rss feed | youtube | links | the burning log
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Or maybe I should have pointed them towards the Macaroni Grill?
A friend living and working in DC sent me an email asking for local restaurant recommendations for two of his coworkers who will be visiting Portland soon. Both are "professionals" in their early thirties. This is what I came up with. If anyone else has any ideas, feel free to submit them via the comments section at the bottom of this post.
HIGH END: Blue Hour (250 NW 13th Ave). A pinnacle of "new Portland" and, if the Pearl District has a heart, albeit one made of glass and concrete, this may very well be it. All the yuppies around here love it to death. Spendy and pretentious but reportedly great. Someone I know, who may very well be the human equivalent of Remy the rat, once said he'd eat there every day if he could only afford it.
LOWER END BUT STILL CLASSY: Le Pigeon (738 E Burnside St). French food. Small, cozy and bent on recreating the feel of dining in a turn-of-the-century Parisan bisto. Vintage chairs, candlesticks, gilded mirrors, etc.
CLASSY BUT STRANGE: Mother's Bistro (212 SW Stark). The place every female over 30 seems to love in this town. A hard place to explain. The decor throughout the sprawling interior looks like it was cherry-picked from both a New Orleans whorehouse and the White House. Most of what's on the menu is comfort food but spruced up.
THE OBVIOUS: The Kennedy School (5736 NE 33rd Ave). Any McMenamins is bound to give a pair of east coast professionals culture shock but if they're going to venture into one, they may as well do it up proper. Get this: it's an old haunted elementary school that's been turned into a cigar bar/movie theater/brewery/hotel/restaurant. There's even a bar in the old detention room. Kooky and unlike anything anywhere else? Yup, that's what it is.
ANOTHER PLACE EMBLEMATIC OF "WEIRD" PORTLAND BUT NOT TOO GRUNGY AND FILLED WITH HIPSTERS THAT MIGHT FRIGHTEN THEM: Le Bistro Montage (301 SE Morrison). Out-of-towners that aren't creeped out by the dank exterior and the fact that it's located under a bridge all seem to dig it. Like the Kennedy School, you'll never find anything like it anywhere. Waiters in tuxedo t-shirts, crocodile gumbo, 10 different kinds of Mac and Cheese, twisted recreations of "The Last Supper" on the wall, communal tables and leftovers brought to diners wrapped in tinfoil shaped like animals. It's the sort of place that I imagine people tell their friends about back home when they describe how supposedly "weird' this city is.
Four other recommendations I'm too lazy to look up: Old Town Pizza, The Doug Fir Lounge and Chez Machin on Hawthorne