by Jim Graves & Carol Walsh
Hopworks Urban Brewery (www.hopworksbeer.com) features many beers, but is kid-friendly. The food is upscale for a brewery; offerings include pizzas, calzones, burgers and sandwiches, soups and salads and desserts, plus a kids menu. And, of course, you'll have a wide variety of beers to choose from, all brewed on-site. Ask for the sampler tray.
But what really makes Hopworks is that it has multiple locations in the restaurant specially designed for children's play. Parents can enjoy a casual meal while the kids are occupied.
Another amazing choice is Urban Farmer (www.urbanfarmerportland.com), located in an interior courtyard of the 8th floor of the Nines luxury hotel. They’re known for their outstanding steaks; we went for breakfast, which was a great experience as well. Their meats are all the best—ham on the eggs benedict, sausage and bacon—and are supplied by local farmers. The décor was contemporary and tasteful.
Another fantastic restaurant choice is Mother’s Bistro & Bar (www.mothersbistro.com) located on Stark Street, a couple blocks up from the Willamette River. It’s the place to go for what owner Lisa Schroeder describes as “mother food”—the dishes she’d make for her family at home if she had the time. Mother’s features slow-cooked foods—pot roast, chicken and dumplings, meat loaf, stews, crab cakes, roasts and braised dishes.
Some suggestions: we enjoyed the pierogi, potato-filled dumplings topped with sautéed onions and sour cream; the Mexican Chopped Salad with grilled marinated chicken breast was a winner; and the meatloaf & gravy was delicious. They offer a kids menu, and it’s hard to go wrong with any of their desserts. It has a tasteful French bistro décor, with great street views. It’s a wonderful place that you could go back to again and again.
Another suggestion is Pazzo Ristorante (www.pazzo.com), an outstanding Italian restaurant located adjacent to Hotel Vintage Plaza. Pazzo offers upscale Italian food, with much of the pasta being made onsite at the restaurant itself.
The Mista salad was fresh and healthy; we also had great luck with the grilled wild salmon and Pappardelle pasta (with veal, pork and beef) entrees. For desserts, any of the ice creams are a great choice, as is the tiramisu. There is a full selection of premium wines and beers for adults, and a kids menu.
And, having little kids, we had to stop one night for dinner at Red Robin (www.redrobin.com). It is one restaurant I know of which my kids are guaranteed to eat something. Their burgers are always good and can be made in a variety of options, there are tasty sandwich and salad choices and they have a great kids menu. The décor is fun, the prices modest and geared to kids and adults alike. There are locations throughout the Portland area, including in its large central mall, Lloyd Center.
Try these restaurants and you won’t be disappointed!