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Aug 28, 2010 09:32 PM

Portland for 5 days - Need recs

I will be coming to Portland from Athens, GA for 5 days in mid-October and don't want to miss any of the wonderful food that I am reading about on this board. I will be with a friend for a conference at the convention center, staying at The Nines (got a great deal!) from Wed - Mon. I feel that the heart of the city is the food and in order to get immersed, you have to go where the locals go. Don't have a ton of money, but would like to have one special meal that won't set me back a month's salary - no more than $50 pp. We will not have a car, but don't mind traveling by train, bus or taxi. Anyway, this is what I have gleaned as best bets so far from your oh-so worthy posts.

- Carts (I LOVE this kind of food!) Read about Addy's Sandwich Bar, Nong's Khao Man Gai and Tabos for the schnitzelwich.

- Kenny and Zuke's Deli. This is a must, so should we go for the sandwich or the brunch or both? Love pastrami and breakfast so I am torn! - We definitely would like to hit a Sunday brunch but can't get there until after 12.

- Portland Farmer's Market at PSU on Saturday morning. I hear I must check out the cheese tasting.

- Pizza. Either Dove Vivi Pizza or Apizza Scholls?

- Pok Pok for dinner?
- Toro Bravo for dinner? HELP!

- Rimsky-Korsakoffee for dessert and fun

- Voodoo Doughnut just for the heck of it.

- Ocean City Seafood for Dim Sum

- Thinking about seafood, but it looks like we will be there before the crab season.

Any other suggestions would be wonderful! Thanks Chowhounds!

Pok Pok
3226 SE Division St, Portland, OR

Voodoo Doughnut
22 SW 3rd Ave, Portland, OR

Apizza Scholls
4741 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97215

Nong's Khao Man Gai
SW 10th and Alder, Portland, OR

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

Ocean City Restaurant
3016 SE 82nd Ave, Portland, OR 97266

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  1. carts: replace Addy's with Garden State and keep the other two.

    K&Z makes some spectacular pastrami. go for weekend breakfast and you can get pastrami and breakfast at once.

    yes to the PSU farmers market

    Apizza. don't consider anything else until you have had the top 3 pizzas in the country. that is not a typo. the country.

    pok pok and Toro Bravo are stellar picks, try to get to them both. Gun to my head, I would go to pok pok if you made me choose.

    Rimsky-Korsakoffee is closed.:(

    Voodoo is terrible. long line of tourists and locals that know no better waiting for schtick-y fried MEH! if you want a quality donut go to Acme Donuts or Heavenly Donuts or Sesame Donuts.

    Ocean City. Affirmative.

    Haven't been but Fin is getting some good press, and people whom I trust are raving. I will be going shortly.

    if Asian/Japanese is at all interesting to you, you owe it to yourself to hit Tanuki.

    413 NW 21st Ave, Portland, OR 97209

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

    Sesame Donuts
    13500 SW Hall Blvd, Portland, OR 97223

    Ocean City Restaurant
    3016 SE 82nd Ave, Portland, OR 97266

    3 Replies
    1. re: nkeane

      Not going to Voodoo doughnut isn't a problem. Actually, my friend owns the Donut Plant in NYC, so I have had the best! Just curious.

      I checked out Fin online but it may be over our price range. Looks very expensive, but very intriguing. Hummmm...

      I think I must go to Pok Pok.

      I am sorry to hear about Rimsky-Korsakoffee! I was looking forward to the crazy place. Any other suggestions for dessert and coffee?

      Pok Pok
      3226 SE Division St, Portland, OR

      1. re: klfarlowe

        Good on you for doing your research. The only visitor inquiries to whom I reply. : )

        It's "Tabor" not "Tabos". Yes, go to Nong's.

        Rimsky Korsakoffee House is closed? No loss, really. Dirty, high prices, rude terrible service (even by PDX standards!), mediocre desserts. I suggest Pix Patisserie. Original location is close to Pok Pok. Or if you're a pie lover, Random Order on Alberta.

        A great donut can be had at Coco. Get the "coco". SW 18th & Morrison.

        The Portland Farmers' Mkt at PSU is about more than cheese
        but definitely try them, especially Juniper Grove, also Rogue if you're a bleu cheesehead. Have breakfast at Pine State Biscuit's cart, but get there early.

        For pizza it's a tossup. Dove Vivi makes a pie no one else does here, and it's lovely. I'm partial to Ken's Artisan Pizza over Apizza.

        Have fun. Please report back!

        Ken's Artisan Pizza
        304 SE 28th Ave, Portland, OR 97214

        1. re: Leonardo

          Other dessert choices, and in cartopia too: Sugar Cube and Flavor Spot!

    2. retraction: Rimsky is NOT closed....I was, for some reason, thinking of Krakow Koffee when I read that. They are closed, but for all I know Rimsky-Korsakoffee is still open and weird as ever!:-)

      1. The Nines has a great bar for Happy Hour with Tapas that are excellent.

        1 Reply
        1. re: petergreen

          Which one? Departures or Urban Farmer?

        2. Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. We loved Portland, unfortunately I sprained my ankle so we didn't get to most of the restaurants we wanted. However, we did get to a few.

          The first night we ate dim sum at Departure on the roof of The Nines. It was dark and we were outside on the roof so we couldn't see the food, so we lost the pleasure of seeing the artfulness of the preparation - we basically ate blind so everything was by taste. The bartender gave us the suggestions, we were so tired after our flight, and he didn't steer us wrong. We had the Departure Wings, Shrimp Har Gau, Shiu Mai, Pork Spring Rolls and Kani Avocado Tobiko Roll (very spicy - watch out). The highlight were the wings, absolutely delicious - boneless wings with a lovely delicate crust, nothing like I expected, addicting. The spring rolls were light and delicate, the shiu mai was a traditional dumpling, good but nothing special; the shrimp har gua was very good and you get the whole shrimp on the plate, very crunchy and lovely. Very pricey, but you can't beat the view. Very hip as well, we felt very under dressed in our jeans and traveling clothes.

          We also ordered lunch at the Urban Farmer and I had the best chicken sandwich I think I have ever had. The chicken had the most flavor, was juicy, cooked perfectly and just charred on the outside, wonderful! The fries were crispy and had a wonderful flavor as well. Plus the lunch portions were only $10 compared to dinner prices of over $25. Definitely a great place to check out for lunch if you are on a budget.

          We ordered the pastrami sandwich from Kelly and Zukes and it was mouthwatering! Tender generous slices of pastrami that just melted in your mouth! We ordered one sandwich, potato salad (your ordinary red potato salad, good but not great), a potato knish (not too memorable) and a lemon bar (very tart and refreshing, slightly soggy crust) - it was plenty for two. Since I couldn't walk, we ordered from Delivered Dish online. Great service and perfect if you can't get out to the restaurant. We also ordered dinner from Basta's using Delivered Dish. The food was forgettable and bland, however the Caesar salad was fair.

          We did get to try one cart before I turned my ankle The Schnitzelwich at Tabor is a must for anyone! Perfectly breaded pork, sweet paprika spread, airy Ciabatta bread and caramelized onions - OMG! It was sooooo good! I am salivating thinking about it!

          Tauscher Chocolates was just around the corner and we stopped in for a champagne truffle. YUMMMM! Unfortunately we didn't get back to take some home.

          Sunday afternoon we took a cab to Ocean City Seafood. It was quite a long $25 cab ride to a less than desirable part of town. The place was packed with families and the dim sum was good, but not the best I have ever had. Service was friendly, prices were good. However, since we didn't have a car and had to go from downtown, it was not a winning situation for us. We decided to walk a few blocks and take the bus back downtown and opt for the $2.50 ticket instead of another $25. I could see going there if you live in the area but I won't recommend it as a destination for someone without a car who is staying downtown.

          So, all in all, I didn't get to experience Portland as I had hoped, but had some memorable lunches. I must go back to find out all that I missed! Thanks again for all the suggestions.

          Delivered Dish
          1642 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland, OR 97232

          Ocean City Restaurant
          3016 SE 82nd Ave, Portland, OR 97266

          Urban Farmer
          525 SW Morrison St., Portland, OR 97204