Review: IKEA Cafe

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IKEA Café
10280 NE Cascades Parkway
Portland, OR
503-282-4532
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[rating:4]

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Welcome to the world of IKEA. Yeah, Stumptown finally has our very own mega-shopping paradise, and along with that comes the meaty-goodness that are IKEA’s Swedish meatballs!

But there is more to the IKEA café than just the meatballs. The selections include baked salmon, daily entrée specials, a variety of sandwiches, a salad bar and an array of desserts—my favorite is the Daim torte. They also offer kid-sized portions of the meatballs as well the not-quite-Swedish mac and cheese. Continue reading Review: IKEA Cafe

Review: Muu-Muu’s

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Muu-Muu’s
612 NW 21st Avenue
Portland, OR
503-223-8169
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[rating:3.5]

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I had heard many good things about the food at Muu-Muu’s, so I decided to check it out for myself. Earlier this week I met up with a galpal for lunch there, and I have to say that while it was decent, I don’t think it lived up to the hype I’d been hearing.

The service was good, though I was unsure when I walked in if I should just grab a table or wait to be seated—it’s seat yourself (at least I think it is, the waiter/bartender seemed too busy talking to girls at the bar to acknowledge me). I did make the mistake of selecting a booth near the door, just opposite the bar. Being one of the coldest days in Stumptown in a long time, I got a chilly blast each and every time the door opened. Brrrr! Continue reading Review: Muu-Muu’s

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:4.5]

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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

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)

HH Review: The Sapphire Hotel

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Sapphire Hotel
5008 SE Hawthorne Boulevard
Portland, OR
503-232-6333
**Opens at 4 p.m.
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[rating:5]

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Dark, candlelit and romantic, Sapphire Hotel is both a terrific place for a date or gathering with friends for happy hour. It’s an especially nice place to duck into on one of those long, rainy Stumptown winter afternoons, when you have some free time and you’re looking for a hearty snack and a good drink.

Tucked away on the east end of SE Hawthorne, Sapphire isn’t open for lunch (they SO should be!), but the happy hour is worth taking a late lunch and calling it an early workday. Happy hour runs everyday of the week from 4 to 6 p.m., and then picks up again from 10 p.m. to midnight (Sunday thru Thursday). Continue reading HH Review: The Sapphire Hotel

Review: Todai Sushi and Seafood Buffet CLOSED

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Todai Sushi and Seafood Buffet
(Inside Pioneer Place)
340 SW Morrison Street, 4th Floor
Portland, OR 97204
503-294-0007
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[rating:4]

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It’s not everyday I get to enjoy endless sushi, salads, noodles, teriyaki chicken, multiple desserts and more all in one place! So I was extremely excited to try Todai—I actually skipped dinner the night before just so I could get my fill at the massive buffet.

Yes, Todai is an oasis of seafood delights. All over the bright and clean dining area, patrons roam, their oversized plates piled with tasty treats. One person might have piles and piles of sushi, while another might be enjoying a bowl of udon and yet another could be snacking on shrimp.

Ahhhh…. It was a feast for my sushi-and-seafood-loving eyes from the very moment I stepped inside. Continue reading Review: Todai Sushi and Seafood Buffet CLOSED

Review: The Cheesecake Factory


The Cheesecake Factory
(At Washington Square)
9309 SW Washington Square Road
Portland, OR
503-620-1100
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[rating:4.5]

OK, the moniker The Cheesecake Factory is a little misleading, because this place serves WAY more than just cheesecake. In fact, for a chain restaurant, it’s some of the best food in the burbs!

I try to avoid reviewing chain restaurants, but this is the one and only Cheesecake Factory in town, and if Portland ever gets an In-N-Out, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf or Pinkberry, you can bet your life I’m reviewing those places (sometimes I miss L.A. for more reasons than just the constant sunshine).

But back to the Cheesecake Factory, it’s pretty darn impressive. I’ve been there for lunch more times than my waistline likes to remember. The menu is, literally, heavy, and probably 20 pages long! Continue reading Review: The Cheesecake Factory

Review: Thai Peacock

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Thai Peacock
219 SW 9th Avenue
Portland, OR
503-228-2310
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[rating:5]

If you like Thai food and you haven’t been to Thai Peacock you are really missing out. Located down the block from Jackpot Records on SW Ninth, it’s an easy walk from most downtown workplaces—and it’s worth that walk! It’s like I died and went to peanut sauce heaven (so if you are allergic to the legume, I’ll forgive you for skipping the place).

The intimate dining room is perfect for small groups or even a lunch date, but they also offer take-out if you are on the go. Thai Peacock’s menu is extensive and they offer all of my favorite Thai dishes and many more that I hope to try in the future. Continue reading Review: Thai Peacock

Review: The Burrito House

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The Burrito House
1220 N. Hayden Meadows Drive
Portland, OR
503-283-3439
Map It!

[rating:3.5]

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One of my favorite things about eating at a Mexican restaurant is the free chips and salsa. Who doesn’t love free chips and salsa, right? Well, jump in the car and get yourself to North Portland’s Burrito House for an additional pre-meal treat: warm fry bread served with honey!

That’s right, chips, fresh salsa AND fry bread. Who needs to eat lunch after a spread like that? Continue reading Review: The Burrito House

Review: Giant Drive-In

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Giant Drive-In
15840 Boones Ferry Road
Lake Oswego, OR
503-636-0255
Map It!

[rating:4]

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Burger lovers rejoice!

Giant Drive-In has been a Lake Oswego staple for decades, and it’s easy to see why this little burger joint has been able to last so long: They’ve got great burgers. Sure, you can go in for just a standard burger with the typical fixings, but the real find at Giant is their claim to fame, their specialty burgers.

Best known for The Filler (which the owner jokingly referred to as the “college student special”), it comes packed with the works, but other mouth-watering options include Blue Cheese, Teriyaki, Hawaiian, Jalapeno, Ranch burgers and many more. If you are a first-time Giant visitor don’t fret over all the options, just look for the specialty burger descriptions listed above the cash register. Each burger is served on a delicious toasted bun and with fresh toppings. Continue reading Review: Giant Drive-In

Review: Big Red’s Western Cafe

Big Red’s Western Café (Sylvan Hill location)
5515 SW Canyon Court
Portland, OR
503-297-5568
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[rating:1]

Oh my. Well, here’s a real disappointment. Big Red Western Café looks like a chain restaurant from the outside, feels like a sports bar from the inside and the food was, well, pretty terrible.

Situated atop Sylvan Hill, the location could not be better, except you almost need GPS to get to the place after you exit Highway 26. It’s right next to the John L. Scott office that used to be my childhood weekend breakfast favorite, Coco’s.

When we stopped by Big Red for lunch it was almost empty, yet the numerous servers were slow and not very friendly or helpful. It took more than 10 minutes just to get water and get our drink order in. Continue reading Review: Big Red’s Western Cafe

Coming in January 2008

Looking for a great lunch spot? Tired of brown-baggin’ it and hungry for something new? Do you have a favorite lunch spot you want to share with the people of Stumptown?

From the carts downtown to those hidden gems you’ve heard of but never visited to the tried-and-true diners and dining rooms all over PDX, our staff is ready to eat it all–well, as soon as we buy some pants with an elastic waistband!

Welcome to StumptownLunch.com, Portland’s hip new guide to everything you can eat (and drink) during that precious free hour during your busy workday.

So come back in January and overindulge in our reviews, menus and photos of the tastiest places in Portland. Better yet, go ahead and add us to your Bookmarks right now!

Cheers!
The Lunch Lady