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Apr 26, 2009 06:39 PM

Portland so far - What's next?

I'm going to be in PDX for the next week, and am looking for some new ideas of where to eat. Ideally for places that are good for casual and or solo dining.
I'm staying in the downtown area, may have a car, and am not averse to public transportation.

Here's a wrap-up of where I've been on two previous trips.
Clyde Common - This was my favorite meal in Portland so far. I'm looking forward to trying the burger there, which doesn't seem to be on the menu but nearly everyone in the place was eating.

Paley's Place - Very enjoyable, but was part of a larger, more formal group.

Higgins - Same as Paley's. I liked the food, but probably not what I'm looking for on this trip.

Andina - The food was good, but we have great hole in the wall Peruvian food in LA that I prefer. Lomo Saltado doesn't need to be gussied up.

Aybla Grill (cart at 9th & Alder) - Had a great gyro for bfast here. Looking forward to trying out more carts this trip if i get a chance, I'm usually not around at lunch time.

Masu - Solid, but not outstanding sushi. I've heard there is a better place on 10th, but I'm not sure of the name.

Departures - Have only had a drink, but hear the food is mediocre. Seems more of a scene than somewhere to eat.

Hot Lips - We got delivery to the hotel, and it hit the spot at the time, but not memorable.

Henry's 12th St. Tavern - Decent fish & chips

Want to try:
Ping / Pok Pok - I've seen several threads about the two which seem to steer people to Pok Pok. Is this still the case? Ping is closer to where I'm staying.

Ten-01 - Is it energetic like Clyde Commons or more staid like Higgins and Paley's?

Bunk Sandwiches - Sadly don't think I'll get to this neighborhood for lunch.

Mother's - Been told to get here for breakfast.



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  1. Bunk is a 90 second drive from downtown, a 4 minute bus ride, and well worth it!

    Yes it is still the case. Go to Pok Pok. Give Ping a few months to settle in.

    I wouldn't bother yet with Departures.

    Outstanding sushi at Hiroshi on NW 10th, you got that one.

    Try Toro Bravo, Ken's Artisan Pizza, Evoe on Hawthorne in Pastaworks, Tanuki, all good for solo/casual dining. Get thee to the east side...c'mon...we won't bite!
    Try Asian Station.

    Ten 01 - I'd call it energetic more than staid.

    Please report back!

    6 Replies
    1. re: Leonardo

      IIRC i heard something about bunk being closed for vacation. can anyone elaborate on that?

      1. re: Leonardo

        Isn't Asian Station dead and gone?

            1. re: kirkj

              I wanted to try Asian Station for lunch today (am a big fan of XLB) but unfortunately was in a rush and didn't have time to wait for them to be steamed fresh. Instead I got a bratwurst from Alterngartz, which gets a thumbs up.

              Tried Toro Bravo last night and it definitely lived up to all the recs. First time I can ever recall seeing a menu where there wasn't a single thing I wouldn't eat. The highlight was definitely the fresh pasta with kale and chicken.

              Can anyone vouch for Red Star Tavern (on Alder)? How does it compare to Life of Riley or Clyde Common?

              1. re: VealParmGuy

                Red Star is an overpriced hotel craphole. Life of Riley is a great sports bar, especially if your a Boston fan, and Clyde Common is a great gastropub with a killer cocktail scene. Please, Oh please, go somewhere other than Red Star!!!

      2. For above average pub-grub in the Pearl (as an alternate to Henry's) : Life of Riley at NW 10th and Everett.

        Right now they have grilled asparagus on the menu as their seasonal veg.
        House-made honey-hickory potato chips and their fries are good.

        1. I'd also add Toro Bravo, Davis Street Tavern, Sel Gris, Apizza Scholls, Kenny & Zuke's, a waffle at the Waffle Window (attached to Bread and Ink on Hawthorne) if you like waffles.

          I agree with ten-01, Bunk, Simpatica. Haven't been to Beast. Mother's is OK, but I would prefer breakfast at Kenny & Zuke's. I'm not a huge Pok Pok fan, but many folks are and if you love authentic Thai food, you should go. There's lots of dishes you never see at most Thai places.

          1. I think the burger at Clyde Common is on their happy hour menu. Ten01 is not quite so energetic, but not as staid as Higgins or Paley's. Their happy hour is an incredible deal, as is their lunch.

            I would try to get to Bunk--if you like CC you would probably enjoy it. It's less than a mile east of Mother's Bistro, and would be an easy walk.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Nettie

              Solo dining... I'd highly recommend the counter at le Pigeon followed by after dinner drinks up the street at Doug Fir. Start out by watching as your most excellent food is cooked followed by great people watching at a trendy nightspot..

              1. re: 2piggies

                Doug Fir: trendy yes, but some of the worst-made drinks I've had in PDX.

                Red Star is certainly not in the same league as Clyde.

                Best bars: Teardrop & Clyde.

                Good idea to try Le Pigeon for solo dining.

            2. I agree that Pok Pok is the better dinner choice over Ping, but Ping is a fun happy hour. The Ju Pa Bao and a Pomegranate Gin Rickey will start your night off right. Or try the Yuzu drinking vinegar with vodka.

              Also agreed that Ten-01 is probably less energetic than Clyde, but slightly more than Higgins. Great drinks there.

              Cafe Castagna is another nice choice if you make it over to the Hawthorne area. Don't miss the Sauvie Island egg with frisée, lardons and toast and the housemade ginger soda.

              Clyde Common is one of the best, so do go back for the burger.