Portland Restaurant Tips by IncogNeat-0 Top 5 Page for this destination
Portland Restaurants: 328 reviews and 410 photos
Update: September 2008
There are several "Loaves & Fishes" senior centers scattered throughout the metro area, but only the downtown center (Elm Court) provides meals on weekends. Expect to be carded, hahaha! Yes, carded! Foreign seniors welcome. Even Canadians, lol, but don't tell Stacyh. She might picket the place.
Yes, there is such a thing as a free lunch if you are a senior citizen 60 or over & a tightwad like myself - but don't expect to see an elm at Loaves & Fishes downtown location for the very simple reason that there is no courtyard at Elm Court, let alone an elm tree.
Donations are of course welcome at all times. Suggested donation = $2.75 USD. Lunch is sometimes served at 11:30, sometimes not - depending on how many volunteers show up. Two daily menus, depending on how long the food holds out. There is usually more then enough, but staff sometimes has to improvise to make ends meet. Ample coffee, especially if you like it black. Youngsters under 60 willing to pony up a minimum $5.50 USD "contribution," up from $3 USD, are also welcome.
From Portland's Town Square, aka Pioneer Courthouse Square,* walk due west until reaching SW 11th Ave, then left until you reach the Loaves & Fishes downtown Elm Court on the corner of SW 11th & Main. Traffic on 11th is southbound.
Alternate: Board any westbound MAX train on the north side of the Town Square (Morrison Street). Get off at the next stop. Walk one block due west to SW 11th, then left four short blocks to Loaves & Fishes.
Elm Court opens its doors at 8 AM weekdays, 10 AM Saturday & Sunday.
Ample parking nearby.
Favorite Dish: Dishes appear to have been designed by committee, come in a variety of shapes & sizes, and tend to be sturdy, practical, no-nonsense industrial strength heavy duty dishes; ditto cups. Break insistant, they break but don't bend; lightweight plastic throw away picnic dishes are sometimes used late in the day.
A modest $2.00 weekday breakfast is available at Elm Court at 8:30 AM or thereabout, depending on how much help head chef Angie has. Only one choice, depending on what Angie can whip up with what she has.
Sample Breakfast Menus:
Scrambled Egg, Waffle, Sausage.
Cheese Omlet, Tater Tots.
French Toast, Scrambled Egg, Bacon
Pancake, Scrambled Egg, Ham.
No age restriction, all are welcome. Free newspapers on a first come, first served basis - so if you want to get the bad news first, show up early.
* Pioneer Courthouse, across from Pioneer Courthouse Square, is an old, ugly, drab, dreary, depressing grey edifice left over from the 19th century. Local folk love it. No idea why, but it does blend in nicely with often leaden, overcast skies. No true pioneer ever saw Pioneer Courthouse anyway, let alone used it. Tall pines stood where it now stands, or short tree stumps, or perhaps an early safety deposit box - aka outhouse.
Early pioneers traveling upriver from Fort Vancouver to Willamette Falls (Oregon City) often stopped over at a wide clearing along the way. "The Clearing," as it was then known upriver & down for reasons that now escape me evolved in time into "Stumptown" as pioneers expanded the beachead, and finally, offically given the more more prosaic copycat name of Portland - as though there weren't enough already, probably a score or more by mid-century & still counting. Portland was allegedly chosen over Boston by the flip of a coin because Chief Seattle lived too far north.
Address: 1032 SW Main Street
Other Contact: 503-736-6325
Update: August 2008
There is only one JJ North's in the PDX metro area. The JJ North's chain spawned the Hometown Buffet chain. The child has since devoured the parent, yum, yum! The weird thing is that JJ's, serving a more blue-collar crowd, has more of a hometown feel to it. Hometown is run by a bunch of out-of-town city-slickers. Maybe cannibalism is just not on my menu.
Hometown has a wider selection to choose from then JJ's. JJ's seems to favor fish & liver. Neither is on my menu either. If both are served on the same day, the day is a dead loss. JJ's has an advantage over Hometown, if it is an advantage, in being able to handle large community groups.
Both occasionally serve tepid coffee. It seems to me that if they are going to serve cold coffee, there ought to be a hot plate at every table.
Board Blue (Gresham) or Red (Airport) MAX train on south side of Pioneer Courthouse Square. Exit at the Rose Quarter TC (Transit Center). Board #77 Trimet bus.
L A N D M A R K: NE 102nd Avenue.
Exit at bus stop directly in front of JJ's parking lot a few blocks past 102nd. Ask bus driver if in doubt. Ample parking.
Return #77 Trimet bus runs on NE Weidler (wide-ler), a block north of Halsey. No bus shelters that I can recall.
Address: 10520 NE Halsey
Phone: (503) 254-5555
Update: August 2008
Hometown Buffet is the largest family friendly buffet chain on the west coast. There are several outlets in the PDX metro area. Easiest to get to from the downtown hub, Pioneer Courthouse Square, is the one in Beaverton.
Board the Blue MAX (Hillsboro) train on the north side of Pioneer Courthouse Square. Exit at Beaverton Central. Don't let the name fool you. Central Beaverton was the previous stop, Beaverton TC (Transit Center).
A new concave condo fronted by a green parklike setting will greet you at Beaverton Central. Developers like to refer to it theatrically as "The Round." Nuts! It isn't even half round, it's concave, probably less then a third round.
To the right is a wide pedestrian pass-through. Hometown Buffet is centrally located in a small strip mall visible from the other side of the pass through. Cross Hall Boulevard at the traffic light, then veer to the left. Ample parking.
The live link below can link you to a daily menu, start times, etc. Breakfast served on weekends only. Seniors get a sharp weekday lunch discount from 1-3 PM; not available at other HB outlets as far as I know. Subject to change at any time, of course.
Favorite Dish: Made to order omlets.
Address: 3790 SW Hall Boulevard 97005
Update: May 2007
From Portland's downtown hub, Pioneer Courthouse Square: Walk due north to SW Washington Street, then east until you see a red Indian standing in the window. To be politically correct, as well as more precise, make that a gorgeous, cherry-red Indian Motorcycle. Probably late 30's.
Inside, the ceiling is festooned with a dozen or so other ancient bikes, walls with highway & byway lore of yesteryear, including a 50's style jukebox playing CD's. I stopped in on a recent Sunday for the first time while on the way to somewhere else. Bikers were elbow to elbow for a late (noonish), hardy, blue-collar breakfast. The long bar was half full, too, presumably waiting for dining booths to open up.
Warm, friendly, very congenial, very comfortable atmosphere. I may try it on for size myself someday. Much more comfortable then "put'n on the ritz" in the new, swanky, upscale Pearl District - at least for me. I'm a blue collar kinda guy myself.
On street parking for half a dozen or so motorbikes.
Address: 426 SW Washington
Update: May 2007
Buffets are the best possible solution for family dining IMHO. Kids can make their own choices. JJ's & all metro area Hometown buffets are jammed on Sundays, families either having a hearty breakfast before church, or a hearty lunch or dinner after. Emphasis is on pizza at Izzy's, as the live link below implies, but Hometown does a better job on those days it features pizza. Izzy's offers a wider variety, none of it very good.
That may have changed. Haven't stopped by in years, a favorite item having been discontinued. The Izzy menu link certainly looks tempting. There are several locations in the PDX metro area. The easiest to get to from downtown is the one located in the Gateway Shopping Center. Not sure if weekend breakfast is served. Phone ahead.
Board Blue (Gresham) or Red (Airport) MAX train on south side of Pioneer Courthouse Square. Exit at Gateway TC (Transit Center). A Freddies (Fred Meyer) superstore used to be in view. A newer building now blocks the way, a clinic, I think. Swing to the left between it and a new parking garage. One short block east, and Freddies comes into view off to the right. Izzy's is to the far left, out of sight behind other mall stores, near the corner of NE 102nd & Halsey, no matter what Mapquest implies.
This is also the route I usually take, weather permitting, to get to JJ North's, a longer walk but faster then the #77 Halsey bus recommended earlier.
JJ North's is about a quarter mile past NE 102nd on NE Halsey.
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