affordable food with sit-down atmosphere

Broke 207 has posted some observations on local restaurants and bemoaned the lack of “affordable food with sit-down atmosphere (mall restaurants need not apply)” in the city.

If you’re reading this site then you’re probably someone who knows the Portland restaurant landscape fairly well. Are there some restaurants out there that fit what Broke 207 is looking for? What do you think the biggest gap in the Portland restaurant line-up is?

6 comments on “affordable food with sit-down atmosphere

  1. There are several “affordable” “nice” restaurants in town. None are fancy but the quality of food is great and the atmosphere is satisfactory to very good: Norm’s, Silly’s, Local Sprouts, Gogi, Hot Suppa.

    The biggest gap in the restaurant scene is good Chinese. There is not even good American Chinese.
    How can we have 3 Korean places and a hundred Thai joints and not one good Chinese place???

  2. You know, it’s funny — and it’s likely just a difference in where we are in our lives —

    My wife and I have been really pleased over the last year with how many less expensive sit-down places have opened around town. I’d count Otto, Nosh, El Rayo, Mai Pen Miyake, and Po Boys out on Forest as recent inexpensive restaurants. It kind of depends on what you’re talking about as far as ‘affordable’ goes, but for my money if two people can get in and out for $40, that counts.

    As for the biggest hole in Portland, I don’t think there’s even any discussion here: it’s chinese food. It doesn’t exist. It kills me. It drives me up the wall. Real, legit, inexpensive actual szechuan and hunan food — no disrespect to the many thai and vietnamese places in town, but I want chinese. We have *everything* else, it’s kind of amazing that there’s no good chinese.

    Other than that, a genuine diner would be nice, and real NY bagels. I know: Scratch or One Fifty Ate. I know they exist. I don’t find them satisfactory.

  3. Biggest gap is definitely the lack of good chinese food–however, I’ll also throw a nice, inexpensive greek place on there, too. I’ll also agree with Henry on his list of places that are pretty affordable for 2 people under $40. I don’t think, however, that Broke207 will find much in the way of 2 people dining for under $20, as she mentions in her article.

  4. Personally, I think the request is entirely unrealistic. We have become so entitled as a dining public that reality is out the window! I can’t feed my family of four for under $ 200 a week. How can one expect a “sit down” experience for twenty dollars! Rent, utilities, payroll, insurance all contribute to your “experience”. I suppose if you prefer not to tip, think the state shouldn’t get their tax and don’t mind frozen food then maybe you can get what you want. Or, you can suck it up and slum it to the mall restaurants that have huge buying power, in house design teams, warehouses of bulk furniture and a corporate structure that can get you the mask price you want. I hear they line up at the cracker barrel. Or do what our parents did, consider it a treat, not a right, and go out on special occasions.

    As to the other question, definitely chinese. However, I don’t think many would even want real chinese (chicken feet anyone, intestines?). Also real deli…as in nyc katz’s or second ave. and from no where else as there is no comparison

  5. ” Or do what our parents did, consider it a treat, not a right, and go out on special occasions.”
    That was the smartest thing i have seen in print in years. Thank you to whomever posted that.

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