Restaurants & Bars

A long weekend of eating around PDX - long

Jill-O | Feb 22, 200512:56 PM     19

So I had a 3 day weekend this past weekend but stayed in town. Did some eating around town and thought I'd post on it.

Friday night started with a trip to Hot Pot City (SW 1st and Harrison) with my vegetarian friend. I was feeling cold and tired and hungry and went to pick up my friend downtown so since I was near there, I suggested HPC. I go there for lunch regularly, but had never been there for dinner before. It is about twice the price for dinner ($7.50 @ lunch, $13 for dinner) but there is a huge amount of seafood that is available to put in your hot pot. Large frozen head-on shrimp (delish), small clams (tender and yummy), huge oysters, sea snails, cleaned and cut up squid (yum!), surimi, fish balls, fish cakes, and other things were available in addition to seveal kinds of chicken, pork, beef, meat balls, 3 kinds of tofu (soft cubes, frozen cubes, fried cubes), two kinds of noodles, 4 kinds of greens (including pea shoots!), 2 kinds of mushrooms, lots of veggies (including taro). It's a great deal lunch or dinner and the food is really healthy and the place is spotless clean.

Saturday night was Ken's Place on Hawthorne (around SE 18th or so). I keep meaning to get back to Ken's. It's such solidly good food and it is fairly close to where I live. Shared a huge and absolutely delicious caesar salad (really, it's enormous...don't even think of going it alone, about $7-8). Gorgeous romaine, perfectly balanced dressing with anchovies in it, enough but not too much cheese and yummy homemade croutons. We both had the pork chop (about $17) which was thick and juicy and perfectly cooked and came with a great homemade apple sauce (I make my own when I want applesauce so I really appreciate it when restaurants make their own) and a square of a scallopped potato casserole. I wasn't thrilled with the potatoes, I'd sub the garlic mashed if I got this again. Had a couple of nice glasses of red wine with the meal a zinfandel and something else (sorry) and passed on dessert (Verdun chocolates awaited us at home!).

Early Sunday morning found us in SW and we decided to go to the Capitol Coffeehouse and Bistro (SW Capitol Hwy, a couple of doors down from Alba Osteria). We had a nice lunch there once so we thought we would try brunch. We both ended up having the house-cured gravlox plate (w/cream cheese, capers, choice of toasted bagel, potatoes - I subbed fruit for the spuds, about $8). The lox was good, but there really should have been more of it. It kind of dotted the top of the cream cheese-laden bagel, exposing more cream cheese than an $8 order of gravlox should, ya know? My dining partners' potatoes were cold, which didn't thrill her too much. Good coffee and lots of it, really nice setting in the room upstairs, but just OK for our breakfast food. Not so bad that we wouldn't come back and try an egg breakfast there (or do lunch again), but we probably won't order the gravlox again. We are still searching for a good breakfast place in SW (we hate the Three Square Grill and won't be back there, and can't justify the Original Pancake House more than about 2-3 times a year)...please help.

Since breakfast was so early and we had plans for the day, and we were nearby, we decided to check out Dessert Noir (Cedar Hills Crossing, near the movie theaters - ya know, in Mallburbia ;o) for a late lunch. I had a green salad with pears and chicken with a lemon vinaigrette that was good (would have been better with almonds, pecans, pine nuts, or the ever-popular hazelnuts), but small for the price (about $7). Dining partner had a chicken salad sandwich that was deemed OK (about $6-7). Then we decided, since it was billed as a dessert place, we should try dessert. We decided on a frozen citrus concoction (similar to semifreddo) on a ginger crust with a citrus vinaigrette. Tasteless frozen stuff that was like an undefrosted frozen key lime pie from a box with a graham cracker crust that had so much ground ginger in it that our mouths were tingling and on fire from it. Lousy...and over $6 a slice! Some of the desserts were $9!!! (oops, excuse me, $8.95 ;o) Looked at the dinner menu on the way out - same as the lunch menu but with EVEN HIGHER ($2-3 more!) prices. I won't be back.

Had a huge day of chores to get through on Monday and so my friend and I decided to give Genie's (corner of SE Division and 11th) a try for breakfast. It's always really crowded, but we were early (get most places before 9:30am, just like before 6pm for dinner, and you will rarely have to wait in this town) and so were seated and served right away. I had a black forest ham, broccoli, mushrooms, cheddar cheese scramble (about $7, not cheap, but the veggies are organic and so is the meat) which came with potatoes and toast. Great scramble, everything cooked right, plenty of veggies and ham. THE BEST BREAKFAST POTATOES I HAVE EVER HAD. Quartered new potatoes cooked well to crispy and tossed with herbs - not greasy, not mushy, not cold, very generous helping - FABULOUS. I think that their marmalade and black raspberry preserves are homemade, but I am not certain - they are very good, though. They pour some tasty Stumptown coffee too. My friend the veg had a side of scrambled tofu ($1) and a side of potatoes ($2.50) for an absurd deal of a breakfast. They are open until 4pm and the lunch specials looked great, and they have a full bar too. Highly recommended, I'll be back.

Last night was about introducing my Sweetie to LOW BBQ (SE Hawthorne near 48th) and then we had tickets to the 6pm Dessert Dim Sum Yum Yum at Pix Patisserie (SE Division near 33rd/34th). For a $15 ticket (purchased in advance) you get to choose 6 desserts. You can add on and taste more desserts, and there are dessert wine and beer taste pours for $2 (1 oz. wine, 2 oz. beer). They bring a cart out with 3-4 things on it and do about 4 rounds of that, so that there are about 12 desserts overall to try. They announce and describe each dessert each round and let you know about any drink pairings available that round. At the end, they bring out a selection of everything offered that evening so you can try anything you missed (or go for seconds, I suppose!). Most of the desserts are miniatures of their regular offerings - one or two bites each at the most. There was also tastes of things like a truffle paired with a piece of blue cheese; mango sorbet (great, and I am not especially fond of mangoes); and a mini chocolate stout and mocha ice cream float. The mango sorbet, the amelie, the aphrodite, the Grand Marnier cream puff, and the taste of the Moscato di Asti (La Serra?) and the Calvados/apple cider wine were highlights for me. It's a great way to get acquainted with their offerings if you don't know them, and it's a great way to try things you never get to try if you go there regularly. I highly recommend doing the dim sum yum yum, it was seriously decadent fun!!

Now it's back to Pilates twice a week and walking over 20 miles a week (I found I can walk all the way up SW Salmon from 1st to Washington Park! Great walk uphill - the block of the MAC is a killer!)... ;o)

Hope y'all had a good weekend! Where'd you eat?

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