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Boston 'hound coming to PDX last week of July, trip recs?

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Hi PDX 'hounds,

I'm a 'hound from Boston coming to Portland for six days over the last week of July for work, looking to find some great meals. I am staying downtown near Pioneer Square, but can jump on the MAX or grab a Zipcar for places a bit farther into the hinterland (but not too far). I have no problem eating by myself, so if a place has a bar that would facilitate the eating, I'm totally okay with that.

From my research here on the PDX Chowhound board and checking out, I've thrown a few places on my try-to-get-to list:
* Pok Pok
* Le Pigeon
* Biwa
* Urban Farmer (breakfast menu looked great)
* Tanuki
* Bamboo Sushi

What I'm (also) looking for:
* Dim sum
* A damn good burger (If you are familiar with Craigie on Main in Boston, like their burger.)
* Oysters/raw bar: is EAT Oyster the place to go?


Pok Pok
3226 SE Division St, Portland, OR

215 SE 9th Ave Ste 102, Portland, OR 97214

Le Pigeon
738 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214

413 NW 21st Ave, Portland, OR 97209

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

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  1. Burgers, burgers and more burgers…

    My personal faves are Gruner, Toro Bravo, Tasty N Sons and Killer Burger (love their peanut butter bacon burger).

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

    1 Reply
    1. re: duckduck

      Wow, incredible list, thank you! Toro Bravo looks strangely familiar to another restaurant here in Boston, appropriately called 'Toro.'

      Thank you all for the suggestions, I will definitely come back here with a trip report in early August.

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

    2. I hear nothing but good things about The Country Cat, especially for breakfast.

      If you're willing to travel a few minutes south of Portland to our fantastic wine country, Jory, at the the Allison Inn & Spa, gets consistently good ratings.

      1. Fairly recent chowhound post on oysters here


        Photos from Country Cat here
        Always enjoy them and have never had to wait for a table.

        1. EaT[sic] would be the place for oysters.

          Ocean City for dim sum. You'll need to drive. It's good, but know that we are not SF or Vancouver.

          Good list you have there! Please report back.

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

          1. Hello, I am a Montrealer who will also be in Portland for one week for work from July 15th to July 22nd, so if you will also be there those dates and want to share a meal, let me know! I'm veggie, but I am sure all of the above have some options!

            1. Trip report!

              Monday Night: Jake's Crawfish (some local friends' choice)
              Pretty good, had razor clams. Wish the bread crumbs were a bit less heavy, so I could taste more of the razor clams. But otherwise, a solid seafood meal (I'd compare it as a lesser Legal Seafoods that we have back in Boston)

              Tuesday Night: :
              Clyde Common: Happy hour charcuterie plate, great value, needed grainy mustard along with the spicy yellow.
              The Little Bird: Medium rare koho salmon, sun dried tomatoes, potato pancake with asparagus. Incredible, I wish I could get salmon skin to get that crispy. Paired with a glass of Williamette pinot noir and pickled shrimp appetizer. Fantastic deal for $44

              Wednesday: Masu (corporate dinner)
              Fresh, inventive, and many preparations I had not seen before. All left me wanting more. Glad it was on the company tab, and not mine, I can't imagine how much the bill was. I do not know exactly what we ordered, all I remember is pointing at the menu and food appearing shortly thereafter.

              Dinner: Biwa (hamachi poke, kimchi kara-age, yakionigiri, chicken heart, chicken liver, pork “bara”) Dessert was cherries marinated/soaked in some sort of sweet liquid, served with cold sake. An interesting and wonderful dessert combination.
              Chicken liver had an interesting consistency, and perhaps was just not to my taste. Otherwise, the fried kimchi was fantastic, as I could not stop myself from popping them in my mouth. Service was attentive, and not over bearing at all. The waiter took the chicken liver off my bill when he saw I only ate one bite.

              Friday: le pigeon
              All I can say here is: Wow. This restaurant would absolutely thrive in Boston. Even though Opentable said they had no open reservations, and since I was alone, I walked in and was easily and promptly seated at the bar. Wait staff was efficient, and extremely friendly when I asked about preparations. As an appetizer I had the potato gnocchi with salmon roe. The roe was extremely fresh, and popped right in your mouth at the perfect time with the gnocchi. The cod was a "ask about today's preparation" entree. When the chef saw me eyeing the cod, he explained the dish to me in between him firing other dishes. From my memory, it was cod on a sopa, with vegetables and Mexican-like spices accompanying. Outstanding, I would order it again without hesitation. Sadly I wish I took better notes on this dish.
              Dessert: I could not decide between the Foie Gras Profiteroles and the Honey Bacon Apricot Cornbread maple ice cream. When I asked the waiter about the former, he asked the pastry chef if he could create a tasting of both desserts, perhaps a 1/2 portion of each. A nod from the pastry chef, and in front of me several minutes later, were two smaller portions of each. Both were fantastic, sweet, but not too sweet, with just enough richness to leave me wanting to return on a future Portland trip.

              Saturday: Not in Portland to eat, sadly.

              Biwa, as I was heading for my flight at PDX.
              I had the pork ramen with seaweed. Simple, just enough bit of saltiness, and it totally hit the spot for the sore throat I am developing before my red eye back to Boston.

              As I sit in PDX now recounting my meals, I wish I had just a few more days in Portland to continue wandering around the city. All the above meals were under $75 including tip, except for le pigeon, which I gave a larger tip out of my own pocket for the exemplary food and experience.

              Thanks to all for the recs, you Portlanders are a very lucky culinary bunch.


              Clyde Common
              1014 SW Stark St, Portland, OR 97205

              215 SE 9th Ave Ste 102, Portland, OR 97214