Friday, April 15, 2011


1440 N. Jantzen Beach Center
Happy Hour: 3 - 6 daily, 9 - close Sunday - Thursday and 10 - close Friday and Saturday

Stanford's is by definition a chain restaurant. Nearly all of the locations are in the Portland metropolitan area...but with two near Seattle and one in California, it is officially a chain. Homogenized is what I call them. And every homogenized restaurant comes with some good...and some not so good qualities.

What's good at Stanford's is that they have a ba-jillion (how DO you spell bajillion?) different items to choose from on the happy hour food menu. And the prices are FANTASTIC! There was a big group of us that night (nine, I think) and we barely fit at the table. WE barely fit around the table (you really have to get there early if you are trying to seat a large group) and our plates barely fit ON the table.

I remember having the southwestern chop salad once before (years ago) and was excited to see that it was still on the menu. I ordered one chopped salad, the grilled portobella mushroom and a small bowl of macaroni and cheese.

The salad wasn't exactly the same...but it was still good. It's covered with all sorts of suitable toppings. Corn, black beans, tomatoes,...but the salad itself is less lettuce (romaine and other crisp greens) and more cabbage. It was good--and super crunchy--but made me think of coleslaw with each bite. And the dressing was as heavy as coleslaw, making this a less-than-good-for-you salad choice. The mushroom was was good but salty and the macaroni and cheese was creamy and delicious.

What's less appealing about most chain restaurants (besides just the fact that they're chains--and I'd rather be supporting a smaller, locally-owned business) is that their drinks are where they make their money (at least during happy hour). I was tempted by the discounted red wine until I heard the opinion of someone else at the table. Instead, I went with my new usual - a vodka gimlet. And this vodka gimlet was a serious let down. First, it was light on the vodka. And second, there were no fresh limes involved in the making...whatsoever. Disappointing!

Service was great, though. From what I've heard, they have fairly high standards for their employees (like your shirt has to be starched, and hanging--still in the plastic from the cleaners--when you get to work). I hope that they have benefits to match. These people deserve it. They are quick to respond, even on a busy night.

Food: Meets
Drinks: Nearly Meets
Service: Meets
Ambiance: Meets
Value: Exceeds


Stanford's Restaurant & Bar

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