Diners, Date spots and Dives: What Professors are Saying About Portland Restaurants.

Consistently ranked as one of the top food cities in the United States, Portland has a lot to offer in terms of dining. Naturally, you may be asking, “What is there to eat?” Well, luckily for our readers, our very own Lewis & Clark faculty know the best places to eat in the Portland area, perfect for finding the right date spot for Valentine’s Day.

First up, Associate Professor of Economics Clifford Bekar recommended Andina, a high-end Peruvian restaurant in the Pearl District on the north end of Downtown. 

“It is nice. It’s family owned and run, the woman who oversees the menu and the specials and whatnot will often come out and visit you by your table,” Bekar said. 

Bekar then spoke of his favorite dishes, the Lomo Saltado, as well as his 21+ recommendations.

“It’s this braised beef dish, a Peruvian dish over beans and rice. It’s always my go to, and then my wife and I usually split an order of scallops to start,” he said. “Great cocktail menu, but I usually stick with their wine. I like to get a red.” 

However, Bekar noted that the restaurant is upscale, perhaps making it unsuitable for the undergraduate student’s budget. 

For readers willing to splurge, the restaurant is easy to access through public transit. All one student has to do is take the Pioneer Express to its SW 1st and Harrison stop, then hop onto the North-South Streetcar line, and get off on NW 10th & Glisan.

With all the galleries and shops the Pearl has to offer, an evening of activities awaits diners who make the trip out. As a date night location, Bekar expressed that this restaurant is supreme. 

“It’s super cozy, charming, the space inside is just fantastic, and once you pop out there are all sorts of things to do,” Bekar said. 

Visiting Assistant Professor Devin Fitzpatrick, whose favorite place is the Ate-Oh-Ate Grill, a casual Hawaiian eatery with two locations on the East side.

“It’s a Hawaiian restaurant so it has Japanese culinary influences, but it also has some Korean influences that mix it up,” Fitzpatrick said. 

Fitzpatrick enjoys ordering the Aina burger, especially since all their burger patties are made fresh in-house.

“I was told by the owner that they are part of the Earl Hurst Food Co-Op, where all the local restaurants subscribe to a food delivery service that secures their premium ingredients,” Fitzpatrick said. 

Though Fitzpatrick did not attest to the romantic potential of the restaurant, the ample opportunities surrounding the location combined with the relatively affordable prices make it an ideal date night for college students who are adventurous when it comes to bus lines. 

Finally, Professor of Hispanic Studies Juan Carlos Toledano Redondo shared his restaurant pick: Palomar, a Cuban restaurant not far from the SE Milwaukie & Powell weekend Pio stop.

“There are very few restaurants with Cuban food, and this is one of the three or four I know. This is actually a restaurant for cocktails, but they have probably the best croquetas, and the flan is also amazing. They don’t have a very extensive menu for food, but what they have is delicious,” he said. 

As for its price, Professor Toledano Redondo says it may not be realistic for the average college student. 

“The place is very accessible by transportation, but what it may not be is accessible to the pocket of the student,” Toledano Redondo said. 

Nonetheless, Toledano Redondo is confident with his menu suggestion: “Definitely the croquetas, no doubt whatsoever.” 

As for the important question of this restaurant’s date potential, Professor Toledano Redondo has no doubts. 

“It is a small place, it has a second floor within the bar that is also very cute. It doesn’t have amazing views for February, but in the summer they open up the patio on the roof of the building and the area is pretty neat,” he said. “When it is dark it’s a very interesting place with all the displays of liquor that they have. It is a pretty place.” 

There you have it folks! However you chose to spend it, we hope you had a great Valentine’s Day. Bon appétit!

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