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Old 12-20-2018, 05:55 PM
 
344 posts, read 260,942 times
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We recently visited Little Conejo and surely will be back. We also like La Bottega downtown. Los Potrillos is opening in the Felida Marketplace. Should I be excited? I have not tried Jorge’s Margarita Factory, but plan to go to the newer one in Hazel Dell soon. Considering my love for all things Margarita, my husband is surprised we have not been there yet. Texasdiver, I also love Thai Time and go to the grocery store quite often. It is much more than a Thai grocery store.
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Old 12-20-2018, 06:07 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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You'll have no problem finding good Thai and Indian in Vancouver / Camas. PNW Chinese is quite 'USA' (Salty / creamy / bland), but plenty of OK places in Portland.

Mexican / TexMex is the challenge (it's no wonder, since our climate is opposite and those folks may not WANT to come to PNW!) Tho they should consider it in August! (A local PNW town should start an incentized (Free airfare...free food truck...) 'Tex-Mex cook-off' event for Aug !, maybe someone authentic would come and stay!)

You will probably find something Mex to fit your taste, (as mentioned we all have very different preferences, and you just need to find your spot...). Ironically, I looked at ratings of one of my favorite Portland Mex places (for last 38 yrs), and it was a 3* , no problem... fewer crowds (Tho I have usually had to wait for a table) . Last trip to San Diego I sought out the top 5 Mex places and didn't find any too impressive, and 3 were 'never again'. Same with Chinese places in San Francisco... might be better served to head to nearby places (Oakland / Daly City).
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Old 12-20-2018, 06:10 PM
 
Location: Monterey County, CA
5,480 posts, read 12,274,700 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberous View Post
While the PNW is terrible at Mexican, they are surprisingly good at Thai. I think we have more Thai places in Downtown Vancouver than anything else.

Places I like in downtown.

Thai Orchid Restaurant $$$- Good selection for everyone (Asian fusion)
Warehouse 23 $$$ - American, nice views
La Bottega $$$ - Italian (ish) American, nice an close, kind of a place to people watch

Little Conejo $$ - Fancy Mexican (ish), good to go food when not in CA

My dirty secrets
Joe Brown’s Cafe $
Shanahan’s Pub & Grill $


I was happy to find that NE Portland has a large Asian community (food and stores), its no South San Jose, but really good!
Well, at least they have good Thai! I'll take a look at some of those other restaurants as well. Little Conejo looked ok based on a quick glance. Kinda limited in terms of menu options (tacos) and a little skimpy with everything on the side. No concept of a combo plate, burritos, tamales, etc... But otherwise it looked pretty good, fresh, etc... A step up from Chipotle, perhaps.

Derek
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Old 12-20-2018, 06:15 PM
 
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Please give Little Conejo a try. It is definately not Tex-mex with combo plate specials. Worth it just for the churros and chocolate sauce. Tacos (street taco style) are amazing. Everything is freshly made. If you are looking for Tex-mex, this is not your place.
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Old 12-20-2018, 06:41 PM
 
Location: Monterey County, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texasdiver View Post
My kids and I really like a little strip mall place called Thai Time which is off SR500 and NE112th. There is a big Thai grocery next door.

What is missing in Vancouver are the big time chain TexMex restaurants that are really popular in Texas and I assume in California as well. There are a bunch that really seem to have the formula down well. Typically big suburban places with lots of tables. They get really serious about the meats for fajitas and that sort of thing. Usually fresh tortillas made in house. You can find higher-end on-off Mexican restaurants. But fresh chips and salsa, guac, fajitas, and tequila drinks these fancy chain places pretty much have it down. For example:

Chuy's: https://www.chuys.com/
Lupe's: https://tex-mex.com/
Papasitos: https://pappasitos.com/home/

There isn't even an "On the Border" around here for Pete's sake. All I've seen are fast food chains like Chipotle and Qdoba. A place like Chuy's which is a chain from Austin would absolutely kill around here I think.

So far the only place my kids seem to like is Jorge's Margarita Factory and that comes as close as any place to traditional Tex Mex. But I'd like to see some more.
You know, I guess there are two ways to look at things like this. For some these 'problems' can present an opportunity to bring in something, new, different, fresh. Even those popular chains which haven't made it this far northwest like the ones you've mentioned. For fast food CA is crawling with chains that have the basics pretty dialed-in such as:
Rubios Fish Tacos
Wahoos
Baja Fresh

Heck, even white bread, middle Americana CO was starting to get these chains in and they were doing really well. In fact, I just looked up Chuy's and they have several in CO and one 'coming soon' to Colorado Springs. That town may have less Hispanics than Portland! When I worked there in a large corporate office there was only one Asian and one Hispanic guy in the whole place. Well, I guess I counted for at least another 'half' since I'm technically part Hispanic (some relatives from Spain).

But seriously, these problems present someone or some company with real opportunities. Might be a good investment which could really take off, especially with all these Crazy Texans and Californians moving to the PNW! Haha

Derek

Last edited by MtnSurfer; 12-20-2018 at 06:53 PM..
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Old 12-20-2018, 06:52 PM
 
Location: WA
2,801 posts, read 3,913,588 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnSurfer View Post
You know, I guess there are two ways to look at things like this. For some these 'problems' can present an opportunity for bringing in something, new, different, fresh. Even those popular chains which haven't made it this far northwest like the ones you've mentioned. For fast food CA is crawling with chains that have the basics pretty dialed-in such as:
Rubios Fish Tacos
Wahoos
Baja Fresh

Heck, even white bread, middle Americana CO was starting to get these chains in and they were doing really well. In fact, I just looked up Chuy's and they have several in CO and one 'coming soon' to Colorado Springs. That town may have less Hispanics than Portland! When I worked there in a large corporate office there was only one Asian and one Hispanic guy in the whole place. Well, I guess I counted for at least another 'half' since I'm technically part Hispanic (some relatives from Spain).

But seriously, these problems present someone or some company with real opportunities. Might be a good investment which could really take off, especially with all these Crazy Texans and Californians moving to the PNW! Haha

Derek
We do have Baja Fresh here. There are two in Vancouver. One in east Vancouver in the Target parking lot off Mill Plain and another in Hazel Dell. Never been there but seems like more of a quick lunch sort of place. Not the kind of place where you go after work with friends for margaritas and fajitas.

The other two chains I've never heard of but they look good. I love a good fish taco.
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Old 12-20-2018, 06:57 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,307 posts, read 39,574,242 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnSurfer View Post
You know, I guess there are two ways to look at things like this. For some these 'problems' can present an opportunity for bringing in something, new, different, fresh. Even those popular chains which haven't made it this far north like the ones you've mentioned. For fast food CA is crawling with chains that have the basics pretty dial-in as such as:
Rubios Fish Tacos
Wahoos
Baja Fresh

...
Please bring a Rubios to Camas (192nd)!

I have asked them to consider expanding NORTH!

Hope to have a Fish Taco Tuesday soon!

In the meantime.. these are pretty simple to make! (and you can easily get really fresh Halibut in PNW)

you asked where to go...

Happy Hour!!! Even Corbett Fish House (next to Costco / 192) as a pretty decent Happy Hour.

There are MANY great choices for Happy hour. (3-6PM and also After 9PM at many locations, I only eat after dark anyway (10:30pm in summer) )

Used to LOVE summer evenings at Ringside East (now a brew pub) (watching Coyotes hunt rabbits on the Golf Course) .

I often do Happy Hour at Vancouver Thai places (late in the evening, after a walk along the river / Ft Vancouver)

Our kids learned all about Happy Hour at a young age, we do so when traveling often (Tapa's while living in Spain). Allows many more options in eating out (affordably) !
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Old 12-20-2018, 07:33 PM
 
Location: Monterey County, CA
5,480 posts, read 12,274,700 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
Please bring a Rubios to Camas (192nd)!

I have asked them to consider expanding NORTH!

Hope to have a Fish Taco Tuesday soon!

In the meantime.. these are pretty simple to make! (and you can easily get really fresh Halibut in PNW)

you asked where to go...

Happy Hour!!! Even Corbett Fish House (next to Costco / 192) as a pretty decent Happy Hour.

There are MANY great choices for Happy hour. (3-6PM and also After 9PM at many locations, I only eat after dark anyway (10:30pm in summer) )

Used to LOVE summer evenings at Ringside East (now a brew pub) (watching Coyotes hunt rabbits on the Golf Course) .

I often do Happy Hour at Vancouver Thai places (late in the evening, after a walk along the river / Ft Vancouver)

Our kids learned all about Happy Hour at a young age, we do so when traveling often (Tapa's while living in Spain). Allows many more options in eating out (affordably) !
Stealth, could there be a business opportunity somewhere in there, perhaps? Open a Rubio's

Good idea on the happy hour deals too, BTW. We would go with teenagers and eat all their food.

Derek
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Old 12-20-2018, 07:37 PM
 
344 posts, read 260,942 times
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Has nobody had the fish tacos at Pacific NW Fish in Ridgefield? Lots of options, and of course, a great selection of beer on tap.
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Old 12-21-2018, 10:49 AM
 
Location: Monterey County, CA
5,480 posts, read 12,274,700 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane917 View Post
Please give Little Conejo a try. It is definately not Tex-mex with combo plate specials. Worth it just for the churros and chocolate sauce. Tacos (street taco style) are amazing. Everything is freshly made. If you are looking for Tex-mex, this is not your place.
Hi Jane, we'll need to visit Little Conejo when over on that side of town. In terms of Ridgefield, we've never been there. But that fish place does look good. Thanks for those tips!

Since we'll be targeting Eastern Vancouver/Camas for out next move, we also looking for places on that side of town. it sounds like there are lots of good Thai and other other options while not as much in terms of Mexican or fish restaurants.

Derek
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