Explore new options in PSU’s own backyard
The city of Portland offers some of the most interesting culinary experiences in the nation. However, the top restaurants are often out of most people’s price range. Every March, restaurants in Portland offer three-course meals at a more reasonable price of $33 a meal. For every reservation made, Travel Portland will donate to the Oregon Food Bank. Five restaurants can take you around the world while staying just a short distance from campus.
American – Higgins
This American restaurant prides itself on being authentically Northwest and offering strong vegetarian options. Higgins is a very intimate, upscale space with low lighting and a courteous waitstaff. The first course features either a roasted beet and chicory salad with lemon olive vinaigrette and garlic crumbs, or, tosini prosciutto with fruit mostarda (from a local farm), endive and extra virgin olive oil. The main course is a close match between the grilled lamb merguez sausage with couscous, harissa and roasted root vegetable, or, acquerello risotto with leeks, carrots, preserved lemons with spicy provolone. For dessert the option is simple: pave of dark chocolate with Oregon honeycomb.
Pan-Asian – Saucebox
This restaurant offers three different choices for the first and second course, including vegetarian options. The first course offers three different options: the spicy sesame tofu with chiu chow emulsion and fried carrots seems to be the standout, but the steak satay with garlic soy marinade, spicy peanut sauce and thai herb salad is a close second. The Korean ribs with sweet hoisin sauce, peanuts, pickled cucumber and jasmine rice is an intriguing choice for the main course. For dessert, caramelized pear rangoon with vanilla ice cream and cinnamon sugar, or, chocolate tart with coconut ganache, raspberry sauce and almond whip.
French – Bistro Agnes
Bistro Agnes offers a decadent meal that is distinctly French. The duck rillettes on grilled bread with orange marmalade and truffled walnut and celery salad is the starter. The roasted pork belly with French lentil ragout, frisee and honeycrisp apple for the main course is the standout, but don’t be afraid of the chicken confit with roasted cauliflower, anchovy, lemon and chicken jus. Anchovy can be intimidating, but it is worth a try. Malted chocolate mousse with creme chantilly and puffed pastry for dessert, and wine pairings are available. A pescetarian option is as good as you are going to get with this menu.
Middle Eastern – Al-Amir Lebanese Restaurant
Al-Amir’s menu is a great introduction to Middle Eastern/Mediterranean cuisine. The first course offers different combinations of hummus with baba ghanooj, tabouleh, dolmas and falafel. For the main course there’s a choice of kabobs, a lamb shank or a vegetarian khudar of sauteed cauliflower, zucchini and carrot topped with garlic sauce and tahini sauce. It is hard to go wrong with the Baklava for dessert. They offer Lebanese beer and wine to go with the meal as well.
South America – LeChon
The most diverse menu in terms of options for the first and second course, all of them delicious. The first and second course offer either vegetarian or non-vegetarian routes through the menu. The vegetarian path includes baocito with miso mushrooms, pickled slaw, steam bun and Peruvian-Chinese BBQ sauce, and vegetable ceviche with hearts of palm, tomato cucumber, aji lime amarillo and cilantro. For the second course on the vegetarian journey, arepa with avocado puree, chickpeas, kale, melted peppers, fried egg and aji verde, or chaufu with fried rice, heirloom cauliflower, peas, basil cilantro and soy-lime teriyaki. Key lime pie with raspberry for dessert, a perfect palate cleanser.