I stumbled across this while looking for information on a local chef the other day. It is a Chef and Restaurant database: “ChefDb.com is an ongoing project aimed at documenting the history of chefs, restaurants, and restaurateurs from around the world.” Not many Portland entries yet, but a ton from some cities. A great resource for employers and writers; I hope it spreads.
For those out of the loop, the Willamette Week Annual Restaurant Guide 2006 came out today. Things I really like:
- It’s small; easy to keep in the car.
- I didn‘t get hours and hours of usage on my website from the Willamette Week domain, reading every review I’ve written, just before the guide went to press. That was someone else. (Cough… major paper in town… cough Oregonian)
- Some nice photos, though no glossy web tie in.
- Overall, I like the new format and think they did a good job, though…
Some of the reviews make me wonder if they have been to the establishment lately. “Echo is finally hitting its stride”? I think not. I HAVE been there recently.
It has some restaurants that are just tired. It would be nice to see a guide just covering what really are the best restaurants in the city, rather than trying to reach a goal like, the 100 best. Do we really need to cover places like Alexis, or Red Star? Under Everett Street Bistro they say, “Too bad some of the food here doesn’t measure up to the stellar space”. So are they rating spaces, or food? And Gracies… this is the place Roger Porter slaughtered last week, yet is a WW feature. I have to say, I’ve eaten there… and disagree with Roger too. I think he was being overly nice. Still, thank goodness it got that C+ from The Oregonian!
You can read the guide online here (link no longer valid)
Interestingly enough, I’ve been to all but 11 restaurants in the guide. Heck, I could finish them off in a week. I wonder how many folks go through and eat at all of them.
A new business called Virgo and Pisces Bar and Grill is going into the corner of doom, 500nw 21st Ave. You probably know it as the previous home of Basilico, Zinc Bistro, or Zefiro.
Let us not forget Ira’s. That place was a linchpin for the local dining scene.
Food Dude says
I was trying to remember the name of that!
I also noticed yesterday a liquor license application in the window in the commercial space right across NW 10th from Sip & Kranz in the Pearl. It had a Japanese name, so maybe another Japanese restaurant (a block from Sinju…). Anybody know anything about it?
Cuisine Bonne Femme says
Apollo, don’t get too excited – that space on NW 10th is going to become something named Noodles and Company.
Cuisine Bonne Femme says
Retraction: Noodles and Company is going in on NW 10th near Couch.
The other Japanese restaurant is still an unkown…
Wow, wouldn’t it be great if it was actually….good?
Get better soon – I’ve had that cold, it’s definitely not fun.
There’s a new garish place on SE 12th next to Three Friends in the old Buckman Grill/William’s spot – Hungry Tiger 2. They’ve got multicolored paint all over the windows promising breakfast…free Wifi…drink specials…etc.
It makes 3 Friends look positively matronly by comparison…
Because we are a little juvenile, we did actually try and go do 23 Hoyt last night, but we were turned away- it seems they were all booked up for the night. We were offered a seat at the bar and the bar menu, but it just didn’t seem substantial enough. We’ll make another go of it soon.
23 Hoyt: already booked up. . .hmmm, must be good ;-) I’m with the Dude. Will probably wait a bit, though it might be fun to see if they “got it” coming out of the box. Ba-aaaa.
Hungry Tiger 2: OK, what do we know about Hungry Tiger 1? Wasn’t the Hungry Tiger a high-end steak and seafood chain of sorts in California a bunch of years ago? I know, my age is showing.
Virgo & Pisces Bar: Here’s a place I can hope will feature astrology readings along with delicious and clever Zodiac-related dishes. “Cancer cakes” anyone?
Ira’s: Ah, yes. Dear Ira. Decent grub, but he managed to stiff every trade creditor in town with his whirlwind departure from Portland.
Le Hana: We can hope and pray that this place, and any one or more restaurants that open in S. Waterfront (please, not “SoWa” or any other soundbyte crap), will raise the bar on the unceasingly dismal dining scene here in Johns Landing. Multiple shades of mediocrity is currently the kindest description that can be offered.
Red wine: You know, when I used to drink, any excuse was good enough for another pop. Let’s not forget that even if a glass or two a day may have beneficial effects for some, several any day will almost guarantee idiotic behavior for all. Make mine a club soda.
Mostly Running. says
I think Hungry Tiger The First is the place on the SE corner of 28th and E. Burnside that “specializes” in chop suey and hamburger plates. I overheard the owner talking about losing the lease or something like that a few months ago. Great place to quietly watch a baseball game, but I would sooner gnaw off my pinky finger than order, let alone eat, food there.
Food Dude says
Every time I drive past that Hungry Tiger place, I wonder how it can possibly stay in business.
MCZ, Hungry Tiger was a chain in Southern Cal, but definetly not very upscale. More like a Sizzler, it was frequently on the edge of a mall.
If I was running 27Hoyt, I would keep the upstairs closed until the bottom was running like a smoothly oiled machine. Let’s hope having a bigger kitchen will solve some of the service probs Chris has at Saucebox.
I think the Hungry Tiger stays in business because the bartenders are nice and they make really strong drinks. After many of which, a few people might be tempted to eat the food on the other side, but no one I know has ever liked it…
In my experience, the only reason to go to the Hungry Tiger is if you show up at Holman’s and have to leave because your ex is there. We drove past the gaudy facade of Hungry Tiger 2 this weekend and shuddered in horror.
Who’s behind Virgo & Pisces? If it’s a new venture from the people who run Sagittarius, that could be interesting. That spot seems cursed, though. I still fondly remember the lavender martinis, hardboiled eggs, and free birthday dinners at Zinc…
I wholeheartedly agree with your comments on the WW Annual Restaurant Guide. They really should scale it back, so the reviews actually mean something.
On another note, I’ve been in Chicago with family for the past few months, and enjoying the food scene here. There’s a local PBS show called “Check, Please”, hosted by Alpana Singh. It’s a nice way for locals to weigh in on retaurants they enjoy. Too bad Portland doesn’t have something like this on OPB.
Food Dude says
Hi Nichole: They have a very similar show in the bay area. Maybe it will eventually spread to Portland. Hey, I could go on it with a bag over my head!
Get in my Belly! says
I am one of the few people who have wandered into the new Tiger. After talking to one of the bar tenders, the place has been slow since the opening. I enjoyed my visit so im here to inform you guys that its not a bad place. Yes, I agree that the windows are a bit much, but everything else is great. The new place is much more upscale than the old place without paying quite the upscale prices. It’s a little more expensive than the old place but worth it if you want to get away from the usual drunks. The food at the old place has always been questionable but the food at the new place is a hit! They definatly got some cooks that know what they are doing at this place.
All in all i gotta say that i enjoyed the place and would recommend atleast giving it a chance, despite the blinding site from the outside