Sunday, March 29, 2009

McMenamins Barley Mill Pub

Restaurant: McMenamins Barley Mill Pub
Location: 1629 SE Hawthorne, Portland, OR 97214
Date: March 27th, 2009
Ordered: Falafel Wrap
Cost: $6.75, though I ended up with several drinks attached to that.

So I ended up at the Barley Mill for dinner for a friend's birthday, and hadn't yet eaten dinner. After pondering the menu, I decided to try something new - and hopefully relatively healthy - and ordered the Falafel Wrap (with the salad instead of the fries). I can safely say that it was delicious.

It was also reasonably priced. However, since this was a McMenamins the usual caveats apply. Food and beer are both good, but anything with alcohol in it is vastly overpriced for what you get. Furthermore, on mixed drinks (such as a whiskey and coke) they are notoriously stingy with their portions. Consider this to be fair warning!

Back to the food, though. The wrap was big, it was delicious, and I felt like I'd eaten a healthy, hearty meal by the time I was done with it. I would highly recommend the Falafel Wrap for anyone stopping by the Barley Mill; you won't regret it!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Blue Sage Cafe

Restaurant: Blue Sage Cafe
Location: 21900 Willamette Dr, West Linn, OR 97068
Date: March 13th, 2009
Ordered: Quesadilla Appetizer, Chicken Caeser Salad, and a "Blue Sage" Margarita
Cost: it's complicated...

On a lark my friend and I ended up at the Blue Sage Cafe in West Linn, where a third friend had (coincidentally) just mentioned that they were having a promotion on their food. We were seated and opened our menus to find this:
Your Price is Right

In deference to the economy, The Blue Sage Cafe is pleased to offer our guests a special opportunity.

Just pay full price for beverages and you decide what to pay for your meal. It is that simple. Your server will give you all the details and guide you through the process.

Today... Your Price is the Right Price at Blue Sage Cafe!

One entree and full-price beverage purchase per person, dine-in only.

Let me be the first to say that it's hard to beat the "pay what you think your meal was worth" offer. And - oh no! - I had to buy a drink. It was a rough deal.

We ended up splitting the quesadilla while waiting for our third friend to show up. The portion was surprisingly small but I took one bite and was impressed. Maybe I just don't get out all that often, but there was flavor! The portion was the same with my drink: small, but delicious.

For the main course I ordered a chicken caesar salad, which I'd like to go on record as saying that it's probably the most overpriced item on a menu (besides soda pop.) Lettuce, chicken, dressing, and a couple croutons... and I defy you to name a restaurant that doesn't charge at least $9 for that combo. Nonetheless, in an attempt to eat healthier, I stuck with the salad (even after a warning that "the salad's not that big" from the waitress.)

The salad was, in fact, tiny... yet it also ranks as one of the most delicious chicken caesar salads I've ever had. Some flavor they put in the dressing took it from good to great. It didn't take me long to finish the salad; the portion was tiny and each bite was awesome. (Speaking of the portion size: I'm not exactly starving to death, so portions that can't feed a small country are okay with me.)

I've spoken of the food, but let me say this of the service. Our wait staff was friendly, prompt, and attentive. I couldn't have asked for a better experience, and I left feeling great about this place.

Let me wholeheartedly recommend the Blue Sage Cafe. Even without the promotion, the atmosphere was good, the food was delicious, the service was excellent, and I would definitely go back.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Philadelphia's Steaks & Hoagies

Restaurant: Philadelphia's Steaks & Hoagies
Location: 18625 Hwy 43, West Linn, OR 97068
Date: March 3rd, 2009
Ordered: Italian Sausage Sandwich and a side of Kettle Chips
Cost: $6.95 + $1.25

I was running some errands in West Linn when I remember hearing about this place. I was hungry, it was right next to where I was, so I decided to duck in and give it a shot.

Looking at the menu, I decided on the "Italian Sausage", which is described as "Italian sausage grilled with onions, melted provolone cheese, and smothered in tomato sauce". It sounded delicious, so I ordered that (and grabbed a bag of New York Cheddar Kettle Chips.) Well, the chips were quite good but the sandwich... wasn't. I think maybe I ordered the wrong thing, because several other items on the menu looked and smelled delicious.

Would I go back? Yes, I would. The atmosphere was quite nice, and apparently on Monday nights certain sandwiches are half-off, which would be awesome. I think I'll go again sometime and order a philly cheesesteak. We'll see...

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Alibi

Restaurant: The Alibi
Location: 4024 N Interstate Ave, Portland, OR 97227
Date: March 2nd, 2009
Ordered: Taco Salad (with no olives)
Cost: $9.95

Sitting in the restaurant/bar area, the atmosphere is almost, for lack of a better work, overwhelming. The tiki bar theme is everywhere, or at least in the part of the restaurant we were in. There's another part that apparently has a lot of karaoke going on, but we were quite happy to sit as far from the screeching as possible.

I ordered the Taco Salad for two reasons. The first is that it sounded pretty decent. The second is that it was served in a genuine crispy tortilla shell, which is a habit I try to support. After taking forever to arrive (I might have just been hungry) I was served my salad with a huge side of sour cream and salsa. I mixed in both, and I devoured it. The salad was delicious!

The Alibi was surprisingly good and definitely had a lot of atmosphere. If you haven't been there, you should check it out one evening. I recommend it!

Phathaya Thai

Restaurant: Phathaya Thai
Location: 9440 N St. Louis Ave, Portland, OR 97203
Date: February 26th, 2009
Ordered: Pad Thai (Lunch Menu)
Cost: $6.95

Living near Phathaya Thai, I decided to wander over there for lunch. Not being a fan of terribly spicy food (which I find most Thai food to be), I usually order Pad Thai wherever I go because a) it's almost universally delicious, and b) it gives me a nice yardstick against which to measure various restaurants.

Phathaya Thai is a fun little place. There are probably six tables total in the restaurant, though they seem to do fairly brisk to-go business. After sitting down a lovely lady came, took my order, then brought me egg flower soup (a delightful surprise.) The meal came quickly enough and, despite my dietary intentions, I finished off the plate because it was delicious.

Would I go there again? Yes! It's close to where I live, the lunch menu is incredibly affordable, and the Pad Thai was yummy!

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I like to dine out, and this is my attempt to track and comment on food across Portland. My tastes are unique, but, for reference, I'm not a "spicy food" person, I am omnivorous, and I should probably be watching my diet.