I just started on my list of assigned eating for WW's (Willamette Week, the local "alternative newsweekly" here in Portland for you out-of-town chowhounds) annual restuarant guide. On of the first places I went to was La Catalana on SE Stark at about 28th.
La Catalana was the first place to offer Spanish food in Stumptown, and it's still one of the best. I ate great escalivada, the composed salad of smoky roasted eggplant, onion, pepper, and tomato with a sherry vinaigrette, and a tapa of two gently sauteed razor clams that was unbelievable. An entree of duck confit with peaches remains as one of Portland's tastiest turns on this often cliched dish...the meat is served off the bone, and it's been grilled quickly with the fresh peach halves so it gets a bit of crispy edge and the peaches come out slightly charred but sweet and juicy...to top it off, the prices are quite reasonable in these days of menu inflation.
I wanted to post this because the place seemed a little quiet, and a sign indicated that they were no longer taking credit cards, an indication that they might be trying to cut costs....the food at La Catalana is too good to let it disappear, so get over there and eat...
PS...the WW guide won't be out until Oct 5, but if I find any other places that deserve early notice, I'll post them here
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