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Feb 10, 2009 10:17 AM

Weekend in Portland report

We just got back from a long weekend visiting friends in Portland and we had some great meals.
-We had a late lunch at Clyde Common right off the plane. I had a tongue sandwich and DH had house corned beef and pastrami sandwich. While his was good, mine was awesome. I was expecting a Jewish deli-style tongue and it was a Mexican style stewed tongue with pickled onions and jalapenos. Nice surprise.
We went out to breakfast all three mornings
-Sat we went to Helser's which was OK, but the least good of the three mornings. I had smoked salmon hash and eggs and DH had two sausages with potatoes and eggs. We also ordered a scotch egg just to try it. My hash was pretty bland with very little smoked salmon. His potatoes were better. The best part of the meal was the really spicy hot link. The scotch egg was tasty too.
-Sunday we went to the TIn Shed. I again had smoked salmon has and it was much more flavorful here. DH had a kooky combo of eggs with spinach and mushrooms topped with blue cheese, walnuts and apples. I couldn't bring myself to try it. Great bloody mary and huge mimosa to drink. Service was a little flightly, but it was a crazy Sunday morning. There seems to be a bit of a lack of organization, but maybe that's what people like?
-Monday we went to Bumblekiss for a quick bite before the plane. This was, surprisingly, the one we liked most. I had a Greek scramble and substituted real sausage for fake veggie sausage. It came with really good potatoes which I couldn't help but dip in the Secret Aardvark sauce on the table. DH had huevos rancheros which were a special. Both delicious.
-DH's birthday dinner was at Le Pigeon and it was as good as everyone says. We loved the foie gras profiteroles for dessert. Service was really professional and friendly. Great meal all around.
-We had one quick lunch at Pambiche. Wow, what a deal. I got the arroz con pollo which was about $8.50. It seemed like a lot of tasty food for that little amount of money. DH had a braised pork sandwich.
Lastly, the prize for the coolest-concept-ever goes to the McMenamin's. We went to Kennedy School and to Edgefield. We didn't eat at either one, just drinks, but we wandered around and checked out all the cool spaces. What fun! We are from SF and had never heard of the McMenamin's.

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  1. Thank you for the report. Sounds like you two enjoyed your visit.

    Clyde Common, even after more then a year, still surprises me! your tongue sandwich sounds right up my alley, since my favorite taco meat is Lengua.
    I have never heard anything other then mediocre reports from Helser's. Sounds like thats about what you got.
    You also did McM's perfectly. Great place for drinks(their beers are not noteworthy IMO, a second run movie, and to wander and check all the unique locations out. The food isnt a draw. Im pretty sure you meant Edgefield, did you get to the distillery bar? I love that place in the winter, sitting next to the woodstove......too bad I now live about 40miles away!

    1. While I don't frequent the McMen establishments, I do dig their concept: buy up an old building, keep it intact and build a bar within it. It's a local "chain" in that sense, as the menus are standardized but adjusted to fit the decor/building.

      I'm a big fan of scotch eggs and I need to wipe out the memory of the last scotch egg I had which was godawful. How was the quality of the sausage there at Heslers?

      1 Reply
      1. re: SauceSupreme

        The sausage tasted good to me, but I don't really have anything to compare it to. It tasted like a sausage wrapped egg, maybe a little drier than I would have liked, but tasty.

      2. The McMenamin's locations (there are about 50 of them) are great places to hang out, but the food is disappointing. We've discussed on this board before whether it's appropriate to recommend them to out-of-towners--the buildings are generally really cool and filled with fun artwork, but they have fairly similar menus at the different locations and what they have is not great. And don't even get me started on how long you have to wait for a table at Kennedy School! It sounds to me like you got the best part of the McMenamin's experience.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Nettie

          I would recommend that out-of-towners at least check the places out for a drink. After a couple of beers I'm quite sure that the basket of tater tots that I saw on another table would have been delicious. (Maybe after only one beer...they looked yummy)

          1. re: srr

            I was in Portland over the weekend too. I LOVE McMenamin's (my girlfriend and I have almost completed the task of staying in each one) but I will agree with everyone's opinion about the food. It is NOT good, in fact everytime we stay at a McMenamin's we talk about taking over their kitchen's to create a unique menu at each one with a few mainstays scattered across.

            I was able to get to APizza Scholl's again but this time for Sicilian Sunday! The pizza was great (try the Sausage and Anchovy).

            1. re: plutch

              I'm a big fan of the amore and coastal pizza at Apizza Scholls. I gotta try that Italian sandwich they have on Sundays.