9309 Washington Square
I can’t say I’ve ever had a bad meal at the Cheesecake Factory and I’m still searching for the one item that I have togo there for but I do have some favorites after a decades worth of visits. We had just gotten out of seeing the Hunger Games: Girl on Fire and were looking for something a little more creative and less corporate but the traffic on the freeway led us to divert to the closest option at the Washington Square mall. It was only a 20 minute wait and we really only visit 3 or 4 times in a year so I figured making this our 52nd brunch stop wouldn’t be a horrible thing. So far the best meal I’ve had with Tha’ Factory is their Stuffed Chicken Tortillas but this time around I wanted to really have something breakfast adjacent so I selected the breakfast sandwich on toasted brioche with a nice big bowl of creamy chicken and mushroom soup. The waiter spend 4 minutes trying to talk me out of getting a bowl of soup and the breakfast sandwich and I appreciated him trying to swap my potato side for the soup but I’m an American adult and if I want to over consume its my constitutional right to be gluttonous occasionally so I rebuffed his suggestions and reiterated I wanted the whole damn thing. Carly went with more of a plain choice of spaghetti with the sauce on the side and we shared the soup with their tasty bread that is ever present. My potatoes were only so/so but at least they were very crispy but I probably should have swapped them for the soup in hind site. The sandwich was actually quite decent even with it’s simple ingredients but of course when you fry bread in butter it’s hard to take issue with it.
The server was friendly but he was rattling off so much in each sentence that it was hard for him to understand himself sometimes.
AMBIANCE / DESIGN
High ceilings brights colors but not a lot of opportunity for variance from the corporate template
Very tasty and large portions plus there is always dessert
8136 SW Hall Blvd.
Decent little neighborhood grill, but no fireplaces
First off, there is no fireplace at the Fireside restaurant but there are giant plasmas with flickering flames which in and of themselves I guess count as two forms of fire. This little pub/restaurant was pretty empty when we first arrived with just one bar fly buzzing around a warm beer but it was bright and inviting inside so we decided to stick it out. We were warmly greeted by a bouncy little hostess/waitress who encouraged us to choose where we wanted to sit so we chose a table near the front in a sunspot. Online reviews encouraged us to try their burger selection even though there were quite a few selections in the brunch category that sounded delicious. Because of the location of the restaurant it was actually a little difficult to see from the main road and I wondered if that’s why even with it’s high reviews it was relatively empty inside. Our burgers arrived about 12 minutes after placing our orders and I got a side of rather tasty clam chowder with mine while Carly’s came with some homemade chips topped with blue cheese dressing that actually was a surprisingly good condiment for them. It could have been my tastebuds were still asleep but I was rather under whelmed by the flavor of the burger and as good as the clam chowder was I was left wanting more than the little 4 ounce cup they served it in. Carly’s chips were very good and we certainly both left filled form the meal but I wouldn’t consider them the best burgers I’ve ever enjoyed. Still a solid visit and decent meal.
One lone server for the whole place but she was really on it.
AMBIANCE / DESIGN
Decent interior layout but no fireplace in the fireside restaurant?
Excellent burger but not the best I’ve had
Hall Street Grill
3775 SW Hall Blvd.
No photos this week since it was just a buffet
of random selections and not as presentable
Easter brunch in Beaver town
A tradition we have begun to establish for Easter is brunch at a local Beaverton restaurant named Hall Street Grill. We’ve been here many times for lunch as well as dinners which are usually quite good if a little spendy but breakfast or brunch is a once a year event. The location is super convenient as its only a few minutes from our home and nearby everything of interest if your a shopper or just want to walk around downtown Beaverton which isn’t all that large anyway. The restaurant is tucked into a commercial district but has a lovely outside dining area framed by trees, their garden space as well as a protected wetlands. The interior reflects more of a ritzy Steakhouse with dark colored woods and a luscious deep red paint job spotted with large framed retro liquor advertising.
Brunch today was a buffet spread which in years past has always been pretty decent and usually carries all the things you’d expect and this year included 4 different types of scrambled eggs. We decided to bypass the main buffet line initially and headed to the carving station for Prime Rib & Ham which only had a couple people lingering around. The meats were decent and even through I got a Prime rib end that was a little dry the flavor was good. We waited for the lines around the main buffet to dissipate before making an attempt to see what was in store for us. They had 4 different types of scrambled eggs, hazelnut waffles, sausage, bacon, eggs Benedict and a huge assortment of baked goods like biscuits and scones. I piled a small sampling of each and every item onto my plate during two visits just so I could experience everything they were offering and what I found is that a buffet is never as good as a pre fixe menu. While many of the dishes we tasty and they was plenty of food to go around many of the dishes were just too dry or not hot enough to be as enjoyable as any of our other meals. The other turn off is the price of $33 per person for a buffet, I’m not saying this is outrageous just that I have had much better brunches for half that much and I’ve gotten to appreciated quality over quantity. I think next year we will avoid the Easter buffets around town and either go the day before or after to get the meal selection we have become accustomed to since starting this journal.
The waitress was busy buzzing aorund but seeing as it was a buffet all I really needed her for was an occasional coffee refill.
AMBIANCE / DESIGN
A regular stop for us and the interior is warm and inviting with multiple levels and outside seating.
It was a buffet so there was plenty to go around but unfortunately quantity outstripped quality this time.