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Nov 19, 2008 12:23 AM

Affordable Awesome in PDX?

Okay, I'm sure this topic gets addressed at least monthly, but there are so many topics to wade through that I'll never find it, so I'd love folks' help on this:

What is your absolute favorite combination of stellar food and won't-make-me-commit-harakiri prices in Portland? I'm taking the new boyfriend (who seriously appreciates good food) out for his birthday, and while I'm not looking for ultra-cheap, I don't want to pay Paley's Place prices for a guy until I know he's going to last, you know? He's only been in Portland a couple of years, so either old-skool or latest-hot-thing could be equally novel and exciting. For reference, we did the bar menu (not the dinner menu) at Higgins for my birthday last month.

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  1. Toro Bravo has fantastic food at great prices. It's a great value for the food you get. Small plates so you can order as much or as little as you want. They don't take reservations and it gets very crowded (though you can always go up tot he Secret Society Ballroom for a drink while you wait).

    1 Reply
    1. re: JillO

      Second Toro Bravo. Amazing value, for both food and wine. The atmosphere is not so intimate or romantic, but it sounds like you might want that.

    2. The place that I think has the best food a reasonable price is Clyde Common--and during happy hour you can do even better there.

      I've only been there once, but I thought Firehouse on NE Dekum had pretty fair prices for their food. I was pretty happy with the food I got there, but it's not quite as exciting for me as Clyde Common.

      You can see the menus (with prices!) for these places here:

      1 Reply
      1. re: Nettie

        Quote: What is your absolute favorite combination of stellar food and won't-make-me-commit-harakiri prices in Portland?

        Here's a couple of places that we like when our wallets are feeling flat but when we want to eat well: Interesting food and drinks, we like to sit at the bar and peoplewatch
        Country Cat: I'd call it Northwestern soul food. The chef use to be at Wildwood and this place is his own spin on regional food/comfort classics modernized. Not exactly cheap, but not quite as pricey as Higgins, Paley's or Wildwood.
        And I second the opinion of JillO about Toro Bravo. We've had scads of great meals there.
        You might also see if you like the look of Tabla on NE 28th. On certain days they do a prix fix dinner that is about $24-25.

      2. Biwa! low coinage options, awesome food!

        Bar Mingo. great deal on 5 antipasti....i think its 28$. meatballs, spicy goatcheese, and papardelle are excellent. as is the crispelle but its not quite the value as some others.
        Aaron is a cool guy and great barkeep!

        2 Replies
        1. re: nkeane

          That reminds me...Tabla has a 3 course meal for $24--you get a starter, first course, and entree for that price, which is a pretty good deal on really good food.

          1. re: Nettie

            Tabla is another fave of mine. Good call! ;o)

        2. Agree with previous recommendations: Toro Bravo, Vindalho, Country Cat and Biwa. You might also consider Fife on NE Freemont. Marco Shaw (Chef/Owner) does a great job sourcing and preparing foods from growers, ranchers yada yada locally. Prices for entree's are generally in the $18-$22 range and almost always include a Vegetarian option, Poultry (currently I believe both duck AND chicken), Buffalo, etc.. with seasonally appropriate vege's and greens.

          Soluna Grill
          4440 NE Fremont St, Portland, OR 97213

          1. I highly recommend Park Kitchen, located in the Pearl District. It's wonderful! Excellent food and charming, cozy atmosphere.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Lisa329

              Park Kitchen is the best. Try the Chef's tasting menu. You won't be disappointed