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Short list of MUSTs in Portland

A day late and a dollar short on this, but next time you're here you must put Ned Ludd (NE MLK & Failing) high on your list. Everything I've ever had there has ranged from great to a-f***ing-mazing. Be sure to get the pickled veg plate, the house-made charcuterie (the rillettes are sublime) and then just go with whatever strikes your fancy. If you're going on a weekend, get reservations--it's small. Ye shan't regret it.

Ned Ludd
3925 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Portland, OR 97212

Nov 09, 2011
Jimmyhoffa in Metro Portland

Portland Knife Sharpening

Sharpening4U now has a storefront on Sandy somewhere in the 30s. They do good work--I had them sharpen my knives at the Moreland Farmers Mkt. last summer.

Nov 28, 2010
Jimmyhoffa in Metro Portland

Depoe Bay and area - what's good?

To update this thread a bit, I just returned from a long weekend at Depoe Bay. I suppose Tidal Raves is still the best place in that immediate area (right in Depoe Bay) but that's not saying a lot. We had several of excellent meals further south in Newport: dinner at Local Ocean right down on the bay front, and breakfasts at La Maison (a Parisian style cafe with superb baked goods) and Arr Place (a rather eclectic place that operates under the radar, serves dinner Wed-Sat and brunch on Sundays). Tried Blackfish Cafe in Lincoln City for dinner based on several recommendations; it was OK but missed the mark on several points. For one, my ling cod was just a tad overdone, and the broth it was served in suffered from a generous helping of salt. Also, they're still stacking their food, a trend in fine dining I had hoped had been phased out a couple of years ago. And the service, while not terrible, also wasn't what I'd expect in a place of that caliber. We did have a decent breakfast in LC one day as well, at Beach Dogs Cafe, in the Taft area.

Arr Place
143 SW Cliff St, Newport, OR 97365

Beach Dog Cafe
1266 SW 50th St Ste C, Lincoln City, OR 97367

La Maison
315 SW 9th St, Newport, OR 97365

Jul 11, 2010
Jimmyhoffa in Pacific Northwest

From SF in PDX for a couple days-where to???

We've been to PDX several times in recent months and had food ranging from so-so to really great. So-so was the appetizers at Red Star downtown (we weren't getting a full meal, so can;t comment on their entrees). Much better was the seafood at South Park (also downtown). As good as anything we'd get at some of SF's better seafood places.

But if you're heading south of the city toward Willamette Valley or toward the coast on Highway 18, the one must-dine place you have to hit is the Joel Palmer House in Dayton. Run by ex-Philadelphian Jack Czarnecki, he specializes in local wild mushrooms and incorporates them in every dish on the menu. I ate there for the first time last fall and it was the best meal I had all year. The matsutake chowder was just amazing; the chanterelle galette was equally so, and the crab cakes with porcinis was a festival in my mouth. You'll need a reservation if it's a weekend, and it's prices are on a par with SF's best restaurants as well, but you won't regret going, and it's definitely something you won't find in the bay area.

Joel Palmer House
600 Ferry St, Dayton, OR 97114

Aug 27, 2007
Jimmyhoffa in Pacific Northwest

I Know the Hamburger Thing In SF Has Been Done To Death

Try the Bullshead on Ulloa, right next to the West Portal Muni station. It's not a fancy place, but they do their meat right. It's not quite the bargain it was 2-3 years ago, but then, what is? They do a top-notch 1/3-pound burger that comes with great fries (golden brown and delicious) for around $7-8 bucks. Or you can get a 1/3-lb buffalo burger for about $9, also w/ fries. One tip: if you like your burger medium rare, order it medium--they tend to cook things a little on the rare side (which is preferable to the alternative, imo). They also have pretty nice steaks, which start just under $20 and go up from there. I think the New York strip is now about $23.

More Sad News - Cliff BBQ Closed

I discovered this tonight myself, when I called to place an order and got a recording saying the phone was disconnected. Damn. Damndamndamn. DAMN. I thought Cliff's pork ribs were among the best in town, and his sauce rocked. The hushpuppies were exactly what a hushpuppy should be, crunchy and light, not greasy. (OK, maybe *light* is not exactly the right description for a hushpuppy.) And on when they had it on weekends, the gumbo was not to be missed. Big ol' crab claws and hunks of chicken and sausage with peppers and veggies--MMMMMmmmmm. I'm about to start crying just thinking about it.

Just doesn't seem fair--the man endures the never-ending construction of the 3rd street light rail, and just as it's just about done and he can start making some decent money again (one hopes), the rug is pulled out from under him.

So what does that leave us within SF proper? Is there a new barbecue place in waiting, ready to ascend the throne? Don't give me Brother-in-laws or Big Nate's--they're OK but just leave me wanting. And Memphis Minnie's is hit or miss--I've had some good ribs there, and I've had some pretty dry ones. And the last time I went out to Leon's out by the zoo, it was pretty sad. I'm not sure it's even still open. Oh, for the good ol' days of Do City BBQ on Divis.

Hope Cliff enjoys his retirement--he earned it. That man knew how to cook meat. Cliff's was the s***.

Best fish restaurants in SF?

I'm with Joan. Pacific Cafe is a favorite of mine and my wife's, but I can see how it might not hit with some folks. They're a pretty no-frills place--you don't get a lot of sauces and reductions or food piled on top of other food. They do basic fish--salmon, snapper, halibut, tuna, crab, trout, abalone--in basic ways--grilled, pan fried, baked, to name a few--but the do it really well and very consistently (ymmv). They also have various other fish available occasionally based on availability (mussels, sturgeon, sand dabs) and generally if they have one of those on the menu, that's what I get. And during crab season, their Louis is not to be passed up. Their soups are all house-made--the salmon bisque, when they have it in the summer, is fabulous, full of cream--and the clam chowder, made with potatoes rather than cream is always good.

There's always a wait most nights--they have their fans who show up in legions--but they placate the masses with free cheap wine while you wait, and I've had some interesting conversations with my fellow diners while hanging out on the sidewalk.

As I said, it's not everyone's idea of a great place, but the folks who love it, really love it. (One possible reaason: their prices are quite reasonable, generally upper teens to mid-twenties, save for the abalone, which is in the upper $30 range.)