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New restaurant ideas for Portland OR.

Old Apr 15th, 2009, 10:22 AM
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New restaurant ideas for Portland OR.

I will be in Portland next week and have visited most of the great restaurants recommended by local Fodorite Portlanders over the last few years. I have never been disappointed with your suggestions.

Are there any NEW restaurants, bakeries or coffee shops you can recommend?
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Old Apr 15th, 2009, 10:26 AM
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I have only been to Portland once. We had two great dinners that I can recommend but they were not fine dining by any stretch of the imagination. But they weren't expensive or overrated either. Hobo's (near Chinatown) & DiNicholas (Italian food in, I think, East Portland).
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Old Apr 15th, 2009, 10:31 AM
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I don't know if these are new for you, but I can recommend 5th Quadrant Restaurant (casual dining) at 3901 N Williams and Petite Provence at 1824 NE Alberta for their desserts.
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Old Apr 15th, 2009, 11:01 AM
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Do you like happy hours? Try Mint/820 for a great lamb burger with sweet potato fries, a spicy caesar salad and a whole bunch of great martinis. My favorite is the ad-lib, a cilantro-lime delight.
Down the street is the Widmer brewery, where Monday nights they have a $5 burger and I think it's a $3 pint. Widmer makes the lovely hefeweizen and other beer treats.
Try Gravy on Mississippi Ave in North Portland, only open lunch and dinner and can have a snake-like line on weekends. Great breakfast and well-made sandwiches with mostly house-made ingredients and beautiful gravy fries. Really big, so I would suggest sharing.
Blue Gardenia has a wonderful cinnamon roll, and if it's a lovely spring day you can hang out in the sun with a cup of coffee/espresso and watch the world walk by. If you're in the area go check out the Re-Building Center just for the heck of it.
Mississippi Ave is kind of funky-town still, hopefully won't turn into full-blown 23rd avenue-chic.
Have you been to Basta's? Long time favorite of mine on NW 21st.
Check out portlandfoodanddrink.org for really good reviews and comments on almost all the local eateries.
For a really, really good taco and/or burrito go to King Burrito on N. Lombard. Very, very budget and not an 'atmosphere' restaurant, but definitely worth writing home about.
I'm still a Higgins and Wildwood fan. They never disappoint.
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Old Apr 15th, 2009, 11:06 AM
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One more thing, speaking of coffee. Have you been to Kobo's in NW? They are my favorite espresso, plus it's a kitchen store so you can browse and find nice things you absolutely need or need to give as gifts at very decent prices. Especially nice if you hit them up at one of the sales. Really though, they do have the best espresso. Not bitter or over roasted.
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Old Apr 15th, 2009, 04:21 PM
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Not new, but Lovely Hula Hands on Mississippi is very good in a cozy, homey ambiance. We always enjoy our meals at Park Kitchen in the Pearl District. ***kim***
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Old Apr 15th, 2009, 07:54 PM
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Thanks everyone! Wow, what a great list of new (to me) places.
I can't wait to arrive in Portland and try these out.

I have been to the Re-Building Center, - a very cool place.

Since I'm from southern California I often get Mexican Food Attacks (MFA) so King Burrito sounds good.

I can't get there soon enough
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Old Apr 16th, 2009, 07:29 AM
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correction: Gravy is open for breakfast and lunch. Not dinner.
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Old Apr 16th, 2009, 04:19 PM
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nanabee - I'm a southern California transplant. When I first moved up here there wasn't ANY mexican food. There was a place called Pancho's that served (I kid you not) ground beef burritos with cheddar cheese gooped all over it. Now there are a whole lot of places, but the trick is finding northern Mexico style like we grew up with.
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Old Apr 16th, 2009, 04:27 PM
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Friends just visited PDX with another PDX native. He took them to Doug Fir and they all liked it very much.
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Old Apr 16th, 2009, 09:35 PM
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Pdx- There are some nice Mexican restaurants on Alberta Street in NE Portland that are similar to ones in So.Cal. and they are run by Mexican transplants. Yum! My daughter used to live around the corner and I'd walk up for lunch sometimes.

Pam - Will check out Doug Fir. It looks very Portlandish!
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Old Apr 17th, 2009, 08:39 AM
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Doug Fir is more popular as a gen-xers' night club than as a restaurant. Loud, live music, lasting late into the night. I think it could be fun if you're in the right mood, but I'd bet my 22 year-old son would be embarrassed being seen with me in there. ;-)

Trying to remember if you've been to Sel Gris, nanabee. Know you've been to Toro Bravo... How about Clyde Common? Pambiche? Pok Pok? None of these are particularly new. With Oregon having possibly the highest unemployment rate in the country, we haven't seen many new restaurant openings in Portland lately. But, there is Urban Farmer in the Nines Hotel (opened last year). Haven't been myself, but have heard good things, particularly about the happy hour.
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Old Apr 17th, 2009, 09:07 AM
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Oh dear!My friends are all in their late 50's and enjoyed Doug Fir.
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Old Apr 17th, 2009, 02:26 PM
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Doug Fir looks fun, but my daughter is pregnant so she said maybe next trip Darn I was hoping to go, but now my kids are holding me back - rather than the other way around in the old days. Thanks for the tip PamSF!

beachbum, I posted a note to you on NeoPatrick post.
I think Clyde Common and Urban Farmer look great. I am definately going to try them out. My daughter found a Mexican restaurant in Milwaukee, Ore. that is run by a husband and wife (he's Latino and she's gringa) who also have a farm in Camas. So they have really fresh ingredients and also sell farm fresh eggs and honey at the restaurant also. She couldn't remember the name of the place.
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Old Apr 17th, 2009, 03:38 PM
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A great lunch can be had at Tom's 1st Ave Bento. Once again, not atmospheric, but the best seafood you will get at any price. Only open for lunch, no alcohol. Stand in line to put your order in and they'll deliver it to the table. Totally first quality with perfect seasoning and cooking. Share the spinach salad with panko shrimp added, then share a meat or fish bento. Choice of rice or mashed potatoes and usually garlic mashed as well. If you're downtown shopping or whatever, find a way to make it over during lunch break. Just south of the Hawthorne bridge at Madison. Don't be concerned about the line, it moves really fast. This guy goes to the coast twice a week to pick up his seafood.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2009, 08:20 AM
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Thanks to everyone for their great recommendations! I wasn't able to get to as many restaurants as I hoped, but am planning to go back up to Portland in two weeks and will be staying for two weeks.

We did get to Fenouil in the Pearl district. The ambiance there is wonderful. We sat at a table overlooking the park on a beautiful sunny spring night. The service was great and the food excellent.

We also tried Clyde Common. I really loved it and recommend it. We really wanted to hit Urban Farmer, but will have to wait til the upcoming trip in May.
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Old Apr 30th, 2009, 07:42 AM
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If you're still reading, nanabee, here are a couple more to consider.

A wine shop we frequent sponsored a dinner at Ned Ludd last night. Only open for about 5 months now, on NE MLK Blvd; very Portlandish. Two chef owners, both with great resumes. Quality, fresh ingredients sourced locally (we were told that some for our meal were foraged from Forest Park that morning). The catch is that the space used to house a pizza restaurant, and rather than go through an extensive remodel, the owners decided to use just the existing wood-fired oven to prepare dishes. Dinner last night was off-menu, I believe, but included flatbread, roasted oysters w/ nettle cream, anchovy-studded leg of lamb, and asparagus, all done in the wood-fired oven. Not to mention the s'mores for dessert. No question that we'll go back there; those guys are good!

Also tried another new-to-us place last weekend: Tanuki, on NW 21st. Tiny space with a menu I can only describe as Pacific Northwest influenced Japanese. There are dishes there I've not seen on any other menu, whether in Portland, or Tokyo. And tasty!
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Old May 3rd, 2009, 10:10 PM
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Hi beachbum!
I just now noticed your post.
Thank you so much, as I fly out tomorrow morning to Portland again - this time for a week and a half! Yeah. My daughter is expecting our second grandchild, so hopefully we can celebrate and try out both these restaurants. We would like to make it to Urban Farmer as it sounds excellent too.

I will post back with the results.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 04:10 AM
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will you be as nice to them as you were to me ? I certainly hope so.
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Old May 5th, 2009, 11:52 PM
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So Nanabee? Are you out eating at great places or watching a new grandchild? Inquiring minds want to know!!
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