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Jul 18, 2008 04:40 PM

Convention Center area - Portland, Or

Hi all, My son will be in Portland on biz tomorrow through Monday. He'll be at the Convention Center and this will be his first ever visit to Oregon. Any good tips for him for eating in that area? He's an unfussy, good eater! Tomorrow night he'll be on his own, Sunday and Monday he'll have 4 or 5 colleagues along.

Thanks in advance! I envy his trip to your beautiful city! Pat

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  1. The CC area is the sad land of Red Robin & Denny's.
    Having said that, he can take the MAX (light rail train) for free 2 stops east to Grand Central Bakery, and west across the Willamette to downtown. Sadly most are lunch only, weekdays.
    Downtown he can take in the many outstanding food carts (read other recent PDX threads for info).
    Also downtown is Karam, a good Lebanese place.
    He can take bus 10 or 77 to Blue Nile Ethiopean on NE Broadway between 22-24th, a short easy ride.
    Right by the CC is Burgerville (I'm serious) our local fast food chain that uses fresh seasonal items such as Walla Walla sweets onion rings.

    Will anyone have a car?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Leonardo

      Yes, you've confirmed what I feared, when he said "convention center"! I hope someone will have a car, but someone there should be able to tell them how to get downtown for dinner. Ethiopean and Lebanese sound terrific, as do the food carts. I'll bet they'll hit Burgerville for lunch.

      Thank you so much!

      1. re: Pat Hammond

        As mentioned, it's nearly as easy to take the light rail downtown.

        Also Nicolas is a short wak from the CC, and offers above average Lebanese food.

    2. He could take the #6 bus south on MLK to Ash Street, then walk 5 blocks east to Biwa for really, really excellent Japanese food (not sushi). Or he could walk the whole way--it's under a mile. Close by there is Le Pigeon. These might be a little longer distance away than the fast food joints by the convention center, but they are leagues better in terms of quality.

      9 Replies
      1. re: Nettie

        Exactly. Biwa is a great idea. He can walk a mile, yes? Also, Nicholas is a good option for middle eastern. I suggest you look at recent posts to see great picks for visitors. Close-in on the east side (general overall area of CC) has a wealth of reasonably priced fun places beyond 1/2 mile.

        IMHO, Le Pigeon is overrated & overpriced. On this board that will get me tarred & feathered.

        1. re: Leonardo

          Yes, he's a good walker. I searched the board before posting, but not knowing the lay of the land makes it difficult to pick out likely suspects.

          Thank you both for getting him started. I do hope he can sample some of the food carts! Pat

          1. re: Pat Hammond

            There's a nice map here: It maps places that have been reviewed on the Portland Food and Drink website--knowing that the convention center is north of I84, west of MLK, and east of I5, you can see which reviewed restaurants are within walking distance. For example, this shows that Toro Bravo, a pretty kick-ass Spanish tapas restaurant, is also within a mile of the convention center.

            1. re: Nettie

              That's so nice of you, Nettie. The info has been sent to him. I guess he must be there by now. I imagine it's cooler there, than on the East coast. He's coming from Boston. Thanks again.

              1. re: Pat Hammond

                I hope he's not too cold! I was very comfortable today because there were clouds this morning that eventually burned off and it turned into a nice sunny day of 75-80. I hope that you can find out where he went and report back!

                1. re: Nettie

                  75-80 sounds awfully good to me here in the NYC area! What a luxury to need a sweater!

                  Yes, I'll report back for sure, if he managed to get somewhere interesting. A lot will depend on how much time he has to himself. Thanks, again.

                  1. re: Nettie

                    Well, he had a Burgerville burger last night, and was having breakfast at Bijou Cafe when he sent the email. (Sounds pretty schmancy!) He'll be renting a bike today.

                    1. re: Nettie

                      Dinner last night was at Clyde Common, where he'd just finished a "great sardine app.". Sounds like he's making out just fine.

              2. re: Leonardo

                Overpriced I might agree with, overrated, really? I'm certainly a big fan, but I'm just curious as to why you don't think it's worth the praise that I (among others) lay upon it. Where else should I be going for beef bourgignonne and ris de veau? Fenouil? Lucier? Sel Gris?