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Anything in Portland unique to a Bay Area visitor?


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#1 hidenseek

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 12:24 PM

Given where she lives, and regularly dines out, I doubt there are places in Portland I could take my visiting sister that would WOW! her. But does anyone have suggestions for a uniquely Portland dining experience that she might enjoy?

#2 ExtraMSG

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 12:38 PM

Well, doesn't that depend on what she's like? What kind of restaurants does she normally enjoy? If she's looking for the two or three star Michelin experience, she might be SOL.

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#3 hidenseek

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 12:55 PM

Well, doesn't that depend on what she's like? What kind of restaurants does she normally enjoy? If she's looking for the two or three star Michelin experience, she might be SOL.


Maybe the food, but I don't think she can stomach most of the people you'd find at a Michelin starred place. When I visit her, the kinds of places we normally end up are much like those named on this forum as local favorites: Park Kitchen, Alba, Alberta St. Oyster, Wildwood, Carlyle, etc.

Hmm.... how's Clarklewis these days?

#4 Daaaaave

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 01:44 PM

I don't know about wow factor, but places I'd be pleased to be taken if I were visiting Portland:

BeWon
Voodoo Doughnut for the zeitgeist
Pok Pok
Pix
Simpatica brunch
Ken's Artisan (both the pizza and bakery)
Pambiche
820/Mint (drinks only)

I don't get down into the Bay Area often so I can't say how many of these have analogues there.

#5 Sabra

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 02:04 PM

I'd also suggest ClarkLewis . . . my visiting mother-in-law from Belgium found it quite different and the food very good.

#6 Leonardo

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 02:44 PM

There was a thread on Chowhound a couple of weeks ago that covered just this question. It's worth checking out.

Sahagun for hot chocolate.
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Apizza Scholls, but I'm sure Bay Area has some equivalents.
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#7 Flynn

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 02:58 PM

Apizza Scholls for sure...I'm skeptical the bay area has anything comparable for that style of pizza, done that well.

I wouldn't hesitate to bring her to Murata if she likes sushi either. Murasaki's is the only downtown SF place I can think of that's similar.

#8 vrunka

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 02:59 PM

I strongly recommend clarklewis. I've had a couple of really good meals there recently (post-implosion) including one with the good people of portlandfood. Simpatica for brunch is a good idea, but don't forget dinner, too, if you can wrangle a reservation. You'll have to sign up for their newsletter to find out what the menu is (which I believe you can do on their website: http://www.simpaticacatering.com ).

Pambiche is fun (though there may well be better Cuban food in SF) and Noble Rot, while not wildly unusual, is still a good bet for exposing out-of-towners to the Portland vibe.

#9 Calabrese

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 03:20 PM

My friends from Sonoma County who go to eat in SF with some frequence (one has a sister there) loved Tabla.

#10 polloelastico

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 03:58 PM

I would take her to a restaurant in our worst neighborhood and wow her with the fact there's not an overabundance of grifters, drug addicts and prostitutes.

I apologize in advance for that remark.
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#11 Flynn

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 04:32 PM

Grifters?? My least favorite.

Better than the Roving Gang of Tom Brokaws!

#12 hidenseek

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 07:38 PM

I would take her to a restaurant in our worst neighborhood and wow her with the fact there's not an overabundance of grifters, drug addicts and prostitutes.

I apologize in advance for that remark.


No sweat, polloelastico. I'm sure my sister wouldn't take offense. I know I don't, especially since I don't have a clue what a grifter is. :angry: Where in The City do they hang out?

And thanks for the ideas, all; some places I hadn't thought about. Apizza Scholl's.... hmm..... Not sure where we'll end up yet, though.

#13 polloelastico

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 08:41 PM

I apologize for being an ass. I was having a bad day.
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#14 pdxnewbie

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 08:46 PM

Hmm, I hear Grifters and think of Annette Benning and Angelica Houston. They have that sort here? :angry:

#15 pdxnewbie

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 08:46 PM

I am trying to think of what wowed me/us when we first arrived, we were eating out every night..
I don't usually recommend it, but Bluehour can be impressive in the evenings.. Would somewhere like Wildwood or Higgins be different enough ?


You could take her for drinks to Veritable Quandary..

What if you did drinks one place, dinner somewhere then dessert somewhere else..?

#16 hidenseek

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 08:52 PM

What the heck are you apologizing for? You feel better, I'm laughing (at self, not you), and my sister will never read this. What's a grifter? :huh:

#17 pdxnewbie

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 08:55 PM

A cheat, a swindler, a con artist and probably never as attractive as the ladies I mentioned above :huh:

#18 Calabrese

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Posted 14 October 2006 - 04:46 AM

After last night's wonderful dinner at Simpatica, if she will be here on a Friday or Saturday, I'd say to give that a try.

#19 malachi

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Posted 14 October 2006 - 12:21 PM

As someone who lived in SF (not the Bay Area, SF) for more than a decade... the places I would suggest (all mentioned before) are:
- clarklewis
- pok pok
- apizza scholls
- noble rot
- saturday market

While each of these has "comparative" restaurants in the Bay Area, all at least stand up to (if not exceed) the comparison.

Do not (I repeat not) take her to any japanese, indian, thai (other than pok pok), mexican (or other central american) or 'high end' places.

#20 JoeDixon

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Posted 14 October 2006 - 12:43 PM

I'd highly recommend Le Pigeon and Valentine's for a truly "Portland", um, uh, vibe (I hate that word).

Both I think are uniquely Portland (someone also mentioned VooDoo Donuts, good pick. And what about a Stumptown?), and serve good food. Valentine's hours are a little sketchy, but if you're in Oldtown around dinner I'd say stop in for at least a glass of wine. Others don't agree, but Le Pigeon's brunch is as good as anything in Portland. And the "white port cooler" is a refreshing change from your standard mimosa.

Man, I miss Portland. Food on the road has been generally pretty dismal- exceptions being when I'm in a place for a day or two and can search out something good. When I'm driving, though... ugh (the major exception being the green chili cheeseburgers in New Mexico).