Tired of humiliating yourself by asking friends if they know of any good cheap places to eat? Many of our readers have found a solution by exploiting the anonymity of the interwebs and the ingenuity of the Portland Mercury. I'm referring, of course, to Found It! (portlandmercury.com), the Mercury's citywide super search engine for everything important outside of your front door.
Here are some reviews of budget eateries, taken directly from Found It!, posted by satisfied diners who have already taken the first step toward web search self-sufficiency.
Arleta Library Bakery Café
5513 SE 72nd, 774-4470
If you like biscuits and gravy, look no further.
posted by NUGGS411
115 NW 5th, 248-2900
Basil vegenaise for your salad! No charge extra for a side salad instead of chips! Great vegan cookies!
posted by LIZ
118 NE 28th, 235-2794
My $8.50 brekkie burrito was tasty if underwhelming in portion. My service was good and the Stumptown Coffee is great and they kept me full.
posted by PORKINS
Binh Minh Bakery and Deli
6812 NE Broadway, 257-3868
You really could clean up playing Keno in this little joint. Or, you could just order one or two bánh mì and cut your losses. The sandwiches are a steal at $2.75 and they have several sickeningly sweet varieties of bubble tea.
posted by FRANCINE MACHINE
2821 SE Stark, 232-3704
The food is delicious and well prepared. Don't embarrass yourself by asking for ranch dressing or the like. The guys at Bonfire make all their salad dressings, salsas, etc., from scratch. During the summer it can be hard to find a table out front, but once you do it's easy to get drunk and watch the cars go by.
posted by RAKSA KAMKI
Café Be Van
6846 NE Sandy, 287-1418
As a young man I spent a considerable amount of time in Viet Nam and must have eaten hundreds of sandwiches. The sandwiches made at Café Be Van are the best I have ever had in America. If you want a bigger meal go to Mi Wa next door, same family and great food!
posted by OLDVET
901 SW Washington, 595-5606
Yesterday I had their lunch special which was a chicken breast with a red pepper cream sauce and a side of basil mashed potatoes for $7. A great deal on some real food.
posted by BERNICE
2310 N Lombard, 289-9866; N Mississippi & Fremont
Because of your delicious waffles, my freaking jeans don't fit and children laughed when I bent over to pick up a penny and exposed my ample rear. I actually had two for the price of one, oink oink, because Waffle Man's assistant muffed my order. Waffle Man didn't even bat an eye replacing it and was probably the most amiable food service person in Portland.
posted by UMMMM.....WAFFLES
3549 SE Hawthorne, 231-3753
The ingredients are fresh, the service quick, the flavors delectable, and the dry sautéed green beans consistently excellent. (And yes, the crispy eggplant is a bona fide winner.) Plus the mom, dad, and son that run it are just good people.
posted by CORDANDBLUE
India Chaat House
SW 12th & Yamhill, 241-7944
The malai kofta makes me weak in the knees, and the price is oh so right!!!
posted by MMMMMMMMM
Julia's Mobile Café
SW 9th & Alder, 341-0482
Tasty and authentic Russian food at a reasonable price. If you are unfamiliar with Slavic cuisine, this is a great introduction. I recommend the piroshki and the borscht.
posted by TONY
1336 NW 19th, 243-2249
I got the small pasta with a salad and it filled me up for like $10—and I would have paid $20 for it... okay, maybe $15.
posted by MUFFIN
3962 SE Hawthorne, 230-1120
Nice clean atmosphere with good and not so expensive food. The lunch specials are especially nice. Oh and the help-yourself tea is the best part !
posted by HOMER
2924 N Lombard, 283-9757
Aw man, their big veggie chimichanga is the bomb! Gut bomb that is, but damn, it's still good and mega- cheap too!
posted by BRIAN D.
2817 NE Alberta, 335-8283
Fast, delicious, Tijuana-style taqueria and cheap as hell. Try the carn- itas burrito! Perfect hangover cure for cheap.
posted by THEBRADNESS
915 NW 21st, 227-6052
I was delighted to find a pu-pu platter, since they went out with the '80s. I really enjoyed the service and atmosphere although there was an unusually high number of police officers eating there... odd... local hangout? But the crowning jewel was Ling's lo mein. OH MY YUMMY!
posted by LYSSE
Oaks Bottom Public House
1621 SE Bybee, 459-4988
My kids can get delicious kids meals at a decent price, and the bartender has always given me samples of their beers, so I can find what I'd like the most. A small order of tot-chos is very filling on a day when I only want to spend a few dollars, and I've never gotten anything bad off the "what we've been smoking" menu.
posted by GRETEL SHUVZWICHINSTOV
Original Hotcake and Steak House
1002 SE Powell, 236-7402
Prison tattoo sleeves seem to provide superpowers, when applied to working the griddle. But what can be said when they've got a few omelets on the menu with up to five varieties of pork in them!?!
posted by FATTY WANTS A LATENIGHT PANCAKE
6031 SE Belmont, 236-6005
The cranberry salad is super good, with organic greens and just enough of everything. You can also buy wine to take home and their selection is small but solid. The owners are very sweet too!
posted by GENA
Rumpspanker's Beyond Broth
704 N Dekum, 481-5967
I was blown away. The Scorpion's Kiss Soup was spectacular and the half veggie sandwich I got on the side was awesome. Food here is well thought out and the cook definitely knows how to capture subtleties in flavor. Great prices too. [Grand reopening will happen on June 1 at their new N Dekum location—Eds.]
posted by STARGAZER
SW 10th & Alder, 330-2037
I just had the asparagus with garlic sauce there. Not only was it delicious, but it also made me feel really good after eating it. What more could you ask for from a $6 lunch?
posted by PDXTHEREMIN
4100 SE Division, 235-0630
The last time that I went, the waitress INSISTED that my wife and I have a second milkshake. Assuming that this wasn't a ruse to get us to eat tainted food, then the place has some of the finest waitstaff in town.
posted by TRY THEIR BAKED MAC&CHEESE TOO
Seasons & Regions
6660 SW Capitol Hwy, 244-6400
Gills down, the best place in Portland for fresh fish. Reasonable prices and hearty servings. Friendly people. Casual nice atmosphere.
posted by DEBARL
11705 SW Pacific Hwy. Ste. C, 639-5171
There are more phenomenal Thai places than you can shake a stick at here in Portland, but this one is where I go when I want awesome food and I want it now and I don't want to pay an arm and a leg. I wish sometimes they had chili sauce on the table, 'cause some dishes lack a certain amount of heat, but sometimes it's not an issue. Always the ingredients are ridiculously fresh, perfectly prepared and served with a smile.
posted by JABBERWOCK
6024 NE Glisan, 234-0980
Probably the best pizza I have had in PDX... new owner, new look inside, pizza sauce was perfect (not too sweet and not too much), fresh ingredients, and a yummy thin crust unlike other PDX 'zas... bonus points for affordability and just an all-around good vibe.
posted by ZA CRITIC
4409 SE Hawthorne, 757-2695
I was expecting a bowl of bird food, and was pleasantly surprised at how delicious it was.
posted by SIMON J