OK, Kristi, here ya go, a review that isn't a rave. I dedicate this one to you. ;o)
I gave this place two tries. I may go again but with very narrow parameters for what I will ingest there. I'll detail that later.
The place is hilariously appointed - think James Bond movie circa 1972 meets forest lodge. Lots of great wood, lots of metallic surfaces, mirrors, darkness, hanging pendant lamps...all in a space reminiscent of an IHOP. It screams HIPSTER!! It screams MOD!! It screams SWANKY!! Kinda makes me scream with laughter.
There's a downstairs music venue that attracts a hipster/alt crowd, and it is on the same property as the Jupiter Hotel, a swanky mod place that was probably a nasty no-tell motel (we call 'em "hot sheets" motels in NYC) in its previous incarnation. All of this on the unassuming corner of E Burnside and SE 9th...go figure.
So, the joint is open from 7am until 4am and serves drinks round the clock (graveyard shifters take note!). They have breakfast, lunch, dinner and late night menus - and the late night menu is mostly the dinner menu with a few dollars off each item. Things range from inexpensive burgers to entrees/specials in the teens...which seems a bit high for the vibe and for what you get.
The first time there I had meatloaf (as did my dining partner) with mashed. It was salty. Really salty. Absurdly salty. I always order my gravy on the side, so although the gravy was salty too, it wasn't what was making the rest of my plate salty. They have several pies for dessert (not baked there) and most seem to be not so great. The kind we had that night wasn't.
I was there on Monday because it was the right location at the time and I knew that even if we had to wait, it wouldn't be long and also, I thought my dining companion would be amused with the place. I was right about not waiting long and my date being amused.
I had a cup of the mushroom soup which was tasty (really, it was, good flavor) but...yeah, too freakin' salty for words. I ordered a main salad (wanting to avoid salt) which was tiger prawns over romaine with pears and asiago. I got a chopped salad (I HATE CHOPPED SALADS!! It's like someone pre-chewed my meal - I hate shredded lettuce on principle alone.) with shredded romaine and bits of pear tinier than a centimeter and shredded asiago. The balsamic on the side was good and the taste of the salad was good although the shrimp could have been dressed in something instead of just boiled or defrosted or whatever and plopped onto the salad.
My date had the BBQ chicken which looked mediocre at best and I'll bet that the sauce came from a bottle. We shared a mediocre piece of Marionberry pie for dessert.
Two cups of soup, one soda, my $10 salad, BBQ chicken, piece of pie and ice cream - About $26, I think, but not at all worth it. I just don't get the feeling that anyone in that kitchen really gives a crap about the food that is coming out of it...sad.
OK, so if I ever go back, it will be to try their interesting drinks and happy hour deal. The only other thing I might try on their menu is the burger, and only if I am sitting there and truly enjoying a drink...otherwise I'd leave and go elsewhere.
My first dining companion there and I now refer to this place as the Salt Fir, BTW. ;o)
It's an interesting place and scene...go for a drink, if you want to check it out...just don't eat there my friends...please!