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Dinner pre-Rose Garden concert?

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Hi all-

A friend and I are coming to Prortland to see Billy Joel and Elton John (Have I dated myself?!) in November. We're staying at the Deluxe (formerly the Mallory, RIP) and the concert is at the Rose Garden. Have not yet scoped out the geography but wondered if you foodie-geniuses had any suggestions for getting in a decent dinner before the concert. We'll either drive or cab it, I'm assuming.

And any breakfast suggestions? I had a brunch-type meal at a French-ish place in this neighborhood that I want to say wasn't too far from Powell's. It was pretty upscale and there was quite a lot of shopping, a West Elm and maybe a Puma store. Not a lot to go on but any suggestions would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. toro bravo is less than a half-mile walk from the rose garden, and it's one of the best dinners in portland.. casual atmosphere and you can try lots of small plates for a reasonable price. good cocktails, too.

    1. You are referring to Fenouil.

      Breakfast five minute walk from your hotel I'd highly recommend Kenny & Zuke's.

      I see no reason to drive or taxi to the Rose Garden. You can catch the MAX (light rail) for free at SW 10th & Yamhill, a five minute walk from your hotel. On the way to the Rose Garden is Karam, an excellent Lebanese place. You haven't said anything about what kind of food you like or your budget.

      I agree that Toro Bravo is a great idea.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Leonardo

        Toro Bravo is sensational. Expect to WAIT. No reservations. It isn't a bad walk unless it is pouring in November. The line at Toro Bravo starts before they open at 5. Seriously. Plan accordingly, it's that good. Also in the 'hood (I live two blocks from Toro Bravo) is very good barbecue at Russell Street BBQ (across from Toro Bravo), Alu (just reopened, have not tried it yet and not sure the new people know what they are doing after a drink there). Avoid overrated/gone downhill Milo's Cafe (rubber chicken anyone?) and most everything else on Broadway and Weidler. A Portland experience can be had at Produce Row but not fine cuisine -- good pub vibe though and edible if not special sandwiches. Mint is also close and fair, at best. No longer on the "best" lists for good reason. There is also a McMenamin's here if that floats your boat - it doesn't mine. Widmer's Brewpub is German food, a little overpriced and heavy but not horrible. Billy and Elton better be loud or you'll fall asleep after dinner there. All of these are walkable if the weather cooperates. Widmer's/McMenamin's/Mint are walkable and they are also a Max stop away from the Rose Garden but then so are downtown restaurants.

      2. While not walkable to most, EaT on N. Williams is fairly close if you have a car. Great Cajun food, excellent Whiskey/Bourbon centric cocktails and a rotating selection of Oysters if you are into that.
        As to the Toro Bravo rec', I agree. The wait can be tolerated quite nicely at the bar that occupies the space above it called The Secret Society Lounge. Classic cocktails, intimate setting(read: small) and cool vibe. You can give your cell number to the Hostess at TB and they will call you when your table is ready. pretty painless.

        2 Replies
        1. re: nkeane

          Thanks all for the info. I'm leaning toward Toro Bravo at this point. Thanks too for the info about the light rail. Y'all are so lucky to have it. And I think the breakfast place I was talking about is actually something like the Everett Street Cafe, at least it looks like what I remember.

          Again, thanks all!

          1. re: laurahutch

            Here's my bright idea of the day: Belly, EAT, Lincoln have a 3 Stops for $30 package deal. HIGH recommendation! And pretty close to the show.