Review: Boke Bowl (SE Industrial District)

Boke Bowl
1028 SE Water Avenue
Portland, OR 97214
Map It!
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Menu
Lunch money: $$-$$$
Rating: ★★★★½

Portland has a lot of noodle options. Like, A LOT of noodle options. So when the buzz-a-thon about Boke Bowl opening their first permanent location began to spread via Twitter, I knew I was going to have to check it out…stat.

If you’re unfamiliar, the Boke Bowl craze actually dates back to September 2010 when the owners launched their first pop-up dinner, and since that first special event Boke Bowl has won the attention and affection of many a foodie and non-foodie alike.

I really didn’t know what to expect for my first lunchtime visit to their new SE Water Avenue location (just across from clarklewis and next door to Bunk Bar), but I did expect it to be crowded. And it was. We arrived just before noon on a Tuesday and the line stretched the length of the front windows…but luckily there is a good amount of standing room inside (otherwise that’s a big dealbreaker on rainy PDX days).

You order and pay at the counter and then (hopefully) find a seat. There’s a massive menu displayed on the wall and the ordering process is straightforward. Pick a dashi (Japanese-style stock) flavor, choose anything you would like to add on and you’re done!

Boke Bowl also offers a couple side dishes (kimchi, assorted pickles, etc.), steamed buns and desserts just in case that oversized bowl of noodles, veggies and deliciousness wasn’t quite filling enough.

I went with the pork and chicken dashi, which includes smoked pulled pork ($9) and my lunch pal went for the seafood miso dashi with shrimp ($10). We also indulged our sweet tooths and opted to get the chocolate with coconut cream Boke twinkie.

We were lucky enough on that visit to find a place to sit right away. There are several single tables, but the most common seating option is the communal long tables. While the communal style might seem a little awkward at first, you never really feel that your dining neighbors are too close for comfort. Continue reading Review: Boke Bowl (SE Industrial District)

Stumptown Lunch News: Davis Street Tavern opens

We have been waiting months and months for Davis Street Tavern to open, and according to their Web site the new Old Town eatery is now open daily from 4 p.m. until “late.” They plan to start serving during lunch in January!

We can’t wait to try the cozy-looking place out (ah, sometime after all this darn snow melts)! Until then we will resort to drooling over their creative and mouthwatering menu!

Davis Street Tavern
500 NW Davis Street
Portland, OR 97209
503-505-5050
Map It!

Review: Thai Food Café

Thai Food Café
833 N. Killingsworth Street
Portland, OR 97217
503-285-8745
Map It!
Rating: ★★★★½

Oh how I miss living in my old neighborhood. Not only did I live in the cutest of cute lil’ bungalow, but I was just a short walk or even shorter drive from all the hotspots of North and inner Northeast Portland. So when I got a tip that the relatively new Thai Food Café on North Killingsworth was ab fab, I knew it must be investigated.

Unfortunately, I somehow woke up to discover my left mandibular second molar (that’s one of those back teeth used for chewing) had slightly cracked in my sleep (how does that happen?). Regardless, I wanted some Thai food, cracked-tooth pain or not. (OK, OK, the tooth really isn’t that bad!)

I met up with my awesome friend Steph for a late lunch in the super-sunny dining room and we were immediately welcomed with cups of warm tea—perfect just coming in on a cold winter day. The hosts were incredibly nice and very attentive to our needs.

We were pleasantly surprised by the lunch specials. There are 15 lunch options, ranging from Pad Thai to curry dishes to stir fries that you can order with a meat, veggie or seafood selection. If you choose to add vegetables, tofu, chicken, pork or beef it’s just $6.50, if you want shrimp, squid or scallops it’s $8.00. They also offer soy meat and seafood options for veggie and vegan patrons at similar prices.

I went with Pra Ram with chicken and Steph tried the Pad Thai with chicken. Just after we ordered our entrees we were served a complimentary cup of delicious coconut soup. What a treat! It was creamy and full of flavor. Continue reading Review: Thai Food Café

Review: Five Guys Burgers and Fries

Five Guys Burger and Fries
2606 SW Cedar Hills Boulevard
Beaverton, OR 97005
503-430-8748
Map it!
Rating: ★★★★½

 

Having lived in Washington, DC, for several years, I was already familiar with Five Guys and their delicious burgers and yummy fries. But when a friend mentioned the opening of Five Guys in Beaverton, I thought I heard her wrong. A Five Guys in Beaverton? How could that be? When I moved back to Oregon several years ago, I thought I would never experience a delicious Five Guys lunch again.

Sure enough, it was my beloved Five Guys! (They have been franchising the stores for a number of years now and there are more than 1000 stores across the U.S.) So we hopped in the car and headed to the brand new suburban strip mall location.

The line was pretty long and the wait for our order was about 10 minutes, but once we had our scrumptious burgers and a regular-sized order of Cajun fries we were in hamburger heaven. Continue reading Review: Five Guys Burgers and Fries

Stumptown Lunch News: Five Guys opens in Cedar Hills

The Lunch Lady lived in the DC-area for more than five years, and Five Guys Burgers and Fries was the local burger joint of legend. So we were THRILLED today when our dear friend Shannon mentioned that Five Guys just opened their first Oregon location on Monday.

The Five Guys menu is simple enough: burgers, fries and hot dogs. But what else do you really need, right?

Five Guys is located at Walker Center at 2606 Cedar Hills Boulevard in Beaverton.

We are going to have to check it out this weekend!!

Stumptown Lunch News: Grand Openings

Hello Lunch Lovers,

We’ve been away for a little while; this economy has even the Lunch Lady pinching her precious lunch pennies.

But we have two new lunch spot openings to report.

If you are in the Pearl/Old Town area, Chez Joly has officially opened their doors. They are located at 135 NW Broadway and are open for lunch Tuesday through Saturday and offer brunch on Sundays.

Chez Joly is a moderately priced French bistro, which will be a fantastic addition to the neighborhood.

In other grand opening news, Sushi Land’s latest location across from Bridgeport Village in Tigard is now open, too! The newest train-style sushi spot is located at 7194 SW Hazelfern Road. Sushi Land is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

We hope to check out both places in the near future.

Cheers!

Stumptown Lunch News: Updates

We are working to fix some problems that surfaced when we upgraded the system last weekend. Hopefully things will be back to normal by this weekend.

The Lunch Lady has been happily surprised at how well the Web site is doing, and our numbers continue to go up! Thanks to everyone who comes to visit!

While we wait for the site fixes to post new reviews, the Davis Street Tavern gave Stumptown Lunch a peek at their planned menu. All we can say is YUM! We are so excited to try out the traditional Cuban sandwich and the Captain Crunch crusted chicken tenders. Our mouths are already watering!

Is anyone else headed to the Oregon Brewer’s Festival this weekend at Waterfront Park? Looks like it’s going to be fun!

Cheers,

The Lunch Lady

Stumptown Lunch News: Davis Street Tavern

The Lunch Lady drives by the former Three Lions Bakery in Old Town all the time (corner of NW 5th and Davis), and a while back we noticed that the place is under construction. We are so thrilled to find out the place is being transformed into a tavern with a local-centric menu!

The new place, the Davis Street Tavern, is set to open in September and they plan to be open for lunch Monday through Friday!!

Here’s an email we received today from General Manager Christopher Handford:

We are planning to open in mid-September.  Our menu will be technically “New-American” showcasing the local Oregon and Washington purveyors of just about anything we can get our hands on.  It will be nice being so close to all the farmers markets.  We’re excited about being open for lunch (Mon – Fri) as that area needs it.  Our philosophy is not to be raising the bar on the traditional tavern but bringing many elements of fine dining into a tavern atmosphere.  The only thing we won’t be bringing will be the prices.   We definitely feel like restaurant pioneers as we’ve all worked in the Pearl restaurant scene and we’re now venturing into Old Town, hoping to be part of its “rebirth.”

Hope to see you in September.  I’ll be sure to keep you posted.

Cheers,

–Christopher Handford

Something to look forward to for sure! This is exciting news for one of our favorite lunchtime neighborhoods.

Valentine’s Day Lunch Pick: R Palate

We have been trying to get an R Palate review up, but the Lunch Lady has been busy! But this is one of our VERY FAVORITE places to eat in Portland. The food is wonderful, the prices are reasonable, the waitstaff is super friendly and helpful and it’s such a great new find! So if you are still looking for a Valentine’s Day lunch (or dinner) spot, give them a call. It’s a meal you won’t forget!

R Palate
219 SW Sixth Avenue
Portland, OR
503-227-8875
Map It!

Review: Mercato

mercato_1.gif

Mercato
904 NW Couch Street
Portland, OR
503-219-9966
Map It!
Rating: ★★★★½

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

Grand Opening: Mercato

Last night the Lunch Lady was out and about when she discovered that Mercato is now open for business. It was way past lunchtime, so there was no time to try it out, but expect a Mercato review coming soon!! They are located at the corner of NW Ninth and Couch, and they serve a variety of Italian food, including pizza, pasta and paninis. From the outside, the new place looks pretty cool with lots of places to sit, colorful and modern decor, large monitors displaying the menu and they plan to be open from 7 am to 10 pm!

Can’t wait to check it out!

Cheers!
The Lunch Lady

Review: Buffalo Wild Wings

 buffalowildwings_1.gif

Buffalo Wild Wings Grill and Bar (Downtown location)
327 SW Morrison Street
Portland, OR
503-224-1309
Map It!

Rating: ★★★★☆

buffalowildwings_2.gif  buffalowildwings_4.gif  buffalowildwings_3.gif

I waited patiently for months for Buffalo Wild Wings to open up on SW Morrison. Sure, I could have visited their other location out in Hillsboro, but who really wants to drive that far when there are so many tasty lunch spots closer in? So the very first week they were open, I got my taste buds prepared for the heat and headed in. I mean, who doesn’t love a meal where finger licking is practically required?

At first sight I was a little overwhelmed, the space is huge, the televisions are everywhere and it’s a little bright and loud for my taste (it’s a sports bar, after all), but from the second I stepped through the door the service was impeccable. Continue reading Review: Buffalo Wild Wings