Robin Goldstein is the author of "Fearless Critic Portland Restaurant Guide" and someone I haven't run across before, but he's got a few opinions about restaurants here in town.
In a recent post on Powell's Books blog, he slams a few local joints upside the head with the title of "most over-hyped, underwhelming spots in PDX." Among those are:
- Candy (or "Candy Ultra Lounge"): "If you're a connoisseur of laughably insufferable pretense, you'll feel like a kid in a candy store here."
- Jake's: Refers to the food as " chain-industrial."
- El Gaucho: He dubs it "El Gouge-O."
- The Heathman: "They still trumpet a Beard award they won eight years ago."
- Rontoms: "It seems like someone's genitalia is playing a key decisionmaking role in the…HR department."
His list of "trendy restaurants that live up to their hyped-up status"?
- Park Kitchen: "Epitomizes what Portland is all about."
- Beaker & Flask (photo, top): "They really are that cutting-edge."
- Andina: "The lighting will flatter your date (who might drink more of those sugary cocktails since they go down so easily)."
- Beast: "There's not a better restaurant in Portland at the moment."
- Henry's 12th St. Tavern: "Even if the kitchen isn't great, [their] prices show a lot of Portland spirit."
Runners-up include MetroVino, DOC, Saucebox, Le Pigeon, Pok Pok, Clyde Common, Ping, Clarklewis, Sel Gris.
Check the blog post for full comments, and there's no doubt the book has many, many more.