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Aug 23, 2012 04:30 PM

Taking my hipster friend out for one night (researched)

We are both from upstate NY but she has lived in Portland going on 10 years. I am visiting for a few days to see her new baby boy (less then 3 months old!) and want to take her out one night. I am trying to fit in as many foodie stops as possible but still focus on the baby (the REAL reason for the visit). She is so very hipster and I am so very I am trying to find places where we both can have a good time. I want to hit up one or two happy hours (with food) and then dinner someplace. No pretension, just delicious food. Thank goodness she eats meat, although husband does not. That's fine though because he will be home watching the baby.

My ideas so far:
St Jack for happy hour (wish it is was longer than one hour, hoping husband will get home from work in time so we can make it. Fortunately they live 5 minutes away)
Clyde Commons, maybe hit them up for the last 1/2 hour of their happy hour? Get a snack too?

For dinner Paley's Place (their menu looks delicious and I love that they do 1/2 portions, I am all about ordering a bunch of food and sharing), Laurelhurst Market (menu looks amazing), Tasty n Sons....I was considering Naomi's Beast but am just not feeling it.

Aviary is closed the week I am there. Should we consider Tasty n Sons as an option for one of our happy hour places instead of dinner? It is farther away from zip 97202 though so harder to get there in time for the tail end of their happy hour.

Any suggestions? Are these place too "mainstream"? I mentioned a few of these places to my friend and she has never heard of them, they are foodies but in a different way. Are these places "cool" enough for her? Also I don't eat a lot of meat at home and so want the decadent stuff when I go out (beef tartar, foie gras, pate) but also appreciate a light hand incorporating fresh, local produce. I plan on going to Pok Pok for lunch and I may be able to do one more lunch place on my own (considering Luce after the write up in Bon Appetit). I would do more but I don't want my friend to think I care more about food than the baby :)

Any recommendations for happy hour and dinner are appreciated. Open to any and all suggestions!

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  1. I will just start replying to myself.

    Okay, so I didn't realize EVERYTHING in PDX is so hipster. After doing a little research I've realized I couldn't avoid it if I tried. It's all good, I just believe I am cool in my own "jasmine" sort of way. Enough of these labels!!

    I love having conversations with myself.

    I am also considering OX. Good idea??

    1. You are so right, everything hipster...but also, most places are nice also, so it is all good
      stop in at Woodland tavern for a drink,( they will be nice to you 'cause your friend is a hipster) Pok POk Noi for wings and grilled corn.
      OX is getting raves n haven't tried it myself..but it is getting lots of love from the food community
      Toro Bravo for Dinner, Tasty for Brunch...IMHO
      Bunk Bar for drinks or Beaker n Flask or Teardrop or...if you are going cross town, I just went to an uber hipster portland place, Beech St's in an old home and fun and casual with good drinks

      1. People are people here for the most part. Just like everywhere else. All the places you listed are really good. Relax about the hipster stuff and enjoy.

        6 Replies
        1. re: jonoropeza

          Yup. What jonoropeza said. Most Portlanders for whom food and drink matter couldn't care less about what is less mainstream or more hipster.

          1. re: Leonardo

            Thanks everyone for reassuring me. I am thinking St Jacks and then Woodland's for snacks & drinks and dinner at Ox or Laurelhurst. I am sure either once would fine since everyone seems to love both of them.

            1. re: JazzyK

              Months later I am finally getting around to a trip report. I went to tons of different places (solo and with my friend) and had a blast. On a quick night out we went to Clyde Commons for happy hour and had delicious drinks and so-so snacks. The snacks were good but nothing special. Then we went to Toro Bravo and it was early so we snagged the last 2 spots at the bar with no wait at all! We had a delicious beet salad, yummy pork rillettes, and a decent BLT. The drinks were excellent.

              The next day I went to the much acclaimed Pok Pok by myself for lunch and after waiting 15 minutes was seated. I had the flank steak salad (Neua Naam Tok), the game hen (Kai Yaang) and a cocktail with drinking vinegar. It was all wonderful and made we want to go to Thailand (so I did go last month).

              The next day I made a solo trip to Luce which ended up being the only disappointment of the trip. I ordered some snacks to start with and they were quite good. Pate, white bean dip, stuffed clams, etc. I then had a huge salad which was a very basic salad (as it was meant to be), and then I also ordered 2 entrees. The rabbit pasta and then something else. I don't remember what the second order was b/c I never got it and didn't get to take a photo. The server must not have thought I could eat so much and somehow didn't realize I wanted 2 entrees (well, it is a little bizarre). So I only had the rabbit and it fell flat. The broth was not very flavorful and the rabbit was dry. I remember wishing that if I only got one of the entrees I ordered, that it was the other one.

              On the last day I went with another friend to Tasty n Sons for lunch and that was delicious. For dinner I took my friend out for our last meal to OX and that was the stand-out meal of the trip! After waiting for over an hour at their cocktail place next door, we were seated and ordered a ridiculous amount of food. Our server was awesome and so sweet and helpful (Kathryn, Katie??). She correctly steered us the right direction when it came to our food choices. We had the skirt steak with the yummy chimichurri, the wonderful ricotta with mushrooms, the hominy with pork belly, the foie gras, and more! I honestly can't remember it all but we loved everything.

              I love PDX and will be back. I just wish I didn't live on the east coast. Oh yes, and the sea salt ice cream with caramel at Salt and Straw to die for.

              1. re: JazzyK

                You hit some of the places I have on my list for sure. Can you tell me what day of the week/time you went to Ox? Trying to figure out how best to minimize the wait there. TIA.

                1. re: grayelf

                  Hi grayelf! As you can see I have decided I better catch up on some trip reports :)

                  We went on a Thursday. We tried to get there early (5:30) b/c I knew about the wait, but it just wasn't happening. I think we may have arrived around 6:30-6:45?? We were put on the list and waited over an hour. They may have quoted us 2 hours, but I know we didn't wait nearly that long. They have a cocktail place next door, and it was a beautiful evening, so we passed the time pleasantly enough. Drinks, the outdoors, and good company...

                  1. re: JazzyK

                    Good to know, thanks. It'll be March so don't want to get stuck waiting outside :-). Good luck with your SF trip planning.