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PDX report from DC hound

Smokey | Feb 19, 200303:07 PM

Just came back from a long weekend in PDX and had some really great food. I don't think any of these places will be undiscovered gems for the Portland folks, but they sure made this visitor happy...

Pacific Way Cafe in Gearhartt (near the coast, I hope I have the name of the cafe and town correct, across street from Gearhartt grocer) for lunch. I had a yummy Caesar salad with grilled salmon, two of my friends had the fish tacos, which I thought looked only so-so at best, and my other friend had the bacond cheeseburger, which looked FANTASTIC. Shared a marionberry (funny name for a DC-er) crisp with vanilla ice cream; it was delicious. The waitress was quite nice, the atmosphere really charming (old photographs up everywhere and on menu), probably around $20/person.

Pambiche on Galvin NE for dinner--Great Cuban food. Empanadas on the menu, which I don't remember seeing in Cuba, but they were reasonable tasting. We ordered tostones, which I wasn't that in to (I prefer maduros, and they were out). I had a great pan con lechon, yummy fatty pork sandwich. My SO had the plato cubano (essentially the same dish, but a platter instead of a sandwich, came with beans (red or black) and rice.) A friend had the pollo criollo, which is, per his report, his favorite. They didn't have a batido or licuado flavor that I particularly wanted, so I just went with water, but those who had the magno batido reported it was quite good. Although famous for those deserts, we left without any. We were stuffed and sitting outside being heated (not quite adequately on a windy night) by the overhead flame, so decided it was time to push on.

Carry-out from Lemongrass for dinner(not sure of location in city)--some good/some bad. The green papaya salad was great. somebody had a red curry fish dish that I thought was too sweet, not spicy enough. There was also a garlic chicken dish that I wasn't super into. We ordered a fried rice dish (I know, not very Thai, but somebody wanted it) that, surprisingly, I liked. I rarely like fried rice, but that was pretty yummy. Lots of flavor, vaguely reminiscient of pad thai.

Bijou Cafe on 3rd between Ash and Oak (I think), SW--incredibly good. If I coud have, I would have gone to Fat Alberts (recently recommended on these pages) but wasn't able to get there easily enough without car. Bijou cafe made yummy whole wheat French toast (only thing that would have made it better was some fresh fruit) and fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice (a real treat for somebody who loves gf juice and can never get it fresh-squeezed, unlike those oj folks!). My SO had a special (oatmeal pancakes) that were great, amazing sausage and an only so-so scrambled egg.

Pho Van (not sure of address, in Pearl District)--good, though unremarkable vietnamese. We both had pho (me chicken, SO with pork and shrimp). It was yummy, but no better than I've had at divey little shops in Chicago and Rockville, MD.

Dinner at Pizzacatti (sp?). It's a local chain, we went to one in NW, near Pambiche. I wasn't particularly fond of it. Good mixed salad. But the pizzas were under-sauced, over-cheesed and undercooked. Frankly, not the worst pizza I've had, but not the best either.

Oh, forgot to mention, stopped in Overton Bakery and thought it was all too dear and too precious. Had a yummy chocolate caramel at Moonstruck on 23rd St. Most of their chocolates looked a bit overwrought to me, but the chocolate caramel was quite good.

Thanks for all the previous posts, I just wish I could have gotten to all the great-sounding places that were recommended!


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