Monday, December 5, 2011

Vincente's Gourmet Pizza

Restaurant: Vincente's Gourmet Pizza
Location: 1935 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97214
Date: December 2nd, 2011
Ordered: Pepperoni Pizza & Salad (Lunch Special)
Cost: $5.50

I had the opportunity to walk into Vincente's Gourmet Pizza for lunch the other day. It's on the corner of Hawthorne and 20th, just across from the Cinemagic Theatre. I went in on a bit of a lark as I saw a sign that said, "Slice of Cheese & a side salad: $5". The waiter then explained that it was really a discount on the slice of cheese; for $.50 more, I could have the pepperoni.

The good: the pizza was reasonably fantastic. Flavorful, covered in grease (which I wiped off with a napkin), and with excellent cheese, it was delicious. I ate it quickly and, as pizza goes, I'd definitely eat it again.

The less-than-good: the side salad I ordered was the Caeser salad. It was watery, the dressing was runny, and just lacked any sort of real taste. It was as if they grabbed some Romaine lettuce, dunked it in water, put dressing on it, sliced it up, threw a few croutons on it, and served it to me. Not at all exciting.

But man, the pizza was good. For $5.50 (only $5 if you just get the cheese pizza) it's still worth it; I'd just get a different side salad.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Pacific Pie Company

Restaurant: Pacific Pie Company
Location: 1520 SE 7th Ave, Portland OR 97215
Date: September 22nd, 2011
Ordered: Classic Beef Pie
Cost: $6.00

Pacific Pie Company opened just a few months ago near where I work and I had not yet had a chance to go in. As of now, however, that's changed. I went in last night, examined both the "Sweet" and "Savory" options, and ordered myself a Classic Beef pie. (And also a beer.) The place is themed after Australia, from the flag hanging over the door to the kitchen to the rugby matches playing on the wall-mounted TV.

When my food arrived, I quickly cut off the top crust (for later) and started enjoying the rest of the pie. The flavor was delicious, and the crust itself was nice and flaky. Let me say that I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The problem I had is that a small pie 4-5 inches in diameter feels pricey at $6.00. I enjoyed it, yes, for it truly was a savory pie, but the price seemed a little high. My feeling about it got a lot better, however, after I found that I'd ordered during happy hour and had also had a beer so they charged me for the happy hour special "Pie & Pint", which is $7.00. Monday through Friday, 3 PM - 6 PM, that's a much, much better deal!

It's definitely worth checking out.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Kenton Station

Restaurant: Kenton Station
Location: 8303 N Denver Ave Portland, Or 97217
Date: August 15th, 2011
Ordered: Paul Jr. (Burger)
Cost: $7.75

The Paul Jr., a 1/3 pound version of the Paul Bunyon burger, which is billed as their signature burger, contained beef, ham, egg, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and ranch dressing. Served with potato chips, I'm sorry to say that the Kenton Station signature was not that impressive. I don't know if it lacked flavor, or just was too mushy in texture, but I was unimpressed.

Still, as far as places go, you can do a lot worse than Kenton Station. It's located in hr beautiful "old town" part of the Kenton Neighborhood. The service was pretty decent, the music wasn't too loud, and it was a nice place to hang out like a grown-up.

Would I go back to Kenton Station? Probably, but mainly just when I'm looking for someplace local that's an alternative to my usual spots.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Restaurant: Girasole Pizza Company
Location: 8438 N Lombard, Portland, OR 97203
Date: March 6th, 2010
Ordered: Potato Fusion
Cost: $7

I was dismayed at the end of last year to find that the Ladybug Cafe in downtown St. Johns had unexpectedly closed. However, in its place, Girasole has opened its doors. This "morning" (and I occasionally use that term loosely), I had breakfast there. While the early menu is small, I found on it the "Potato Fusion", which I ordered with cheddar cheese, red bell peppers, basil, and sausage mixed in. It's essentially all these items mixed together, and the result was delicious.

The atmosphere of the place is nice, though the seating is not at all to my liking. I've always preferred a booth or a seat against a wall; I've never been comfortable sitting at a table in the middle of a restaurant and that's what 75% of the seating in this place was. Also, the food took a long time considering that there weren't that many people there; it makes me worry about what it would be like on a busy day.

Don't get the wrong impression, though. Girasole is a fine addition to St. Johns. The food was delicious and quite reasonably priced. I'm glad it's here, and I'm looking forward to going back!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Taqueria Portland

Restaurant: Taqueria Portland
Location: 7007 N Fessenden St, Portland, OR 97203
Date: March 5th, 2010
Ordered: Taco Salad
Cost: $6.99

The first thing I thought when I entered Taqueria Portland is that it is, by far, much nicer looking on the inside than on the outside. The second thing I thought is that the people inside are incredibly warm and friendly. The menu is simple and, occasionally, quaint in its accidental misspellings. I, of course, ordered my usual: a taco salad.

When it arrived, I was surprised. The beef inside was juicy and tender, and the shell was delicious and just perfectly fried. I devoured it pretty quickly, despite the reasonably substantial amount of food that was before me. It was pretty darn decent, at a pretty darn decent price.

The atmosphere inside was pleasant and intimate; there were probably only 6 to 8 booths or tables, all in the open area at the front of the restaurant. The only drawback was the two televisions loudly broadcasting whatever was on the local Spanish channel. That was certainly a detractor, but just about the only one.

In all, Taqueria Portland is a little gem that's got delicious food at a modest price, and is well worth visiting.

Also, of note: they have real Coke there. It's delicious.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

La Sirenita

Restaurant: La Sirenita
Location: 2817 Northeast Alberta Street, Portland, OR 97211
Date: December 31st, 2010
Ordered: Taco Salad
Cost: $5.00

La Sirenita is a small restaurant in Northeast Portland that I found notable for several reasons. First and foremost, it lacks atmosphere. That isn't to say that it's bland, is just doesn't feel like a restaurant. It feels like a very authentic Mexican food cart that happens to be in a building. Also, the taco salad - my standard order - was good, filling, but very bland.

Now that's not to say that "bland" is "bad. The interesting thing was that La Sirenita had a reasonable selection of salsas available. After determining the bland-factor of the taco salad, I was able to spice it up a little with the salsa just to my taste. So, in the end, I had a tasty, flavorful taco salad that I was able to enjoy.

Do I want to go to a every restaurant and have to season my own food? Of course not. But for $5, you can do far worse that La Sirenita's taco salad. Check it out if you have a chance.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Restaurant: Dante's
Location: 350 West Burnside, Portland OR 97209
Date: November 6th, 2010
Ordered: 1 slice Pepperoni Pizza
Cost: $3.50

Dante's is a bar just on the west end of the Burnside Bridge that has many faces; it's generally not a kid-friendly place with a choice of entertainment for every adult. When I was there this last weekend, it was for a friend's birthday party and there was a Rolling Stones tribute thing going on, which meant loud rock music. Lots of fun, I assure you.

At some point in the evening I started to get hungry, and I eyed the pizza that was being made in the kitchen on the corner of the building. Giving into temptation, I ordered a slice of pepperoni. What was given to me for the bargain price of $3.50 was a delicious slice of New York-style pepperoni pizza that was bigger than my face. It was quite possibly the largest slice of pizza I've found in Portland (though Rocco's, just up the street, might be close) and it was dripping in flavor.

Did I mention the slice was large? It handily eclipses the paper plate beneath it!

The trouble with Dante's is that it isn't a restaurant destination, per se. If you're already there for an evening's entertainment, the pizza will not be a bad choice. Otherwise, however, please note that the kitchen has an outside-facing order window and, if you're hungry in Portland late at night, it's a damn good place to walk past and grab a slice! I'm pretty sure I'll be there again.