Some Restaurants That Serve Nutritious and Tasty Food

The Pink Feather
14154 SE Division, 761-2030

When you're sitting around with $6.79 to your name, and you're so sick of watching your roommate play Crazy Taxi you could puke, escape to The Pink Feather. An oasis in the bleak, stripmall desert between Portland and Gresham, it's like a friggin' palace once you step in the door: red hanging lamps, slick pleather booths, pink feather-printed carpeting, a well air-conditioned bar, and super-friendly waitstaff.

The food at the Feather is good 'n' greasy, a high caliber of bar cuisine. They gots finger-lickin' chicken, onion rings, downright decent steaks (a mere $7-$13), sloppy-ass chili burgers, and superb hot and cold sandwiches. The only problem with the food is that afterwards, one might have the neurotic desire to make oneself barf--especially when they think about how tight their Capri pants are. But not me, of course.

It's unfortunate that the Feather is so far away, because you'll be a goddamn drunk driver after a few of their G&Ts. The rum and coke my pal had was light beige and made him squint and pant when he sipped it. Likewise, my Greyhound was a vodka on the rocks with a microbe of grapefruit. It's true that tons of liquor doesn't always make a tasty drink, but for $2, it sure keeps your debit card "a-smilin." KS

Saigon Kitchen
835 NE Broadway, 281-3669 3829 SE Division, 236-2312

Something I generally hold to be true is that it's virtually impossible to fry cubes of tofu perfectly. Usually, either the cubes are cut too thick, and the pasty-white middle is squishy and mealy from undercooking... or they end up coming out something like potato chips, flat and crunchy and dripping with oil. Tofu is a feisty substance, and you have to know how to manipulate it.

The cooks at Saigon Kitchen, however, are magicians--every time, their tofu cubes are gleaming and golden, the exact right consistency of crispiness, devoid of excess oil, but moist enough that each cube explodes in crunchy bursts in your mouth.

There's one dish in particular--stir-fried vegetables with vermicelli noodles, or "the poor kid's feast" (on the street). For a measly $5.95, it comes in a humongous bowl that will yield at least one more meal of leftovers. Clumps of skinny rice noodles are piled with crisp broccoli, snow peas, bean sprouts, cabbage, carrots cut in an attractive zigzag shape, and the aforementioned crispy pillows of heaven--the perfectly cooked tofu. It is accompanied by a vinegary sauce that smells slightly fishy, but it doesn't need it--the meal's natural tastes and aromas are too tasty to cover up. JS