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Oddly specific request, I know...

Do you have a budget or an atmosphere you're looking for? And must this be downtown, or anywhere near a MAX line?

Mar 09, 2010
route99west in Metro Portland

Squid or calamari for birthday dinner

I'd recommend the Sellwood location of Eleni's. Greek Calamari generally done really well.

I have had the pepper squid at Om, and it wasn't too bad either but a bit stronger flavored for some reason.

Mar 09, 2010
route99west in Metro Portland

Best brunch, cupcakes and lunch spots in Portland?

I think it depends on your criteria for lunch. Do you want a view and to be entertained? Do you want just a quick bite that's good? Do you want something that is quintessentially Portland?

Given you're a visitor, I think I'd recommend the latter. And really that does mean the food carts, because they are the "must do" for here. I'm not saying they're the absolute best food carts anywhere, but I am saying they are woven into the DNA of present day Portland so much that they must be experienced. Beware: there's many greasebomb ones as well as decent and great ones. Experiment, buy little things from as many as you can, etc....

I'm almost never up early enough to get to breakfast or lunch in town, and besides I think we're more a coffee shop town than a brunch town.

If pressed, I'd probably end up finding a blue collar diner for a breakfast. Fuller's has an Edward Hopper feel to it, and the Dockside on Front has lots of street cred. Note, these aren't going to be gourmet per se, they're going to be solid traditional breakfasts, but with authentic atmosphere.

For a more gourmet approach? Pine State isn't bad -- has the right vibe -- but it's not really Carolina biscuit either. (My NC expert says they're a bit dry and a bit "too creative" to be authentic. They do have Cheerwine tho and that's a plus.) I'd probably find a good bakery/coffee shop combo and order enough variety to be filling. My favorites are St. Honore on Thurman or Ladybug in St. Johns. The former could be gotten to by streetcar easily, the latter is a good drive (about 5 miles). In downtown my standby when in doubt is the Pazzo bakery annex.

I have heard good things about Bijou Cafe, but I have yet to sample them.

Mar 05, 2010
route99west in Metro Portland

Need vegan friendly recommendations

Hello board:

I'm trying to plan an evening meal for a group of five in the metro area, and 2 out of the party are vegan. While finding vegetarian food is not hard, vegan is a bit tougher. In addition, someplace with a good middle of the road or better wine list would be a major plus.

Atmosphere does not need to be formal and prices do not need to be high -- in fact lowbrow options are also okay. Just think a casual celebratory dinner with friends, a couple glasses of decent wine, and food that everyone can eat.

Please help this normally highly carnivorous muncher!

Mar 05, 2010
route99west in Metro Portland

Pambiche - I walked out...

My apologies Carrie I may have read too much into what you wrote.

I'm not by any means defending what the waitress did. She shouldn't have done that regardless.

I'd agree with Stark Raving further down this thread -- Pambiche is a "good food" place but not a "place for foodies" place. The kind of service you'd find there would not be at all comparable to a place such as Clyde Common.

But, again, I do not disagree with you, she should not have done what she did.

Feb 14, 2010
route99west in Metro Portland

Pambiche - I walked out...

It is not rude to want or even demand good service.

However, going out to eat is not a war with other diners to see which of you can monopolize the server the longest.

Feb 14, 2010
route99west in Metro Portland

Pambiche - I walked out...

Let's remember diners need to be courteous as well as servers.

Was it rude for her to just leave you? Yes.

Rudeness, however, goes both ways. Detaining a server with a litany of questions in a place that is packed is rude not only to the server but to all the other diners. If I were sitting next to you, not being served because you kept asking that server questions, I would be mad. At you.

Feb 13, 2010
route99west in Metro Portland

Wrap-up: Richmond B.C. Chinese food and a thanks to Chowhound

In fall of 2008, when I was planning a visit to Vancouver B.C., I asked the Chowhounders for advice on Chinese food in the area, and received a lot of useful suggestions. The best was to ride the new SkyTrain Canada Line to Richmond to find good eats. Some here were referring to it as the "Orient Express" because of the high number of Chinese and other Asian establishments to be found along the last three stations of the route.

I recently put together a brief recap of my experience. Unfortunately I only had time to eat at two places, but I do plan on returning, and the advice from Chowhounders was well worth following.


Best beer bar in Portland, Or.?

My advice would be Produce Row on the inner east side. If you really want a diverse and highly local selection that would be close to the top of the list. Definitely a bit more funky Portland vibe but lots of micro and submicro brews.

Dec 03, 2009
route99west in Metro Portland

Portland Chinatown

I agree for the most part with Sam's observations. Good Taste is pretty good. Their product is very similar to Japanese Ramen but slightly less delicate. Great value and certainly good food, but if you want a similar product with much more subtlety and complexity, go to Biwa and order the Ramen there. Yes, that's Japanese, not Chinese, but it is a comparable dish and done better, though more expensively than at Good Taste.

I do like Fong Chong's though. Their set menu tends to be boring American Chinese, but the dim sum is always a treat. It's very inexpensive, and the quality is generally good or better. Yes, there are many things that seem to be the same, and yes there are not always some of the more exotic choices -- I haven't seen chicken feet there in years -- but I have never had cause to complain.

As for Ping.... well... I've only been once, so I don't feel I can make a definitive pronouncement, but frankly I didn't find much there to make me want to return. It does very much feel like a poser place. I feel bad about that. I really want Chinatown to recover and become something worthwhile. Ping, however, doesn't really do anything for me, alas.

Sep 13, 2009
route99west in Metro Portland

Vancouver's Chinatown: what's the scoop?

Oh, awesome! Thank you!

Most helpful board ever.

Vancouver's Chinatown: what's the scoop?

Thanks to everyone for the replies, it has been most helpful. It looks like I'll need to do some digging through the posts here to research Richmond options.

It's rather interesting that the quality Chinese experiences have migrated to the suburbs. Here in Portland the story is much the same, albeit on a far, far smaller scale, as our Chinatown is practically a ghost -- a garden, a few knicknack stores, and maybe 6 restaurants -- while a new one seems to be rising in the southeastern extremity of Portland along 82nd Avenue.

I'll still take a stroll and see Chinatown -- not all of life is pretty -- but Richmond will have to make my list now. Hopefully enough of it will be within walking distance of the Canada Line, since I will be without a vehicle for my stay.

Vancouver's Chinatown: what's the scoop?

So yes, this is another "I'm going to Vancouver B.C. on a trip sometime this year and I need food advice" post. This one, however, is less a request for suggestions (although those are certainly welcome) than an open question for any and all: what's the scoop on Vancouver's Chinatown?

Let me give you some short back story.

Down here in Portland, the popular opinion is that we have neither good nor authentic Chinese food. People here talk in hushed, reverential tones about Vancouver, about how big its Chinatown is, and how much great Chinese food can be had there.

Over the course of my trawling for information on Chinese eats in Vancouver, however, most of the places that get recommended seem to be located outside of Vancouver's Chinatown, and instead are in places like Richmond.

So what's the deal? Are there any good Chinese places in Chinatown? Is it just a touristy shopping area with mediocre Westernized Chinese food like I can get here at the local Chop Suey house?

I want to experience Chinatown, and leave for home looking over my shoulder wishing I had three more days, a bigger stomach, and a lot more money to spend there. Is this possible, or is this a fantasy that only an outsider / first time visitor can have? What's the *real* story here?

Best Burger in Portland?

I'm kinda iffy about getting burgers at a restaurant.

Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of *good* burgers out there, but (nearly) anyone with a grill and some fresh ingredients can knock them off the plate of edibility. Some of the higher end places might offer something truly spectacular but (and this is just my personal take) it seems a waste to go to a spendy restaurant only to order a burger.

For me, then, the rule on picking a restaurant burger is to find a good/serviceable one that is accompanied by something else that makes it worth eating, be that a side dish specialty, or be that atmosphere. In both cases, the classic drive in Burger at Skyline gets good points. It's a solid 1950s burger (hello iceburg lettuce), not too greasy, and with it you can order some really good old fashioned milkshakes, and all of it in a classic diner that is tucked away in the West Hills like a movie set.

By no means take this to mean there aren't other good or even better burgers, nor that Skyline has the *best* burger in town. I do however feel it has the best "burger experience" and really, if you're going out for a burger, that's what you want. Otherwise, you'd break out the ground beef, the chopped shallots, the butter and chives, the beefsteak tomato from the farm stand.....

Is it bad that I'm hungry at 1:55 am?

Sep 04, 2009
route99west in Metro Portland