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Planning trip to OR - need recs!!

Heyteacher Apr 13, 2008 02:38 PM

My hubby and I are going to Portland, Newport and the Wilamette Valley in June. I would love restaurant recs for each area, if possible. I would say all types of food, especially little hole in the walls that locals love to frequent. Thanks so much for your help!

  1. h
    honeybeepdx Apr 13, 2008 07:49 PM

    www.voodoodoughnut.com - You will see every aspect of Portland at this well known donut shop. It is the place to go later in the evening for the best donuts in the world and people watching!

    If you love Thai then stop by Pok Pok. It is a small street vendor that grew into a small restaurant. www.pokpokpdx.com - This is also a local favorite "hole in the wall".

    Oddly enough, Portland has great soul food. The Delta Cafe is in the Woodstock neighborhood and only accepts cash or check. Decorated in garage sale chic, it is awesome!

    Finally, if you want a little nicer place to go, try Le Pigeon (www.lepigeon.com). The food is innovative and typical of the growing Portland food scene; the atmosphere is also typical Portland in that it is gourmet food in a casual atmosphere.


    5 Replies
    1. re: honeybeepdx
      teach Jun 3, 2008 08:06 PM

      I had perhaps the best meal of my life at Le Pigeon. Although I was at first a bit wary of the communal tables, they turned out to be great!

      1. re: teach
        SauceSupreme Jun 3, 2008 09:09 PM

        The best seats at Le Pigeon are at the bar, watching Chef Gabe Rucker and his sous chef on the line.

        1. re: SauceSupreme
          dylinw Jun 4, 2008 01:39 PM

          I, too, had an excellent meal at Le Pigeon. I was just there about two weeks ago. If they have the scallops app (it had a green puree underneath; fava beans? I can't recall), I would highly recommend it!

        2. re: teach
          bhrigid Jan 13, 2009 08:11 PM

          I hear such great things about Le Pigeon but won't set foot in there as long as they serve Foie Gras. I love an amazing meal as much as the next person, try Ten-01, they took Foie Gras off their menu!

          1. re: bhrigid
            nkeane Jan 13, 2009 11:37 PM

            no they didnt. its there, and in a lot of other places you probably eat. If you dont like Foie just dont order it. simple.

      2. z
        zoogrrrl Apr 13, 2008 10:18 PM

        honeybeepdx has done you right. one more recommendation would be some great local pizza. a pizza lunch was one of my favorite meals on the last visit. flying pie, old town, dante, hot lips all get raves.

        8 Replies
        1. re: zoogrrrl
          SauceSupreme Apr 14, 2008 01:03 AM

          If we're talking pizza, then you've also got to mention Apizza Scholls and Ken's Artisan Pizza, if only so you can compare it with Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix.

          You'll also find a pho shop around almost every corner, and so if you've never had Vietnamese food, that'd be a good way to start. My favorites are all on the eastside, close to 82nd.

          1. re: zoogrrrl
            EJC Apr 16, 2008 07:22 AM

            What was the pizza place that Bourdain visited in Portland? Is it worth a damn?

            1. re: EJC
              Leonardo Apr 16, 2008 08:03 AM

              Don't know don't care. But two incredible places, either would be worth a PDX trip alone, are Apizza Scholls & Ken's Artisan Pizza.

              1. re: Leonardo
                EJC Apr 16, 2008 08:49 AM

                Looks like it was Apizza Scholls ...

                1. re: EJC
                  SauceSupreme Apr 16, 2008 08:57 AM

                  It was definitely Scholls. The chef sometimes posts here on the board.

                  The Bourdain Pacific NW episode didn't spend much time in Portland restaurants (he covered Apizza Scholls and Voodoo) but all in all I thought it captured the funkiness of the service industry scene.

                  There are certainly elegant and refined sides to Portland restaurants as well, but it's edited for television. And if it gets people to want to travel to Portland, then it did its job.

                  1. re: SauceSupreme
                    Nettie Apr 16, 2008 12:39 PM

                    Yes, it was Apizza Scholls, and yes, it is worth visiting. It's been quite a while since I've seen a posting from Brian Spangler on this board; I think he (like most of the other long-time posters) has moved over the portlandfood.org (see, for example http://portlandfood.org/index.php?sho...).

                    That AB episode really bugged me because he spent so much time on that dang Portland Underground tour, which was a total waste. He certainly could have skipped that and gone to other restaurants instead (especially as he did have footage from le Pigeon--I think they had a shot of Gabe's pigeon tattoo in the promos). Then a few weeks ago we caught the Portland episode of that odious Rachel Ray show, and SHE went on the Portland Underground tour! We thought that maybe they used the same footage for both shows.

                    1. re: Nettie
                      Leonardo Apr 16, 2008 02:07 PM

                      I agree...what a waste of tape, with so many outstanding & unique places here.
                      And that whole underground "Shanghai-ing" (kidnapping) tunnel tour is a fraud...there is no credible historical documentation of it.

                      1. re: Leonardo
                        SauceSupreme Apr 16, 2008 02:20 PM

                        The Seattle Underground is far more fascinating (they built the city twice, one on top of the other) but I guess it all depends on who their local "fixer" is.

                        Insomniac with Dave Attell did a Portland episode, and at least that allowed you too see a bunch of local bars as well as other, um, establishments with no minors allowed.

          2. l
            Leonardo Apr 14, 2008 09:10 AM

            Here's a little secret hole in the wall, perhaps not so secret after write-ups in roadfood, NY Times, and AMEX's magazine: Sahagun Chocolates. Handmade artisan chocolates and drinks lovingly made of single origin ultra high quality chocolate. They use Stumptown Coffee, Portland's (and one of the nation's) finest roasters.
            What do you mean by Willamette Valley? It's a vast area. Are you going to wine country, and if so, which part of it?
            Don't miss Portland Farmers' Market. http://www.portlandfarmersmarket.org/

            Have fun. Ask more specific questions. And please report back!

            4 Replies
            1. re: Leonardo
              Heyteacher Apr 17, 2008 06:44 PM

              We're staying in McMinville. THe B&B we're staying recommended Bistro Maison for dinner - we're going to celebrate our anniversary. We're going to be in that general area - Neuburg as well.

              1. re: Heyteacher
                Sushiqueen36 Apr 18, 2008 08:22 PM

                Bistro Maison is very good. The chef is French and his wife is usually making the rounds/waiting tables. Their Coq au Vin is great and so are his pork rillettes (I love the charcuterie plate). Actually, I don't think I've had a bad meal there. He makes a point of using local ingredients too - which should be a treat in June. For breakfast in McMinnville, I'd recommend Crescent Cafe- you might have to wait but they are worth it. If you're staying a couple of nights, two other spots for dinner would be Nick's Italian Cafe (don't let the unassuming storefront discourage you) and Joel Palmer House if you're a mushroom/truffle fan.

                1. re: Sushiqueen36
                  sophiamaria Jun 3, 2008 02:20 PM

                  I also recommend La Rambla for Tapas in McMinville.

                  1. re: sophiamaria
                    Sushiqueen36 Jun 4, 2008 12:08 PM

                    Yep- La Rambla is another great option! They are also open for lunch daily so maybe that would be a good time to try them out. The others aren't.

            2. 2
              2Wicky Apr 14, 2008 04:13 PM

              Pastini's is a great Italian restaurant in Portland. The atmosphere is cozy & the waitstaff are great. The menu is authentic Italian, with an extensive wine list and their prices are very reasonable. It's one of my favorites!

              Pastini Pastaria
              1426 NE Broadway, Portland, OR

              2 Replies
              1. re: 2Wicky
                Leonardo Apr 14, 2008 09:30 PM

                Surely you a joking. Pastini is not authentic anything, not even New Jersey Italian.
                I was there last week. The mussels were off, meaning I feared for my life were I to have eaten more than one. My date had linguini with chicken which was not close to being fresh. Yech. Cheap it is, and you get what you pay for.

                Everyone else's picks are great. For Viet try Banh Cuon Tan Dinh on 2850 SE 82nd, just south of Division. The real deal. And you'll be the only tourist!

                Whatever you do, don't eat at Pizza Schmizza, a local chain. Simply awful.

                Try this for ideas:

                1. re: Leonardo
                  darmabum Aug 16, 2009 09:09 PM

                  Pastini works for me because the dishes are wonderful and the price point is quite reasonable....I think around 8-10 bucks if memory serves me. I have not had a bad meal there and I love the carbonara....wine is affordable and good too, something like 5 dollars for a glass of Sangiovese. I also like the 3 cheese ravioli, plus they have a wonderful bolognese sauce that is even better than mine! Come to think of it, the carbonara is better than mine, too! The salads are good, we always have the bistro salad and share it. Service is always very friendly, the atmosphere is nice and the food comes pretty quick. They seem to be growing, there are stores on: 23rd, Division; Broadway; Downtown and Bridgepart as far as I know. Oh yeah, I like the tiramisu too.
                  Oh, and I agree with Leonardo on Pizza Schmizza, it seems overpriced for some pretty bad pizza. The store in Wilsonville looks like it's going out of biz and the staff is scary.

              2. p
                portpig Apr 15, 2008 12:09 PM

                The Oregon Coast ain't no great shakes--you might try Blackfish Cafe in Lincoln City or Tidal Raves in Depot Bay--nice view!

                2 Replies
                1. re: portpig
                  AlaskaChick Apr 18, 2008 08:45 AM

                  Try the Drift Inn in Yachats - good pub type atmosphere - best razor clams I've had in a long time - decent wines - live music

                  1. re: portpig
                    asimen Apr 22, 2008 12:12 PM

                    I'll second the vote for Tidal Raves, but we were kind of disappointed at Blackfish. Perhaps our expectations were too high there.

                  2. m
                    Michaelene Apr 15, 2008 08:16 PM

                    Try Mo's chower on the coast (stick with the original chowder - the one with shrimp added wasnt too tasty and the rest of the plates werent too impressive looking). ITs in a charming part of town right on the bay - next to a taffy and doughnut shop and a short turn off of the main road.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Michaelene
                      Leonardo Apr 15, 2008 11:30 PM

                      Mo's is horrible. Get chowder at Blackfish Cafe in Nye Beach.

                      1. re: Leonardo
                        portpig Apr 18, 2008 11:39 PM

                        Yeah Mo's is gross. If the Sea Hag is still around in Depot Bay that was better chowder.

                    2. l
                      libravore Apr 15, 2008 08:34 PM

                      R Palate
                      215 SW 6th Ave
                      Portland, OR 97205
                      Phone: (503) 227-8875

                      Good food, nice atmosphere, good prices. Only downside is dodging all the construction on your way there.

                      Go during happy hour if possible and try the special drink of the day. The bartender will come up with something to please!

                      1. m
                        mattblen Apr 19, 2008 11:48 AM

                        In McMinnville, definitely give Nick's Cafe a look. I was there in November and we all had the prix fixe menu ($49 per person w/o wine). 5 courses; salad, soup, appetizer, pasta course and main course. It was a knockout. A wonderful 2 1/2 hours. Bistro Maison is also good, though I've only been there for lunch, but never disappointed. MattB

                        1. b
                          bruce3404 Apr 22, 2008 09:11 PM

                          Agree, Mo's is just awful. A few years back the Oregonian rated a little dive just S of the bridge going out of Newport towards Waldport as the best chowder in Oregon. The name escapes me, but it's on the RH side as you're headed S and there's a big crab cooker in the parking lot. It's no more than 3/4 mile from the bridge and next to a mini-mart.

                          1. h
                            Heyteacher Jun 2, 2008 11:06 AM

                            Thanks so much for all of the great recs! We leave Saturday for our trip and my CH list will be in hand! I'll post a review when we get home. Thanks again!

                            1. s
                              seattletaco Jun 3, 2008 10:39 AM

                              The Bombay Cricket Club in the Hawthorne District is the best Indian food I've ever had in my entire life. Way better than anything I've had in Seattle. They have fresh mango margaritas!

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: seattletaco
                                sophiamaria Jun 3, 2008 02:25 PM

                                I love the Bombay Cricket Club. I go there every year for my birthday. the only issue there, though, is that it is very busy and very small. Not a place to relax and lounge. They'll have you in and out as quickly as possible and definitely call for a reservation as there is no waiting area. But the food is delish, my favorite is the Coconut Curry Chicken.

                                1. re: sophiamaria
                                  Leonardo Jun 3, 2008 03:35 PM

                                  Bombay CC: Rude pushy service. Aggressive and persistent upselling. Overrated food.

                              2. n
                                new wave chef Jun 5, 2008 04:43 PM

                                Im headed back to oregon for a week in july, some of my favorites are the champagne patio on the coast in newport.

                                1630 N Coast Hwy
                                Newport, OR 97365

                                Marche' Restaurant in Eugene or Ring of Fire in eugene.

                                1. j
                                  Jayne Sprinkle Jan 14, 2009 12:22 AM

                                  I always try and get to Caprial's Westmoreland Kitchen in SE Portland. Food is not pretentious, is always delicious. An italian restaurant that always makes me think I am in NYC is Caffe Mingo in the trendy NW side of Portland. Service, alas, is sometimes reminiscent of NYC too, but the food has always been great. Have fun wherever you go!

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