Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Pacific Northwest >
Jun 19, 2007 08:45 PM

Portland - Friday late lunch between PDX and Portland State U., Sunday breakfast, other advice


L.A. hound here, traveling to Portland this weekend with my mom (from Irvine) and her cousin (from Sacramento) for a memorial service. We converge at PDX around 1:00pm Friday afternoon and we'll need to grab lunch between the airport and our hotel. We'll have a car, and we're staying at University Place which is adjacent (or part of?) Portland State University. It shouldn't be a fancy or extremely time-consuming lunch, nor should it stray overly far afield from the route although it could be around PSU. Fresh, healthy sandwiches and salads would be great.

Friday dinner has been arranged, not sure where but I'm sure it will be superb. Not sure what we'll do for Saturday breakfast before the service, probably eat at the hotel. Not sure about the rest of the agenda for Saturday or if I'll have to find a place for dinner, and if so for how many, so I'm just playing that by ear - will read some posts here and make a list of recommended restaurants, and go from there if I need to suggest something. I'd feel better knowing if I need to make reservations for Saturday but I can't do anything about it which is highly contrary to my control-freak nature but probably good for me.

Sunday morning before our flights I'll definitely propose a late breakfast or early lunch - maybe someplace downtown? My mom and I have only been to Portland once before and it was ten years ago and we don't remember anything. Suggestions welcome.

Any other places not to be missed around PSU if we have some free time to wander? I expect we will. Food shops, etc. are great, my mom's into it too.

Many thanks.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Lunch on Fri: from I-84 from PDX, take the 1st Lloyd Center exit, go to Multnomah to left on 16th becomes 15th (not as complicated as it sounds!). 15th & Weidler is Grand Central Bakery, perfect for soup & sandwiches.
    U. Place is operated by PSU. Don't eat there. But do consider their jazz club, no cover, Fri-Sat, 7-10 pm.
    Consider breakfast at Portland Farmers' Market, open Sat 8:30 am - 2 pm, in the Park Blocks at PSU. You'll see a number of threads about what to eat there.
    Do NOT eat at the Portland Saturday Mkt!
    You can take the streetcar for free into downtown proper.
    Why don't you read some posts, tell us more about your tastes, and then give us more specific questions? =)

    1 Reply
    1. re: Leonardo

      Yeah, sorry, just found out I have to do this (figure out where to eat), normally I would research the board before posting. On Saturday the memorial service is at OHSU at 10:00am and we'll be dressed up, so the Portland Farmers Market won't work, too bad. What's wrong with University Place for breakfast? Unless we'll get food poisoning or something, I expect to have a difficult time getting anyone to go somewhere else for breakfast that day. Don't need gourmet, just edible breakfast like cereal, fruit, etc.

    2. Try Cafe Voila at the corner of 9th & Washington downtown. There's a Smart Park right next to it or you could check in and then take the streetcar there very quickly:


      7 Replies
      1. re: extramsg

        Yes, you don't want to mess with the Lloyd Center exit in the first suggestion, above. Just check in, and walk to Voila. For a nicer lunch, you might try Higgins bar, which is a short walk from the hotel. Another nice walk from the hotel is Southpark.

        1. re: AlbertaHound

          Why shouldn't we get off the freeway to go to Grand Central Bakery/Cafe at 15th and NE Weidler? It doesn't look like it's very far from the exit, am I wrong or is there some traffic issue that I need to know about?

          We won't be able to walk from our hotel to Voila, it looks like it's too far for my mom and her cousin (late 60's, early 70's, generally ok shape but maybe some back and/or hip issues), but we could go there first. I know I'll be starving by that point.

          Both look fine, actually, for lunch on Friday. Thanks to all who responded.

          I've done some more research here and have compiled a list of potential dinner spots for Saturday, if it turns out that I need to figure that out. I'm sure that some wouldn't be doable due to no reservations. Wildwood (pretty sure that's where we went on our previous visit), Higgins, Lovely Hula Hands, Meriwhether's (also a possibility for Sunday brunch), Le Pigeon. Paley's Place looks potentially too expensive.

          The Country Cat doesn't have a menu on its website - what's it like?

          Thanks again.

          1. re: Debbie W

            Grand Central: It's my 'hood, I know it well, there are no traffic issues at all, it's very easy to get around there.

            Take the streetcar to Voila or Wildwood.

            1. re: Debbie W

              It's not a bad exit, really, but it's kind of a maze to get there off that exit. Make sure you do a Mapquest directions printout. Another option would be taking the 42nd/Hollywood Exit and going to Fleur de Lis Bakery. Also, could take the Lloyd Exit and go to Michael's for Italian Beef, sausage, and Chicago dogs.

              If price is a concern, skip Wildwood, Higgins (skip this anyway), Meriwether's, and Paley's Place. Instead, try Clyde Common, Toro Bravo, Country Cat (google for a menu on other sites), Le Pigeon, and Park Kitchen for similar style food (ie, New American and Mediterranean with local ingredients). The food is just as good at these places.


              1. re: extramsg

                I had noted the same about the prices. Lovely Hula Hands looks good too, and there we wouldn't have to deal with the issue of not having a reservation. I think I have enough possibilities, appreciate the help very much, will report back.

                1. re: extramsg

                  I have to point out that the Hollywood area (NE 42nd exit) is a much worse maze than the Lloyd Center exit, because Sandy crossed I84 right there and several streets turn into one-way streets in the most congested area around the freeway entrance and exit--you really have to know where you're going to navigate around there. Grand Central is fine and consistent, but maybe not the most exciting lunch destination. I prefer it to Fleur de Lis, which has been pretty variable for me.

                  1. re: Nettie

                    I was just trying to find a local place for lunch, and avoid fast food or a national chain, so Grand Central is going to be perfect. It doesn't have to be exciting.

          2. (down town you're in fare-less square so walking all over the place can be avoided -

            Favorite place down town is Mothers Bistro & Bar: 212 SE Stark.

            1 Reply
            1. re: redcurry

              I actually know someone else who moved from L.A. to Portland last year and I asked her and she recommended Mothers too.

            2. Why leave the airport. Stanford's bar and grill at the airport is the best airport food i have eaten.

              1 Reply
              1. re: SeanT

                That won't work, mom is coming from Irvine on a slightly earlier flight and she'll have already gotten her suitcase at baggage claim, can't come back thru security. Thanks, that's interesting to know though.