Flint, actually, I'm not too clever. The pig's rectum and "shredded vegetarian" dishes are straight off the menu there.
Jake, I'm not your pal, but was honestly curious about what's good at Shenzen. Your initial post suggested you might actually know something about the food. On my part, I've been unimpressed with their squid, lobster, and duck. You certainly are a clever person, though, to use the word "rectum"!
Flinty ol' pal, if you don't know what to get in order to avoid the "disguising" low quality and "protoypical sweet-flavor, stereotype MSG flavor," then you need more than my recommendations. I suppose the hordes of Chinese customers there must have lower standards than you and less refined palates.
If, by chance, you're a vegetarian, I suggest ordering the "Shredded Vegetarian in Cold Dishes" off the Szechuan appetizer menu for a new delight. That'll be right up your alley. Or, if not, maybe the Peppered Pig's rectum.
Or, just look at what all the Chinese customers are eating, ask some questions, and branch out a bit. Tough, I know. Or, you know, just stick with the General Tso's chicken and some fried rice. Your choice.
what's good at shenzen, jake? can you actually offer something to the conversation?
that place is protoypical sweet-flavor, stereotype MSG flavor disguising low quality, IMO.
I just can't seem to locate a worth-the-name serving of Chicken With Depleted-Uranium Suppository Lodged Precariously In Its Cloaca, please let me know.
For me, it's always Fujin for the win.
I enjoy Mr. Onstad's reviews. His food writing reminds me of the protagonist in Huysmans' "Downstream", doomed in his search for a good dinner.
@Rich Bach: The bar for Chinese in Portland is pretty damn low -- identifiable is good; tasty AND identifiable scans as amazing, etc.
I thought Lucky Strike's (39th and Hawthorne) Szechuan was really good. I wonder if they're still open...
"I expect to read nothing interesting or provocative when I pick up your paper with the chick with ice cream cones on her nipples."
Way to much flourish on this review. Two paragraphs before we roll into the restaurant. You guys need to fill a page? The restaurant is good. The menu is adventurous for the local kale/beet crowd.
I'd like to say that a good review isn't built on the mention of other restaurants in a negative way. A restaurant should stand on it's own.
A positively shit review Merc. Good job.
Yup, nothing good to eat at Shen Zhen, located in the "manure-scented squid and cornstarch gravies of NE 82nd" dead zone. Nothing at all.
I keep wondering why everybody keeps acting like this place is anything special. It's certainly not bad -more than par for the course, as far as Portland Chinese- but come the fuck on.
SCORE! Touchdown Mercury!
i wondered about the SIAM society until it went away and i figured "oh just another failed pad thai shack". Now i know the substation doesn't have subs (probably) and is not for eating.
Who the fuck still pays $800 for rent here? it hasn't been that cheap since 2008 unless we're talking 200 sqft studios.
Yup, that's the way of the Alberta Bar District, just a scam for the unknowning to come and be shaken down while getting bad service.
"Dinner for three here ranged from $60-80 with a round of drinks and a 20 percent tip, and in a town where that's about 10 percent of someone's rent..."
Right on brother, we all know the Alberta Arts District is for starving artists
I have had excellent meals here. My husband has had the Ruben before and it was wonderful...maybe it was a bad day...
I used to work at Il Piatto and can attest that Lenore and Eugene are very nice, typical small restaurant owners, i.e. crazy can't-see-past-their-own-vision-nose micro-managing, lovely people. Il Piatto went terminally downhill a long time ago. The food had about a stick of butter in each dish - that's both why it tasted delicious (back when it tasted delicious, before it got truly awful) and also why I spent the end of each dinner there in their bathroom trying not to throw up.
It appears that the same basic approach is governing The Slide Inn. I live a few blocks away and would love to go there with my family, but I know better. I know the food will be overpriced, the service lackluster, and the actual taste of the food mediocre.
We have so many options now, Portland, in this neighborhood. You can go to Ken's, or Bamboo Sushi, or Screen Door, or Luce, or Tabla....there is no reason to go to The Slide Inn. I truly wish that something great would be in that space. Until then, I wish Lenore and Eugene all the best, and hope that they consider renting out the space to another promising chef and just focus on collecting the rent.
Fuck I wish I bought a boarded up building for chump change on Division St about 7 years ago. Fuck me!!! That is one beautiful restaurant! Well done!
Nice write up! I'm excited to check this place out.
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