Saturday, July 16, 2005

Portland Road Trip: Jake's Famous Crawfish

Crawfish Boil, not mine

My dad and stepmom moved to Portland a couple of weeks ago, so we spent the night in Portland to visit and see their new house. They live in a cute 1920s bungalow a couple of miles northeast from downtown, and a few blocks to the light rail.

For dinner we went to Jake's Famous Crawfish, which is one of those "institutions" that has been there forever. It's now apparently part of the McCormick and Schmick chain. Dad told the waiter "this is a shitty restaurant," and indeed, it was.

Update: I've noticed a few people getting to this page via Google, so maybe I should say something about why I wasn't impressed with Jake's. What flew Dad off the handle was the price of the wine: nothing under $30/bottle. What I didn't like was the food. I ordered Halibut, and was served a meager little slice of so-so Halibut with some OK vegetables and maybe some mashed potatoes on the side. For $25, I'd like a bit more fish, and I'd like it prepared with a litte more care. Debbie had some sort of seafood ravioli which was unmemorable. Dad had Sand Dabs, I think, and they were, again, not awful but nothing to write home about. Restaurants that put this much emphasis on seafood really need to have their seafood together. Tadich's Grill in SF is another old-school fish house from 100+ years ago, but somehow they manage to serve good fish after all these years. I'm sure Seattle has some old-tyme seafood restaurants, but around here it seems you can't get away with serving mediocre fish when there are so many restaurants with very straightforward but well-executed fish menus.