This is John Gorham. I'm not going to come on here and defend myself from your reveiw. But i will defend myself about pricing. Writing that MEC is 3 times the cost of Nicholas and Hodas is borderline slander. The price difference of their Hummus and our is $2, theirs $8 ours $10. The prices difference of their falaffel is $1, theirs $8 and ours $9. And it stays pretty consistently close. Both restaurants ride a price point between $8 and $19. I love Nicholas and will say they provide a great meal, but lets face the fact that the service is one step above counter service and i can assure you that our base products is heads and shoulders above their quality. If you don't like what i do ,than say it, but please be honest in your writing.
"I am educating you...you really need to dig deeply into the story before you pass judgement and make a buffoon out of yourself."
I can't tell if this is an example of expert trolling or just standard issue douchebaggery. Either way, bravo! It's people like you who make me smile the most.
Yeah yeah with yer dislike, Employee of the Month.
So: the bulk of the review was positive. What little criticism it contains is quickly discounted as not a very big deal. She liked it, and said so.
The thing about it once being a bank was not a slam. This is a good review for a restaurant maybe lots of people might not have previously heard of. It apparently contains some words two of you (one of you?) dislike for reasons that mostly seem to come down to reading comprehension.
DWTS is dead on. This was one big offhanded compliment, like saying, "those shoes look nice...on your nasty feet". My problem with this article is that if you don't like a place you're reviewing then just say so, don't bash it on the sly; that's just weak.
To show what I mean here are some of the highlights that especially stuck out from the article. The author used the following words to describe the place;
'unassuming'...'hole in the wall'...'oddness'...'mania'...'willfully idiosyncratic',
The author also insulted at the décor, the location and the menu;
Saying about the menu
"...there's no logical path, Did it make sense? No.", and "The menu itself is written on a chalkboard and placed on a chair by the table, a procedure I've personally never been fond of."
And about the décor
"The décor, much like the menu, is quirky"
And about the wine list
They'll get to it when they're ready it seems
And what is that bit about the location having been a bank (who the fuck cares, Portlanders will wait in line to eat pizza out of what looks to have been a garage if it tastes amazing.)
Luckily the type of person who creates something as astounding as James John Café could give two shits what someone who doesn't have a clue how much an investment a wine selection is and how much money it costs to replace a whole inventory, thinks.
What I don't get is, this person doesn't seem to like food very much. Why are they writing a food article.
Dwts is reading a review in a paralell universe: in that universe, it's called the John James.
Wtf are you referring to dwts? Did we real the same article? All I recall is how delicious they sound and how good for St Johns they are....it's a positive review.
Great review for a great business! Love them!
If you have never had a meal at John James Cafe, you are simple letting the best in life pass you bye, that said, I must take exception with this review. I am painfully aware of the fact that most food reviewers must make snarky comments with glib references that elevate their street cred. First and foremost, don't do that, it just makes you look small minded and shallow. John James Cafe, and by extension their real customer base, is not impressed by your ham handed attempts at relevancy by shitting on hard working small business owners that actually get it, by delivering a great product at a fair price. Pay attention, I am educating you...you really need to dig deeply into the story before you pass judgement and make a buffoon out of yourself.
this place is the best! NOM NOM NOM
I had a similar experience with the biscuits - the taste was decent, but they were short and super-dense. From my own baking problems, they're probably either over-working the dough or using old baking powder.
Potential customers should be aware that there is a 5% "health/wellness surcharge". I didn't realize this until I paid, though I'm fairly certain it is in the fine print at the bottom of the menu. I'm happy to pay more for employees to receive insurance, but would much prefer this simply be built into the cost upfront.
I've been to North Light a few times, and agree substantially with the review. The staff/service is great, the patio is great, the cocktail list is good, everything is $1-2 more than you're comfortable with (especially considering modest portions), and the food is competent without anything being outstanding. Their standard burger was very good. Fries were surprisingly good the first time with the burger, completely average the next time when shared with the table. Everyone liked their meal, no one loved it. With its pricing, design and plating, the place sets a high bar for itself. It hasn't reached it yet, but there's no reason it couldn't eventually.
North Light potentially fills a valuable (if boring) role: there are surprisingly few places in inner N/NE/SE where most people (and their dietary restrictions) can find something to like on the menu. It's not an issue with 1-2 people, but when 3-6 people are dining out, it's tough to reliably please everyone. North Light's menu impressively manages to stay brief while catering to nearly everyone.
I think of North Light as basically a kinda-fancy version of Pause, which does a full menu of comfort food extremely well. That comparison might sound like a slur to some people, but I would be impressed if North Light eventually does kinda-fancy as well as Pause does comfort, for just a few bucks more.
Lyle Jost is one of the best chefs in Portland and you are yet to impress me with your reviews. Your writing is as bland as you say the food at North Light is.
Damesy is right: a bloody mary starts off as a relatively blank template, you specify how hot you want the damn thing. There's plenty of people -like meee!- who like them not hot at all, but hella salty. In a civilized place, you can also tell them how much pickled shit you want sticking out of it.
I'm a big fan of spice, but I'm also a big fan of truth in advertising (not EVERY Bloody Mary is spicy, and while I welcome spice, it shouldn't be undrinkable for three people at the table -- maybe a bad batch?)
I also did have to masticate my way through those hazelnuts... this is only mentioned because texture is an important part of a dish (just ask Josh McFadden at Ava Gene's), so nailing your crunch, when piling it on soft polenta and veggies, is critical. They were a good idea, just not so large.
That being said, restaurant experiences are subjective. I found this place to just be middling; neither good nor bad. If someone else thinks meatloaf and burgers are the paragon of dining adventure worth recommending to all, then that's their prerogative.
I appreciate your designation: I'll put it on my next bio!
Did you just complain that your bloody mary was spicy and that you had to chew your hazelnuts? You're the worst food critic ever.
It's as if we've eaten in two different restaurants. Every time I've been to North Light, the food has been delicious. I've been there with friends and clients alike and they've all loved it and gone back with their friends and clients.
As for the decor, simple and elegant is what comes to mind. North Light should get an award for not making it feel like diners have stepped into someone's mountain cabin, complete with Edison lights and old growth wood.
And, news flash, bloody Mary's are spicy.
Great review, agree, it's just not that great, the restaurant in bend had soul!
Ah, my compliments. A wonderful description of beautiful fare and words. I am a fan of both, having just narrated Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage for the audio version of the US release for Penguin/Random House. I am also a Portlander (transplanted to L.A.) and will look up Nodoguro on my next trip home. Cheers, Bruce Locke
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