broke & hungry.

28 04 2011

there is absolutely no question that portland has incredible food. on munjoy hill alone live three of the best restaurants in town (bar lola, blue spoon, & front room), and the most perfect neighborhood market that ever lived.  possibly secondary only to family and friends, it is the thing that holds me here and reminds me that portland is home.

yesterday, i took a jaunt to the new five guys with a very bummed out boyfriend who was just informed that he needed to purchase a new transmission. place was PACKED! i really love how they only have like 5 things on their menu. simplicity to me is one of the earmarks of a restaurant that knows what they’re doing. you don’t have to have 200+ menu items if the 5 things that you make are super delicious.

that said, i wasn’t expecting much from my grilled cheese. and i was right to set the standards low. the cheese to bread ratio was way off (like an inch of american cheese- TOO MUCH!), and it was super small and dense. edible, but not amazing. french fries were undercooked and mouth searingly hot. although, my friend @torreyham said that he saw the face of god in his hamburger, and the boyfriend seemed overall quite pleased- even if they forgot the BBQ sauce.

but that’s not entirely my point today. ┬áthe point is that there are all these new restaurants opening up in portland all the time, but there is one large gap being left in the market that i would like to see filled: affordable food with sit-down atmosphere (mall restaurants need not apply).

on the cheap is easy when you’ve got diners and pizza and burger places up the yaz. upscale is easy if you can afford it. there also appear to be an inexplicable amount of asian restaurants cropping up on every corner… but when my mom refuses to eat indian food, and i only have $20, where do we go?

i don’t know exactly how to make it work. and i certainly have no idea how to run a restaurant… but i would love to see people opening restaurants with a greater awareness of A) how many similar restaurants already exist in the area, and B) the fact that we’re pretty much all fucking broke.

yeah, i’m sure that grass fed beef with walnut fennel chutney is great and all, but we don’t need to be so fancy. but we also need to be able to afford things that aren’t just pizza and french fries. oh, and we want the food to taste good.

ok, so maybe i’m asking a lot. but if anyone out there wants to open a restaurant, this town could use some unpretentious budget fare that doesn’t have to get cooked in a fryolator.

who’s with me?

(or we could scrap this idea entirely and just open an automat)