House of Louie
331 NW Davis Street
Portland, Oregon 97209
House of Louie has been around for as long as I can remember, but it wasn’t until a rebellious night during my freshman year in college that I actually visited the Chinatown restaurant. Being that was more than ten years ago, and the same night that I was basically dared into getting my bellybutton pierced at some seedy tattoo joint on East Burnside (it was actually cool to do back then), I can’t say if the food was better or worse than it is today.
I’ve been back to House of Louie several times since I moved back to Portland, and I find it to be a great place to pick up a fast and very filling lunch. Though I’ve only tried a few of the dim sum items, the various carts come around the tables quite frequently and it seems to be a popular lunchtime choice.
In my opinion, the best deals at House of Louie are the combination lunch specials. They offer a wide variety of Chinese entrée dishes and the lunch special includes soup, wontons, an egg roll and rice. The lunch specials are also very well priced—few, if any, are more than $10.
I will say that some dishes are better than others. My lunch companion ordered the Sweet and Sour Pork, but thought my General Tso’s Chicken tasted better—I would have agree. I would absolutely get the General Tso’s Chicken again! It was fabulous! The meat was perfectly cooked and the deep-fried batter was crispy, not greasy. The Sweet and Sour Pork wasn’t bad, either, just average as far as Chinese fare goes.
The waitstaff was fast, friendly and attentive. Their English might not be perfect, but this is Chinatown! We were seated immediately, and greeted with a fresh pot of tea and our water glasses were filled up by the time we sat down. We got our order in quickly and our soup course was on the table within minutes. Our massive plates of food followed soon after. And by massive, I mean you should expect to have leftovers unless you are really, really hungry.
One thing that should be said is that, no, this is not P.F. Chang’s. So if you are freaked out by the idea of going to Old Town/Chinatown, then you might want to skip House of Louie and stick to your favorite suburban Chinese place. The restaurant itself is a little rundown décor-wise and the neighborhood is still on the shady side—it’s much better than it was years ago.
Overall, this is good place to grab a fast, filling lunch, and I am sure I’ll be back.
Pros: Daily lunchtime dim sum, lunch specials, fast and friendly service