollers, it might be a challenge to negotiate.

      1. Your friends near PSU will certainly be familiar with local inexpensive haunts like Hot Lips Pizza and Thanh Long, so maybe try a place like Karam for Lebanese. It's downtown, relatively inexpensive, very good, and casual enough for kids. A little more expensive is Carafe and I've seen plenty of kids there. It's closer to PSU.

        There are a lot more options if you're willing to get out of downtown.

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        http://www.extramsg.com
        http://www.portlandfood.org

        7 Replies
        1. re: extramsg

          Thanks for the suggestons, the friends have the ever useful minivan so we can definitely get out of downtown. I've been to Peanut Butter and Ellies and its a good idea well done, but we don't really need that kid friendly, or kid centered, just a place where no one is going to look askance if the kids are drawing or bouncing in their seats a bit :)

          1. re: primitivecinema

            Then you should do something especially good, like Apizza Scholls (which now has pinball machines, too, and a better waiting area). Or Podnah's for BBQ. Or Malay Satay Hut for Malaysian. Or Banh Cuon Tan Dinh for Vietnamese. Or Wong's King for Chinese.

            Also consider Fire on the Mountain for buffalo wings, Lagniappe for Cajun, La Bonita for taqueria Mexican, Nostrana for pizza and Italian, Ken's Artisan Pizza, etc.

            If Apizza Scholls is too busy, you don't feel like BBQ, and you want something less adventurous, there are some quality brewpubs that allow youngsters that you can search for on here.

            1. re: extramsg

              Quite a timely topic for us as well. We'll be in Portland for 3 days next week and are bringing along our 8 month old. Any suggestions for nice, locally-grown vegetarian friendly fare where our little one won't stand out? I'm sure many of the places you listed above serve vegetarian food, but since we're visiting from Baltimore, we'd like to try something "pacific northwestern". My husband is not a vegetarian, so we like to go to restaurants that also serve meat/fish. :-)

              1. re: VeggieBerger

                Portland is considered by many as one of the most veggie friendly food towns in the nation. You'd have to work to find a restaurant without considered veggie options.

                To focus on PNW ingredients, you have to go a little more upscale, but if the kids are well-behaved, most places are kid-friendly. I have friends who take their kids (grade schoolers) to the best restaurants in town.

                Some midscale places that focus a bit on local ingredients which are more likely to have kids already there: Cafe Castagna and Tabla. Otherwise, usual suspects like Wildwood, Park Kitchen, et al.

                ---
                http://www.extramsg.com
                http://www.portlandfood.org

                1. re: extramsg

                  Thanks for the tips. I'm so excited to visit someplace that is veggie-friendly. When I moved to the East Coast from California 10 years ago I was shocked that I could go to restaurants here where there wasn't a single vegetarian option on the menu. I think it's getting better, but I did go to a restaurant a couple of years ago for New Years Eve and the waiter suggested the escargot stuffed ravioli when I asked about a vegetarian entree. We still laugh about that.

                  We are happy to go more upscale, and will probably be eating early so maybe people won't mind as much if our pretty well behaved little one tags along to a midscale restaurant. By the way, what is considered "eating early" in Portland - we'll be there during the week? Just curious.

                  1. re: VeggieBerger

                    Eating early? I'd say 5:30 or so. I guess some places begin dinner
                    service at 5:00.

                    1. re: VeggieBerger

                      I usually prefer to eat early. I think you get better service and I never have to worry about reservations too much or lines if it's a place that doesn't take reservations. For most places, if you're in before 6pm, you'll be fine, but I usually call ahead for places that take reservations just to make sure unless I'm getting there right when they open.

                      btw, Wildwood has some booths -- one of the few nicer restaurants that does -- so that adds an extra barrier for the kids if you can get one.