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Recs for 3 dinners in PDX with small groups?

Janer | May 10, 200612:50 AM

PDX hounds, I am a SEA hound headed south for a conference in several weeks (at downtown Hilton). Will be seeking dinner on a Wed, Thurs, & Fri, and expect to find myself with small to mid sized groups (2 to 6, I can't cope with larger) with people from across the country. We can walk or cab it.

I am establishing my "back pocket" list of options to pull out depending on the mood & size of the group, and have enjoyed studying your past posts & links. High-end is out for this crowd (but maybe I'll go solo later to recuperate...collapse at the bar at Higgins perhaps?). Anyhow, for my list so far, I welcome reactions, deletions, or additions. Also, are reservations recommended for any of these?

1. Vietnamese - am torn between Pho Van Bistro and heading to Yen Ha. Any opinions or other good Asian options, which I tend to like for a group.

2. Apizza Scholls - definitely plan to visit. I notice it opens at 5:00 p.m. but it sounds like it is quite a busy spot. If we arrive at 5:30 or 6:00 on Wed or Thurs, what kind of wait might we run into? Should I go with just one or two people, or is it safe to go with a few more?

3. Karam - menu looks quite yummy.

4. Alexis & Mama Mia's - are these good choices for the inevitable group of 6 or so tired, indecisive types who just want-something-good-somebody-make-a-decision-already?

Thanks for your thoughts.

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