[PDX] 3 days - Downtown Recommendations?
OK, I've definitely done a bit of my own research, but I'm just fishing for a couple more suggestions. 2 late 30s guys, neither has been to Portland, (one from SF, one from Santa Barbara) will be coming up Saturday-Monday. Staying at the Downtown Hilton (SW 6th) and hoping to find food/drink within walking distance of the hotel (we're urban walkers, so a generous 1-mile radius is easily walking distance).
Thinking of dinner one night (Sat or Sun) at Clyde Common and lunch Sunday at Silk.
Need recommendation for (A) one more dinner & (B) breakfasts (bakery/cafe ok)
- Curious about Toro Bravo & Pok Pok, but is it worth attempting either drive if we don't know our way around?
- In downtown, considering Pazzo, Murata or Hiroshi
- Any great tapas downtown?
- dinner price range: we want to keep our second dinner kind of reasonable (<$30/person total)
Thanks in advance.
Thanks for doing some research, as opposed to the shooting blind open-ended question "What's great?" =p
Breakfast/Bakery: Bijou Cafe, Pearl Bakery, Ken's Artisan Bakery (streetcar) or Mother's Bistro.
Hiroshi is outstanding, on the creative innovative side. Very expensive so consider getting just a few appetizers, be verrry disciplined, and eat the rest elsewhere.
Remember that Portland blocks are small. 20=mile.
Pok Pok is absolutely worth it, a quick easy drive over the Hawthorne bridge, should not at all be a barrier. Or take the bus, also really easy.
Toro Bravo is also pretty easy to get to by bus--the #6 runs every 15 minutes, and it's walkable from the Interstate MAX line. I would only go there or to Tapeo for tapas and not anyplace downtown. It would be a hard choice between pok pok and toro bravo--pok pok is unique, but it might be a long wait for a table after their prominent mention in the New York TImes (although I would expect both to be pretty busy on a weekend night). Toro Bravo is a bigger and has lots of seating for two.
My preferred breakfast would be Stumptown for excellent coffee and pastries, but I'm not really a breakfast person.
If it helps, I've finally uploaded pictures I took from various Portland eateries during my recent visit north. Clyde Common is definitely my favorite in terms of total package in a restaurant, so I'm glad you're hitting them up.
I think a couple of guys would love to sit at the open kitchen at Le Pigeon. Did it the other night and it was a blast...food and wine most excellent.
I thought Pok Pok was great, and totally worth the effort. We took the #14 bus (I think) from downtown to Hawthorne and then hoofed it, no problem. It wasn't hard to find, just watch for the crowd of hungry and disconsolate-looking people on the sidewalk. The broken crepe with mussels was practically a religious experience for me. Loved the water with pandan leaf steeped in it, too.
We had a late-night drink at Pazzo, which was a lot of fun - great views across the street of hotel workers carrying mattresses around - but I don't know that I'd eat dinner there given all the other great places in the area.
We tried to have breakfast at Mother's, and were pretty much chewed up and spat out. Bijou was pleasant, as was Stumptown, but our most enjoyable, least stressful breakfast was at Red Star. Can't recommend the coffee there, though. Get it at Stumptown first.
Pok Pok and Toro Bravo have been my two favorite places for the past year. For quality, consistency, and value/price. I'd eat there every week if I could.
POKPOK - take the #4 Division Bus (to Gresham) and the restaurant is at 32/division. It's a straightshot no-brainer.
TOROBRAVO - take the #6 MLK Bus (to Jantzen Beach) and get off at MLK/Brazee. Cross MLK and go down Russell a few blocks.
UPDATE: Just a quick update on our brief, two-night trip.
SAT: dinner at Pok Pok was excellent, and so glad we went there. As I had never been to Portland, I wasn't sure how easy it would be navigating between downtown and the east side, but it was so easy and non-stressful getting around. We had the broken crepe with mussels, papaya salad, roast chicken, and curried pork belly/shoulder (this last dish was sublimely tender and flavorful). Everything was delectable, and the cocktails were great and original (I had the tamarind whisky sour). Condensed-milk ice cream/coffee affogato with doughnut was a perfect dessert.
SUN: Enjoyed good, basic breakfasts (apple french toast & brie/mushroom omelette) at Besaw's on Savier/NW 23rd and it was a good jumping off point to explore that neighborhood.
Dinner that night at Clyde Common was quite sublime, and I'll echo the raves it's gotten (to SauceSupreme: I agree that it evokes the aesthetic and menu of the Santa Barbara branch of The Hungry Cat). I couldn't resist trying the delicious beef tongue hash with poached egg, and we also had the butternut squash/gorgonzola ravioli and seared black cod with eggplant puree and roasted peppers. The fish was absolutely perfect, as was dessert: a divinely silky vanilla panna cotta with a light apricot/cherry compote.
We hit Jam's on Hawthorne for an average, but very tasty breakfast with super-friendly service before leaving town Monday. I was sorry not to get to Silk/Pho Van or Toro Bravo, but I'm definitely looking forward to a return visit. And I'm again with SauceSupreme in terms of being very tempted to check out the rental listings. The city -- at least at brief glance -- was incredibly accessible and enjoyable, so I'm envious of all you lucky Portlanders.