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Friday, March 30, 2018

Portland, OR: What ABBAbout Those Swedish Meatballs - Dinner For Two For Just $20!

Ikea Restaurant
10280 NE Cascades Pkwy
Portland, OR 97220
Phone number (888) 888-4532
Website: ikea.com
Prices: $$$$

Ikea has stores in 41 countries, exactly the number of nations I have visited thus far, so you can get a reasonably priced bookcase or meal pretty much anywhere in the world.

Ikea's cafeteria has a minimal selection of simple, Swedish entrees, salads, soups and desserts, but the food is good, the portions decent and the prices GREAT! If you are an Ikea member, free to join, you also get FREE COFFEE and FREE SOFT DRINKS whether you are eating there or not.

Their swedish meatballs, mashed potatoes and veggie meal ($5.99) is an excellent value. They also have salmon filet ($6.99) and braised beef ($8.99) dinners, both served with potato or rice and a vegetable, or you can get breakfast for just $2. A full dinner for two, including soup or salad, entree, bread, drinks and dessert will run you around $20.

Do not expect much ambiance at Ikea. It is a cafeteria after all with basic tables and chairs, you serve and clean up after yourself, and it is pretty noisy. But if you are doing some minimalist shopping, it is a quick, easy and cheap place to grab a bite.

CombatCritic Gives Ikea Restaurant and Bistro 7 Bombs Out Of 10 ... More Bombs Are Better! 


Seven Bombs Equates To:

Translation for Civilians: "Shits & Grins"

Read More Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp - "GOLD" ELITE '14/'15/'16/'17/'18 
  • 650,000+ Views A Year
Read Chris S.'s review of IKEA Restaurant on Yelp

Tabelog - Official Judge - "Silver"


Zomato - #1 Ranked "VERIFIED" CONNOISSEUR (13) - Over  4 Million Review And Photo Views ... And Counting #1 Reviewer in Portland, Oregon!
Booking.com - Frequent Traveler "Genius"

Google Maps - "Top Photographer" With Over 1 Million Views!

IKEA Restaurant, Bistro & Swedish Food Market Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

View my food journey on Zomato!




View my food journey on Zomato!

... And Don't Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube and our sister channel, CombatCounselor Chronicleswith Over 1,250 Subscribers and 1,000,000 Video Views ... HOOAH!

Title: What ABBAbout Those Swedish Meatballs - Dinner For Two For Just $20!

Key Words: Ikea Restaurant, Ikea, Portland, Oregon, Swedish, bistro, meatballs, ABBA, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu, review, Yelp, Zomato, TripAdvisor, Google, Facebook


Copyright 2018 - 3rd Wave Media Group And CombatCritic ™ - All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Portland, OR: Pie In The Sky Or Solar Eclipse ... It Was Both!

Bannings Restaurant & Pie House
11477 SW Pacific Hwy
Portland, OR 97223
Southwest Portland, Tigard
Phone number (503) 244-2558
Website: banningsrestaurant.com
Prices: $$$$
A nondescript 1980s coffee shop feel, we passed the case full of homemade pies and cakes on the way in and were quickly seated at 9pm. On the eve of the great 2017 full solar eclipse, a strange late rush began shortly after arrival with the place quickly filling up. Our server, like many, was over-eager to take our order, asking what we wanted before we even had a chance to crack open the massive menu.  


I ordered the Country Fried Steak ($15.39) and my wife the Mac and Cheese ($10.99). My country fried steak was HUUUUUGE (as Donald Trump would say) with loads of country gravy atop the big piece of breaded beef and a decent size portion of mashed potatoes with mixed veggies on the side. All dinners come with soup or salad and fresh bread rolls. My wife's mac and cheese was also plentiful and very good. The food is as close as you can get to home cooking outside the home.

The pies are made in-house as well. My wife tried the Marionberry and me the Peanut Butter ($4.59 a slice). The Marionberry was very good, not too sweet, not too tart. It would have been better with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, but my Italian spouse detests vanilla so we went without. The peanut butter was tasty upon first bite, but quickly became far too sweet, tasting less and less like peanut butter with every bite. I could only eat less than half the slice. A creamier, less sweet, more peanut buttery filling would have been nice.

The place looks like a diner out of the '80s yet it is clean and comfortable. Like Denny's, they are open 24/7 and you even pay at the register as you are headed for the door just like the old days, The service was excellent although just a bit too eager (pushy), particularly when we first arrived and had not had time to scan the menu before being grilled, figuratively speaking, for drink and food orders. 

CombatCritic Gives Bannings 8 Bombs Out Of 10 ... More Bombs Are Better!






Eight Bombs Equates To:

Translation for Civilians: "What-The-Fuck ... Over!"







Nine Bombs Equates To:

Translation for Civilians: "U.S. Marine Response To A Verbal Greeting Or As An Expression Of Enthusiasm"






Ten Bombs Equates To:


Translation for Civilians: 

HOOAH!: "Phonetic spelling of the acronym HUA, which stands for 'Heard Understood Acknowledged.' Originally used by the British in the late 1800's in Afghanistan. More recently adopted by the United States Army to indicate an affirmative or a pleased response." - Urban Dictionary

"The Department of Military Science and Leadership, University of Tennessee claim HOOAH 'refers to or means anything except no' ... Regardless of its meaning ... the term is an expression of high morale, confidence, motivation and spirit." - WarChronicle.com

"The U.S. Air Force stole 'HOOAH' from the Army because we were part of the Army until 1947 and rather than waste a bunch of time coming up with something new and unique like "ROO-YAH" or "HAL-A-LOO-YAH", we said 'screw it, let's go with HOOAH' ... thanks Army ... HOOAH!" - CombatCritic
Read More Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp - "Gold" Elite '14/'15/'16/'17/'18 
  • 650,000+ Views A Year
Read Chris S.'s review of Bannings Restaurant & Pie House on Yelp

Tabelog - Official Judge - "Silver"


Zomato - #1 Ranked "Verified" Foodie - Over  4 Million Review And Photo Views ... And Counting - #1 Reviewer in Portland, Oregon!
Booking.com - Frequent Traveler "Genius"

Google Maps - "Top Photographer" With Over 1 Million Views!

View my food journey on Zomato!




View my food journey on Zomato!

... And Don't Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube and our sister channel, CombatCounselor Chronicleswith Over 1,250 Subscribers and 1,000,000 Video Views ... HOOAH!

Title: Tigard, OR: Pie In The Sky Or Solar Eclipse ... It Was Both!

Key Words: Banning's, Banning, pie, Portland, OR, Oregon, Tigard, coffee, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu,  review, Yelp, Zomato, Google, Facebook


Copyright 2018 - 3rd Wave Media Group And CombatCritic ™ - All Rights Reserved

Portland, OR: "I Know Nothing" Except That Sergeant Schultz Might Even Like Gustav's

Gustav’s Pub & Grill
10350 SW Greenburg Road
Portland, OR 97223
Phone number (503) 639-4544
Website: gustavs.net
Prices: $$$$

With three locations in the Portland area (two in Oregon and one in Vancouver, Washington), I had no idea that the cuisine was Hungarian/German from the name until we gave them a try. They places look modern and nondescript from the outside, but have warm wood tones and German decor inside. This one is more "German" than the Tigard location with high, beamed ceilings, German state flags, even a mini German street scene in the back of the entry as you walk in.




With Happy Hour, a Portland tradition, Monday through Saturday from 2 to 6 PM and 9 PM to closing and all day Sunday in the bar, two can eat and drink quite well for under $30. They have a nice selection of eats from $4.75 (e.g. potato pancakes or Bavarian pretzels) to $7.75 (e.g. cheeseburgers or schnitzel clubs). Two German biers (Paulaner Oktoberfest and Warsteiner Dunkel) are $4.75 for a .5 liter stein and all other draughts are $1 off.

HAPPY HOUR (See Translations Below If You Don't Sprechen Deutsch)
"Original" Fondue $6.75 ... Sehr Gut! (Best value in the place)
- Decent size cast iron pot (bowl) full of hot, creamy cheese served with plenty o' cubes of pumpernickel and other breads.

Bavarian Pretzel $4.75 ... Gut 
Soft and hot with spicy mustard. $5 is the standard price at most places for similar pretzels, so not a super Happy Hour value - make it $3.75.
Sausage of Your Choice $5.75 (Nürnberger Brat) ... SoSo (Tasty, but very small for price)
- Thinner than a hot dog, but longer, this sausage tasted good but was unsubstantial for almost $6. $4.75 should be the max price for this weiner.
Potato Pancakes (3) $4.75 ... Sehr Gut!
- Thin, crisp and yummy, served with small sides of apple sauce and sour cream.
Shepherd's Pie $6.75 ... SoSo
- An English staple, not German, this atypical dish is small with cubes of beef in a goulasch-style sauce then covered with mashed potatoes and cheddar cheese (?) and baked.
Cabbage Roll (2) $6.75 ... Gut
- Cabbage stuffed with ground meat, rice and spices, then baked in a savory sauce with chunks of tomato, carrot and onion.

MEALS

Hungarian Veal Jäger ($18.95) ... Gut, but not a stupendous value
- Could be served with a salad, cup of soup, sauerkraut and/or red cabbage for this price and be perceived as a much better value. The veal scallops were small and the mashed potatoes underneath almost imperceptible. The sauce was delicious and topped with an abundance of fresh sauteed mushrooms.
Pork St. Moritz ($15.25) ... Sehr Gut!
Kinda like cordon bleu, but with the ham and cheese on top instead of inside. The two large, pounded and breaded pork scallops were sauteed then topped with Emmentaler cheese and Black Forest ham, served in a delicious Madeira sauce with creamy mashed potatoes and vegetables. A good value, adding a house or Caesar salad for an additional $3.95 makes it a meal at just over $19.

1. Sehr Gut! = Very Good
2. Gut = Good
3. SoSo - So-So
4. Nicht Gut = Not Good
5. Scheisse = Shit
We have tried both the Tigard and Vancouver locations. The buildings and decor are slightly different, but the menus and food seem identical. The service has been friendly and efficient on all three visits thus far.
My sole complaint was the Oktoberfest I ordered last night (above) that came looking like someone had taken a huge gulp out of it with well over an inch missing from the top of the mug. German (and English) bartenders take pride in filling glasses to the brim, either with beer or a head rising to the rim. This one had either been sitting for quite a while (so the head disappeared) or was a short pour. In any event, it should have been repoured or at least topped-off before being served.

CombatCritic Gives Gustav's 7 Bombs Out Of 10 ... More Bombs Are Better!

Seven Bombs Equates To:
Read Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp - Elite '14/'15/'16/'17 - 650,000+ Views A Year

Tabelog - Official Judge (Silver)


Zomato - #1 Ranked "Verified" Foodie - Over  1,890,733 Review And Photo Views

View my food journey on Zomato!


... And Don't Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube

Read Chris S.'s review of Gustav's Pub & Grill on Yelp

Read Chris S.'s review of Gustav's Pub & Grill on Yelp

View my food journey on Zomato!

Title: Portland, OR: "I Know Nothing" Except That Sergeant Schultz Might Even Like Gustav's

Key Words: Gustav's Pub and Grill, Gustav's, Gustav, pub, German, Hungarian, Portland, Oregon, Vancouver, WA, OR, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu, review, Yelp, Zomato

Translation for Civilians: S&G = "Shits & Grins"


Copyright 2018 - 3rd Wave Media Group, LLC and CombatCritic - All Rights Reserved

Portland, OR: Fill Your Pie Hole With Pizza Napoletana At Life of Pie

Life of Pie Pizza
3632 N. Williams Avenue
Portland, OR 97227
Phone number (503) 719-7321
Prices: $$$$

Good concept, poor execution. The pizza itself was Neapolitan-like, not bad for an American version, but unfortunately I did not get what I ordered and attention-to-detail was lacking.
The arancini (deep fried rice balls with mozzarella inside - $6) were actually quite good, but I told the woman that took our order that my wife was allergic to tomatoes, yet the three arancini came on a bed of tomato sauce. I had to cut the arancini in half, giving my wife the halves unsoaked in tomato sauce in order to avoid an allergic reaction, eating the other halves myself.
I ordered a "build your own" pizza with "mozzarella and salami" ($11), but what I got was the Chop Salami, Mama Lil’s Peppers, Goat Cheese & Honey version ($13). I paid $2 extra for pepperoni agrodolce (bell peppers in a sweet and sour - vinegar and sugar - reduction), which I dislike in any form, pecorino (goat cheese), which I like in some dishes, but NOT on pizza, particularly a salami pizza, and honey, which does not belong on a pizza of any kind. My wife's build your own pizza with mozzarella and mushrooms on an olive oil base ($11) came as ordered and she, being Italian and from Naples (Italy), was actually quite pleased. I probably would have been too had I received the simple mozzarella and salami pizza I ordered. There is nothing I like better than a pizza with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and salami. Unfortunately, I could not even taste the sauce, cheese, or salami through the sweet and sour peppers and goat cheese I neither wanted nor ordered.

The price was right, even though I paid $2 extra for ingredients I neither like nor wanted and the IPA ($5) was cold and tasty. I will be back because I see promise here and think a properly prepared and executed salami pizza might be quite good. Time will tell, but for now ...


CombatCritic Gives Life of Pie 5 Bombs Out Of 10 ... More Bombs Are Better!

Five Bombs Equates To:


"Continue Mission"

Read Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp - GOLD Elite '14/'15/'16/'17/'18 - 650,000+ Views A Year

Tabelog - Official Judge (Silver)


Zomato - #1 Ranked "Verified" Foodie - Over  1,890,733 Review And Photo Views

View my food journey on Zomato!





... And Don't Forget To Subscribe To TravelValue TV on YouTube


View my food journey on Zomato!


Title: Portland, OR: Fill Your Pie Hole With Pizza Napoletana At Life of Pie

Key Words: Portland, OR, Pie Hole, pizza Napoletana, Life of Pie, life, pie, CombatCritic, pie, wood, fired, wood-fired, oven, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu, review, Yelp, Zomato

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