Review: Pastini Pastaria

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Pastini Pastaria
(Six locations in the Portland area)
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Rating: ★★★½☆

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Pastini Pastaria is pretty much my go-to spot for any sort of family or friend function that entails a large group going out to a restaurant. Sure, some people might consider it Portland’s local version of Olive Garden, but the food is consistently good (even if it is a little on the bland side) and there is something on the menu for everyone-even those picky eaters and vegetarians.

What I love about Pastini is that they offer an excellent variety of pasta, from capellini to ziti and everything in between! They even offer whole wheat pasta, which is typically what I order. They have just about every combination of delectable pasta dishes, from the simple spaghetti agli e olio (the classic with sautéed garlic, olive oil, basil and parmesan) to the more decedent baked manicotti (filled with beef, pork, ricotta and spinach, then baked with alfredo sauce and marinara). All pasta dishes are served with the equally delicious ciabatta bread from Pearl Bakery. Continue reading Review: Pastini Pastaria

Review: Mercato

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

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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

Review: Bellagio’s Pizza


Bellagio’s Pizza (Goose Hollow location)
1742 SW Jefferson Street
Portland, OR
503-221-0110
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Rating: ★★★★½

Most of us have been there, that day when you really just struggle to get out of bed because maybe you stayed out a little too late the night before and, just maybe, had a few more cocktails than you had originally planned to imbibe.

Well, Bellagio’s is one of my favorite hangover-curing lunch spots. Not only is the pizza completely flavorful and stomach-filling, but they offer a unique variety of combination pizzas or you can create your own pie. So, even if you don’t have a hangover to cure, Bellagio’s is a great place for Portland-style pizza.  Continue reading Review: Bellagio’s Pizza

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: Pizza Boys Plus

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Pizza Boys Plus
17788 Pilkington Road
Lake Oswego, OR
503-697-1610
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Rating: ★★★★½

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Oh. My. God! I have driven by this little pizza shop probably a hundred times, but I had never stopped in until today. Now I’m wondering why I’ve never tried it before. I called ahead and ordered a small pizza and an order of cheese sticks. My theory is that you can usually judge the quality of a place by their cheese sticks.

When I arrived about 20 minutes later, I was struck by the cute interior of the place—the walls are covered with album covers from the 60s and 70s. How retro is that? The dining area has limited seating, so take-out or delivery (it’s free within a five-mile radius) are good options. Continue reading Review: Pizza Boys Plus