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Think Out Loud

Weekend Look-Ahead: The Restaurant Edition

Pete Springer/OPB

It’s a special occasion. Your parents are visiting. Or maybe you just have an empty fridge and you feel like splurging. So, where are you going to eat? If you live in Portland, you have not one, but two new restaurant guides to help you decide.

Willamette Week‘s 2011 restaurant guide came out Wednesday and Portland Monthly Magazine‘s latest issue features “Portland’s 35 greatest meals.” Karen Brooks of Portland Monthly focused on the dining experience, revealing secret off-menu gems, while the WW‘s Ben Waterhouse offers more of a traditional list of restaurants with a helpful index and a snarky, but dead-on “Portland Restaurant Bingo” board on the back page. (Seriously, how many bacon desserts and bare incandescent bulbs can one town hold?) Willamette Week‘s glossy has a sidebar called “How to Eat in a Restaurant” by “real life chef” Jeff McCarthy, who urges diners to order from the menu. Brooks takes a different approach, sometimes opting to decide on a number of courses and “let chefs cook” rather than using the menu as her guide.

If you’re going out for a meal, where are you planning to eat this weekend? Do you use restaurant guides when you’re looking for something outside your favorite haunts? 


  • Ben Waterhouse: Assistant arts and culture editor at Willamette Week
  • Karen Brooks: Food editor and restaurant critic for Portland Monthly Magazine

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