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Looking for an adventurous Saturday lunch and a less-adventurous dinner late Saturday night

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My husband and I will be visiting Portland (from Seattle) this Saturday and are looking for recommendations for a couple of meals.

Lunch: It's just the two of us, and we're fairly adventurous eaters. On past visits, we've enjoyed meals at Andina, Pambiche, Pok Pok, and Tasty & Sons. We'd be up for a food truck if it's not too cold outside.

Dinner: Relatives will be driving in from Eugene and will arrive sometime between 7 and 9pm. Since we don't know exactly when they'll arrive, we don't think reservations will work. We realize that Saturday night will be busy everywhere, but some guidance on which places might be easier to get into without a reservation would be appreciated.

Also, one relative does not enjoy spicy food (spicy means not only chili heat, but spices like cumin and coriander), so we're looking for something more along the lines of Pacific Northwest cuisine or Italian than Indian or Thai for dinner.

I've been looking up new-to-us restaurants and am not having much luck. It seems like the restaurants I find most interesting aren't open for lunch, and the more traditional places that would suit my relative aren't open late. Any suggestions? We will have a car, so we don't have any concerns about locations.

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  1. Dinner at Nostrana? The food is top notch and the room is big. Having a reservation would be better on a Sat. but I'd bet that you could get a table without too horrible a wait.
    http://nostrana.com/

    Also, I love Sunshine Tavern, but it isn't that large, and the wait might be longer.
    http://sunshinepdx.com/

    Tabla or Spints might be another good choice:

    http://www.tmbistro.com/
    http://spintspdx.com/

    Hmmm...lunch at Evoe?
    http://pastaworks.com/pages/about-pas...

    Olympic Provisions?
    http://www.olympicprovisions.com/

    1 Reply
    1. re: JillO

      Lunch at Little Bird in downtown Portland would be fun. For a great Italian meal, we love Pazzo at The Hotel Vintage Plaza in downtown Portland, also. Higgins would be another wonderful choice for a meal. :)

    2. Thanks, JillO and syrahgirl!

      We had a fabulous lunch at Evoe. We split the lamb meatball sandwich, a beet salad, and a plate of house made pickles, all of which were fantastic. For dinner, we tried a few places without any luck, and ended up having a great dinner at the Observatory. They had a really nice touch with vegetables (some perfectly caramelized brussel sprouts and really good kale.) and my husband fell in love with their peanut butter ganache dessert (shared between four people, which seemed about right--it was really, really rich).

      I've got some great ideas for future visits ( Nostrana and Higgins look fantastic), so thanks again!

      1 Reply
      1. re: creepygirl

        Glad you had a good time and good meals. The Observatory is not far from my GF's and it is part of our regular rotation. They do a great job with fish, and their prices are so reasonable. The next block down is Country Cat, which is really good, and on the same block (I think) is Tanuki, which defies description and is pretty darn awesome.