HOME > Chowhound > Metro Portland >

PDX this weekend...the goods?

e
equinoise Nov 4, 2009 07:58 AM

Travelling from SEA to Portland this weekend. Looking at a saturday and sunday lunch/brunch for 2-3 diners, and a saturday dinner for 4-6; What to do?

The following restaurants have drawn my interest in the past and their menus are currently very appealing...which is best right now? Have heard that Ten01 had a chef transition.

Le Pigeon
Sel Gris
Ten01
Carlyle

The price point at these seems very similar (entrees $25-32)--is there another Saturday dinner spot that would deliver equivalent or better food for less? On my last weekend visit to PDX we went to Toro Bravo, which I suspect can accomplish that. For the sake of value, then, I would not rule out substituting a non-NW/American place (read "ethnic") that is outstanding on a national level...like maybe Andina? A Lebanese joint?

For lunch, it seems a first-time visit to Pok Pok and either Scholls or Kenny & Zukes is de rigeur. Considering that we have other daytime activities planned is this goal feasible given wait times and seating logistics?

Much obliged.

-----
Pok Pok
3226 SE Division St, Portland, OR

Sel Gris
1852 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR

Le Pigeon
738 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214

Andina Restaurant
1314 NW Glisan, Portland, OR 97209

Toro Bravo
120 NE Russell St Ste A, Portland, OR 97212

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. JillO RE: equinoise Nov 4, 2009 08:33 AM

    For a price point closer to Toro Bravo's but still a great meal there is: Tabla (which always has a 3-course for $24 deal for their menu - not a set menu, you choose from the regular menu), Nostrana, Laurelhurst Market, Clyde Common.

    At the higher end your list is good. I've been to ten-01 since the chef change and the food is still very, very good. And it is one of the best bars in town, as well as having one of the best bartenders and sommeliers in town.

    Sel Gris is closed due to a fire (next door or on the roof) and will not be taking reservations until December.

    Le Pigeon is less fancy, though at the same price point. The only thing I really do not like is the communal seating. But I think with 4-6 you might be able to get a table to yourselves...2-3, sit at the counter or share a table.

    Personally, I would also add Wildwood and Davis Street Tavern to the high-end list as well. And, there's a newer place called Metrovino which is on my list of places to get to sooner rather than later - high end with a HUGE selection of wines by the glass via enomatic machines.

    Castagna has a new chef and a new menu and the reports are very good. Next door, their Cafe puts out great food and drink (and one of the best burgers in the city) at a lower price point.

    Beaker and Flask is another option. New and trendy with top cocktails and what is reported to be some excellent food.

    Apizza Scholls opens at 5pm - no lunch. Pok Pok has a different lunch menu than dinner menu, so check it out before you go to make sure you are getting what you want out of your visit.

    We have excellent Texas BBQ at Podnah's (who also does a great breakfast, not fancy but delicious); inventive Japanese at Tanuki (set a pp price for omakase and prepare to be wowed and stuffed even at the $20-25 mark); a great oyster selection (and some of the best shuckers in town) and po' boys at EaT: an oyster bar; Karam for delicious Lebanese (and bread, ask for whole wheat pita for something different); interesting and delicious Cuban brunch/lunch/dinner at Pambiche; great Thai at Red Onion (might be a nice lunch choice or a less expensive dinner choice).

    Lots of other places too... ;o)

    -----
    Nostrana
    1401 SE Morrison St, Portland, OR 97214

    Clyde Common
    1014 SW Stark St, Portland, OR 97205

    Pok Pok
    3226 SE Division St, Portland, OR

    Sel Gris
    1852 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR

    Le Pigeon
    738 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214

    Tanuki
    413 NW 21st Ave, Portland, OR 97209

    Apizza Scholls
    4741 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97215

    Laurelhurst Market
    3155 East Burnside Street, Portland, OR 97232

    Pambiche
    2811 NE Glisan St, Portland, OR 97232

    Castagna
    1752 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97214

    Apizza
    281 N 3rd Ave, Stayton, OR 97383

    Toro Bravo
    120 NE Russell St Ste A, Portland, OR 97212

    Davis Street Tavern
    500 NW Davis Street, Portland, OR 97209

    1. SauceSupreme RE: equinoise Nov 4, 2009 12:26 PM

      Pok Pok is excellent at lunch, and truly one of my favorite all time Thai dishes is served there and is available only at lunch.

      I think Carlyle in particular is doing great things, everything from the burger, their charcuterie, their pasta and their cocktails. Plus, it's a bit more understated than most other restaurants, which imparts certain level of elegance in an otherwise very casual city.

      On the other side of the spectrum is Beaker and Flask, which had always been a popular bar since it's opening, but now very much so since being named WWeek's Restaurant of the Year. You'll still find me there, though, and while their cocktails are well celebrated, I'm thrilled that the kitchen is getting recognition, too. I especially think their seafood dishes are where they shine brighter than other restaurants.

      -----
      Pok Pok
      3226 SE Division St, Portland, OR

      1. w
        WineandPoker RE: equinoise Nov 4, 2009 02:13 PM

        Ten 01 has taken a hit with the chef transition IMO. The execution isn't as good and I'm pissed they did away with the Power Lunch.

        -----
        Ten 01
        1001 NW Couch, Portland, OR 97209

        2 Replies
        1. re: WineandPoker
          k
          Kim D RE: WineandPoker Nov 5, 2009 07:11 AM

          Carlyle would be a solid choice. Recent hits for me have included the Carpaccio, the foie (yum), and the Sablefish. I would also second the charcuterie there. Many are doing it, but I think Carlyle's version is exceptional.

          1. re: WineandPoker
            t
            Trishamn RE: WineandPoker Nov 8, 2009 09:47 PM

            I agree, my last visit to Ten01 was underwhelming. Although some of their dishes were quite good, the timing of the meal was way off, 2.5 hours for dinner, apps and drinks for 4 on a Thursday night was unacceptable.

            -----
            Ten 01
            1001 NW Couch, Portland, OR 97209

          2. e
            equinoise RE: equinoise Nov 11, 2009 10:47 AM

            Thanks to all for the advice. So our departure and plans Friday made our options in PDX limited that night, so we ate en route at La Tarasca in Centralia. After a night out, a friend brought us to the carts on Hawthorne at about 2AM where we had a fortifying late night snack of frites with remoulade and sambal and a bite of sweet crepes. Shunning the advice I got on this board, our friend wanted to show off his local brunch knowledge, so he brought us to a quaint place, the name of which I can't recall, but it--like many places I saw--was thoughtfully decorated just-so with retro-kitcsh, cookbooks, etc. It had "bakery" and "cafe" in script on the front windows, and was located near to a private university in NE or SE. They served very nice breakfast scrambles and such with housemade ketchup and a brioche french toast. That night SauceSupreme hosted us for outstanding cocktails and dinner at Beaker and Flask, described in detail here: http://pdxplate.com/forum/beaker-flask . Our last meal was breakast at Broder, where after waiting for an hour, we greatly enjoyed the OCD-arranged eggs, gravlax and pickles, with little doilies on the skillet handles. But it puzzles me why they allow people to sit aimlessly in a perfectly usable dining area (Savoy) when they could be doubling their business and turnover.

            Spending time in PDX, especially SE, I was so impressed with the apparent artistic energies that are being applied to the local business there. So much attention to detail and passion abounds. I wonder whether this has something to do with the artist set filling positions that in other cities are typically handled by recent immigrants. Hipster dishwashers and cab drivers is something I've never seen anywhere else.

            Regardless, the infectious, creative enthusiam in the restaurant scene is something that SEA could use a jolt of. Juxtapose the current menus at the highly regarded bistros, gastropubs, and izakayas in the two cities, and Portland's offerings are, on balance, clearly more interesting and inspired these days.

            -----
            La Tarasca
            1001 W Main St, Centralia, WA 98531

            Show Hidden Posts