Friday, June 17, 2011

The Observatory

Portland, OR. It's rare that I come across a place that wows me from all angles, and yet this place seemed to come close, quite effortlessly. Where were we going? A new American eatery in an unsuspecting area of Southeast Portland.

Oregano Fry Bread
The day had been beautiful and the sunset even more so, but the romantic glow didn't quite catch on in this odd neighborhood. Utility shops and jacuzzi specialities nearby, were we mistaken? With its uniquely decorated interior, humorous staff, and angled seating (...fault of the landscape), we were certainly at the right place.

I actually came here with friends after having heard about it from two different recommenders. Fellow lovers of food and taste alike, they were spouting enough positive remarks that I needed to give it a go. My friends and I sat on their outside table, lining the street, but on a quiet Sunday, traffic didn't bother.

The server made a few recommendations, be it from our confused expressions or hesitancy over the menu, which guided us to success. One such suggestion included the Oregano Fry Bread - lightly fried, puffs of dough that came with a basil crème fraiche and tomato puree side for dipping. Simple and delicious. A little trick? The pieces are hollow, so play an ideal host to a heavy pour of dipping sauce inside the bread.

Other items on our menu included:

Apple & Beet Salad
Apple & Beet Salad: The salad was full, flavorful, and...well it was full of beets, apples, and walnuts with a sherry vinaigrette. Let's just say that the rest of the week wasn't the same when other beet salads were on the menu.
Oven-Roasted Pork Tenderloin
Oven-Roasted Pork TenderloinThe tenderloin was tender and paired nicely with an apple themed sauce, polenta cakes, and greens.
Four Horsemen Pulled Pork Sandwich
Four Horsemen Pulled Pork Sandwich: The sandwich was received server-suggestion-style: toasted ciabatta on the side, and pulled pork in a bowl topped with creamy slaw and sided with sweet potato fries. Great recommendation, tender, flavorful, and the bread was ideal for dipping into the concoction.

If I lived in Portland, I would be a regular. After our meal my friends and I sat full, content, and with no room for dessert. With the overall low-cost and delicious experience, we left a happy bunch!

The Observatory
8115 SE Stark St
Portland, OR 97215

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