Thursday, December 24, 2009

To have eaten in Portland

A dear friend moved to Portland, Oregon, recently. Although she has lived in that state for at least a decade, only in the last year has she lived in The City. To vicariously rediscover it with her has been a good revisitation. I lived there in 1998, but it has undoubtedly changed and grown into itself.
When i was asked for recommendations by another friend in San Francisco in anticipation of their Christmas trip to visit relatives, i demurred to one who lives there. This is her reply:

"All of my faves are in Southeast Portland, but I'd be happy to share with your pals! East Burnside has quite a few wonderful places...I recommend The Screen Door for delightful southernish cuisine ( bottomless, refreshing sweet tea) with a hipster twist. Might help to make reservations, if they take them. Photi's (perhaps Foti's) is a Greek deli, also on East Burnside, is a working class joint that offers wonderful Greek staples like gyros and spanikopita. It also has a sweet little grocery store inside. The owner is all too happy to help with wine selection and you can buy a bottle there and pop it open to drink with your lunch. The Doug Fir is another East Burnside establishment that serves up comfort food like cobb salads and blts. They are also a wonderful music venue. Toast, on SE 52nd, between Steele and Woodstock is a great breakfast joint. Tani's, on Woodstock, is our fave Japanese....soothing, elegant, and delicious miso, toasted sesame tea, cheap but great sushi, and many other delights are on the menu there. My friend Hope has a funky little breakfast place on Belmont called Slappy Cakes...the featurettes are the pancakes, grilled at your table, with an array of condiments and embellishments for diners to choose from. Hoda's is a Lebanese place, also on Belmont, which is a favorite with our family. They could try Hammy's Pizza on Clinton or Gladstone Pizza and Coffee (on Gladstone, obviously) for splendid pizza margerita. There are any number of Vietnamese bakeries in every part of town...they could cruise the PSU area for Thai, Middle Eastern, and Indian (Swagat, in Northwest, offers scrumptious Indian cuisine). Y'know, I could go on and on! As far as haute cuisine goes, I've heard of two places on, Mississippi and Alberta, in Northeast...Belly and Beast. Beast is all about meat, as the name suggests. All I know abut Belly is that it is wonderful and expensive!
Really, your friends cannot go wrong in Portland when searching for great food. If they cruise East Burnside, Clinton, Hawthorne above 39th and past the hip strip, Woodstock between 52nd and 39th (except for the wonderful Mezza, Middle Eastern, at about S.E. 54th or 55th), Belmont, PSU or Mississippi/Alberta (for more haute cuisine), they will find something to tempt their tummies! I hope this helps....oh, I should not forget Jake's Fish House, off West Burnside on 12th, I believe. Their menu is divine!"

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