I have just had an amazingly bad week. The only thing that saved me from dispair was that I had two terrific meals during this time, thanks to recommendations from chowhounds.
On Sunday, I had my first good Portland brunch. Although I made my brunch post requesting recommendations quite awhile ago, I hadn't had the time or money to get to them until now. We decided to face the crowds at Cadillac Cafe, and it was definitely worth it. The coffee was only decent, but everything else was nearly perfect.
I had one of the specials, the Tualatin Valley Toast. It was custard french toast topped with toasted walnuts and fresh raspberries and blackberries. YUM. Didn't even need syrup. The bacon was thick and crispy, but not dry. The potatoes were exactly what breakfast potatoes should be... Greasy, salty, crispy, and spicy, but not too much of any of these.
The service was also excellent. The guy at the coffee bar was very nice about my need for decaf, and our waitress was great. I am both very very picky and very very shy, a combination that can make ordering at restaurants a nightmare. But she had a good sense of humor about it. She even wrote 'no butter' on the order three times, to ensure that my french toast wouldn't come with that evil ball o' butter on it. It was wonderful. I will definitely go back. Much thanks to everyone who recommended it.
Last night I went to Thien Hong with a group of friends. It was also wonderful. I had the pea shoots and General Tso's tofu, and split a vietnamese iced coffee (which i like so much that i have to have occasionally, despite the caffeine). Everything was incredible. Especially the pea shoots. And I once again had a really great waitress. She talked to us for awhile about the restaurant and food and whatnot. I was amazed at how cheap the food was considering the quality. When I lived in Madison, I used to go to this Laoatian/Thai restaurant every week because I could get 2 - 3 meals out of a $8 dish. Thien Hong seems like it could be a good Portland equivalent of that place.
Sorry for the excessively long post. Just wanted to let you all know that you really saved my week with your recommendations. Thanks!