Gallery: Bite of Oregon (Part 1)

Busy, BUSY weekend here in Stumptown. We have many more Bite photos to post, but in the meantime take a taste of the 2011 event! Cheers! P.S., The Bite runs 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday, so you still have time to check out the delicious treats yourself.

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: ★★★★☆

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: Skyline Restaurant

Skyline Restaurant
1313 NW Skyline Boulevard
Portland, OR 97229
503-292-6727
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Rating: ★★★★½

Foodies around the world know the name James Beard, one of the most acclaimed American chefs of all time, so it’s a little odd to see a browned-with-age newspaper clipping framed on the wall at Skyline touting Beard’s professed devotion for this tiny retro diner’s burgers.

I happen to share Beard’s devotion to Skyline, and I have been visiting for more than two decades. Even though I don’t live as close as I did growing up, the food and atmosphere keep calling me back and Skyline never fails to satisfy.

Established in 1935, you would guess by looking at the former drive-in that very little has probably changed since the days when teenagers cruised up through the West Hills to enjoy some late-night hamburgers and milkshakes.

The drive-in service is gone, but the burgers and shakes survive. The dining area is a smattering of cozy booths and a handful of stools at the counter, all of which tend to fill up quickly during peak hours. The wood paneled walls are covered with children’s crayon drawings, mementos collected over their years in business and lots and lots of business cards (some pinned to the wall four or five deep). All of which add to the charm of this bygone-era establishment, but also take into account that their bygone-era approach means this is a cash only restaurant. (They do have an on-site ATM.)

The menu is plentiful and retains a definite diner feel with some modern upgrades (like the vegan black bean burger), but the main draw to Skyline is the burgers with their toasted, buttery buns. Continue reading Review: Skyline Restaurant

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: ★★★½☆

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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

Update: Virginia Cafe’s move

Here’s an update from Virginia Café’s MySpace page:

Dear Virginia Cafe Family,

Well, the time has finally come to say adieu to Park Avenue. It’s been a great 86 years here on Park Avenue and we are sad to say good-bye, but you can’t stop progress. All of us are looking forward to our new digs on 10th avenue, well sort of new digs. The old booths will be there, a bit fresher. The chandeliers and all the light fixtures on Park Avenue are making the move with us so when I say new, I mean not so new but a fresh new light on an old lady.

So the bar stool crawl will be happening on Monday, February 25th. The time frame is still up in the air but I will keep you posted. Cmon some things can be kept a secret right? So if anyone wants to come down on Sunday night the 24th to have a drink with me for one of the last times on Park Avenue, I will be here that evening after I’m done working on the new place. Myself and the entire crew will be there saying good-bye to an old friend and looking forward to our future on 10th avenue.

I hope to see all of you soon.

Yours Truly,

Leah Douvris
GM
Virginia Cafe

Review: Virginia Café

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Virginia Café
NEW ADDRESS: 820 SW 10th Avenue
Portland, OR
503-227-0033
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Rating: ★★★★☆

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[Editor’s Note: It’s official, the Virginia Cafe has moved to 820 SW 10th Avenue, just across from the library. We are planning to check out the new digs and let you know what we think very soon!]

Over the weekend I had probably my last lunch at the Virginia Café at its current location on SW Park Avenue. You see, just over a year ago the landmark restaurant and bar announced they would have to close down or move because the building within which they are housed is going to be torn down to become yet another shiny retail/condo high-rise. Luckily, the owners have found a new location for VC, but now it’s time to say goodbye to the old dwelling.

Sure, the place itself is nothing fancy; the décor is kitschy, the upstairs bathroom is pretty scary and nonsmokers curse the free-for-all smoking policy (that will change in the new location as they will be going non-smoking).

But there is something undeniably charming, cozy and Old Portland about the location they are vacating. Where else hipsters mix with preppy downtown workers mix with 50-somethings without batting an eye? If Pioneer Courthouse Square is Portland’s “living room” then VC is Portland’s den with a wet bar. Continue reading Review: Virginia Café