Weekend in PDX with a Veg and a Carnivore
I'm an omnivorous fellow with a penchant for "ethnic" foods, carts, holes in the wall, and the occasional finer dining (though because of budget considerations, I usually have to settle for happy hour or bar food or choose lunch over dinner--okay, not "fine" dining but a step up from the taco truck). My girlfriend is an adventurous vegetarian. She does eggs and dairy but no meat, fish sauce, etc. Aside from that, she'll eat pretty much anything but, like me, has a strong preference for spicy foods and strong flavors.
We'll be getting into town late morning or early afternoon this Saturday and leaving mid-day Monday. We'd like to put together an eating itinerary for the following meals:
Saturday: Lunch or Happy Hour, dinner, funky bar for after dinner drinks.
Sunday: Breakfast or Brunch, Dinner, maybe an extra late-night meal at somewhere casual.
We'd like to stay pretty central as we'll be without a car, but don't mind bussing around NW, SE, & SW (no further south than Woodstock area). We'll be staying near the Lloyd Center.
Because you're need Lloyd Center, it'll be really easy for you to hop onto the MAX to cross the river, as well as various bus lines. I'll first start by sharing the link to ExtraMSG's local tipsheet, which is by no means comprehensive but should start you off with some ideas:
I would check out places like Vindalho and Karam and I'm sure you could tell Pok Pok to avoid fish sauce.
Blue Nile Ethiopean sounds right for you. Veg or meat, spicy/ strong flavors, Easy walk from hotel. NE Broadway between 22-24th.
Pambiche, a Cuban joint on NE Glisan (just off of 28th) is a good choice for brunch, lunch or dinner. They have veg options, excellent food, and fabulous cakes (save room for dessert!). It's a terrific value for dinner, and they have a Sat. 10-midnight happy hour with great deals. It's a great place to go off hours as it can be really crowded otherswise, and they don't shut down between brunch/lunch/dinner. It's also a good Sunday choice (options are fewer for Sunday dinners, a lot of places are closed).
Kenny & Zuke's deli (downtown) is also a good option for any meal.
Karam (downtown) is always delicious and has many veggie choices.
The Farm Cafe, on SE 7th just off of Burnside, is a mostly veg (they have fish dishes too), semi-upscale place with a decent bar and wine list and good prices (the herb crusted tofu with mushrooms marsala and garlic mashed is delicious and a great deal at around $12 for a huge plate of food). http://www.thefarmcafe.net/
If you go to Farm, Rontoms (Burnside at SE 6th), the Chesterfield (Burnside at 11th), and even EastBurn (Burnside at 18th), are all funky bars within walking distance (and, depending how much walking you do, all of these places can be walking distance from Lloyd Center).