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booth Apr 30th, 2007 07:37 PM

Need Oregon restaurant recommendations
We are interested in recommendations for a good Chinese restaurant in Portland -- and a place for local seafood. Also will spend time in the Columbia River Gorge area, McMinnville and the north coast from Tillamook to Cannon Beach and would appreciate recommendations of local favorites for lunch and dinner.

kimamom May 1st, 2007 07:16 AM

The Harborside in Portland has very good fresh seafood. It is located down by the river, there is also Newport Bay in this area that has good seafood. :)

We just spent several days on the Oregon Coast in our beach cottage in Seaside, it's a gorgeous area. We dine in Cannon Beach quite frequently and have enjoyed meals at Mo's, Bistro, the Wayfarer, Newman's @ 988 and the Gower St. Bistro.

In Nehalem there is the Nehalem River Inn where we have enjoyed a couple of very nice meals. :)

In the wine country, Tina's and Dundee Bistro are good choices for lunch, we enjoyed an amazing meal at the Joel Palmer House in Dayton, also. Enjoy your travels! ***kim*** ((f))

kimamom May 1st, 2007 07:19 AM

One more thought on seafood in Portland: our meal at Lovely Hula Hands a few weeks ago was excellent, they do a really nice halibut entree there, it is located on N. Mississippi Ave. in Portland. ***kim*** ((*))

beachbum May 1st, 2007 08:08 AM

Oh please kimamom, not Harborside and Newport Bay again. It's been years since you've been to either. Both are parts of a larger chain, booth. Food is fine, but it's assembly line preparation and presentation. Probably not what you had in mind.

Few of Portland's better restaurants tag themselves with a "seafood" label, because it's assumed that they will all have good seafood on the menu. A couple exceptions to this are SouthPark Seafood Grill and a new place called Bay 13, in the trendy Pearl District. I think you'd be happy at either, certainly more so than at Harborside or Newport Bay.

If you're not limited to those places calling themselves seafood restaurants, I'd suggest places like Alberta St. Oyster Bar, Higgins, Wildwood, Fenouil, or Carlyle. All are great restaurants, and you'll find excellent seafood on all their menus.

As for Chinese.... hmmmm...... Portland is not noted for great Chinese. Of course, we've got the obligatory PF Chang's, but nothing really stands out. Do a search on if you're inclined, but with so many other good restaurants from which to choose, I'd save Chinese for a visit to San Francisco or Vancouver.

Restaurants kimamom names in Cannon Beach are all fine. Gower St. Bistro is my favorite of the bunch: breakfast, lunch or dinner. Wayfarer has more seafood options than any of the rest. Mo's is a casual family place. And Newman's and Bistro like to think of themselves as upscale, so are only open for dinner. I think there are a couple decent places in Manzanita, but aside from Nehalem River Inn, not many good restaurant choices between Cannon Beach and Tillamook.

Put Nick's on your list of places to go in McMinnville. It's been around forever, and is still a favorite spot for dinner amongst locals and visitors.

mms May 1st, 2007 08:29 AM

Sungari in the Pearl is great for Chinese.

I am in McMinnville several times a week, so am pretty familiar with the area. Not knowing what your tastes are and budget, here is a general run down.

Alf's--burgers and ice cream (and the live monkey), especially nice on a sunny day when you can sit outside.

Wildwood--Excellent breakfasts. Fun decor. Go early as they do not take reservations and there will be a line, but it is very much worth the wait.

Luigi's Daughter--good pasta and paninis.

La Rambla--tapas.

Nick's--Fine dining Italian.

Bistro Maison--Good French food.

Red Fox Bakery--Good breads, soups and sandwiches.

In Cannon Beach, the Gower St. Bistro is owned by the same folks that have Everett St. Bistro in Portland. Both are excellent. In CB the Wayfarer is good, and has the plus of having a view of Haystack Rock. Also, Ecola Seafood Market is great. It is a restaurant as well, and is quite good. Not fancy by any means and no views, but some great fish n chips.

eurotraveller May 1st, 2007 02:02 PM

Sorry kimamom, I have to agree with beachbum about Harborside and Newport Bay (Now called Newport Seafood Grill, btw). They are too "chainy" for me and serve mediocre seafood slathered is sauce. They both are located in a great place on the river, though!

Some of my favorites that serve seafood but are more typical NW cuisine that are more off the beaten path are:

Meriwether's on Vaughn - Beautiful garden area outside where you can dine

The Farm Cafe on 7th and Burnside - Mouthwateringly good serving organic and locally grown food (no red meat)

Higgins on Broadway - Great wine and beer list here, too

SouthPark on Salmon - The seafood bourride is a must have!

Andina in the Pearl - Peruvian but lots of seafood. Yummy small plates along with full entrees

The mainstream restaurants that everyone seems to go to are Jake's Crawfish and Jake's Grill, both part of the McCormick's chain of seafood restaurants. I love them both even though they are touristy. We eat there often because the food is fresh and the service is usually top nothc without being stuffy.

There are plenty of good eats in PDX so bring your appetite and enjoy!

happytrailstoyou May 1st, 2007 05:58 PM

I wonder why people pick on kimamom.

Is it because she is a gentle spirit with a bad word for no one?

Maybe it has little to do with her, but with those who make the attacks, casting themselves in an unflattering light.

eurotraveller May 1st, 2007 07:32 PM

Who is picking on her? I always enjoy and appreciate her input and she is always very kind. Disagreeing by stating that Newport Bay is a chain restaurant is by no means picking on her and it is too bad you have taken it that way. Kim, if you have as well, my apologies!

I have lived here most of my life and as I stated, I do eat at Jake's because they are a Portland landmark, one of the oldest restaurants in town. It is, however, party of the McCormick's line.

That being said, Portland has far too many great original restaurants to dine at a chain when you visit this town. It would be like saying go to Chevy's for Mexican food. The food there isn't bad but there are too many great original Mexican restaurants to go there for a great dining experience.

Kimamom, I sure hope your feelings aren't hurt! :-[

EnricoIV May 2nd, 2007 04:14 AM

Beginning a post with "oh please" is condescending. IMO. And that's "picking"

I am quite often reluctant to post here, because there seems to be an overwhelming voice that declares a certain party line as the only one.

Not everyone enjoys or are looking for the same things or recommendations. It's almost like no one can approve of any hotel except the 5th Avenus Suites or of any restaurant that's not Fenouil, Wildwood, or South Park.

That said. I have no problem with chains, like Newport Bay. And it's a local chain. Which ups its value in my book. But then, I'm not so picky about food. I like decent, fresh food, for a reasonable price. I'm not into overpaying for "pretty" food in a pretentious setting. Chains offer daily specials, and always indicate what is fresh. Stick to those, and you'll do great. If I want seafood, it depends on what I'm hungry for. I go to the Oyster Bar (for stews), to the Country Kitchen (for grilled halibut or salmon), the Hawthone Street Fish House (for fish & chips), or Libbys (in Milwaukie, for razor clams).

But any restaurant in Portland will have local seafood dishes on the menu.

Chinese is tougher. More of the restaurants in Portland are Vietnamese or Thai. Most will specialize in one, but offer dishes of the others as well (usually less successfully). But Chinese, I'll second Sungari; Mandarin Cove is also somewhere I'll go if I'm downtown.

Scarlett May 2nd, 2007 04:18 AM

We ate at that seafood restaurant at Riverplace and it had to be the worst I have had ... ever. Tourist trap restaurants down there at Riverplace.

happytrails, just keeping the info current and honest..3+ year old info can be very misleading..this poster has a tendency to post recommendations for restaurants that have closed since last visited.

Chinese in town would be Sungari, as mms says..beautiful space and delicious food.
There are a couple in Chinatown that some people recommend but we never found any...the PF
CHangs in the Pearl is ok for a PFChangs..we lived across the street so some summer afternoons found us having a snack there..I can only recommend the duck.

I second the Gower St Bistro, and Mo's..the people who own Gower St also own Everett St Bistro in Portland and the quality of the food is great

MrRip May 2nd, 2007 05:00 AM

Are any of these restaurants in the downtown Portland area?

Scarlett May 2nd, 2007 05:27 AM

Sungari is in the Pearl, along the streetcar line.
Also-seafood-in Portland would be Jakes and SouthPark..both downtown.
Most restaurants in town do a few good seafood dishes so you can find excellent salmon etc just about everwhere..

eurotraveller May 2nd, 2007 03:44 PM

Higgins is downtown as well.

The other ones that I mentioned are easily reached by a fair amount of walking or public transportation.

pdx May 2nd, 2007 06:45 PM

If you can change from Chinese to Vietnamese you'll have several very good options. Though, now that I think about it August Moon (Chinese)used to be lovely, but I haven't been there for years.

eurotraveller May 2nd, 2007 09:31 PM

Or change to Thai! Lots of yummy Thai food in Portland!

MrRip May 3rd, 2007 04:15 AM

Thanks for all the recommendations. We will be there the last week in May. My wife loves Thai and seafood. Thanks to all the Oregon posters as I have been reading past posts and relying on ya'lls recommendations.

Scarlett May 3rd, 2007 04:45 AM

Elaborating on the Asian food recommendations:
Thai-Typhoon on Broadway at the Hotel Lucia
Vietnamese-Silk on NW10th in the Pearl
Miso Happy on NW23rd..
Shinju-elegant Japanese in the Pearl
Have a good visit !

mms May 3rd, 2007 06:16 AM

You just mentioned you will be here the end of May. I don't know if you are aware, but Memorial Day weekend is an extremely busy time in the wine region. That is one of two weekends during the year that most wineries have events. The good news is if you want to do some tasting, most will be open, even the ones that are normally by appointment only. The bad news is the traffic will be horrendous. If you are coming to McMinnville for reasons other than wine, you would want to plan that for during the week, not over those 3 days.

MrRip May 3rd, 2007 06:38 AM

Thanks for the warning as I was planning to visit the wineries sometime during that week. Any recommendations for a couple of wineries not to miss?

mms May 3rd, 2007 06:55 AM

Since you want to visit wineries, go over those 3 days when everything is open and the mood is festive. You will find all sorts of places to stop that you had not planned on. As far as wineries go, there are a ton. There are blue tourist signs that point to the big ones like Archery Summit ($$$), Domaine Drouhin, etc. A good friend is with DD, so I have to say I am biased with that one;) Two that I really like are Amity (on the southern end) and Chehelam (on the north end, across from Rex Hill). Which, Rex Hill does have some nice wines, along with some not so good ones, but it has great views so is a nice place to stop. Argyle is a busy place with tourists as well, partly because it is right on the main drag and right in downtown Dundee. Across from the Dundee Bistro and the tasting room there.

The person with a real knack for knowing the smaller, less touristy places is Beachbum.

That weekend you will pass sign after sign for open wineries. Your head will start to spin:) As long as you know the traffic will be awful, just relax and go with it. One big word of warning very careful on drinking and driving. The police have a very heavy presence in this area on any given day, much less on these big weekends. I live on the edge of this area and drive through it several times a week, and I routinely see anywhere from 3-5 people pulled over in the 20 mile stretch. So please be careful, but enjoy your time here:)

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