Portland City Grill
111 SW Fifth Avenue, 30th Floor
This is THE happy hour experience you must do at least once if you are in Stumptown. That is, if you can get a table! My best advice: come early.
The lunch menu at Portland City Grill is certainly on the splurge side of the StumptownLunch.com budget, but if you want to taste the amazing food, gaze at the eagle-eye view and save a lot of cash, go for happy hour. Happy hour runs from 4:30 to 6:30 pm Monday through Saturday, 10 pm to midnight Monday through Thursday and (get this) from 4 pm to close on Sunday! There is beverage minimum of $2.75 per person, but that’s easy to fulfill with a nice chilled beer or one of their delicious cocktails. Sure, the drinks are on the pricey side, but the experience is worth it.
The reason Portland City Grill is as popular has to be the food bargains-they really can’t be beat. Dishes start at $1.95 and, at the time of this review, nothing on the happy hour menu is over $4.95. You can easily grab a delicious late lunch/early dinner for less than $10 per person. Seriously, many of the happy hour items are on the regular lunch and dinner menus, but at a fraction of the price you’d be paying in the dining room.
Some of my favorites are the California Sushi Roll, the Caesar Salad, the Dungeness Crab and Bay Shrimp Bruschetta, the Grilled White Cheddar and Chive Burger, the Chilled Soba Noodle Salad and the Dungeness Crab Cakes. Okay, I know that’s like half the menu, but just about everything I’ve ever order-or tried off someone else’s plate-has been delightful.
Obviously, one of the main draws to Portland City Grill is its location on the 30th Floor of Big Pink. The view is amazing, but getting a table along the windows means you are going to have to plan to show up very early. On a recent visit, we arrived 15 minutes before happy hour was to start only to find a long line of like-minded people. Once they opened the bar area for seating, it was an insanely mad dash for tables. We got one, but one closer to the door than the panoramic view. So don’t be disappointed it you don’t get the best table in the place-it’s first come, first serve.
Portland City Grill is a great place to take out-of-town guests or get together with friends. Yes, it’s a bit of a splurge, but the food and atmosphere are delightful and fun. It’s a taste of the stylish restaurant without the budget-breaking bill at the end. That being said, I still highly recommend getting there early!
Pros: Great food, excellent prices for good-sized portions, terrific variety, amazing view (if you can see it through the crowds), great place to meet up with friends, great place to take out-of-towners
Cons: Gets packed within minutes of opening, can be hard to find a table, no drink specials during happy hour, they aren’t very organized about people waiting for a table, no good place to wait for a table except the hallway
Link to a sample Portland City Grill HH menu