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Restaurants in Vancouver


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#1 OPQUAL

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Posted 12 January 2005 - 08:02 PM

If I'm not mistaken, Sayler's is in the Entertainment 05' Book?

Portland is the natural place to look for food reviews in the area, as Vancouver is more like a "bedroom" community.

I found chowhound & portland.citysearch.com and recognize some of your names. I guess to find this sight is natural. I too love food, and would rather get some advice before finding a "dud"

I'm ready to sponge off your thoughts. Hopefully, I can return the favor! :D

Be Well

#2 foodjunkie

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Posted 12 January 2005 - 08:22 PM

If I'm not mistaken, Sayler's is in the Entertainment 05' Book?

P.S. Let me introduce myself....   :?  

My name is Joel. I'm from Vancouver,Wa.

Portland is the natural place to look for food reviews in the area, as Vancouver is more like a "bedroom" community.

I found chowhound & portland.citysearch.com and recognize some of your names. I guess to find this sight is natural. I too love food, and would rather get some advice before finding a "dud"

I'm ready to sponge off your thoughts. Hopefully, I can return the favor!   :D  

Be Well,

Joel


Hi Joel...nice to see another guy from the North Bank here! I call upon you to help me FIND places in Clark County that are worth the trip from PDX for these folks. I sure as heck don't want Vancouver to stay a bedroom community....BTW, what the H-E-Double Hockey Sticks is an OPQUAL? :mrgreen:
A complete lack of caution is perhaps one of the true signs of a real gourmet: he has no need for it, being filled as he is with a God-given and intelligently self-cultivated sense of gastronomical freedom.

M.F.K. Fisher

#3 ExtraMSG

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Posted 12 January 2005 - 09:07 PM

Welcome Joel. That makes three of us, I think, in Vancouver. I'm on the eastside. I assume from the places you mention, you probably are, too? I'm between 164th and 172nd off of 1st.

We don't have many rules here. Hopefully we never need to make them. The site was primarily established so that people on the various food forums would have a place to organize get-togethers. Once a month we have an official dinner that we set up. You can cruise through the threads to find them. Plus, there are groups like a curry club, which is really a lunch group (and hasn't met since the holidays), a dim sum group that meets on occasional Sundays, a happy hour group that meets more than anything, and we're in the process of starting a potluck. Read the FAQ for a bit more.

Anyone's welcome to post any Portland food related stuff, reviews, queries, announcements, requests for eating companions, etc, as long as they're registerred and don't do anything too stupid.

We also meet once a month to do some charity work. We're meeting this Thursday (tomorrow) at the Oregon Food Bank in the evening. There's a thread in the charity section. Anyone's welcome to join us for any of these things, though a heads up is appreciated and sometimes necessary. I am usually available by email way too often and I don't even have a crackberry.

On to the food:

I went to Bacchus early on and wasn't a fan. I went twice and was really underwhelmed and actually thought a couple of the items were *bad*. But I've been told they've improved and it's been a while. I'll get back there some time and check it out again. Roots is actually pretty good. It's *almost* as good as similar restaurants in Portland, neighborhood places that emphasize local and fresh ingredients. Close enough that you don't need to drive to Portland if you don't want to. Also, there's Applewood, which though it's in a strip mall, is decent food in a decent environment. Allegedly, there's also a place in Officer's Row that's good that replaced a restaurant there, can't remember the name, that was only okay. But I haven't tried it. Oh, and Hudson's in the Heathman Lodge is pretty good, too, for mid to upscale.

I've never been to Juliano's. I'm more of a thin pizza person and don't go out for pizza often anyway, unless it's for a slice. When I do, it's for my wife and she's wants California/gourmet, so it's usually Pizzicato. For a slice, the only place I know over here is Pizza Schmizza.

My favorites on this side of town are: Arawan, Thai Place (but you have to order correctly), Patrick's Hawaiian, and Lindo Mexico, the one on Mill Plain east of 205. The other two Thai places are decent as well: Lai Ka Noke and Bangkok (Something), but some dishes are better than others. Jerusalem Cafe is okay for a Lebanese fix, but I'd rather drive to Ya Hala in NE Portland for something relatively close. My passion, though, as most people know here, is Mexican, but that requires a trip up to Fourth Plain, one of the best areas for taquerias in PDX. Plus Thai Little Home.

Again, welcome.

#4 OPQUAL

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Posted 12 January 2005 - 09:31 PM

Anyways, That was an excellent reply. I have been to Lindo Mexico and most all of the many Mexican restaurants along mill plain and 4th plain.

I heard pizzicato was very good, but for a person who cares less about his calorie intake, many off the offerings don't do anything for me...

The culture isn't what I'm used too, but there are some great grubbing places to be had.

I still like hitting Rose's. It's great!

After all the stuff I've been reading, Epicure is definately my next stop! And with Entertainment 05' discount, I can't get hurt!

:-)

Be Well...


:D

P.S. Juliano's is on about 158th and Mill plain. On the right going west. They have a daily lunch special which includes the one slice...

I would definately try it. Heck, you live almost next door.

#5 ExtraMSG

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Posted 12 January 2005 - 09:40 PM

It'll have to wait until my diet is over. But thanks.

#6 OPQUAL

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Posted 12 January 2005 - 09:47 PM

Ummm...

Did I mention that www.subway.com has some great alternatives to fast food? :oops:

Tuesday in Camas is two footlongs for 9 bucks...

California Chicken

212 Northeast 164th Avenue
Vancouver, Washington 98684-2907 ph: 360.896.9977

Another good bet. Turn left on first. By the video store...

Be Well

#7 ExtraMSG

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Posted 12 January 2005 - 10:09 PM

California Chicken went out of business late last year. It's a Don Pedro's now. That's walking distance from my house. Well, actually it's a 3 wood and a pitching wedge, terms I prefer since there's a driving range between me and it.

#8 OPQUAL

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Posted 12 January 2005 - 10:19 PM

Hmmm... Didn't Know Cal Chicken was gone. I've hit a few balls at the range behind the Parkrose Hardware....

Yeah... Your definately a stones throw of most of what Clark County has to offer!

I can't believe all the restaurants along 162nd that have gone up since I transplanted in 96'

I hear the old belltower is now a mexican joint. My parents hit it a couple weeks ago. Said it was good...

Gustav's is an awesome bet IMHO... I love the H.H. Fondue etc...

Used to have to drive to Sandy Blvd. then get stuck in traffic all the way back accross 205 N....

Be Well...

#9 foodjunkie

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Posted 13 January 2005 - 07:09 AM

So...what, if anything, do you guys see as a way to increase the presence of higher quality restaurants in Clark County? I actually read in the "Letters to the Editor" section of the Columbian this morning where someone from Salmon Creek is complaining about a full parking lots, shortage of restaurants (other than fast food) and long wait times. I would rather support local restaurants, but too often find the quality just isn't up to par.
A complete lack of caution is perhaps one of the true signs of a real gourmet: he has no need for it, being filled as he is with a God-given and intelligently self-cultivated sense of gastronomical freedom.

M.F.K. Fisher

#10 OPQUAL

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Posted 13 January 2005 - 07:44 AM

The demographics of Clark County are so much different than Portland to begin with.

Portland has a prosporous downtown with many affluent businesses and housing. Downtown vancouver is a ghost town in comparison. It is almost off the map on the weekends.

The big "White Collar" businesses are on the extreme east side.

All the "Money" is up on Prune Hill, which is situated between Camas & 192nd. It's Like the Council Crest of Portland.

Hewlett Packard being the biggest. Linear,Underwriters Labratories,Sharp ,Wafertech and a bunch of others are all within a stones throw of 164th.

With the upcoming 192nd interchange off of Hwy 14, things should really change again.
Already on 192nd we have the new Root's restauarant, a QFC etc. A Home Depot is just about open, and a Wal-Mart is starting...

I think I will be pushing up daisies before Downtown Vancouver has a Pearl District...

8O

Be Well

#11 foodjunkie

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Posted 13 January 2005 - 08:14 AM

I couldn't agree with you more Joel. Having lived in the close-in westside for almost a year now, I would hardly describe downtown Vancouver as a ghost town...especially compared to what it was like just 2-3 yrs ago, but it will NEVER be another Pearl District....AND why should it be? How could that possibly benefit Vancouver? Unfortunately, the "visionairies" of Vancouver have filled our heads with that very notion. However, I do think that if Vancouver is able to stop attempting to emulate Portland neighborhoods and focuses on it's own strong points, I believe that a certain amount of interesting urban development that would occur.
A complete lack of caution is perhaps one of the true signs of a real gourmet: he has no need for it, being filled as he is with a God-given and intelligently self-cultivated sense of gastronomical freedom.

M.F.K. Fisher

#12 OPQUAL

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Posted 13 January 2005 - 11:33 AM

Nice Reply F.J.

Downtown Vancouver is just odd at best...

It has zero room to sprawl.

You've got officers row to the east, and water, amtrak,ports,jails etc to the west...

If In the furture this area was to prosper, those little WWII era homes in the neighborhood would be quite a bargain... :-)

There was an excellent restaurant in old vancouver. It was in a railcar. I believe it was called the crossing when I went, but I believe it has changed hands enogh times to make any review unworthy...

Be Well

#13 OPQUAL

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Posted 13 January 2005 - 11:41 AM

I haven't had any reason to frequent that area in years...
I hit the farmers market during the season, but no other dollars are spent in the area. I hit officer's row for the Halloween and other festivities, but still spend no monies outside of the attraction I go to see....

I do however hit the old burgerville and El Presidente when I am forced to spend time in that area...

Neither of those being a top rated stop, just a stomach fill if you will... :roll:

Be Well

#14 foodjunkie

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Posted 13 January 2005 - 12:40 PM

Well, if you get downtown any time soon, may I recommend:

The Oregon or Potato, Egg & Chorizo Burrito from Muchas Gracias at the corner of McLoughlin and Washington...and it's open 24hrs!

Hidden House- it's a whole experience in itself and the food is very good...bring your accordian music requests.

Coffee Talk- Decent Java, noteworthy Greek food. I like the Avogolemono and the Dolmas.

The squid sandwich from Tommy-O's is quite tasty...and huge. Go for the cucumber salad instead of the chips.

I like the guisadas from the "deli" at de Leon on E. 4th Plain.

And the piece d' resistance.........Casablanca! It's a "newish" place on Main St. in Uptown. We've had some truly excellent meals there. The game hen w/ preserved olives and lemons he had as a special last week was outstanding. Order the hot mint tea and definitely check out the brunch or lunch buffet sometime.
A complete lack of caution is perhaps one of the true signs of a real gourmet: he has no need for it, being filled as he is with a God-given and intelligently self-cultivated sense of gastronomical freedom.

M.F.K. Fisher

#15 OPQUAL

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Posted 13 January 2005 - 01:12 PM

No squid for me... 8O

Muchas Gracias would be ok for me though...

I've had a bad experience ad hiiden house, but I believe it is under new owners in the past 5 years?

I think I read a Tommy-O review in pdxguide, but I don't frequent Downtown Vancouver enough to remeber these places...

Thanks...



P.S. What's up with that RaIl Car Restaurant called "The Crossing"....

I enjoyed it a few times in the early 90's, but have not been since.....

#16 foodjunkie

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Posted 13 January 2005 - 01:26 PM

Never eaten at The Crossing. The wife and I walked in and looked around this past summer though. It looks like a sports bar that serves food, but the place itself...several train cars connected together...has some great vibes. It fits right in with the local demographic for now. Maybe it will change hands some day and it's true potential will be realized. Might be worth stopping in for a beer just to check out the old dining car interiors.
A complete lack of caution is perhaps one of the true signs of a real gourmet: he has no need for it, being filled as he is with a God-given and intelligently self-cultivated sense of gastronomical freedom.

M.F.K. Fisher

#17 ExtraMSG

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Posted 13 January 2005 - 01:37 PM

I think the biggest problem with Downtown Vancouver is they've got that damned bridge and I-5 traffic. Who wants to live where every morning there's a line of cars literally *miles* long. I can probably get to downtown Portland faster from my house than from downtown Vancouver. And the commute home is even worse!

I worked in downtown Vancouver for a year or so. Weren't many food options. We called Coffee Talk "Manny's". I think that was the owner's name, but I only went occasionally for decent soups. Would sometimes go to Jerusalem Cafe and Thai Orchid, though neither is that great in their genre (some items being *bad* at Jerusalem).

Both El Presidente and Casa Grande are some of the *worst* Mexican food I've had in my life. Just terrible, imo. Muchas Gracias is pretty weak taqueria food and I'd much rather go there. The only thing I ever get, though, is the Oregon anymore. It's their one truly tasty item. I wish they'd at least use better tortillas, though. They're comparable to the pressed Wonder that Taco Hell uses.

There's Little Italy or whatever it's called that's okay, but I never went there because the a-holes kept having my car ticketed for meter plugging while I was at work.

I've stopped by and looked at the menu for Casablanca, but I haven't made the effort. I should some time.

More often, though, I would either go across the river to a Jantzen chain or go to Thai Little Home or a taqueria or taco truck up on Fourth Plain for lunch. There was also a burger/fish&chips place off Marine Drive just across the river some people in my office liked.

#18 foodjunkie

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Posted 13 January 2005 - 02:23 PM

I think the biggest problem with Downtown Vancouver is they've got that damned bridge and I-5 traffic.  Who wants to live where every morning there's a line of cars literally *miles* long.  I can probably get to downtown Portland faster from my house than from downtown Vancouver.  And the commute home is even worse!


If you look at the census figures for Clark County, you'll see that apparently thousands of people don't mind. The same holds true for people who have moved to West Slope, Beaverton, Hillsboro, etc... and still come into town every day. Traffic is one of those things that humans seem to adapt to fairly easily when the rest of their quality of life is good. Just look at S. California and the I-35 corridor between Austin and S.A.

I think that what that keeps things from happening in Vancouver relates to the lack of accenting the better features of the North Bank. I pray that the indoor market space for the Vancouver Farmers market will develop into a micro-Pike's Place type situation...but the guy they have running the show there hasn't seemed very motivated to make anything along those lines happen. Just opening pretty shops and nice restaurants will not draw people from PDX or Camas or Washougal or Woodland, unless they are so outstanding that nothing in PDX can measure up...it's going to take innovators, risk-takers and flexibilty to make things work for Vancouver. Otherwise, we'll have to settle for Vancouver being another Gresham or a sprawling Texas-type suburban sprawl providing homogenous housing and cloned restaurants for the masses thanks to the big tax incentives being offered to corporate entities and cash bloated developers from Oregon and California who envision. Sorry about the rant, but I think there's a great deal of positive potential in the 'Couv and I cringe at the thought of the city losing the charm that initially attracted me. Just my two cents...
A complete lack of caution is perhaps one of the true signs of a real gourmet: he has no need for it, being filled as he is with a God-given and intelligently self-cultivated sense of gastronomical freedom.

M.F.K. Fisher

#19 ExtraMSG

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Posted 13 January 2005 - 02:29 PM

I'm not saying some people won't. Personally, I avoid both the west side of the hills and of the couv because of the traffic. But at least the hills have the max, Nike, Intel, and some of the finest golfing in the state, along with being closer to the ocean, farming communities, easy access to wine country. Etc. At least if Vancouver and Portland could ever agree on some light rail to go across the river that'd be something. But I do agree about the risk takers. There's just nothing spectacular on our side of the river -- in any sense. We're just a cheaper place to live.

#20 foodjunkie

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Posted 13 January 2005 - 03:09 PM

Public Transportation is HUGE. if I could take an express train btwn Vancouver and Downtown PDX I would sell my car in a heartbeat! Unfortunately, our civic leaders are not capable of generating the support this sort of project needs in order to succeed.

Now as far as nothing spectacular on our side of the River...

We have the largest migratory bird, big game, upland bird and pheasant release sites for hunting within 80-100 miles of downtown PDX.

We have awesome fishing along the Columbia, Vancouver Lake and right up the road in Washougal.

Vancouver Lake offers great potential for recreational kayaking and canoeing.

We have some of the best bird watching on the Pacific Flyway.

As silly as it sounds, a walk on the beach while boat spotting is a nice relaxing activity along the Columbia, out near Lower River Rd., past Vancouver Lake.

There's Fitzgerald's Fine Wines in Camas.

How about the theater at the Slocum House in Esther Short Park?

We have miles and miles of virtually traffic free bike lanes and pedestrian/bike paths.

We have a very impressive Farmer's Market.

We have no oppressive law enforcement officials coming down on folks who walk their pooches offleash in a multitude of great outdoor rec. areas.

We have several nice indoor pools within a few miles radius of one another.

We have the best large venue for live music with the opening of the new Ampitheater.

We have a great number of excellent historical sites...I know it's not as fun as Xbox or Digital Cable, but we've been amazed at the cool places to visit in our area.

Alright..alright..I'll stop being a poster child for what's great about Vancouver and get back to the food...I just think people should know how cool it really is over here.
A complete lack of caution is perhaps one of the true signs of a real gourmet: he has no need for it, being filled as he is with a God-given and intelligently self-cultivated sense of gastronomical freedom.

M.F.K. Fisher