College Tours: Where to Eat Near Reed College, Portland
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As part of Oregon Month, we bring you another college eating guide, this one for Reed. The 1,400 or so Reed students living in Portland have some interesting choices once they get off their lovely campus. Although Reed is minutes from downtown, when you walk on campus you feel like you are miles from the "big city." There's not very much super close to campus, but when in Portland, you walk (rain or shine) to feed the soul.
Best Burger and Poutine
If I was at Reed, I'd be at Foster Burger way too often for my own good. Between the burgers, the poutine and the thick, perfect milkshakes, I can only allow myself a visit once a month. The poutine is made with Beecher's cheese curds and gravy and you have to get "The Burner" burger topped with Srirancha, roasted jalapenos, fried onion straws, shredded lettuce, American and cheddar.
For coffee shops near campus there's a clear winner: Papaccino's. This groovy spot gets rave reviews from the students for both good coffee and surprisingly excellent coffee shop food. There are many power outlets and you can make yourself comfortable for hours without anybody kicking you out. First Cup Coffee House serves Stumptown coffee and a damn good bagel. There is a patio and free wifi. And if you want to stay on campus, the student run Paradox Café is a popular place. The desserts are homey and excellent, and there are some pretty good art shows by Reedies on display.
Got the Pizza Munchies?
Reedies head to Gladstone Street Pizza when they get the munchies. The thin-crusted pie is topped with fresh ingredients. You can build your own or get one predesigned; my current favorite is the sausage, sweet onion, and arugula, although I was tempted to ask the people at the next table for a taste of the "Down South". This combination of Andouille sausage, green pepper and sweet onion made them happy.
Eastmoreland Kitchen, situated in a residential neighborhood near campus, has an outstanding muffuletta. The goat cheese and smoked turkey is another delightful, worth-ordering sandwich. They make their own mozzarella daily and it is excellent, so anything with that and their great bread is a winner. And then the grilled cheese, it's in a class of its own, loaded with gruyere, muenster, a fried egg, pancetta and arugula on a brioche.
A recent addition to the Reed neighborhood is the Italian influenced Shut Up And Eat on Gladstone. Order a breakfast sandwich, the old style Italian hoagie, or my personal favorite, the meatball sub with provolone (the red gravy is outstanding).
For a late-night haunt/dive bar, Reel M Inn pours a stiff drink and makes some very decent fried chicken. Further down Division is Victory Bar, less of a divey bar. It's open late and has a great beer selection and totally scrumptious food.
Head to Saburo's Sushi House but be prepared to wait for a table; it's very fresh sushi for cheap. The food cart Yolk offers breakfast and brunch and makes a nice sandwich. Tom Yum Thai Cuisine for authentic, and very well priced, Thai food.
Best Ice Cream
Cloud City Ice Cream is a newcomer to Portland's Woodstock neighborhood and they're making some of the best pistachio ice cream I've had since Alder closed (RIP). Good drinking chocolate too.
When Someone Has a Car
Ya Hala serves homestyle Lebanese food at very fair prices. If you have 4 to 6 people, order the "Jugo" feast, which includes a whole leg of lamb that's slow-cooked (on the bone) after bathing in a marinade of the finest saffron, freshly ground nutmeg and cinnamon, fresh ginger and garlic and vine-ripened tomatoes. The lamb is served on a platter of saffron basmati rice, sautéed vegetables and topped with pine nuts and roasted almonds. This feast is served with homous, baba ghanouj and four fatoush salads.
Another place worth the drive is the restaurant at the wonderful Japanese grocery store Uwajimaya on Beaverton Hillsdale Highway. The market is fun and the food at the little restaurant is well priced and excellent. If there's a wait, just browse through the interesting selection of Asian products.
When the Folks Are in Town
Take them to dinner or brunch at Roost. If they like Southern food, Screen Door has it going on. You really can't go wrong with anything on the menu, and there is a "Screen Door Plate" that allows you to mix and match Southern and seasonal items. Desserts are wonderful, too.
Yakuza is transportive. The room inside is beautiful and the back garden is a gem. There may not be a prettier restaurant in Portland. Lincoln is equally attractive, but in a more Northwest style. Lots of wood and soothing tones.
About the author: Laurie Wolf is a food writer now living in Portland, Oregon. Her book "The Portland, Oregon Chef's Table" is now available. She is also currently teaching "Food For Thought" to a bunch of hungry students.