If you’re looking for a classic steakhouse in Portland, then you could do worse than Ringside. The service is friendly and efficient and the food, especially the dry aged beef, is good. However, we prefer the restaurant at Laurelhurst Market where you can get unusual cuts of beef served with excellent non-traditional sides. The best option, though, is to go buy a steak at Laurelhurst Market and ask them how to cook it at home.
Culmination is our kind of brewery — that is, we like their priorities. On our recent visit, their taps disposed of no less than six IPAs (to include a double, an imperial, and a gin barrel aged version) and three saisons. For my money, their flagship Phaedrus IPA is the only one of its type you need to drink, a classic PNW IPA. You should definitely visit Culmination’s tap room on Mondays starting at 5 pm, because that is currently the only day of the week that the Bhuna pop-up is in operation.
We love the Screen Door. Because of a few service upsets, we’ve had to limit our rating to 3.5, but the food is really, really good. To avoid the crowds and having to wait in line, go early or on a weekend morning.
We picked Newport because of its close proximity to Fishguard where we would be taking the ferry to Ireland the next day. We had no idea how charming we would find the place and how convenient it was to yet another beautiful walk along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.
Located in the original St. Jack location on SE Clinton, Jaqueline is a romantic and intimate space serving up some excellent fish dishes. Check them out on Mondays when they have their Fish Fry special, a great deal. The fish and chips were seriously amazing, especially the Rainier-battered cod, which was the best fried fish I have ever ingested, full stop.
Yama (meaning mountain in Japanese) provides a nicely appointed one stop shop for sushi, Japanese drinking food (known bizarrely here and at other Portland Izakaya as “tapas”), and ramen with locations in SE and the Pearl.
After reading Willamette Week and Eater PDX reviews of Hem 23, the MagoGuide team was all excited about trying out this new Vietnamese drinking food venue on 23rd street in NW Portland. We couldn’t have been more disappointed. Everything looked good, but everything about this chain restaurant in disguise was bland, especially the food. If you want real Vietnamese drinking food head for Fish Sauce or Lela’s Bistro in Northwest, Lu Lac in Southwest, or cross the river for Short Round.
Noraneko, described by owners Kina and Gabe as “a ramen shop/ futuristic post-whatever diner”, is a cultural appropriation success story. Located under the eastern end of the Hawthorne Bridge, this bright and inviting space screams come and get warm in the winter while offering a break from Portland’s hot and crowded east side bar and foodie scene in the summer.
We love eating at Bar Avignon in Portland’s SE district. The food is French and tasty. Although the wine is pricey, there are some excellent beers on offer. It also has a great chefs counter and friendly service. What more do you need?
Langbaan (which means back of the house in Thai) offers a pre-fixe, eleven-course tasting menu of high-end Thai regional dishes that rotates on a monthly basis in a twenty-seat “pop-up” space that is heavy on wood, low on light, and intimate (as in not quite cheek by jowl but close). In general Langbaan serves a variant of Thai food that I have never had. Compared to what I usually eat at, say Pok Pok or Farmhouse Kitchen, this cuisine was highly refined in terms of flavor, composition, and plating. The ingredients shown through more distinctly, enlarging the palate usually associated with Thai flavors in terms of both novelty and nuance. But the spice profiles, especially the heat, were definitely restrained and in a few cases under seasoned.