Restaurant scene flatlining? No one told…

…the hordes out dining this weekend.

I had a kid-free weekend, and a desire to *not* expend effort cooking for a change – I’d been slaving in the kitchen (or pulling out the soup or sauces I’d frozen back in November) and brownbagging it at work for lunch these last few weeks in an attempt to save some money to fill my hungry gas tank instead.

See, while I’m really watching what I spend on dining out these days (and I’m not the only one, as evidenced by this WW cover story and this comment thread at Portland Food and Drink), I decided to live a little.

First, I stopped by Dove Vivi on Friday night to take myself out for dinner – but they were so jammed that I ended up taking my slices to go. Then, I had plans later on to meet a friend over a quiet glass of wine at La Bodega – but it was so crowded at first that we had speak up to be heard.

Next jammed place? Screen Door on Saturday night – every table was packed, they had a line out the door, and were doing a brisk carry-out business as well (the lady who’d called in her order for peanut butter pie promptly at 5 pm when they opened in order to make sure she got some before they ran out managed to convince me I needed to get a piece to go as well, heh.)

The bartender took great care of me despite the frenzy, commenting that they’re doing well ’cause they really want to be a good neighborhood restaurant & have options at every price point. (I think it’s also due to the fact that every time I’ve been here, I’ve gotten great friendly service that’s personal and warm without being cloying or affected – it’s now one of my fave spots.)

Finally, I ended my weekend restaurant tour at Milo’s for breakfast this morning, where I grabbed my usual counter spot after a short wait and nabbed a plate of green eggs and ham with plenty of coffee while the usual crowds shuffled in and out.

So that’s four restaurants in three days – all doing a brisk business. What did they all have in common? Good food (or beverages, in La Bodega’s case.) Reasonable prices (I probably spent a grand total of 70 bucks – including generous tips – by the time I was done.) And service that’s a cut above what you’ll find elsewhere around PDX.

Is it any wonder that people will still spend their hard-earned money at places like these when it’s time for a bit of a splurge?

1 Comment so far

  1. alana098 on March 30th, 2008 @ 11:35 pm

    Good posting,.,..,.,. thanks for your useful info

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