Portland, Oregon ... near the race track

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wheregreggeats.com
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2005/07/26 22:32:41 (permalink)

Portland, Oregon ... near the race track

I'm looking for breakfasts and especially roadfood-style lunch and dinner for this weekend.

Suggestions?

#1

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    mr chips
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    RE: Portland, Oregon ... near the race track 2005/07/26 23:25:40 (permalink)
    Yam Yam's Cafe on North Matin Luther King has an excellent soul food buffet on Sunday. The Cameo Cafe at Northeast Sandy and 82nd has excellent breakfasts and is about 5 0r 6 miles from the racetrack. Dan and Louie"S Oyster Bar has great Oyster Stew(downtown) Burgerville in downtown Vancouver has Walla Walla sweet onion rings and Walla Walla Sweet onion cheesebugers. Fairley"s pharmacy at 72nd and Sandy, is open on Saturday and features an old-fashioned soda fountain.
    #2
    The Travelin Man
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    RE: Portland, Oregon ... near the race track 2005/07/27 01:07:22 (permalink)
    I don't know how close it is to the race track, but I do know that the Oregon Brewers Festival is this weekend in Portland (http://www.oregonbrewfest.com/).

    In my humble opinion, Portland is the country's single best spot for quantity and quality of microbrews. If you are a beer drinking kind of a guy, you might try to make your way there. If this helps give you the scope of the event, I have a friend who lives here locally in central Florida, who is flying out to PDX and building his entire weekend around the beer festival. I slipped some other eating ideas, but who knows if he will be sober long enough to use them!

    Enjoy Portland!

    Steve
    #3
    ExtraMSG
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    RE: Portland, Oregon ... near the race track 2005/07/27 02:15:17 (permalink)
    The racetrack is in a bit of a dead zone. There's really nothing truly close by (you'll have to drive at least 5 minutes or so). A couple of good bets for quality low-end foods:

    * Fire on the Mountain: Hot wings fried to order and tossed in your choice of about a dozen spicy sauces (the El Jefe will melt your fillings). It's an easy trip down Interstate Ave (parallels I-5 on the west side). See pics here:

    extramsg.com/modules.php?set_albumName=album282&op=modload&name=gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php

    * Yam Yam's: I agree on the Sunday buffet. I don't know if it's *excellent* soul food, but there are always a couple of pretty darn tasty things. It's down MLK which makes it a quite an easy drive from the racetrack.

    * Tortilleria y Tienda de Leon: In Vancouver, but an easy trip up I-5 and then maybe a mile down Fourth Plain. They specialize in Mexican stews and they're usually fantastic. There are several of them and you can ask for tastes. They also have great beans, tamales, and carnitas. You can purchase by the pound or as a platter. There are other quality Mexican places around there too. See this link:

    extramsg.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=396

    * Tiger's Garden: Decent Thai place in downtown Vancouver. Downtown Vancouver is just a mile north of the racetrack, just the second exit over the river.

    * Thai Orchid: Decent Thai place in downtown Vancouver, maybe a little worse than Tiger's Garden.

    * Vancouver Farmer's Market: On both Saturday and Sunday, Vancouver has a respectable farmer's market with lots of food stands. It's near Esther Short park in downtown.

    * Thai Little Home: A bit farther down on Fourth Plain than de Leon is this really basic, homestyle and cheap Thai place. They're not as fancy and you're not going to get a bunch of veggies in your curries, but I find the flavors are much better than the other two I mentioned. But it's an extra 5 minutes or so.

    * Elmer's: A regional chain that's the closest of any of the places I've mentioned. Think Denny's, but with food that actually tastes good. They're not 24 hours, though. But they do things like use actual roasted turkey, not processed meat. This is at the Delta Park exit just on the east side of I-5.

    If you get stuck needing to go somewhere really close, the chain BJ's at Jantzen Beach isn't bad and the prices are fair. Be warned though, the two nearest I-5 exits, Jantzen and Delta Park, have a lot of *bad* food.

    btw, you should know that Cameo and Dan & Louis are not going to be easy jaunts. If you're going to go that far, you could just as easily go about anywhere in Portland, frankly. They're decent choices, but not close at all. The former is on the opposite side of Portland and the latter is in downtown (good luck parking). If you're willing to go that far, see my tip sheet for other recs:

    extramsg.com/uploaded_misc/portland_tipsheet.html
    #4
    mr chips
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    RE: Portland, Oregon ... near the race track 2005/07/27 04:01:09 (permalink)
    ExtraMsg, thanks for the link. It wii be helpful.
    #5
    wheregreggeats.com
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    RE: Portland, Oregon ... near the race track 2005/07/27 09:33:20 (permalink)
    That's a bunch of great suggestions. Along with the restaurants reviewed on this site, we'll be eating fine.

    Thanks everyone.
    #6
    CoastFan
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    RE: Portland, Oregon ... near the race track 2005/07/27 21:42:54 (permalink)
    Not near the race track, but the original Original Pancake House is on Barbur Blvd, not far off I-5.

    It is truly a breakfast dining experience.
    #7
    hefried
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    RE: Portland, Oregon ... near the race track 2005/07/30 15:55:17 (permalink)
    I might be too late
    but check out NE ALBERTA street and Killingsworth St.
    LaSirinita is great cheap mexican. The tin shed has great breakfasts. theres a whole bunch of choices now, I would avoid the VITA cafe, however. I had a really bad expereience there. oh also/ or
    stir fry/salad bar art new seasons market is great. they have great bread....
    #8
    ExtraMSG
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    RE: Portland, Oregon ... near the race track 2005/07/30 18:53:59 (permalink)
    I'm working on a Mexican report on NE Alberta right now. Probably will toss in a couple others in NE/North Portland, too. I really think La Sirenita is *terrible*. I can ignore the griminess and the lines out the door and the lack of being able to use a card. None of that really matters to me much. But when the food is as bad as it is, these are just the salsa on the taco. Last night I hit both Sirenita and Bonita.

    Went to the former first because I knew that I didn't like it as much. But I had forgotten how bad it really is. Got tacos de asada, carnitas, and tinga. The tinga was the only thing edible, but even it was mushy chicken in a spicy tomato sauce. (Traditionally tinga has a good chile flavor usually from chipotles.) The asada was gristly, chewy, and dry. The carnitas were....gamey. Is that possible? Gamey pork? And even worse, they were drier than my dads pork chops after sitting the frig the next day and not tender at all. Just terrible stuff. Dog food quality.

    Then I popped on over to Bonita and for no more money, in a clean and comfortable environment with the option to use my debit card, I got some tasty vittles: tacos de asada, carnitas, and pescado along with a tamal and a side of guacamole. Usually I wouln't buy guacamole at a taqueria but I saw some on a person's tray and it looked great. And it was good and fresh. The asada was well seasoned, juicy, and nicely crusted. The carnitas were tender and flavorful. The fish wasn't very good. Just a fish stick, essentially. Skip that. The tamal was quite good, too. Flavorful masa with a chicken stew filling. Very good.

    I do not understand why anyone goes to Sirenitas. It's just plain bad. And Bonita is only a half block away.
    #9
    dctourist
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    RE: Portland, Oregon ... near the race track 2005/07/30 20:35:57 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by ExtraMSG

    I'm working on a Mexican report on NE Alberta right now. Probably will toss in a couple others in NE/North Portland, too. I really think La Sirenita is *terrible*. I can ignore the griminess and the lines out the door and the lack of being able to use a card. None of that really matters to me much. But when the food is as bad as it is, these are just the salsa on the taco. Last night I hit both Sirenita and Bonita.

    Went to the former first because I knew that I didn't like it as much. But I had forgotten how bad it really is. Got tacos de asada, carnitas, and tinga. The tinga was the only thing edible, but even it was mushy chicken in a spicy tomato sauce. (Traditionally tinga has a good chile flavor usually from chipotles.) The asada was gristly, chewy, and dry. The carnitas were....gamey. Is that possible? Gamey pork? And even worse, they were drier than my dads pork chops after sitting the frig the next day and not tender at all. Just terrible stuff. Dog food quality.

    Then I popped on over to Bonita and for no more money, in a clean and comfortable environment with the option to use my debit card, I got some tasty vittles: tacos de asada, carnitas, and pescado along with a tamal and a side of guacamole. Usually I wouln't buy guacamole at a taqueria but I saw some on a person's tray and it looked great. And it was good and fresh. The asada was well seasoned, juicy, and nicely crusted. The carnitas were tender and flavorful. The fish wasn't very good. Just a fish stick, essentially. Skip that. The tamal was quite good, too. Flavorful masa with a chicken stew filling. Very good.

    I do not understand why anyone goes to Sirenitas. It's just plain bad. And Bonita is only a half block away.

    I'm with you, MSG. My sister always drags me there when I'm in town and I just don't see what to like about it, except that it's cheap and "authentic." (Plus, anyplace still serving cow's brains these days creeps me out, but that's just me...) I'll look forward to your report!
    #10
    wheregreggeats.com
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    RE: Portland, Oregon ... near the race track 2005/07/31 00:39:34 (permalink)
    It turns out I only had one day in town. By that I mean I drove doen in the morning, got my biz done by noon and drove back the same day.

    Still, I squoze in two lunches ... first a burger special at Stanich-West ... what a Big Mac would be if every element of the McD's version wasn't compromised.

    Then, knowing I was within a mile of Tortilleria y Tienda de Leon, I said to myself I'd just order something and sample it ... I ate it all ... I napped at the 53 mile marker rest area.

    I gotta get back there and work through the rest of the list.

    #11
    hefried
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    RE: Portland, Oregon ... near the race track 2005/08/02 12:03:12 (permalink)
    hey MSG...
    REALLY
    i consider my self picky and DEFINITLY freaked out by scrappy looking restaurants... and i really like la sirinita.Heck, even though it appears scrappy, its good road food and scrappy IS authentic mexican style... Have you been to Mexico?
    Ive been eating there)( la sirinita) since 1995!
    i NEVER have a bad experience there save for the orange- store- bought -yucko -plasticky tomatoes that they use in the wintertime...
    WOW. im suprized how much you hate it!
    La Bonita is DEFINIYLY good, but they ARE more expensive.
    El Taco express on 42nd and killingswirth is OK.... tooo much onions on everythinh thogh.
    #12
    ExtraMSG
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    RE: Portland, Oregon ... near the race track 2005/08/02 13:07:23 (permalink)
    I've been to Mexico now about 10 times and to even more cities. My last trip was in May for two weeks when I went to Mexico City, Oaxaca, and Puebla. I ate probably 6 meals a day, more than half from the street. (Luckily I had my wife to split food with.) I've also travelled to Chicago, San Jose, Oakland, San Francisco, LA, and Dallas largely for Mexican food exploration. I also cook Mexican from scratch a couple times a week, including making my own tortillas, sope shells, etc, when I make antojitos. Check out my site, extramsg.com, and you'll see plenty of Mexican exploration there, both locally and otherwise.

    If you want to meet sometime, I will gladly do a head to head comparision of La Sirenita and La Bonita on my dime. I don't remember any taco being more than 15 cents more expensive at La Bonita. Small price to pay for good food.
    #13
    hefried
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    RE: Portland, Oregon ... near the race track 2005/08/05 12:44:04 (permalink)
    Hey MSG! So, you know that scrappy-lookin' is sortof authentic Mexican.. or at least I know THIS ,,,some of the BEST mexican food i've ever eaten came out of some pretty scrappy looking places.....i dunno
    i somehow feel loyal to la sirinita i guess.
    and im a cheapo~ tee hee
    15 cents is big bux in my world~ just kiddin'
    but anyhoo here, try this one if you can...
    My kids and i ate at a taco truck yesterday in the parking lot of a strip mall in aloha. ( kinda near reo's ribs .. you must know it) there were two trucks there and both had lines to eat from them so i decided it would be a good idea. ( not scary or icky, if ya know what i mean) since it was
    as hot as %^$it yesterday, we decided to wait in line at the truck with the shorter line... M______ something~ i cant remembe the name~ ERRRRRR
    IT WAS SO GOOD!
    WE tried carnitas. chicken and pastor tacos.
    It was called ?~?~?~~?~?~?~?~?~?~~
    It stared with an M....
    im super busy.... BUT
    thanks for the "invite" to go eat/compare at alberta street~!~ sounds fun maybe sometime~
    #14
    ExtraMSG
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    RE: Portland, Oregon ... near the race track 2005/08/05 13:57:15 (permalink)
    And as I said, a grimy looking place is normally fine, but when the food is already bad, those other things just clinch the experience.

    There are a lot of taco trucks out that way. I think I might know the ones you're talking about. A lot of the taco trucks out there are open at night, too, and I've been thinking about going around some weekend night and exploring to see if there are any specialties. In Mexico, the types of foods at taco stands change throughout the day. Things like carne asada and tlayudas are more of a night thing, eg.

    btw, in N Portland there's a really good taco truck where they make tortillas by hand. It's across the street from Di Prima Dolci on N Killingsworth, but I'm blanking on the name, though. One of the best taco trucks in the metro.
    #15
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