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Patanegra


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#1 hidenseek

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Posted 16 September 2005 - 01:22 PM

Know very little about Spanish food, but do remember the mistake of ordering paella on one of my few visits to Andina. A friend is suggesting Patanegra. And my wife, after a recent visit to St. Honore's, noticed rabbit (I think) on the menu. Is it worth a try?

#2 Angelhair

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Posted 16 September 2005 - 01:52 PM

My own personal experience with Patanegra was not positive, but we were a large group later in the evening. I have had several friends give great reviews to the place, however.

As I recall, they served a good duck (pato) as well as a shrimp or prawn tapa that I liked. I di not try the paella.

If you do go, post a follow-up report, pease.

Niki

#3 Amanda

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Posted 16 September 2005 - 02:14 PM

I went there with the PortlandFood.org gang the same time as Niki did and was not impressed at all. However, I've read reviews from the newspapers since then that were pretty good, so did we hit it on an off night? If so, it was really off, I thought.

I heard Fernando's Hideaway downtown has good paella, but I do not have first-hand experience with that particular dish there. I had tapas and wine there after a show last summer and everything was very good. They have an excellent and extensive list of Spanish wines there.

Best regards,

Amanda

#4 RM

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Posted 16 September 2005 - 04:22 PM

We had agroup of 20 or so at Fernando's Hideaway 4-5 months ago and had Paella and tapas. They prepare paella in a large pan to accomodate the size of your group and then serve everyone. We enjoyed ourselves and as was stated, their list of Spanish wines is huge and has some reasonable choices as well as some pricey ones.

roy

#5 ciaofun

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Posted 16 September 2005 - 04:33 PM

Just got back from lunch with a friend who had recently been to Patanegra. She ordered the paella and was quite pleased. They had five varieties on the menu. I think she ordered the seafood. She also mentioned that the prices were very reasonable.

#6 ducky

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Posted 17 September 2005 - 01:54 PM

I've had a good experience at Fernando's Hideaway as well. We ordered many tapas that were all excellent. I'm not a clam person myself but I remember going back to the broth over and over with pieces of bread while my cousin thoroughly enjoyed the clams. I don't remember the exact name of the special ham they had but it was served with manchego cheese, quince paste and bread. With the glass of wine and the good company, that plate alone made for a memorable evening.
Pamela

Eating is not merely a material pleasure. Eating well gives a spectacular joy to life
and contributes immensely to goodwill and happy companionship.
It is of great importance to the morale.

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(Avatar is the cover of Sunlight Cafe by Mollie Katzen)

#7 Angelhair

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Posted 17 September 2005 - 02:15 PM

Love your quote, Ciaofun! So many beer festivals, so little time!

#8 hidenseek

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Posted 19 September 2005 - 07:36 AM

We ended up at Patanegra for an early dinner Saturday night. It was disappointing to learn that they wouldn't prepare the paella my wife hoped for without a minimum two-person order ($19/person), but there seemed a wide enough variety of tempting tapas, so we chose that route instead. We ordered five to share, and an appetizer of what I'd best describe as Spain's version of bruschetta.

I've not been to many places that serve tapas, but it was difficult to not compare the dining experience with that of Noble Rot, a place I like a lot. And Patanegra came up on the short end of the stick in every case, from overdone meatballs, to undercooked bacon around the scallops, aioli that was more paste than sauce, overly greasy calamari, overly oily mushrooms, and what IS that marinade for the trout filets? The taste experience was never bad, and in some cases quite pleasing and surprising, but because of poor execution, failed to live up to the promise of the menu.

So it wasn't a bad experience, but cerainly not memorable, and not one we'd rush to return to. Except maybe for that bottle of Spanish wine!

#9 singingpig

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 04:59 PM

I have eaten at Patanegra several times. The first time I met a friend from Barcelona there. Of course, we sat at the bar so my buddy could trade insults with the owner. We had more Rioja than I am used to, but I remember we had crouquettes, beet salad, anchovies and the "butcher shop" Paella. I enjoyed it, especially the paella.

I went back the next week and ate a whole paella myself. As I am allergic to shellfish (drat!), I ate the butcher shop, again. Delicious! The owners were keeping track to see if I could actually eat the whole thing. Easy days, plus dessert.

For me, the standout tapas are the duck confit, chorizo w/lentils, and the calabaza soup.

I don't really comment on service as I usually am eating at a customer's restaurant, and so I always get great service--like spending time with family.

#10 Amanda

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Posted 27 January 2006 - 08:48 AM

My experience at Patanegra was similar to Hidenseek's. I was displeased with the service and the food was certainly nothing to shout about. Someone else can go there, but my return is extremely doubtful. With so many great restaurants in Portland I think I can spend my $$$ someplace a lot better.

Best regards,

Amanda

#11 enjoyseverythingpdx

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 02:01 PM

Hello to all.

My recent experience at Patanegra was possibly my worst ever.

The low-down: My boyfriend and I decide to go out for a romantic evening after work on a Wednesday evening at 7:00 PM. We arrive at Patanegra on NW 23rd Place, and decide to sit outside in the sun. They seat us downwind from their trash enclosure, that smells terrible, but no harm done— we simply ask to sit inside.

We walk into the empty restaurant where a kind server instructs us to sit anywhere we like along the wall. The place is totally vacant, save two quiet, older women at a two-person table. Wanting to get cozy, we settle for a table for four and sit next to each other on the bench side. Our waiter kindly arrives, takes our drink orders, allows us to browse the menus.

Moments later, I notice him chatting with the owner at the bar who is pointing at us and fingering our seating. Our server comes back and begrudgingly informs us that, although he doesn't care, the manager has asked us to move to a smaller, two-person table in case the place gets busy. Keep in mind, it already 7:00 PM, and 25 of the 27 or so tables are empty.

**Note: we are seated with two smaller tables pushed together. Had they suddenly become uncontrollably busy, the waitstaff could have kindly asked us if they could split the tables, and we would've happily obliged.

**Note also that I used to work in a restaurant, so I’m particularly patient with kind servers and accommodating customers. I don’t blame the waitstaff here. In fact, they were apologetic, and seemed to think this was as ridiculous as we did.

In spite of how absurd the request was, my boyfriend moves to sit across from me as the waiter obediently splits the tables. Thinking that this was actually quite silly, we ask our humble and apologetic server if we can speak to his manager. The manager is on the phone behind the bar but learns that we want to speak with him. Minutes go by. He gets off the phone but we see no sign of him. He finds everything else to do BUT come and address his customers. We ask again. Nothing.

Finally, I decide to get up and speak to him. I find him off the phone, behind the bar and therefore able to chat with me. I ask him why he hasn’t come to talk to us, even though we had requested it, and he barks back “What is your problem? What do you want?”

Resenting the rudeness, I ask him why saw it so imperative to move us in an empty restaurant. He yells that he asked no one to move me and that the server knows the policy. “If you are two people, you sit at a two person table. If you are four people, you sit at a four person table.”

I agree with him. That makes sense. However, the restaurant was essentially empty, so could he try to accommodate us? We are paying customers and would like to sit together.

This was the straw that broke the spitting camel’s back. He starts shouting at the top of his lungs “I DON’T CARE WHO THE F**K YOU ARE! GET OUT OF MY F**KING RESTAURANT!”

The boyfriend jumps in, saying “Sir, hold on, this is an opportunity for you to win over some customers who have been here several times. We love your food. We’d just like to know why you won’t let us sit together.” To which our temperamental friend flies off the handle, shooing us out, and screaming that he doesn’t give a fuck who we are, and that we are fucking assholes with our fucking bullshit! At this point, two freshly seated new parties, totally stunned, turn in his direction, mouths agape, shocked at the language, the aggression, and the violent gestures.

We were two relatively quiet customers who were being ushered out with little, if any provocation. Offended and stunned, I collect my purse, and quietly say to the people at the table next to me that this was all because we wanted to sit together at a table for four. The owner then comes screaming directly at me that I should not be telling everyone my “fucking life story” and to get the “FUCK OUT of his restaurant.”

Fine. So the boyfriend and I walk out and in one last comment, the boyfriend says “be assured that we won’t be coming back”, to which the guy looks at me and responds “get your fat ass out.”

I’d also like to note that in this instance, the boyfriend and I could be classified as “laidback suits”. Suit dress, suit composure. We weren’t bums. Were obviously going to order more food, wine, the works. There were no fists-a-flailin’. No bad language. We didn't even raise our voices. We simply wanted to sit together. We like food and fun dining experiences. At most, we’re snobs about ingredients but don’t ever take it out on the restaurant. Instead, we generally tip 20+% and chat away with the waitstaff, knowing that their work is arduous and fruitless. I’ve been there. It sucks. I empathize.

In all seriousness, I was shocked, totally offended and mostly confused. The owner had already made up his mind that he didn't want to hear anything we had to say before we even came to talk to him. He didn't listen for even a second, but instead started screaming profanities at us, right off the bat. This was by far the worst dining experience either of us had ever had.

I just think that this is a good opportunity to expose some really unfortunate behavior in the restaurant world. If this guy wants paying customers, he shouldn’t be treating customers so obscenely. And he’s done it before--read citysearch. You’ll see.

#12 polloelastico

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 03:31 PM

Thx for the heads up. What…a…complete…asshat.

My mom was in town a few weeks back and wanted paella, and it was recommended that we check this place out. Unfortunately (or rather fortunately, as it seems), we couldn't make it out that evening and settled for a quick bite in our neighborhood.

I have read those comments on Citysearch, but took with a grain of salt, and still had this place in mind for a future meal. No more.

People like this give pricks a bad name.
“Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.” — George Carlin

#13 Amanda

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 04:23 PM

You want paella? Head for Fernando's Hideaway. There is NO reason whatsoever to go to Patanegra...unless you enjoy poor service and mediocre food. I thought we had it bad when we went, but this is over the top. Way bad. Never again. I feel your pain.

Best regards,

Amanda

#14 Egads

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 05:03 PM

Woah.

Hey, maybe he's doing it as a schtick, you know, like one of those restaurants that is "known" for over-the-top bad service, to the point that people go there just to be yelled at? I've never been to one, but I've heard of a place in Chicago, I think, or maybe L.A., where they are just absurd with the abuse. I guess it brings out the masochistic side in people.

In this case, though, wow. Guy sounds like a raving lunatic.

#15 enjoyseverythingpdx

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 05:04 PM

:( No kidding, right?

I think the most offensive part was when he called me a "fatass".... I'm a size 6! not fat! not fat!

hahaha ok well there was so much more wrong with the experience- namely that it happened. Still, it smarts.

hrmph. Yeah get paella elsewhere... not worth it at Patanegra-- particularly if you're taking your mom-- no sense in having her called a fatass on a lovely evening out!!

#16 ExtraMSG

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 06:35 PM

Welcome to the site enjoyseverythingpdx.
The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

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#17 Egads

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 07:07 PM

I am compelled to note that, in light of the truly horrendous dining experience that formed the basis for your very first post, it is odd that you would choose the name "enjoyseverythingpdx." :(

Have you considered "enjoyseverythingbutpantanegrainpdx"?

#18 amtbr

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Posted 12 May 2006 - 07:07 AM

Maybe the manager is on edge because his place is sinking? Everytime I go by there in the evening the place is empty.

#19 chefboy

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Posted 12 May 2006 - 07:54 AM

I have been to Patanegra once, and the experience was so bad I'm never going back. Sorry to Patanegra fans, but Paella is a thing to made well, or not at all. Waitstaff was fine, but management was horrible and the food was so bland. I didn't know duck confit was supposed to be dry and crunchy...

#20 ExtraMSG

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Posted 12 May 2006 - 07:56 AM

Welcome to the site, chefboy.
The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole & Kenny & Zuke's