I recently spent two days in Portland with my two teen age sons. I am a pescatarian, one kid only eats food the walked on four legs and the other is pain in the butt fussy so I am not really able to select restaurants based on my own whim.
Our first lunch was at PK Thai and was doubtlessly the worst Thai meal I'd ever had. We were asked spicy we wanted our meals and requested medium yet the food had no heat in the least. The noodles were clumped together in an unctuous lump, the vegetables were undercooked and everything was floating in what I presume was a mixture of oil, cornstarch and sugar. The glasses all tasted soapy. The check was placed on the table with the entrees, which usually offends me but in this case I was happy to beat it. Unfortunately the server took forever to pick up our payment.
We tried Ten 01 for dinner. We ate downstairs from the small plates menu. The tables are awfully close together. The service was matter of fact and efficient although our neighbors were given an amuse bouche and we were not. I got vegetable risotto with "carrot butter." The vegetables were perfectly cooked but kind of sloppily cut. The flavor was nice but, as butter-centric as I am, there was a bit much. My son had a gyro burger which he said was very good and the presentation was quite adorable. I tried salted caramel ice cream for dessert. Not much caramel. Waay much salt. My son ordered, just because it sounded so over the top you kind of expected it to work, a raspberry float with popcorn ice cream. The float part was nice although the ice cream was weird in a not wonderful way. It was served with a bit of caramel corn and a mealy lemon cookie. Sometimes too much is too much.
We visited Kenny and Zukes and it this was the only time in nearly a week in Oregon that we experienced any 'tude in a restaurant whatsoever. Maybe the server was from L.A. (although in fairness, snottiness is not really endemic in L.A. restaurants and is usually the kiss of death). I had a cheddar and mushroom omelette. Nothing to write home about. Ok potatoes. Outstanding bially. My kids were disappointed that the only bread available is rye, which I guess kids don't like, and white bread they reported was way too dry. Big boy had pastrami which he said was "pretty good" and #2 son had egg salad with chunks of egg so huge it was nearly inedible. Tasted ok but not earth shattering. Excellent potato salad.
I loved the Daily Cafe in the Pearl District. We were in a hurry to catch a show so we didn't have time for dessert but I had a salad of fresh beets and cucumbers that was delicious and perfectly dressed. One kid had an incredibly rich but delicious macaroni and cheese and the other an outstanding swiss chard gnocchi. Sweet service. Cute place.
I usually avoid hotel restaurants like the plague but we were ravenous at midnight after the theatre and The Original is in our hotel. They have a great late night menu. We had a really satisfying quinoa burger and Mr. Carnivore tried the trend of the day, a burger served on a doughnut. He loved it but was warned "Do not try this at home." We tried the place again for breakfast the next morning and the menu is less thrilling. My oatmeal was sort of watery and kids eggs came with yucky roasted potatoes.
I have a long list of places I long to try without the kids and look forward very much to a return visit.
1001 NW Couch, Portland, OR 97209