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Apr 29, 2014 11:16 AM

Vancouver BC Hound back for more in May

Greetings, Portland Hounds! Once again we are sallying forth to sample more of your marvelous food and drink. I've shortlisted a few places for dinner and was hoping to get your thoughts.

Snagged a Monday slot at Ava Gene's to try the much-vaunted veggies, so we're looking for Friday, Saturday and Sunday night in particular and would prefer places that take reservations.

Though we've only scratched the surface, this isn't our first rodeo so we're eyeing a few less usual reccos this time.


St Jack's or Cocotte? (we've been to Little Bird twice and Le Pigeon)

Pazzo (underrated? interesting pastas) or Mucca ("best" risotto)?

Langbaan if we can get in?

Also considering revisits to Davenport and Ned Ludd.

No reservations:
The American Local? Ataula? Kachka?

For lunches so far we have Clyde Common (the burger), Baker and Spice (ham sandwich), Picnic if it's open for the season yet and Las Primas but I'm less concerned with midday. Frice is on the radar for pastries, Portland Roastery and the new Coava for coffee, Either/Or if we're out in Sellwood.

St Honore on SE Division for ciders, Hair of the Dog, Burnside, Coalition and Migration for brews. Maybe Box Social for happy hour.

Any feedback, yay or nay, on these or other ideas appreciated!

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  1. Pazzo is not underrated. It is appropriately rated. Mucca is terrific. That would be another Italian place along with AJs but in a different vein so if that works for you then you're fine. Paley's is elegant and the food is delicious and as well nearly every dish comes in full or half portions. They take rezzos.

    I would consider Produce Row for happy hour unless the Blazers are playing a home game. At least poke your head into Pepe Le Moke if you are downtown and want a drink I a tiny little bar. Bar Avignon has a strong chef and is vastly underrated as a restaurant. They take rezzos. Great atmosphere, excellently prepared food, good booze and wine selection. I've recommended Higgins a million times here either as bar, fine dining dinner, a combo of both or lunch here but will do so again. Ataula is terrific. I would look online to see if you think it will float your boat. If outside dining/drinking weather presents itself check out Rae's Lakeview Lounge (lake view not included) for drinks and bar snacks. Big patio and fun spot. Olympic Provisions in the NW also does a terrific lunch and has a good wine program. You can eat light or very cured meat heavy there.

    There are a million other suggestions on threads here. Tried to sort of think outside the box within the parameters you brought up. A million ways to slice the Portland pie up and have it work.

    1 Reply
    1. re: oregonjim

      Thanks, jim, for taking the time to answer. I remember you suggested Andina was superior for lunch over dinner. Do you still think that?

      Would you do Pazzo over Mucca or the other way around? Or are you saying Pazzo is not worth the candle? They both seem different enough from Ava Gene's to warrant a double shot of Italian :-).

      Thanks for the Produce Row and Pepe Le Moko reccos.

      Do you like Bar Avignon more than St Jack's or Cocotte? They are all "French" I guess.

      Will look at Higgins and Paley again -- for some reason they keep falling off my radar.

      Rae's sounds great too. We weren't as taken with Olympic Provisions NW location but maybe didn't order well??

      Deffo spoiled for choice in Portland, lucky us.

    2. Pazzo is a decent Italian restaurant in a good hotel. I occasionally grab a drink at the bar and some times even the bar pasta of the day which is usually tasty. Mucca is an excellent stand alone restaurant that intertwines northwest ingredients with Italian cuisine. Some may balk that it is not necessarily either purely Roman, Tuscan or Piemonte in style but whatever. The food is excellent, service very good and it can range from quiet and intimate to jovial and loud depending on the night. They also do lunch on the weekdays I believe.

      I have not been to the new St. Jack location. The last one was good and the food could be very good but the hinky limitations of the building, particularly the kitchen space, led to various degrees of unevenness. St. Jack and Cocette are definitely French in nature. I would describe Bar Avignon as northwest wine bistro with some French influences but you would see those less on crab boil night or fried chicken night for instance.

      1. I love St. Jack's, and have been to the new location once (I really miss it in SE, though). Great bartenders, wine lists, food.

        I'm a big fan of American Local, great drinks and food. Super nice owners. It's a small plates/grazing experience (though I finally tried their burger last time and it was pretty darn good) with some really great veggie dishes. Met the owners at the PSU Farmers' Market about a week or so ago...

        6 Replies
        1. re: JillO

          Here's the lineup, assuming we don't flame out from overindulging :-)

          Dinner reservations:
          LangBaan early seating, Pepe Le Moko after
          Davenport again
          St Jack
          Ava Genes
          Paley's Place (though we may grow a pair and try for a non-reso spot like Kachka, American Local or Ataula since this will be a Tuesday)

          Clyde Common (is the burger still good?)
          Las Primas
          Higgins ('nother burger, soup)
          Imperial (yet another burger??)
          Meat Cheese Bread (because I am addicted to that green bean sando and Beer next door doesn't hurt)

          burgers at happy hour:
          Little Bird right at opening
          Savoy again
          Toro Bravo right at opening
          Noble Rot (onion rings too!)

          more happy hours:
          North Light
          Box Social

          Portland Roastery
          the new Coava
          Barista 4
          Either/Or if we're out in Sellwood.

          St Honore on SE Division
          Hair of the Dog
          Horse Brass if the 10 Barrel radler comes in by then

          Can't wait for another Portland interlude! Thanks for your comments (and don't hesitate to call me on any duds that might have crept into the mix).

          1. re: grayelf

            If you're looking for a really great bistro style burger and haven't tried the Gruner burger during their lunch or happy hour yet, that'd be my top choice. I've yet to find a juicier more well rounded burger. And their bun, house pickles and ketchup all compliment it perfectly. Other standouts I've had include the burger at Tabor Tavern and Little Bird (though I've yet to try their updated burger).

            Hair of Dog is a favorite. All of the beers I've had there are really good, and strong. I'm looking forward to 10 Barrel opening in Portland. Had an excellent Red from them this past weekend. Apex always has a very good tap list. Other brewpubs might have a lot of taps going, but I've found Apex to have some of the best selections.

            +1 for Bar Avignon and Mucca Osteria. I've had some truly memorable meals at those two places. St. Jack and Ava Genes were good too, but I haven't found myself really wanting to go back. Also, I've had better meals at Little Bird, Le Pigeon and St. Jack than I've had at Cocotte.

            I think the food at Ataula and American Local is more interesting than the food at Paley's Place. Had excellent tapas and paella at Ataula and American Local had some really interesting flavor combinations that really surprised me during my last visit.

            Haven't tried Kachka yet but it's on the list. Fenrir too.

            1. re: hisashi

              Thanks, hisashi, for all the excellent tips. I did try the Gruner burger but alas they must have been having an off day as it wasn't a fave. Haven't heard of the one at Tabor Tavern so will add that to the list for sure (their other snacks look tasty -- fried curds, mmm -- and the cocktails interesting too; maybe a good HH option, since they have a half pound version then?)

              Excited for the Ten Barrel opening too, though that will have to wait for our fall trip :-). Their summer Radler is still haunting me from last June, though it doesn't appear to be out yet this year.

              And thanks for the reminder re Apex which had fallen off my radar.

              I'm such a lineup wimp that we haven't been to some of the frontrunners in town but perhaps I will muster some staying power on the Tuesday. American Local does sound intriguing, and of course Ataula would be grand, especially considering we don't have good Spanish tapas at home.

              1. re: grayelf

                Yes to Atuala. I went for the second time on Saturday and will do a write-up soon (prob tomorrow).

                1. re: cobpdx

                  Oh please do! How long was your wait on a Sat and at what time?

        2. Did you ever make it to Reverend Nat's for cider? They just released a fermented pineapple drink called Tepache that is really interesting and delicious.

          6 Replies
          1. re: porky pine

            We didn't, thanks for the reminder and the tip on tepache, which sounds well up my street.

            1. re: grayelf

              Me again. Any thoughts on Jimmy Mak's as an after dinner drink and jazz venue? The SO found it whilst googling Portland music and is keen to check it out...

              1. re: grayelf

                The best. No other PDX place comes close.

                1. re: grayelf

                  Best jazz club in town.

                  If you are here for either the Linda Hornbuckle or Soul Vaccination shows, you should go!

                  Soul Vax regularly sells out, though, so you might want to try getting reservations for that one in advance if that is when you are going to be here. They are awesome - lotsa funk, amazing horn section (a la Tower of Power).

                  1. re: JillO

                    Thanks, y'all. Hoping to just pop in for a bevvy so prolly wouldn't go on a big show night but will take a look at their website. I'm not a jazz guy so no clue...

              2. re: porky pine

                Just wanted to thank you for the tepache recco, porky pine. I picked up a bottle in May and drank it recently, both with and without mixing with beer (it's a large bottle!). Very tasty!