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Aug 21, 2007 11:27 AM

Portland challenge... please help!

I'm going to Portland this weekend to visit a bunch of friends from my hometown who recently moved there. None of them are big foodies, but I have taken a couple of them out with me in New York and Boston when they visited, and they LOVED the more exotic places. They all know I'm a chowhound, so I'm in charge of food! We are going to be going out for a couple of dinners, a brunch, some lunches and drinks. I'm looking for places with any or all of these qualities:

-great atmosphere for several women in their mid-twenties
-great mixed drinks/cocktails
-funky spaces (a la Montage) and outdoor dining a plus
-reasonably priced food (nothing above $10/person for lunch or $20/person for dinner)
-exciting food and food combos that they wouldnt normally try... odd fusion food is always fun
-I'm always up for great Thai, Lebanese, Ethiopian, etc...

We will be mostly in the Clackamas center area as well as the Hawthorne district, but we are willing to travel for good eats. Any suggestions are appreciated, whether its a hamburger shack or a bar! They all just moved, so they also are looking for some places they can go to on a regular basis. Thanks so much!!

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  1. I know nothing of Clackamas, but here's a couple places in southeast (on or near Hawthorne):

    -Brunch: I love Simpatica (SE 8th and Ash, just south of Burnside) but they only do brunch on Sundays and it's quite popular (so you may have to wait a while). My other favorite is Jam on SE 23rd and Hawthorne. It's a little more casual, a little cheaper but they do everything very well, including homemade jam (of course). Open for breakfast and lunch every day except Monday I believe.

    -Lebanese - I'd recommend Karam, it's downtown (SW 3rd and Stark I think?), reasonably priced, I really like their falafel. I wouldn't call it "funky" but it's a nice place for dinner.

    -Cocktails: I like those at Cafe Castagna (SE 19th & Hawthorne) and Imbibe (SE 23rd and Hawthorne right next to Jam), CC is slightly more swanky than Imbibe but both have great cocktails and burgers. Imbibe also has a good happy hour menu (until 7pm I think). My favorite there is the Perfect Cocktail, which is gin, muddled lime and mint, and ginger ale.

    Hope you have a great trip!