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Visiting Portland from San Francisco - early dinner Sunday (PDX)

I'll in visiting Oregon this weekend - I'll mostly be in Corvallis, but on Sunday evening I fly out of Portland, and I'm hoping to go for an early dinner somewhere in Portland before my flight. There will be two of us, and my flight is at 9:10 PM, which means I'd like to get to the airport around 7:45......we would be fine to eat early to ensure this.

A friend who lives in Portland recommended a number of places, but I'm looking for advice about where I should eat given that I'm visiting from SF. So I'm hoping to have an experience and/or foods that I can't get here as well. Pizza certainly comes to mind, and this is a definite possibility. Apizza Scholls has Sicilian night on Sunday, which I'm a bit less excited about than regular pizza (but could be convinced).....and Ken's Artisan Pizza is closed on Sundays....maybe Dove Vivi Pizza is good too? Other good pizza places?

If not pizza, then what else might be good? Friend's recommendations included:

Pok Pok
Toro Bravo
Farm Cafe

But Pok Pok is closed on Sundays. Not sure about the others.

Probably would want to keep total bill for 2 under 60 dollars.....definitely no more than 75 dollars. We might have a beer or wine each, but probably no more than that.

Thanks in advance!

Dave MP

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  1. This kind of place looks awesome too: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/574412

    Sadly, they are also closed on Sundays. grrr.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Dave MP

      Tanuki is also closed on sunday. that really sucks for you, because its ridiculously good!

      If Japanese(specificly Izakaya) is what you want, Biwa is open at 5pm-10pm on sunday. I would say you would see me there, but I get there a little later then you would be leaving!Lol

      another place with great food is Bar MIngo on sunday. All day HH on sun. and some really great smaller plates. you get a chance to sample 3-4 dishes!! a great deal, for great food on a sunday!

      Toro Bravo is a winner! go if youre into Tapas without a strict adherance to tradition. you will be rewarded.

      Clyde Common gets tons of play on the board, and for good reason. Gastropub fare, with a ridiculously high quality, inventive flair for cocktails!

      enjoy, and do report back as to where you end up!

      1. re: nkeane

        For your budget, I'd suggest Biwa. It's great pub-style Japanese food. I heartily recommend the grilled shitake skewer as an appetizer.

    2. sorry, missed the budget part of your OP.

      yes, Biwa is perfect for your monatary requirements, as is Bar Mingo on a sunday......$4, selected top shelf cocktails, wine pours, antipasto plates and other bar nibbles.

      1. Dove Vivi is a great idea!

        1. Apizza Scholls serves their regular pizza menu on Sundays, but it is the only day they offer the Sicilian as well. It is a good choice as is Toro Bravo, but you should get to either on the early side or there could be a wait. (no reservations)

          Country Cat is another option and it is close to I-205, providing a quick straight shot to the airport.: http://www.thecountrycat.net/

          biwa isn't a bad choice either: http://www.biwarestaurant.com/

          Dove Vivi isn't bad at all, but it is a different kind of pizza altogether. Their house-made sausage is really tasty. http://www.dovevivipizza.com/

          4 Replies
          1. re: JillO

            Cool, so on Sundays we can still get regular pizza? Any suggestions on whether the Sicilian or Original are better?

            Whichever we choose, we're probably talking about a 5 or 5:30 dinner to make sure we're done in time for the airport. So hopefully there won't be waits.

            1. re: Dave MP

              Get there at 4:45 and get your order in quickly and you should be fine. I love real Sicilian pizza (I am originally from Bensonhurst in Brooklyn) and Apizza's version of it is good, but it isn't quite the real thing. Their regular pizza, though is really good - very thin crust with lots of char. I really like the Margo-rita just a plain cheese pie with some basil...let's the glory of the crust and sauce shine through. He cures his own guanciale which is tasty. They make one of the best caesar salads in town. Good beer and wine and nice choices of bottled soda.

              1. re: JillO

                Hmmm, their website says they will *not* be making regular pizzas on Sundays, only Sicilian.


                But it's still a good possibility......thanks again for the advice!

                1. re: Dave MP

                  Still worth going, IMO.

                  Toro Bravo and biwa would be my second and third choices.

          2. Toro Bravo is terrific, especially with vegetables. I second that and you can pick and choose small plates easily fitting your budget. I want so much to like Country Cat but have been meh on two visits. Same for The Farm. Great place I've enjoyed recently is Belly Timber on Hawthorne. You can order half plates for about $8 too. We had three small plates and it was great. Nice wines too. Can't tell from web if it is open Sunday.

            1. Toro Bravo is fantastic but be warned, it tends to be very very crowded, an hour wait is not uncommon so it might not be the best choice when time is a concern. I also love country cat, easy airport access too.

              1 Reply
              1. re: nagrom

                TB has never been a problem if you get there for the first seating. arrive 10min prior and you'll have no problem being in and out in 60-75 min.

                my three, in order would be: Toro Bravo, Biwa, Bar Mingo

              2. Thanks to everyone for the advice. We ended up eating at Toro Bravo and we had a great meal.

                We arrived right at 5, and were seated right away. We sat at the chef's counter, so we had a nice view of the kitchen. They started us off w/ some fried chickpeas w/ paprika. Tasty.

                Menu was great - I wanted to try almost everything, but we narrowed down our choices and shared 6 items. They came out in this order:

                Fried anchovies and fennel - These were great - whole anchovies and shreds of fennel dusted in flour and deep fried to perfect crispness. Ate everything, including heads, bones and the last crumbs of fennel.

                Omelet with cheese and Oregon Black Truffles - This was a very nicely prepared omelet, with melty cheese and truffles inside, and more shaved truffles on top. If I had this omelet at a breakfast restaurant, I'd be quite happy. I thought it was the least interesting of everything we ordered, but it was still very good.

                Brussels Sprouts w/ bacon sherry cream sauce - The sprouts were not served whole, rather in smaller leafy pieces (like cabbage). I didn't expect this preparation, but I liked it. Even a non-brussels-sprout fan would probably have liked this, as the dish mostly tasted like bacon-sherry-cream. Delicious and rich. We split the plate, but both agreed that any more bites might have been too much. But in a small dose this was a delightful (but heavy) way to enjoy Brussels sprouts.

                Eggplant w/ lamb ragu and cheese - I forget the name of the cheese in this dish, but for me this was the surprise hit of the night. A hollowed out half-eggplant filled w/ ground lamb in a red sauce, topped with melted cheese. The flavors reminded me of moussaka.

                N. African Sausages w/ French Fries and Harissa - I thought the sausages were great, though by DC liked them less. They were sweet and moist, a nice combination of spices. I was expecting smaller sausages but these were quite plump and thick. I thought the fries and harissa were fine.

                Roasted butternut squash w/ sheep's milk cheese - I had seen this item on the menu before going, and knew I wanted it. This proved to be a nice dessert for us, since it was sweet and creamy and served last. We ordered a bread plate to go with it, which for $1 came with some very nice olive oil and some butter - though we didn't touch the butter. I used the bread to dip in the butternut sqaush, which was very nice. The sauce was creamy and seemed to contain some pureed squash, though there were also chunks of squash and cheese.

                We shared a glass of sangria, which I thought was excellent - good balance of sweetness/fruitiness/dryness, generous serving, and ice cold.

                Portions were pretty big, so between two of us this was plenty of food. Total bill for all of this (before tip) was 57 dollars. Not a bad deal at all, since the food was very good. Excellent flavors, creative use of ingredients, and interesting preparations. The only negative thing I can really say is that our meal was a bit on the heavy side - if I returned (which I certainly hope to someday!), I'd be sure to balance out the above dishes w/ some lighter items, since I have a feeling lighter dishes would be great here too.

                Overall though, a wonderful meal! Thanks everyone for the advice, I look forward to visiting Portland again soon!

                Dave MP

                1 Reply
                1. re: Dave MP

                  So glad you liked it, and thanks for reporting back!

                  btw, the cheese on the eggplant dish is mahon (I like that dish too).