For the Carnivorous Foodie in all of us….by Jessica Chang

Don Pancho Taqueria
September 30, 2009, 1:20 pm
Filed under: Mexican, Northeast Portland | Tags: ,

2000 NE Alberta St., Portland, Oregon 97211

The best places are usually the most unexpected.  When they are a local business sometimes the servers are a little bit more lenient about making substitutions.  

What we ordered:   Beef stew, Chicken plate and Steak Plate

How we ordered it:  We asked for no rice or beans.  So they actually deducted the price of a side of rice and beans from the price of the plate.  If only we could get that kind of service everywhere else…

What we got:  


Beef stew

Beef stew


Chicken plate

Chicken plate


Carnitas Plate

Steak Plate

Cost:  Given that they deducted the price for us because we asked for no rice and beans, the price was a lot lower than listed.  If I were more organized I would have written the prices down, but I didn’t.  But I do know that this place would be considered cheap in my book ~ $4/plate.

Quality:  We’re not sure about the origins of the meat.  It definitely tasted good, but we’re not really sure where it’s coming from.  The steak on the steak plate was a bit chewy and dry, but very flavorful.  The stew was for sure the best plate.  It had whole chunks of carrot and chayote, chunks of meat…tasty.

Quantity:  The stew is humungous.  If you move the bowl the soup will spill over everywhere!  Entrees were OK for the price, but the beef stew is the way to go.




Oh man, this place is great! Pretty bare to the bones hole in the wall place, but well worth it.

Meateats Update! – Cha Cha Cha (Broadway)
September 18, 2009, 10:30 am
Filed under: Mexican, Northeast Portland

Cha Cha Cha!

2635 NE Broadway St
Portland, OR 97232-1891

(503) 288-1045‎

We were notified by our fellow Meateats followers, Katie and Anton that Cha Cha Cha is serving a Summer Salad Bowl.  Unfortunately summer is almost over, so who knows how much longer they will serve this special dish!

What is it?  It is called the Summer Salad Bowl. Mixed salad greens, pico de gallo, guacamole, choice of meat, beans and tortilla strips on top.

How we ordered it:  No beans and no tortilla strips and no cheese.  Please add peppers and onions (veggies).

What we got:


Summer Salad Bowl

Summer Salad Bowl

Cost:  $6.95

Quality:  Meat is moist, not dry.  The meat comes from Carleton Farms!

Quantity:  Could have been a bit more meat, however the salad was huge!

MEAT-O-METER says to write to Cha Cha Cha by copy and pasting the following text and sending it to Cha Cha Cha HQ!!!!!

Dear Cha Cha Cha,

I am writing to you about the Summer Salad Bowl at your Broadway store. It is delicious, nutritious, and deserves a spot on your year round menu. You see, I go to this gym called CrossFit Portland and they tell me I should eat meat, veggies, and fat. It is difficult to go out to eat and follow this diet, until I found your Summer Salad Bowl!!!  Well, your Salad Bowl has all three food categories in perfect balance (a little more meat would be nice!) and it is the talk at the gym. Please keep it on your menu year round!


Do your part and help promote great Paleo meals at your favorite local restaurants! 

Elnetta’s Specialty Restaurant
September 2, 2009, 11:37 am
Filed under: American, Barbecue, Northeast Portland

Oh no!  Our rib restaurant alternate has shut down, unfortunately.  I’m glad we got a taste while it lasted!

3024 NE Alberta, Portland, OR, 97211

(503) 287-0766

Elnetta’s was a new restaurant posting on!  This restaurant is located in the old Vita Cafe building.  (Vita Cafe moved across the street).  We had to try this place, especially since their menu included ribs.  Having already found a favorite rib place, Podnah’s, we didn’t have very high expectations.  Having a coupon and the fact that this place was a family owned business, we figure it was worth a try.  Good thing we were pleasantly surprised…

What we ordered: Slab of St. Louis Ribs!

How we ordered it: Ribs with a side of Cabbage greens.

What we got:


Complementary homemade bean salsa w/ chips (non-paleo).



Side o' greens

Side o' greens

Don't forget the sauce!

Don't forget the sauce!

Cost: Slab of St. Louis Ribs – $16, Side of Cabbage Greens – $3.00

Quantity:  Elnetta’s rib amount comes very very close to Podnah’s.  Friends joined us for dinner later and ordered the same thing and their pate of ribs had a second tier!   Ah welll, not sure what happened there, but regardless, both serving sizes were plentiful!

Quality: Fantastic!  I’m not sure what the difference between St. Louis Ribs and Texas Ribs and the millions of other types of ribs out there, but these were some tasty pieces of meat!


IMG_0941We figure considering the amount of ribs you get at Podnah’s for $20, Elnetta’s comes very close.  This place is great, it’s unique, in a great location and great food.  We definitely highly recommend this place if Podnah’s runs out of ribs.  With the $25 coupon from, it’s even better.

Cha’Ba Thai
July 20, 2009, 12:26 pm
Filed under: Northeast Portland, Thai | Tags: , ,

They moved to:

3024 NE Alberta St., Portland, OR 97211

(971) 255-1082

This place had been recommended to me so many times that I am kicking myself for not coming here sooner!  I was thinking, “but how can one top Dang’s Thai Kitchen, or Thailand Restaurant?”  Well, the only way a Thai restaurant could top these two is if it were closer into the city.  Could this be the restaurant with all the traits we have ever wanted?

What we ordered: With any new Thai restaurant we had to order our staples:  Barbecue chicken, Larb, Tom Kha Soup.  Since we were eating with friends we went All Out.  We also ordered a “dry” curry – Hor Mok Talay and an entree named Chu Chee Shrimp.

How we orderd it: Everything was pretty much ordered as is.  We made sure they did not waste their food by bringing us any rice.  The waiter, of course, gave us a weird look and did a double take.  We’re pretty used to it by now.

What we got:

Tom Kha Soup

Tom Kha Soup



Hor Mok Talay

Hor Mok Talay - we dug in already before we could get a pic!

Chu Chee Shrimp

Chu Chee Shrimp

Cha' Ba Thai Barbecue Chicken

Cha' Ba Thai Barbecue Chicken

Cost: Tom Kha Soup – $8.50, Larb – $8.50, Hor Mok Talay – $13.50, Chu Chee Shrimp – $13.40, Cha’Ba Thai Barbecue Chicken – $9.00.  Pretty average for a Thai restaurant.

Quality: Everything was soooo tasty!  Hor Mak Talay had squid and shrimp and was a little bit spicy.  The “dry” curry implied that it was not super liquidy, like other curries you’re probably familiar with.  It was more of a paste like substance.  No matter! It was delicious!  Barbecue chicken wasn’t the best I’ve ever tasted, but still good nonetheless.

Quantity:  All this fed 4 people and then some.  We all probably could have afforded to eat a couple of spoonfuls less, but it was just too good to let go to waste.



The Thai restaurants keep getting better and better!

Cha’ba Thai has got one up on Dang’s Thai Kitchen because it’s closer into town!  Some of the dishes were unique to the restaurant and we had never seen them at other Thai restaurants, so that was welcome surprise.  If you think you can top this one, please let us know!

Podnah’s BBQ
April 3, 2009, 9:30 pm
Filed under: American, Barbecue, Happy Hour, Northeast Portland | Tags: ,


1625 NE Killingsworth | Portland, OR


Texas Style Barbecue!  It doesn’t get much better than this!  Rodney, a member of Crossfit Portland, is the owner.  Say hello when you see him!

Another night of ourselves asking each other, “Where should we eat for dinner?”.  First we usually check out Happy Hours in the area on  (Great website!)  They tell you what happy hours are going on right now!  Podnah’s appeared!  On Tuesday’s, it’s ALL DAY RIBS special and Beer Happy hour!

This place is now our Tuesday ritual! Come join us!

What we ordered:  FULL RACK of RIBS

How we ordered: Ribs and water.

What we got: Have ever seen such a thing?  Wow….


Cost: $20

Quality:  Very tasty and moist.  The ribs are made with no sugar!  If choose to use the condiments, the tasty vinegar mix has some sugar as well as the special bbq sauce that contains some ketchup.  The meat was cooked perfectly, it was falling off the bone!

Quantity: Wow…refer to above pic.


img_0241Yes, what appears to be a rib has taken the place of the second thumb.  To further accentuate this positive rating, the rib was used instead.  Tuesdays is the greatest day of the week now.  We’ll probably be there every week!  20 bones for 12 ribs!  If you are alone and you don’t want to order all 12, they sell them for $1.75 each.  Though the entire rack is a way better deal and well worth it!  Regular price is $32 for the whole rack.  Yay! This is a great Paleo friendly option.  When we were there, they did run out of ribs.  We got there just in time and didn’t have to wait for a table.   If you go, go soon cuz word will catch on about this ridiculously fantastical rib deal and your wait for a table could become much longer!

Bridges Cafe and Catering
March 22, 2009, 5:43 pm
Filed under: Breakfast, Northeast Portland | Tags: , ,

2716 NE Martin Luther King Jr., Blvd, Portland, Oregon 97212

In our opinion, meat quantities at breakfast places are pretty small.  Maybe because meat isn’t usually the focus of breakfast, there aren’t a lot of things a Paleo-ite can eat.  There’s the usual stuff, pancakes, waffles, cereal, toast, oatmeal or some other type of processed carb that fill the menu. So our expectations for Paleo friendly breakfast restaurants are pretty low.  But of course, never say never cuz ya know know what you’re gonna get!   Thanks to our handy dandy Chinook Book, we have coupons for places that we normally would not try.  Using a coupon always seems to help lower the risk factor of getting jacked.  Find me a coupon and I’m pretty much sold.

What we ordered:  They had a special posted:  Bacon explosion!!!, Catfish Hash plate (Bridges is the only place in town that serves it, so our server says).

How we ordered it:  Bridges was incredibly accomodating!  From our experience at Broder, we were pretty pessimistic on ordering a Hash with no poatotes.  But low and behold, our server was very frank, “You’re payin’ for it! So order it however you want it!”   (verbatim)

Hellloooo!!! Yes, customer service without the attitude!! Woohoo!

We substituted the side of potatoes and toast with fruit.  For the hash, we were able to substitute the potatoes with broccoli, red bell pepper, roasted mushroom, roasted garlic….the server re-iterated that we could substitute with ANY vegetable.  Wow.  The MEAT-O-METER was completely shocked and taken aback that now he has remorse for not taking FULL advantage of this.

What we got:  


Bacon explosion!

Bacon explosion!

Catfish Hash

Catfish Hash

Cost:  $9.95 – Catfish hash, $10.95 – Bacon Explosion.

Quality:  Good!  Catfish nuggets were breaded unfortunately, but it was tasty!  Bacon explosion had bacon, sausage and more bacon…need I say more?

Quantity:  Catfish quantity could have been a little more.   The fact that they were in the form of nuggets was nice and different.  Well cooked, not too dry or flaky.  The Bacon and sausage in the Explosion was darn good.  It’s just a ton of bacon and sausage in a compact area.  Mmmmm.



The second thumb is needed for all the factors that add to a great piece of meat; such as environment, service, anything that made our experience that much more fantastic.  The fact that we were able to substitute everything and anything with everything and anything was pretty fantastic, well maybe not everything and anything, but pretty close.   We were shocked at this. Bridges cafe just jumped up on our list to best place for asking for substitutions.  The quantity as always could have been a little bit larger to make the MEAT-O-METER’s second thumb point straight up, but all in all, Bridges was a great surprise!  Maybe now we will learn to expect the unexpected, bad or good.  

This just in:  MEAT-O-METER states; “Bridges Cafe is better than our long time staple, Cafe Francis.”  Cue the music.

March 4, 2009, 12:22 am
Filed under: Hoity Toity, Northeast Portland | Tags: , , , ,

2930 NE Killingsworth St., Portland, Oregon 97211

We had high hopes for this restaurant.  On their website, they are described as “one of the country’s few celiac owned and operated fine dining restaurant”.  Celiac disease is those who are allergic to gluten.  We don’t have Celiac disease, but it bodes well for Paleo-ites!   They have an entire gluten-free menu and dessert list.  They also cater to vegan, vegetarian and lactose intolerant needs.  There is no flour in the kitchen, so there is no possibility of cross contamination.  

What we ordered:  Filet mignon with grilled vegetables, leg of lamb with vegetables, tomato and gorgonzola soup, gluten-free mushroom quiche

How we ordered it:  The chef and owner was our server as we were the only ones there on a Tuesday night.  He was extremely accommodating to our requests.  The menu was already pretty Paleo friendly.  The only sub we made was for the potatoes that were served with the filet mignon.  The lamb was as is as was the tomato soup and the quiche.  

What we got:  


Mushroom quiche

Mushroom quiche


Tomato and gorgonzola cheese soup

Tomato and gorgonzola cheese soup


Filet mignon with grilled veggies

Filet mignon with grilled veggies

Leg of lamb with vegetables

Leg of lamb with vegetables

Cost:  The entrees ranged from $23 to $27.  Appetizers were $8-$11.

Quality:  They use mostly Oregon grown meat.  Not sure where ours came from, but it was cooked perfectly.

Quantity:  The size of my filet mignon was tiny.  The leg of lamb was a good size portion for one person.  


img_0180OK, there was another couple there…

The food tasted great!  We weren’t stuffed, but it was definitely tasty.  If you can splurge a bit, this restaurant is not bad.  All the possibilities for substitions and the flexibility in the kitchen is great.  No flour, that’s pretty sweet.  If we just got a little more per serving, it would have been fantastic! Hmm, I think this place definitely fits the description of hoity toity.  A big expense for not a lot of tasty food.  

(Another great use of a $25 certificate!)

Siam Society – Happy Hour
February 12, 2009, 10:54 am
Filed under: Happy Hour, Northeast Portland | Tags: ,

As of June 23rd, 2012, Siam Society has CLOSED it’s doors.  Their BBQ Chicken will be missed :(

2703 NE Alberta St., Portland, Oregon 97211

Siam Society is a Thai restaurant.  They have Happy Hour from 4:30-6:30 in their upstairs lounge and ALL day Tuesdays in their restaurant. There will be a separate review for their regular restaurant menu.

All day Tuesday Happy Hour?  Though not so impressed with Happy Hours as of late, we’re willing to try out new places.  We first thought Siam Society was some type of cult meeting area.  We had no idea it was a restaurant.  There’s a Wheat-free, vegan and vegetarian menu.  Of course, we don’t care about the last two menus, but on their website they are able to make Raw food entrees, salad and other special requests if you call 3 days in advance.  How bad could it be?  We had to find out…

What we ordered:  Pot of Thom Kha Soup with choice of meat (not a happy hour item).  2 orders of Chicken Satay (skewers) and Grilled Northern Style Sausage and Cabbage Wraps.

How we ordered it:  These things were all conveniently Paleo.  Thom Kha Soup with Chicken.  No subs or elims.

What we got:


Sausage and Cabbage Wraps (left) Chicken Satay (right)

img_01361Unfortunately we doled out 2 bowls already here….But here is one below….


Cost:  $4 – Sausage and Cabbage wrap, $4 – 2 orders of Chicken Satay, $12 Thom Kha Pot of Soup with Chicken.  $3 – Gin and Club Soda with lime.

Quantity:  Here we continue with our argument of why Happy Hour isn’t so Happy.  One order of chicken satay was 2 pieces of chicken.  It’s hard to describe what a “piece” should be, but regardless it hardly wet our appetite.  The cabbage wrap actually was not that bad for the price.  It was about 4 cabbage wraps when fully assembled.

The soup was magnifico!  The soup is meant to feed 4-5 people.  That was a meal in itself.  We were able to eat 6 bowls out of that pot.  It was so tasty and so Paleo friendly, the POT of  soup for it’s price was way worth it, yet not on the Happy Hour Menu…..hmmm….

Quality:   Chicken in the soup was tender not too dry.  Very tasty.  As far as the Chicken Satay, yeah, we got jacked there.  Sausage and cabbage, for the price, not bad.


img_0139Hmmm, it’s a conflicting message isn’t it.  Here lies the conflict:  The soup was very good and plentiful, the drinks for $3 Gin and Club Soda’s were a nice price as well.  The actual Happy Hour Food items were not so consistent.  They were a small serving size.  You’d have to order 4 orders of the chicken to feel somewhat fulfilled, and by then, for $8 you may as well buy a regularly priced appetizer and most likely get twice as much food.  The selection on the Happy Hour was not very large; choose between 3 appetizers and 2 different types of bowls of soup for $3.50 each.  What kind of society are they serving?  Confusing? yes. Happy hour?  No.  Hopefully the regular restaurant menu will be better.

Cafe Francis or Francis Restaurant
February 3, 2009, 3:37 am
Filed under: Breakfast, Northeast Portland | Tags: , , , ,

Sorry, This place no longer exists :(


2338 NE Alberta St., Portland, Oregon 97211

Yay for substitutions!

We stumbled upon Cafe Francis when we were waiting 1.5 hours for another breakfast place just down the street.  We were surprised that there were not that many people waiting and we figured heck, why not?  Then we found out that they have vegan and vegetarian options on their menu!

What we ordered:  Francis 3-egg omelette, Louisiana Sausage Hash special, Country-fried steak and 2 eggs (not pictured).

How we ordered it: The breakfast dishes come with a choice of toast or biscuit and most of the plates come with a side of potatoes.  Instead, we asked to substitute the biscuit with a vegan biscuit or if you would like to opt out of the biscuit or toast alltogether, you can ask for extra fruit, they’ll gladly oblige.   The same rings true if you opt out of the potatoes as well.

What we got:

img_0091Francis 3 Egg Omelette.  We forgot to ask for no potatoes…

img_0092Louisiana Sausage Special Hash, Hold the potatoes, extra veggies please!

img_0094Side of fruit and Gluten-free biscuit.  The Gluten-free biscuit is very dense and tasty!

Cost:  $10.50 – Francis 3-egg Omelette, $11 – Louisiana Sausage Hash Special, $9 – Country fried Steak and 2 Eggs.

Quality:  You get what you pay for.  Side of sausage has a little kick to it, very tasty.  My country-fried steak was a little on the chewy/stringy side, but I’ve had it when it was just right too.  They put some light olive oil with a nice rosemary seasoning on their fruit.  It’s a nice touch.  Do not get their vegan Oatmeal Pancakes…blah…

Quantity:  The hash plates that you get are large.  For having eliminated the potatoes, you get a whole lotta food!  Omelettes are pretty hardy size…solid.  One dish we usual get that’s not pictured is the “Pan-fried Chicken”.   It’s about half a chicken!  Ask for gravy on the side, or none at all.  All for $6, incredible!



That’s a solid and very stoic thumbs up.  So many ways to substitute/elminate, this restaurant got some added points because they’re so flexible and the service is so nice!  When I had been there before, they even substituted the flour for my country- fried steak with cornmeal!

Using another coupon we got another $25 off!  With the discount and sharing with good friends, the total per person ended up about $12 including tip.  It’s more reasons why breakfast in Portland is so great!
Tip:   After you walk in, the wall behind you has the Specials of the Day written on them.  It’s easy to miss and an injustice if your server forgets to tell you about them, so be on the lookout!

Cannon’s Express
January 22, 2009, 5:54 am
Filed under: Barbecue, Northeast Portland | Tags: , , ,

5410 Northeast 33rd Avenue, Portland, OR

(503) 288-3836‎

Parking lot of New Seasons on 33rd and Killingsworth.

There is a new coupon on for Cannon’s, so we had to go there!  (If you missed the blog post about, let me recap: sells $25 gift certificates for $10.  posts Promo Codes for  The promo codes give you anywhere from 60 – 80% off the price of the gift certificate.  We never buy a gift certificate at full price!  So it makes your meal even cheaper!)

OK, back to Cannon’s….

What we ordered:  Half pound of brisket, Full rack of ribs, 2 corn on the cobs

How we ordered it: No barbecue sauce please!  There’s a lot of sugar on the sauce and they load it up on the ribs and brisket.

What we got:

1/2 pound of brisket

2 pcs of corn

Rack of Pork Ribs

Cost:  Rack of pork ribs – $23, Brisket – $10 for half pound, Corn – $1 each

Quality: Ribs were a little dry.  Even though we said to hold the barbecue sauce, doesn’t mean it still shouldn’t be dry….Brisket was spectacular.  Moist and tasty.

Quantity: OK, half pound of brisket really was not as much as we had hoped, but the quality was pretty good.  Ribs were really just OK, not as good as Podnah’s.  They did keep the rib tips on the ribs which definitely added to the meat amount.

Meat-O-Meter says!

(picture was not taken at Cannon’s)  Definitely not the best in Portland.  It was just OK.  For the price and the amount, it’s right smack in the middle.  RIbs were definitely a bit disappointing.  But there’s a new Special price on the Bucket of Rib Tips – $18.  Though because this is a special, it  doesn’t work with the coupon, it’s not a bad deal by itself.  In general though barbecue places are great for any Paleo needs.  All meat all the time, with no need for substitutions, usually, it’s great if you’re in a bind and not sure what to eat for the protein part of your meal.


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