Why not Toot???


What’s in a name? Well, if your name is Otto and you are a relatively new restaurant in Portland, there could be confusion. IMG_2349 Particularly if you are a relatively upscale restaurant, especially one without Bavarian leanings. I’m certain the couple behind Otto had a good reason for selecting the name, perhaps a beloved family member or dearly departed pet (do people name serious restaurants after their pets? Hmm) but whatever the case, if these folks were from around these here parts (I think I read months ago they hail from Michigan) it seems unlikely they would have latched onto Otto, since we already have Otto’s Sausage Kitchen, operating since the 20s, and a place I’m not familiar with (it’s in Beaverton, we all know I don’t go THERE) called Otto’s & Anita’s, which I’m told is some sort of whee-haw-lederhosen-special occasion place.

As they always say, you can’t judge a book by its cover, but whatever the reason, people here just do not associate Otto with fancy, and Glenda kept implying it reminded her of an alpine gondola operator.IMG_2353 When we went there, several at out table actually complained to the staff about the name, and I could tell they had probably heard it all before. It is a nice round, symmetrical name though, and what could make a better logo than a palindrome? That being said, Otto could avoid all these issues by keeping their same letters, but just internalizing those Os. After all, who doesn’t want to go out for fine dining at a place called Toot? Hey, it’s still a palindrome.

I suppose if Otto seemed like it was on a path that would rocket it to instant fame, it would be easier to not worry whether the rather confusing name would prove problematic in Puddletown. The major probleappears to be that Otto most likely has other bad karma mojo-ing its happiness, nothing at all to do with the good food or pleasant people who work there.