Friday, April 4, 2014

The Best Two Restaurants in Portland, OR

I've been too spoiled by good food the past two weekends to enjoy anything for awhile...I hate it when that happens!!

On each of the past two weekends, my wife and I have visited a favorite (and I would consider the best) Portland restaurant - Ox and Biwa.

There is something to be said about those 'top restaurant' lists in magazines and blogs...sometimes they really are the best restaurants!

Both Ox and Biwa are usually ranked pretty high in Portland, with Ox being listed as one of the best 2013 restaurants in the U.S.!!

Both establishments also do not take reservations - they obviously don't have too - so waiting is a standard practice.


To beat out the crowds at Ox (on a Saturday night), we showed up at 4:30 p.m. (the restaurant opens at 5 p.m.)! Luckily there is a bar next door that is associated with the restaurant and you can grab an appetizer and drink while you wait...p.s. the oysters are amazing!!

[A little tip, the restaurant hostess will come outside to add you to the wait list if you arrive before 5 p.m. - how great is this?!]

Ox really is our number one restaurant in the city.  We were a little worried that going back our expectations wouldn't be met, but have no fear, it was better than the first time!!

Everything on the menu sounds, smells, and looks delicious!

I would recommend the Beef Empanada, the Roasted Sea Scallops, and the Cocoa-Braised Lamb Shoulder.


As our second favorite restaurant in Portland, Biwa has your Japanese hunger fix!

Melts in your mouth sashimi. Savory ramen. Crunchy seaweed salad.

Our favorite tradition is to go to Biwa and order the Omakase.  This is where the chef decides what to make and bring out - you are completely in their hands for the night. In another blip of fortune, Biwa's Omakase was listed as one of the Portland Diner's Month (sorry, ended in March!) items and we arrived with just three days to spare!!

Plates, upon plates of perfected dishes were brought out to us. At first you think that with such little subsistence you'll never get full, but after the fourth round of food, you start to wonder if you'll make it all the way through the meal.

Ruined on food!

I think this weekend I'd better not try to compete on the food front, my taste buds need to come back to the real world first.

What are your favorite restaurants?

Update 4/5/2014 - Okay, this only lasted one day. Last night we hit Radar (on N. Mississippi) - the Char was melt-in-your-mouth succulent. We followed the meal up with ice cream from Ruby Jewel. I'm satisfied for another weekend!