Where to eat in Portland?
My husband and I are coming up to Portland in a couple of weeks for a wedding. We'll probably be on our own for 2 dinners and 3 lunches. We'd like mostly casual, but maybe one or two nice restaurants. We're from New Orleans, so we aren't interested in cajun food, but other than that, the sky's the limit!
What restaurants would you recommend and what would you order there?
You guys would absolutely adore Le Pigeon. You will also love the pizza at Apizza Scholls, but be aware of the long lines because the pizza is so good. Since you're coming from New Orleans, you might be interested in trying our great Mexican food, at casual places like Por Que Non, or upscale places like Autentica.
Ok, if you want Mexican (actually, since the storm, NOLA has developed some good Mexican places, especially taco truck-speaking), go to Nuestra Cocina...nice place, comfy, decent interior Mexican, no BS, it's the real deal. Get the sopes, the tacos, maybe shrimp, and a few other apps...no need for entrees, though the lamb barbacoa is nice. I've traveled extensively in Mexico, spent 30 years in Texas, so I know of what I speak. Por Que No? is not worth your short time here, if you're gonna do it, do it right. Not sure why, but Nuestra Cocina reminds me a bit of Brigtsen's, though the food is not nearly as good and they don't have quite the homey, family, but still white table cloth atmosphere. Not sure why I said that? Trust me on this one.....(a former West Banker....)
You might also like Laurelhurst Market, sort of a Portland version of Cochon, but not quite as nice, and without the pork focus. Decent meat, nice apps. Try the cod fish balls. BUT, make sure you are very specific about how you like your meat grilled....if you like some char, make sure you tell them...I've had pasty exterior on steak which is not acceptable. Informal joint. Please be aware: bartenders here are called "mixologists" and this place is no exception!!!! too funny. Call the guy at the Napoleon House a mixologist and he'll take you back in the alley!!!!
I second Le Pigeon. The food is outstanding and creative. The restaurant itself is a great representative of the great things about Portland -- casual, hip, interesting, friendly and enthusiastic. Also, I think Le Pigeon's still on restaurant.com, so it can be utterly decadent yet still relatively affordable. Have fun at the wedding and enjoy Portland!
I love Hoda's, a Lebanese restaurant at 34th and Belmont in Southeast. The price range is about $9-12 for lunch entrees and $12-15 for dinner, but of course you can always make a meal out of the appetizers or sandwiches they offer. They have delicious kebobs, salads, tabouleh, and of course falafel. If you like Middle Eastern cuisine, I would go to Hoda's!