3766 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Date of Visit: November 19, 2009
Price for 2 (with tip): $19
Eating at Tabor Hill Cafe was sort of like eating at your grandmother’s house. Well, if your grandmother was a Chinese man, who cooked very basic American food, and also sold bamboo trinkets. Since it’s one of those places neither I, nor anyone I know would ever think to go to, I didn’t really know what to expect, and I definitely wasn’t let down. Perplexed is more like it.
The menu is full of your basic American fare, but for some reason is exceptionally thick. When I got to page 3 I realized why: there are Chinese-menu style pictures of everything on it. It was so amazing, I actually took a picture:
I will day though, that the pictures influenced my ordering decision. When I saw the monte cristo (bottom row, middle photo) I was like, damn that sounds amazing. (Note: it didn’t look amazing in the photo, as you’d expect.) Jared got a grilled cheese with tomato and we sat back and waited. And waited. The place was empty and super quiet, so I felt bad making jokes about the plethora of things to make jokes about there. Eventually the waiter (who I’m pretty sure was also the chef) came out and asked what kind of bread Jared wanted. After that the food came quickly, and when he set down my gigantic side order of coleslaw (for $1.50 extra it better be giant) he explained he just made it fresh.
Luckily for us, the food was actually really good. Super-basic, home-style stuff that on a gray and rainy Portland day was just what we wanted. The coleslaw was really good, just sweet enough, but not too sweet, crispy and good. My monte cristo was the total heart attack on a plate I was after. And Jared said, “Sometimes a good grilled cheese is just what you want.”
Will we make Tabor Hill a regular lunch stop? Yeah, probably not. But at least I can say I’ve been there and I was upset when I left. More confused than anything else.
Speed: Old person speed
Veggie options: veggie burgers, grilled cheese etc.