Rovente Pizza

So, yesterday a friend of mine and I decided to hook up for lunch downtown. I proffered a couple of places I hadn't been as choices, since I haven't had occasion to go somewhere that I could blog about lately (my vacation is this week, so the hording of wealth is almost over...).

He declined all offers, until I mentioned Geraldi's, which everyone loves (including us, if you look at prior posts). So we headed that way, me feeling a little let down that I was, unbeknownst to you, about to let you down yet again.

But then we were surprised to find that Geraldi's was closed. Appears to be a Monday thing. Good to know.

We looked around. Where to go? The Rialto? Maybe. I have friends who eat there and have enjoyed it. The Greek Cusina? I was leaning toward that, because I wanted a salad with squid on it.

My friend, however, noticed Rovente Pizza, a couple of doors down from Geraldo's, so we headed that way.

It's a simple place. Typical pizza-by-the-slice look to it. Large counter, pizza ovens behind, several pies on display. A few tables. A self-serve soda machine.

The choices were more or less ordinary. Pepperoni, Margherita, Vegetarian, Combination. But there was a special-of-the-day "Omnivore's Delight," with lots of meat and veggies, and there was a chicken pizza with a white garlic-y sort of sauce. I had my two slices.

The special's a good deal. A slice and a small drink (or, as they call it, "medium") for $2.95. I got my two slices and a soda to chase them with for $8, and that included the 20% tip.

The pizza was very good. Nice crust. The pie itself was piping hot, and I actually burned my tongue on it. The pieces are generous, and two slices is just enough to border on too much, so the special is actually quite enough to get you through lunch.

Pizza is hard to do wrong. But that doesn't mean that pizza done right should be taken for granted. A lot of pizza is fair-to-middlin'. I was happily surprised to find Rovente to be above average, and given the price it was fantastic.



Fish and Chips on Ne Alberta...I really like this place. Maybe I shouldn't, given the price. Maybe I shouldn't, because of the small space and the feeling of dinginess. Maybe I shouldn't, because of the oil they use (transfat). And yet, I keep going back.

Last night, we had supper with my wife's parents. They were suppose to be on a plane, but it just didn't happen last night. So, we picked them up from the airport and took them to Halibut's. We chose to sit outside at a table along the sidewalk (We had the baby with us). There isn't much room inside. There are three tables on the restaurant side, with several more in the bar area. Usually we just take the fish to go, but last night was such a beautiful evening.

I had the catfish. My wife had and my mother-in-law had the Halibut. My father-in-law opted for chicken tenders. The food came quick. It was hot and tasty. There were plenty of chips. We were all full. I like this place a lot. I've heard that a lot of people have issues with this particular place...I'm just not one of them.


Jake's Famous Crawfish

Last night we had dinner at Jake's Famous Crawfish located at 401 SW 12th. It's been around for over 100 years. And, I could taste why it's still around.

We were with a large group, and we all started with some appetizers; crab cakes, coconut shrimp, calamari...all delicious.

Then, I had the French Onion Soup. Not the best, but definitely very good (where's the best French Onion Soup in Portland? I can't tell you yet, although I have a very good idea where it may be found).

For my entree, I decided to have the ahi. It was grilled rare and served sliced into thin strips. Although it was rare, it was well done;) There was a very nice cucumber salad with it and a couple of sushi rolls. The rolls were not good, not good at all. Horrid. Jake's must stay away from pseudo-sushi. But other than those two hard little items, everything else was superb.

The service was great. The restaurant was very busy, our group was large, and we had the baby with us. I felt we had plenty of attention.

Dessert was terrific. My wife loves the bag of chocolate, which is a chocolate-shaped bag, filled with white chocolate mouse and whipped cream, showered in an assortment of berries. It's large enough for two to share. But, we were greedy, and we both got our own (which means I had one and a half bags). All in all, a very nice meal indeed.



NE Alberta has another new restaurant. Francis has been open for a few months, but I hadn't been there until my wife's friend, who doesn't live to far from us, recommended it. And so we went, a couple of weeks ago. But, I failed to write about it. That weekend was just too busy.

To make up for it, we went again this past Saturday, and we invited Rusty and his family to come along. So, babies in tow, we headed off to Francis.

It's breakfast, with a twist. Everything served is just a little odd, but deliciously odd. For my breakfast, I chose the sourdough pancakes and a side of pan fried oysters. The oysters came with an orange relish. I was prepared not to like it, but I found that the addition of fruit to the oysters was really very good.

The pancakes were outstanding...truly a sourdough. I had mine with the berry syrup. I also got a bite of my wife's french toast. Nice and crispy on the outside. She also ordered a chicken sausage patty. I found it rather bland...but that was the only downside to the experience. We all shared a fruit platter to begin. Rusty and his wife seemed to enjoy their meal as well.

The one thing is that the menu is very side-dish-oriented. The pancakes came with just a side of fruit.

The restaurant has plenty of seating on the inside and a very large patio. The waitstaff was excellent and was very attentive to the fact we had small children. They were careful to place items away from the grasp of those small curious hands.

I plan to go back...a lot. It's just as good as Alemeda Cafe for breakfast, but different. The cost was on the high side, but the food was very good.