Review: Hamburger Mary’s (Old Town)


Hamburger Mary’s
19 NW 5th Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97209
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Ph: 503-688-1200
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Menu
Lunch money: $$-$$$
[rating:4]
 
My recent visit to Portland’s “new” Hamburger Mary’s was on a whim. I was meeting up with a friend and we hadn’t devised a lunch destination in advance. As we headed toward our planned meet up spot, he text suggested Mary’s.  I immediately agreed.

I had yet to visit the new version of this venerable eatery…and I hadn’t been to any other Hamburger Mary’s since the original Portland location closed in the ‘90s. Now the “new” Mary’s has been open for a full year…totally time for a visit!

The self-proclaimed “gayest” restaurant in town certainly has an expansive menu, but what else could you want from an establishment called Hamburger Mary’s other than a big, juicy hamburger? And the hamburger menu alone is fat with options. There are standard burgers and specialty burgers, but then you get to pick your meat (or meatless) patty options—they offer everything from vegan to black bean to buffalo to Kobe beef.

I went with the simple Mary Burger with cheddar cheese and tater tots on the side. My lunch buddy went with the Spicy Mary, which comes piled high with jalapenos, spicy Mojo sauce and blackening seasoning, and chose a side of fries.

I wasn’t truly prepared for the size of the burgers that soon landed on our table. Huge. Massive, in fact. I liked that each burger came with a extra large steak knife because a.) the heaping burgers are stuffed with toppings and b.) unless you are super-duper hungry, you’re probably going to have leftovers for later.

The burger verdict? The meat was juicy, the toppings were very fresh and the bun was, like, WOWZA! Seriously, the buns are amazing. Our server told us they are made locally daily and (*cringe*) made of 25 percent butter. So, so, so good. Continue reading Review: Hamburger Mary’s (Old Town)

Review: Wong Kee Dim Sum CLOSED

Wong Kee Dim Sum Restaurant
28 NW 4th Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97209
503-229-1888
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[rating: 4]

Believe it or not, until a few weeks ago I’d never had dim sum. How could that be, you ask? Well, I don’t know. I frequently eat at the Chinese restaurants in Chinatown and many of them offer dim sum. Maybe it was an unexplainable fear of all those tin containers. How would I know I was picking the “right” thing to eat?

Then my friend Matt mentioned how amazing the dim sum is at Wong Kee—in fact, his entire family would occasionally drive all the way from Corvallis just to eat there when he was a kid. So I had to take him up on his offer to try it out.

I’ve had the regular menu at Wong Kee before, so I knew the food would be great, but I was very excited and delighted to try so many delicious dim sum treats all in one sitting. Continue reading Review: Wong Kee Dim Sum CLOSED

Review: House of Louie

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House of Louie
331 NW Davis Street
Portland, Oregon 97209
503-228-9898
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[rating: 3.25]

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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. Continue reading Review: House of Louie

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

HH Review: Tiger Bar

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Tiger Bar
317 NW Broadway
Portland, Oregon 97209
(503) 222-7297
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[rating: 4.5]

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The first time I visited Tiger Bar also happened to be the night of SantaCon, so I won’t mention all the debauchery that I saw go down there that night. Let’s just say the patrons got to see a lot more drunken Santa skin than they probably wanted to….

That aside, I decided to try the place again—this time for happy hour with friends—and my opinion about the place changed completely. We wandered in and took a seat in one of the large, cozy booths near the back of the bar. Due to my first impression, I was expecting typical greasy bar grub.

But one look at their mouth-watering happy hour menu, and I knew the place was doing something right. During happy hour (4 to 8 p.m. daily), Tiger Bar offers absolutely delicious food at nicely reduced prices—the best deal is the burger/Gardenburger or teriyaki chicken sandwich for only $5 (add $1 for cheese) and they come with my beloved sweet potato fries or a salad! Continue reading HH Review: Tiger Bar

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.

Review: NW Burger

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NW Burger
101 NW 2nd Avenue
Portland, OR 97205
(503) 219-9447
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[rating: 2.5]

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The first time I stumbled upon NW Burger it was very late at night when one of my friends was hungry for a hot dog. This place is pretty much a hole in the wall, but the food is actually not as bad as you might expect from the slightly worn looking storefront in the heart of Old Town/Chinatown.

The menu is simple: burgers, hot dogs, polish sausages and fries. So it’s not necessarily a good pick for veggies. But if you enjoy a grilled burger and crispy fries, this place is at least worth trying. Continue reading Review: NW Burger

Review: Ford’s on Fifth (now Theo’s)

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Ford’s on Fifth (renamed Theo’s)
121 NW Fifth Avenue
Portland, OR
503-226-2828
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[rating:4]

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To be honest, I discovered the deliciousness that is Ford’s on Fifth very late one night when several friends and I were in great need of some greasy grub before calling it a night. But I was happily surprised to discover Ford’s is also a great place to grab lunch during the week.

Ford’s specializes in meat—burgers and steak sandwiches dominate the menu—but they do offer salads (yes, they offer a Caprese salad!), a veggie burger and a veggie melt if you are dining with someone who, ya know, doesn’t eat animals. Continue reading Review: Ford’s on Fifth (now Theo’s)

Review: Sushi Ichiban (formerly Takahashi)

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Sushi Ichiban (formerly Sushi Takahashi)
24 NW Broadway
Portland, OR
503-224-3417
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[rating:4.5]

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If you ever decide to all gonzo and try to stalk the Lunch Lady, there is one surefire place you can find me: Saturday at lunchtime at Sushi Takahashi on Broadway. But you’ll have to look hard because I’ll probably be camouflaged by the throngs of other cheap sushi lovers who flock here on that golden day of the week.

Yes, there are three Sushi Takahashi locations across the metro area, but I’ve only dined at the Broadway location—and I’m perfectly happy with that. You see, the Old Town location is just steps away from my urban weekend hideaway, and when I know there is delicious sushi on special within a just-roll-out-of-bed-and-pull-on-a-hoodie distance, I am SO freakin’ there!
Continue reading Review: Sushi Ichiban (formerly Takahashi)