Saturday, November 27, 2010

del INTI, (Grade A)

Date of last visit: November 2010
Address:  2315 NE Alberta, Portland, Oregon
Phone:  503-288-8191
Hours: Closed M & T -- Dinner Wed to Sunday 5PM to 10PM, Happy Hour 4 to 7

General Impressions of the place itself: Simple decor, nicely done. Some outdoor seating and a fire pit to keep the waiting area on the sidewalk warm.  Inside, cork floors, open kitchen, comfortable seating, Peruvian tapestry on the wall and some nice, original art featuring jazz musicians. Well done decor
What we ordered: SANGRIA; Porter on Tap;  To Start--PLATO del Inti (sampler) with Potato Croquette, Beef Heart with Salsa, and Causa with crab and Avocado; main course --> SALTADO, stir fried hanger steak with scallions, red onions, tomato, cilantro, fried potatoes with soy sauce glaze with a side of rice; and, PRAWNS --don't remember the name. DESERT: CHOCOLATE CUSTARD
Things we liked and disliked:  The food was all exceptional in this Peruvian-North West inspired Resturant --we could have lived without the CAUSA on the sampler plate, not because it was bad, but becasue it was not to our taste.  Everything else, to a dish was excellent. We will try one of the Ceviche Dishes next trip
Number in our party: 2
Total Bill:   $61 includes drinks but not tip add $10.  Considering the quality of the food this was a real bargain
Recommended -- absolutely yes
With a Five Star Scale - and Five being perfect - we rate this place? 4++

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Dick's Kitchen (Grade C-)

Date of last visit: November 2010
Address: 3312 SE Belmont, Portland, Oregon
Phone: 503- 235-0146
Hours: Mon to Sat 11AM to 10PM -- Sunday 11AM to 9PM

General Impressions of the place itself: We went in when this was still a pretty new place and it was crowded..we had to wait about a half hour for a table for 4. There are two rooms. The one you enter has the kitchen and a few bar style seats in the front window. There is a whole wall / whiteboard with information about what is being served  / sort of a menu.  But there are paper menu's too. The second room has lots of tables, many of which are set up for community style eating--ie tables for 15+  seats various groups at the same table.  The decor is minimal--pictures of guys named Dick (Nixon, Van Dyke, etc) and floor to ceiling drapery covering electrical outlets, etc. Perfectly nice, super casual.
What we ordered:  2 people ordered French Onion ZIZOU Burgers with 'not fries'; One person got a Portobello Burger; the last person got a Vegie Bowl that was listed on the Wall but not in the menu..and we all had beer.
Things we liked and disliked:  First Off--the staff was vry nice.. no problem there. And DK is advertising itself as a healthy food joint with  grass fed beef, 'not fries/french fries', etc. -- so we were looking forward to trying this place out.  Maybe we were expecting too much. Or maybe they were too busy and had not yet got the kinks out of what to do when so many people show up. But we waited for half and hour for our table, ordered immediately (we had plenty of time to study the menu while waiting) and then we waited for another 30 + minutes for our food, whcih arrived luke warm. The burgers were nothing exceptional, the fries--cold--were unappetizing.  The Vegi Bowl got a thumbs up.   We will probably try them again, when they are not so busy--but this was an inauspicious start
Number in our party: 4
Total Bill:   Around $50 prices are reasonable
Recommended?  Not yet
With a Five Star Scale - and Five being perfect - we rate this place? 2 maybe

Mandrian Cove (Grade C to C+)

Date of last visit: October 2010
Address: 111 SW Columbia Street, #1, Portland Oregon
Phone: 503 - 222-0066
Hours: M-F 10:45 to 9:00  Sat Noon to 9:45;  Sunday 4PM to 9PM

General Impressions of the place itself::  I have driven past this place 100s of times and never thought to go it, But the other night we were headed to the Variable Quandary--and it was not open we walked down the street to the Mandarin Cove, a restaurant located at the base of a large office building. It appears to be a glassed in porch -- and when you enter the inside-outside feel of the glass wall and ceiling is maintained with lots of plants--sort of an old fashion fern bar feel with standard old fashion Chinese Restaurant chairs and tables.  This is a functional place that is a little run down at the heels (entry carpet needs replacing, etc) But we were seated right away and given an extensive menu.  
What we ordered:  Szechwan Beef and Double Cooked Pork + rice.
Things we liked and disliked: The food came very fast..and it was as good as any other Chinese Restaurant we have found in Portland. But then we have lived here for nearly 10 years and so far we have not found 'a favorite' Chinese Restaurant. We HAVE looked for one. But so far we've not found oen that stands aboive the crowd.  Mandrian Cove is just fine--but it is not special
Number in our party: 2
Total Bill: approx $20 -- good value
Recommended? With a Five Star Scale - and Five being perfect - we rate this place? 2+

BELLY (Grade B)

Date of last visit: October 2010
Address: 3500 MLK Blve, Portland Oregon
Phone:  503-249-9764
Hours: Tues to Sat 5pm to closing; Sunday 10 to 2

General Impressions of the place itself: Open space, clean lines, slightly aging but comfortable. Open kitchen so you can watch them cook.  One long bar-motif seating (good for happy hour) Lots of tables but not crowded.  A bit on the hip side, but family friendly too,
What we ordered: I had an order of "Spiced beet salad, pear bourbon vinaigrette, chevre" -- It was tasty but it certainly was NOT spicy (spiced v spicy..humm.. a little communication problem here) and it was way too much for one person, so it would be a good dish to share. And we both had the "Pan-roasted scallops, crispy chanterelle risotto, warm savoy cabbage slaw, apple cider beurre blanc" Beautiful presentation and double delicious. Also I had, from the bar a "Pancho Villa’s Revenge.. a house infused orange tequila, papaya puree, lime juice, jalapeno salted rim, rocks."  It was ok and it had a little jalapeno kick. 
Things we liked and disliked: Overall a vey nice place but the 'fresh baked bread" seemed to be overcooked. We like crusty bread but this was very, very crusty--almost all crust. Alsom, three silver dollar pices of this bread were thrown (litterally) on a place and dropped off at our talbe after a pretty long wait.  Kinda tacky. Then the beets realy didn have any spicy to them...but the Scallops made up for it all. They were perfection.

Number in our party: 2
Total Bill: about $75
Recommended? yes..but it is a just a little spend
With a Five Star Scale - and Five being perfect - we rate this place? 3 to 3+

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Super Dog, Grade C-

Date of last visit: August 2010
 Address: 1438 SW Park Ave, Portland, Oregon
Phone: (503) 243-5045
Hours: not sure -- better call to check

General Impressions of the place itself:  fast food joint on the park row--small, a few tables inside, a few tables out front --order at the counter. People eating there seemed to know the place (& each other) and that gave it a nice community feeling.
 What we ordered:  two dog special -came with a drink and chips + coleslaw side --we ordered spicy dogs (chicken with jalapeƱos --and a Spicy Italian)
Things we liked and disliked:  We ordered two different kinds of dogs -BUT they both tasted and looked EXACTLY the same...did they mess up our order?--or is the selection a scam and they don't really have as wide a selection as they say?  To like is the nice list of dogs to choose from --but, then they ought to taste different don't you think?  The bread-bun is super fresh--love that--but it is also a bit too big for the dog.  They have lots of different kinds of mustard.  But they have no mayo, no catsup, no BB-Q sauce, etc. The onions were chopped too big so they fell off the dog.  Slaw is homemade, and is ok--but nothing wonderful. There was a very nice guy behind the counter.
 Number in our party: 2
Total Bill: $9.99 (for the 2 dog special) $3.50 for the slaw
Recommended? not quite--but then, maybe. If we were in the area and wanted something quick and not too expensive we might give them another try. But our first time (courtesy of GROUPON)  was not really very impressive--and with out the GROUPON COUPON we wouldn't have ever gone there.
With a Five Star Scale - and Five being perfect - we rate this place? 2 stars

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The City State Diner - 3 Stars

Date of last visit:  July 2010
 Address: 128 NE 28th Street, Portland Oregon
Hours: 8 AM to 10PM Daily
Link:  City State Diner
General Impressions of the place itself: nice clean, open setting, booths and tables

What we ordered: Meatloaf and Mac& Cheese & A Turkey Sandwich with a Beet Salad
Things we liked and disliked: The service was friendly; All the food was very good, the sauce of the meatloaf was great, the Mac and Cheese would have been better to have split for two people as a side with a split sandwich-- it was a just a bit too much carbs in one dish as a stand alone meal.  The Turkey Sandwich people said it was outstanding.
Number in our party: 6
Total Bill: we got 3 bills (each for 2 people -- ours was not bad $28.00 for meatloaf and Mac & Cheese)
Recommended?  yes.. very nice, everyday sort of drop in place
With a Five Star Scale - and Five being perfect - we rate this place? 3 Stars

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Ten 01 (Grade B-)

Date of last visit:  JULY 2010
Address: 1001 NW Couch (corner of Couch & 10th), Portland Oregon
Phone: (503) 226-3463
Hours:  Mon-Wed 4pm-10:30pm; Thu-Sat 4pm-11pm; Sun 4pm-9pm
Link:  Ten 01

General Impressions of the place itself:  Glitz -- two floors--downstairs bar /with a bar menu for less expensive meals and upstairs with an expensive menu. Nicely designed restaurant --but don't be fooled: there is no grand view of Portland from upstairs (like some of their ads say). They have valet parking--the sign said $4 --which could be valuable in the Pearl. But we found street parking a block away at 6:30 on a Thursday night.
What we ordered:  We ate upstairs and ordered: 
DRINKS: A Nice Draft Beer (forgot the name) & "A PALOMA" a house specialty tequila and grapefruit juice drink that had no punch and was ok but not special
SALAD: Butter Leaf Salad was shared-- nice presentation and nice dressing--but again, nothing to write home about.
DINNER --Salmon and Halibut. Both fish dishes were well prepared but we have both had better at less cost.  Not that it was bad--it was good-- but it was not exceptional
Things we liked and disliked: The place is too spendy for what you get.  The staff was pleasant. We are glad we tried it out but we won't go back to the upstairs area; we might try the downstairs.
Number in our party:  2
Total Bill: $82 PLUS TIP
Recommended? nope
With a Five Star Scale - and Five being perfect - we rate this place 3+ stars for the food/ but drop that to 3 when you factor in the price.