Tag Archives: downtown

Tangier Restaurant – Downtown PDX

Last Friday, we had a group lunch to welcome a new team member at my work place. Someone threw the name Tangier as an idea and thank God, it was a good choice all the way.

Tangier Restaurant in Portland Downtown
Tangier Restaurant in Portland Downtown

Located in the heart of Portland downtown near the water-front, Tangier is a Moroccan/Mediterranean/Middle-Eastern restaurant. It’s a medium size place with warm and relaxed environment. We arrived there a little before noon. I guess lunch is very busy here. It took a while for the waiter to give us water, menu, and finally get our orders. Their customer service is fantastic and the waiter kept apologizing for the delay.

Inside Tangier, a Moroccan Restaurant in Portland Downtown
Inside Tangier, a Moroccan Restaurant in Portland Downtown

But it was all worth it when we got our food…it was so dorn good. The new employee ordered a mashed egg-plant dip (not baba ganoush) with a big circle bread as an appetizer for us all. When I see vege dip like that, a fear crawls up that will it be too garlicky or too herby. But this was a very well-balanced and well-spiced egg-plant dip that tasted fresh and tasty with the warm bread.

My Lamb Tagine in Inside Tangier, Portland
My Lamb Tagine in Inside Tangier, Portland

When I ordered my lamb tagine (they also have salmon tagine, but waiter suggested lamb is better), I visioned my dish would be served in a tagine (like the way I was served in Marrakesh). Not the decoration of the plate, but not getting my lamb inside a tagine did disappoint me a bit, but my first bite in that tender lamb chop was a heaven. I usually don’t eat lamb, except only for lamb gyro, but I would go back there to have that slow-cooked lamb with rice and egg-plant again. Maybe a small portion of tzatziki sauce would have made that dish even better. I think four other of my co-workers liked their dishes too…at least they licked their plates clean. One ordered a mezza platter, another one an artichoke soup, and I think another one was with lamb too. We also ordered some Moroccan hot mint tea and Turkish coffee.

One of my co-worker's vegetable mezza platter in Tangier

Their menu has a wide variety of options from Moroccan dishes to Lebanese to traditional Mediterranean and Middle Eastern plates. This is a great place If you are a vegetarian or a vegan or a meat-lover…you will get many options from soup/stew, salad, appetizers, sandwich, platters, pizza, kababs/koftas, and other traditional Moroccan plates.

Be prepare for some street parking or garages when coming to Tangier. It is a perfect place to bring a small group for lunch or dinner…for a nice family dinner on a Saturday night or to celebrate a special occasion with few people. Looks like weekdays during lunch is busy but the restaurant does take reservation. I thought, the price was very reasonable too. I would absolutely bring some of my family members or friends to introduce them to this place.

Great Harvest Bread Co. in Downtown

It is that time of the year for the ugly sweater contest and cookie exchange at my job. I am not a baker and didn’t even have time to bake last night. Therefore, the hunting for a cookie place begins. A block away from my work on the 2nd Street in Portland Downtown, there is a bread and bakery place, called Great Harvest Bread Co. It’s time to put them to test (muhahaha).

Great Harvest Bread Co. in Portland Downtown
Great Harvest Bread Co. in Portland Downtown

This is a little corner bakery shop with few other locations in Oregon, including one in Clackamas, Oregon. As soon as you enter the shop, you see all sorts of different breads and cookies being displayed. It looked like couple of their specialties are fresh milled and grind wheat bread and fresh challah bread. YUMMM. FYI, I’ve made challah bread before…my kids loved it. But then again, who doesn’t like freshly made warm bread right out of the oven???

Great Harvest Bread Co. in Portland Downtown
Great Harvest Bread Co. in Portland Downtown

I was in there for some holiday cookies and from many options, I  picked 1 ½ dozens of eggnog snickerdoodles. They also had oatmeal, chocolate mint, and tons of other cookies in the selections. But remember, these are jumbo sized cookies…bigger the better.

My jumbo sized snickerdoodles from Great Harvest Bread Co.

If you are not up for breads or cookies, maybe try one of their sandwiches, which would be my next adventure in this restaurant. There are only few high chairs to really sit down and have a meal. Most of the customers were there to buy different breads or grab a to-go cookie. But yeh, I would go back there to get some sandwich breads next time and try the chocolate mint cookies, because you can never go wrong with chocolate and mint together.

Portland Food Hall

Since I’ve started working in Portland Downtown area, one of my exploring points has been checking out the restaurants here. There are tons of restaurants within half mile from my work place and I’m planning to taste all of those out one by one.

Portland Food Hall is about 2 minutes walk from my workplace. It’s more like a food-court in the malls with only fast-food style restaurants. I didn’t explore much but looked like it has 5/6 different restaurants from Mexican to Asian to NY Style pizza/subs, and a bar. There are plenty of sitting options including some shared tables. The place is very neat and clean. I will be buying lunches from all of these places eventually and will list them here.

Aiko Ramen: This was my place in Portland Food Hall. The menu was pretty short without much options but you can customize it to satisfy your own taste buds. I ordered a miso soup soft boiled eggs for $11. Service is pretty fast and friendly too.

Aiko Ramen in Portland Food Hall
Aiko Ramen in Portland Food Hall

Now, about my bowl of miso soup with egg. It’s a nice big portion with a bit bland flavors when I started eating, even after adding some chili sauce. But half way thru my soup, I was done with the soup. I couldn’t take the broth or the noodles without much vegetables anymore. I requested them to pack my food and came out. Does that give you some idea about their food? I like spicy food but at the same time I’ve had good tasting miso soup too. But after my first time there, all I know that I won’t be going back there again.

Miso soup with soft boiled egg in Aiko Ramen (Portland Food Hall)
Miso soup with soft boiled egg in Aiko Ramen (Portland Food Hall)

Few weeks later I went back to the Food Hall, next place I tried in the Food Hall was the Mexican eatery, called Aprisa. This is more like a Chipotle style…make your own bowl kind of place. I had a burrito bowl with rice, beans, vegetables, chicken, guacamole, and salsa verde. Unlike the other one I tried in the Food Hall, Aprisa served me some good food. I loved that burrito bowl and will go back again for more.

Burrito Bowl in Aprisa inside Portland Food Hall