Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Metro Portland >
Sep 17, 2012 07:26 PM

Good food near airport

This Thursday night I am flying out of PDX after a week in the wilderness for work (Detroit and Sublimity, OR) and looking for a good meal before I head back to the East Coast on the red eye. I have never been to Portland, so this needs to count!

I would like to get from the restaurant to the airport quickly (under 15 minutes). I am thinking a gastro pub: great food (ideally fresh/interesting vs. fancy), decent beer, not too much of a scene, but I also don't want to be the only one there.

The only good food recommendation on CH I found not to far from the airport was aviary. It looks amazing, but I am solo and I prefer to be at a bar when dining alone. Is there a bar to sit at?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. There is a bar at Aviary. They definitely have fresh/interesting food and you can get there in 15 minutes from the airport. Pretty much everywhere in Portland has at least decent beer, most places have really good beer, including Aviary from what I remember.

    1. Aviary is a great choice. I do love it.

      Other options include Country Cat, which I would describe as exactly what you are looking for. I have had many nice meals at their bar (comfy bar seating, I'm picky about that ;o).

      1 Reply
      1. re: JillO

        second for country cat!! traveled to portland for week at a time for 2 years+ and never missed the chance to eat there at least once. the best thing is sitting at the"kitchen counter"-which i did solo every time-and watching the staff create your meal. do not miss the potato bread and dessert if you go! always outstanding.

      2. If you want something special..Tanuki is on the same block as country cat....

        2 Replies
        1. re: cheeseisheaven

          I adore Tanuki, I am a regular, but it isn't for everyone... (and to be picky, it's on the block east of Country Cat, cheeseisheaven ;o)

          You have to know what you are dealing with here...

          If you go, you will eat some of the most interesting and well-prepared Japanese/Korean salty/hot bar food (do the omakase! - $20 will feed you like a king!) you have never had before. It bears repeating, do the omakase - let her just send out a stream of food to you and save your decisions for what you are drinking.

          ALso, regarding Tanuki, I feel that anyone going there for the first time, needs to make an informed choice. Tanuki="No sushi! No Kids!" It is a bar with drinking food, classic pinball machines, and a showcase for screen classics like Ebichu, Big Tits Zombie, and others (look them up, if they offend you, eat elsewhere ;o). The owner/chef runs the kind of place she wants and makes no excuses for it...and I am OK with that...but if you decide to dine there, you have to be OK with that too. ;o)

          Great sake list (one of the best in a sake-loving/savvy town) and delicious cocktails - all very reasonably priced and made to go with the food.

          Offerings change a lot - but here's a sample menu:

          Wanting to sit at the bar is good, they won't seat you anywhere else as a party of 1.

          Closed Sunday and Monday, btw, for anyone else reading along (I know the OP said they were dining on Thurs.).

          I typed it into my post above and then I deleted it...because ya just never know. It would be my choice, to be sure...but only you can decide whether it is the choice for you!

          1. re: JillO

            Here's a pic from FB of the start of someone's omakase dinner at Tanuki. This is just what comes out first...there are many courses to follow this. This is for a table of 3.

            In front are kimcheez bacon buns - croissant dough filled with her homemade kimchi, cheese, and bacon. Really awesome...if she opened a drive-thru and sold these, she could make a mint.

            Up and left is a bowl of the homemade kimchi. Behind that, the orange shredded stuff in the white bowl is squid jerky. To the right of that is a bowl of tea/spiced quail eggs. Next to the eggs are edamame, in front of the eggs appears to be some kind of Asian sliced sausage. Next to that is jellyfish.

            Other things that often are included as courses after this (not all of them, of course...but definitely several of them) are hamachi tataki (chopped hamachi with spicy sauce and tbiko with shredded cucumber and leaves of nori to roll your own); mussels with baked roe; crab claws in lime ginger sauce; pork floss on rice; udon noodles with whatever meat and veggie combos are served that night; kimchi marinated steak; pork belly...

            I have also had interesting duck preps and seaweed salads and pickled things and who knows what else.

            As I said, I love it, but it's not for everyone, so YMMV...