We will be spending a week in Portland starting next Saturday (with probably a couple days on the Oregon Coast) and would welcome some help whittling down our dining itinerary and some logistics help as well. We've been to Portland a couple times previously, but the last time was about five years ago. Prior visits included ClarkLewis (when it first opened and Morgon Brownlow was chef), Gotham Building Tavern (long since closed), Wildwood, Heathman, Paley's.
We're interested in what's new since we were last in town, and generally look for creative cooking with a sense of place (not necessarily both at the same time). This will be our first visit with the kids along (13 and 11), which only limits us a bit. They're pretty wide-ranging eaters, but long tasting menus, ultra-short limited choice or fixed menus, and unpredictably long waits for tables are difficult. That takes Castagna and Beast out of the running, which would otherwise be on my list.
Here's my list so far, roughly ordered based on my level of interest, with some questions along the way ->
- Pok Pok - Everyone I know who has been says this is a must. Is there always a wait (if so how long typically?), are there better times to go than others?
- Le Pigeon - the only reservation we've made so far.
- Tasty n Sons - haven't heard much about it but it looks great. Thoughts? Brunch v dinner?
- Cafe Castagna - I know it's not as creative or ambitious as Castagna; is it worth a visit? Seems there are several places doing a French bistro style of menu (this, Little Bird) - is there a "best of breed"?
- Little Bird - see Cafe Castagna question above. Is it sufficiently different from Le Pigeon that it would make sense to do both?
- Clyde Common
- Ned Ludd - Another place I've not heard much about that looks good. Thoughts?
- ClarkLewis - looks to have changed hands several times since I was there; how is it these days?
- Biwa - the kids always eat well at izakayas.
- Cabezon - another place I've not heard much about.
- Voodoo Doughnuts - we'll definitely take the kids.
For the no reservations places (I asked specifically about Pok Pok above, but also Clyde Common, Cafe Castagna, Tasty n Sons) is there a perennial wait or if you don't show up at prime time can you usually get in?
I could also use some advice identifying highlights among the Portland food trucks, I'm sure there must be threads on this already, just haven't gone digging yet.
I'd welcome thoughts and advice on any and all of the above as well as additional suggestions.
1014 SW Stark St, Portland, OR 97205
3226 SE Division St, Portland, OR
22 SW 3rd Ave, Portland, OR
215 SE 9th Ave Ste 102, Portland, OR 97214
738 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214
The Heathman Restaurant
1001 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97205
1752 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97214
1758 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97214
Tasty n Sons
3808 N Williams Ave, Portland, OR 97227
3925 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Portland, OR 97212