Favorite restaurants with and without kids: Portland 2013
Most of my fancy eating out is with kids, and by myself, so I pick restaurants that are indulgent and times when the place isn't packed. When we want to celebrate something, my boys and I invariably go to Pok Pok; it's best between 1 p.m. and 5 on a weekday (usually, our celebrations are right after school). It's always fun to sit among the tourists who have been told that THIS is the place they should come and they MUST eat the fish sauce wings. (Also, they like to gawk at Portland's foodie kids inhaling shrimp chips and drinking vinegars.) When we want to treat ourselves to dinner out, it's Gladstone Street Pizza on a Monday or a Tuesday after the dinner rush if we're splurging, or Little Big Burger if we're on a budget.
My husband's coming home for leave this weekend, and I'm thinking about planning something fancy for a date night sans kids. I read the comments on this thread on Eater PDX and came away thinking Ava Gene's, the new restaurant on 34th and Division (the old Lauro spot) run by Duane Sorenson was the way to go. I've also been wanting to try Aviary, Tasty & Sons, Le Pigeon, and the Woodsman Tavern.
Of course sometimes I look at the menus and think, "pork chop with mushrooms and stewed beans, $30, I could make that for the whole family for that price!" and I wish I'd just eaten at home. Which places are your favorites for going out with and without the kids right now? Which blow your mind with their innovative cuisine? Which would you have skipped and made your own at home?