May 2007

View coming events here.
screendoor.jpgNormally I would be a generous hostess, and post the guest review first. But as I’ve tried to create a somewhat cohesive review (I only said TRIED), I’ve posted Marnie’s and Leo’s review after mine. You have my permission to skip directly there if you like.

The gang

Everyone’s palate is geared differently, and consequently everyone has their favorite styles of cooking. The two I most frequently hear people going on about are Indian and Thai. As far as Asian foods, Japanese and Thai are my two favorites “from the East,” but as my tastes for both of them go in streaks, I wouldn’t put them amongst my absolute favorite types of cuisine to eat as frequently as possible. What are my favorites? (hey, at least I’m interested in this topic.) They would have to be Mexican, Caribbean, Italian, and Southern (in no particular order.) Is it any wonder I’ve gained a clothing size over the last two years? (yes, we’ll leave it as a single digit clothing increase.) These aren’t exactly light and healthy fares.
Getting good quality Mexican and Italian meals around Portland is pretty easy, we have it all from cheap to expensive, from knock-off to authentic. Caribbean and Southern are always more difficult around here, they have their connection to each other through Cajun and Creole, mingling on multiple fronts, but for some reason the Pacific Northwest is just a little too North, and a little too West to make it a mecca for these two delicious cuisines. BBQ is one thing, Portland has some good barbecue joints, but other southern specialties, they just aren’t that wide ranging here, except perhaps in some of those humble little places in No Po I just never make it to.

Meriwether's logoApproximately 2.5 years ago Meriwethers NW moved into the dormant space that had housed the well acclaimed French restaurant L’Auberge for quite a few years. I never really heard exactly what doomed L’Auberge, but the neighborhood had to have something to do with it. The environs surrounding Montgomery Park have always been an industrial wasteland, and while I’m certain that when Mongomery Park is full of exhibitors upper NW Vaughn is a jumping place, at other times it seems like a ghost town, despite the new development that has taken place in the last few years. Just to venture a block North for parking is like entering a long ago industrial twighlight zone (well, at least Jody found the parking lot.)

I remember when Meriwethers opened, it was slightly after ClarkLewis made its debut, and I couldn’t help but wonder why all these upscale restaurants were picking these rather hokey NW historical names. As I could tell by the first review I ever read on the place, it wasn’t exactly cheap, and the menu seemed to lack any ethnic originality that would make it any different from all these expensive NW regional places we have here, so I wasn’t exactly drawn to it. One evening, a little over two years ago, however, a friend and I had eaten at the heavy duty Industial Cafe which is kitty corner from there, and decided after looking at a drink menu posted outside to venture in for a cocktail. The drink was certainly tasty (and expensive, too,) but the bar, like all parts of Meriwethers, struck me as a beautiful space which I would like to visit again.