I wanted to share a few local restaurants that we enjoy. The selection of good restaurants in east county is a little bit on the sparse side, so any recommendations in the comments are welcome. We keep hoping for more places to be built nearby: like Sweet Tomatoes, Davidson’s, Chick-Fil-A, and yes, Furr’s.
[Updated 1/2/2012 because a lot has changed in the food landscape lately]
These are in no particular order.
Heidi’s in Gresham
We have been going to Heidi’s for years, and the staff there has watched Charlie grow from a tiny baby in his car seat bucket, to the T-ball playing boy of today. Some of my favorite dishes include the spaghetti dinner, the french dip, and the halibut fish and chips. They used to have a chopped steak on the menu that was very good, but we’ve only seen it as an infrequent special lately. Dan likes their salads, scallops and says they have a great burger, too. They do have a kids menu: Charlie likes their mini corndogs and if I’m lucky he’ll order their great green beans as a side instead of fries. I mustn’t forget to mention their great green side salad (Charlie and I fight over the slice of beet they put on top) and an awesome vegetable beef soup.
[Updated: The quality here has declined recently, and some of our favorites are no longer on the menu. Sadly, I can't recommend this place now.]
La Isla Bonita
We are very particular about our Mexican food, since we are used to the way it’s prepared in southern Arizona. In the back of my mind I have a plan to persuade Karichimaka’s in Tucson, Arizona to sell me a license and train me in their kitchen so I can open up my own place, but until that plan gels we usually opt for La Isla Bonita when we’ve got a hankerin’ for Mexican food. They have great spanish rice, tasty tamales, and I also like their enchiladas and chimichangas. The last time we went, the tortilla chips were warm and delicious, and the bean dip was excellent (and I’m not normally a bean dip fan). They have a tortilla machine (like the “el Machino” at Chevy’s) but I’ve never seen it in use — too bad. They have a few choices on the kids menu for “american” food like grilled cheese and a hamburger, and if your kid is really lucky they will get their milk served in a cool cowboy boot glass.
[Updated: This place is still good but still not quite up to par with southern Arizona restaurants we've been to. There's no place like home. ]
The Trufflehunter has the best dessert tray in town. I had a slice of peach pie there once that was amazing. They also have excellent yeasty rolls that accompany dinner. They have good sandwiches too.
Dea’s In & Out
Dea’s has one of the best burgers in town. They serve a rectangular shaped burger on a fresh, custom-made bun, and if you get fries with that you’ll need to try their fry sauce too. They have the best chili dog in town, and very good onion rings. They are one of the few places that have tater tots on the menu, and they have a great selection of shakes, sundaes and malts.
For excellent subs, one of the best places in town is Sub Shop. Charlie and I like the ham & cheese, #9. We have been known to stop by Sub Shop after work to pick up a picnic dinner on our way to the park in Fairview. Tell Jill that Charlie’s mom sent ya.
[Updated: Sub Shop moved to Sandy, which is far enough away that we're lucky to get there once or twice a year now. Food is still great but we miss chatting with Jill!]
Sandwich Depot Deli
As I write this, I’m not sure there is still a retail location that’s open because their website says they are now 100% delivery and catering. At any rate, they have the best egg salad sandwich, the freshest cookies (they give a free cookie to the kids if it’s okay with mom and dad), and very good chili.
[Updated: This place has gone out of business. Replaced by one of those lottery stores that happens to also serve sandwiches, but I'm not tempted to try it out. Boo. ]
We’ve been eating breakfast at Elmer’s for quite a while. The staff there has also watched Charlie grow up. When we first started taking him there in his little baby car seat bucket, he would cry and cry — he hated it. But he’s grown to love it, and has made friends with several of the hostesses. They have great, fresh breakfasts, excellent coffee, freshly squeezed OJ, and free wifi.
We really, really like Davidson’s, but we don’t often get over to the Tigard area. They have great food and home-made root beer. The menu is huge but I have a hard time not ordering their Mexican food combo plate (chimichanga and taco) — it’s fantastic. One of their specialties is halibut fish and chips, which I will actually order one of these days. They use this really yummy chipped ice in the beverages — oddly enough there aren’t that many places that used crushed or chipped ice, which is way better than chunky ice in your soda. They have a daily specials menu which always looks tasty. I wish we had one near us!
Oh Chang’s, how we love your noodles. I keep wondering if you’ll ever offer whole grain noodles so that I can think your food is even healthier, although with all of those yummy fresh veggies that we can add, it’s already healthier than average. They offer thin wraps and rice, along with a soup to accompany the main dish. My buddy Susan once told me a funny story about using the thin wraps as a napkin – it’s true, they DO look like napkins, but so much more appetizing. I just wish I could make the sauce the same way more than once.
More to come later…this is making me hungry.