3616 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Price for 2 (with tip) $16
Date of visit: 12/21/09
The Chopsticks on Hawthorne is one of four restaurants so named in Portland. Is it a chain or just a common name? I have no idea. But I do know it was a place we drove by a million times without even thinking of eating at. Sandwiched between the Bridgeport Ale House, and some sort of retail establishment, the somewhat classy Asian restaurant almost just blends in. Once we did tune into it, there was still some hesitation, because from the fancy sign and ornate decorations, frankly it looked expensive. But we finally made it inside actually right before embarking on this project, and made it back for the official review right before the end of 2009.
While there are some pricier items on the menu, this place has an incredible (and cheap) lunch special. The lunch menu has two basic routes to go: stir fried items with rice (choice of white, brown or fried) or noodle dishes, which come with salad and an egg roll. Either option comes with Hot and Sour or Egg Drop soup, and both times I’ve gotten the Hot and Sour, so I guess I must like it! No but seriously, it was made with basil, which made it a bit unique and fairly tasty.
On this trip I went with shrimp with broccoli, mostly because it was an option. Usually the lunch menu doesn’t even have chicken with broccoli as an option, so I happily paid the extra buck for shrimp instead of beef. Jared got General Tso’s Tofu, another somewhat unusual menu option. And in general the menu here is just that: a little bit different than your standard Asian. I suppose it’s definitive Asian fusion cuisine, and everything I’ve had was flavorful and relatively healthy (read: not dripping in grease.) Plus one for Chopsticks and another good Asian spot to try on Hawthorne.
Veggie options: lots, although neither soup is technically vegetarian as they are made with meat broth
Speed: quick and easy