Stumptown Lunch News: The economy sucks!

This is gloomy, but not unexpected, news. The Oregonian reports on the sad state of the local restaurant business. We’ve had to pinch our own dining-out dollars recently and this awful, crappy weather doesn’t help! If you have the means, visit your favorite local eateries. We don’t want Portland to become a bastion of just Burger Kings and Taco Bells!

Stumptown Lunch News: Mercato closes

Wow, that didn’t last long. We noticed last night that one of the Pearl District’s newest eateries is already out of business. We enjoyed eating at Mercato several times during their eight months in operation, so we are sad to see them go.

In other Stumptown Lunch News, we are working on a review of Five Guys and we urge all of you to remember to vote!

At least three national businesses are offering yummy treats for voters on Tuesday. Get a free star-shaped doughnut at Krispy Kreme. Enjoy a steaming hot tall-sized cup of coffee at Starbucks. And, you can end Election Day with a free scoop of ice cream at Ben & Jerry’s (5 to 8 p.m.). YUM!

Stumptown Lunch News: Hooters Beaverton Closes

Looks like there is one less place to get wings at lunch in the Portland area!

The Lunch Lady got word of the closing of the Beaverton Hooters location via the Conan O’Brien Show just tonight (including a lame Beaverton-related joke).

Sadly, upon further research, it sounds like the employees pretty much got screwed over and weren’t told the restaurant was going to close. That’s pretty cold — especially for the gals who wear those skimpy outfits!

The last remaining Hooters location in Oregon is at Jantzen Beach.

Stumptown Lunch News: Goodbye Chili’s

On Friday, a friend and I decided to make a dent in his Chili’s gift card (a recent birthday present, and one of his favorite places to eat). We drove over to the Lake Oswego location to grab a quick bite only to find an empty parking lot.Chili’s was closed. Seal up and completely erased of any Chili’s identifying markers.

What? Just a few weeks ago the Internet was packed with ads touting their new Bottomless Express Lunch.

I had heard that Chili’s was in financial trouble, but didn’t realize that they boarded up four Portland locations almost a month ago. So if you have a Chili’s gift card you’re going to have to head over to Clackamas Town Center–the only Chili’s still open in the entire Portland area.

Review: Mercato

mercato_1.gif

Mercato
904 NW Couch Street
Portland, OR
503-219-9966
Map It!
[rating:4.5]

mercato_2.gif  mercato_3.gif  mercato_4.gif

UPDATE: Mercato is now closed.

Wow, I think the Lunch Lady has a new favorite lunch spot in the Pearl. From the big screen TVs behind the counter (when we were there three were displaying the menu and the other was tuned to CNN) to the incredibly friendly waitstaff to the bright and open dining area to the display cases of yummy gelato, paninis, desserts and bottled drink offerings, Mercato is certainly off to a good (and tasty) start! Mercato opened just over a week ago, but they should definitely be on your lunch list.

If there is anything on the downside, it’s the prices. Though the prices are comparable to other Pearl lunch establishments, it’s still on the high side of the StumptownLunch budget. Salads start at $7, paninis go for $9 (including a small mixed greens salad), pizzas start at $10 (these are big, but not really big enough to share if that’s all you’re ordering) and pasta dishes start at $11.  They also offer a wide array of beverages, including espresso, beer and wine. Continue reading Review: Mercato