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portland visit - specific questions & general advice sought

ks | Jun 3, 200412:54 PM

Hi! I'm looking for some recommendations for an upcoming long weekend in Portland. I've been having a look at this board and checking out Willamette Week's on-line restaurant database (which I have to say is one of the least helpful databases I've ever used, but I like the reviews).

Anyway, I'll be staying downtown at the Portland Hilton for a conference - there from a Friday afternoon to a Monday morning.

First question - does Portland have a dead downtown on the weekends? Many of the places I've been checking out aren't open on Sundays - is this typical?

I'm interested in two types of places really. The first would be relatively inexpensive delis or bakeries in the immediate vicinity (sw 6th and broadway). So far I've come across: Flying Elephants, Great Harvest Bread Co. & Cafe Bijou. Are these good choices? Any other recommendations?

The next is dinner places that are not hugely expensive and that can handle medium to large groups - say 6 to 10 easily without reservations. We usually end up with more people than we expect, which is fun but can strain those lovely intimate places. For this I've come up with Fernando's Hideaway, Karam, Mother's Bistro & Bar and Pico de Gallo. Any other thoughts? Any of these not plausible choices?

My final request (enough already, you cry!) is for a reasonable, fabulous seafood place. I keep reading about Jakes and McCormick and Schmick's (I'd love to avoid a chain really). This doesn't need to be really close to downtown (will cab for good fish) or able to handle a large crowd.

Thanks in advance for your help and recommendations! I'll report back...

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