Saturday, December 20, 2008

Dining Out Vintage Style.

One of my favorite pastimes is to find Golden Era restaurants, old time cafe and diners. I also appreciate the new restaurant that has a Golden Era feel and prides itself in old time values.

The Hollywood Burger Bar

One of my very favorite old time cafes/diners is The Hollywood Burger Bar. Everything I have eaten here is Delicious but I do have to say that the country fried steak is out of this world! They make the best gravy ever and I have had country fried steak all over the united states even in the south which prides themselves for the best country fried steak but this beats em' all hands down. I love to spice mine up with a little bit of green and red Tabasco sauce.

Here is a little history about the building The Hollywood Burger Bar resides in, as you can see from the picture above it is a little unique looking. It was originally built in the 1920's the building was a stand that sold tokens for the trolley car that went up and down Sandy Blvd. Then in the 1930's it was a beauty shop for a while and then it was a dry cleaners after that. In 1954 was when it first became a restaurant. I believe it has been in the same family since then and it is still a family run business.

The owners and everybody that work there are very friendly and accommodating. When you come here you feel like you have taken a step back in time. It is fun to sit and eat at the counter plus the stools at the counter were actually salvaged from a 1930's cafe.

A couple weeks ago I had a vintage pal visit me from Ireland and I was his personal tour guide of Portland. I took him to The Hollywood Burger Bar and he said out of all of the places I took him to that this was his very favorite of them all. It is one of my all time favorites of the Rose City too.

The Canton Grill

The other day I was out with my parents and my oldest brother and we needed a bite for lunch and we all agreed on Chinese. It has been a while since my brother has lived in Portland having lived in California for the last 20 years, he automatically went where he was familiar and that was 82Nd. avenue for a minute I almost cringed because 82Nd. avenue does not usually have the best reputation as far as foods go but I kept my mouth shut because hey, it was a free meal.

As I was secretly thinking to myself what kind of dive are we going to end up in? We pulled into the Canton Grill parking lot, the restaurant was painted bright Chinese Red on the outside with gold and black trim. That place had not changed a bit since I was kid. We went in and sat down there was mostly an older crowd there, most of the diners looked to be Golden Era in and of themselves. We all reached for the menus and the menu said: The Canton Grill since 1944. I was starting to warm up to this place already. I actually remember eating here as a kid. However I did not realize that it had been around for that long, so it was truly Golden Era. I took a moment to look around while I was in my seat. All of the booths were red vinyl, I am sure they are original. It had the typical Asian looking carpet and the pretty little Chinese lanterns hanging from the ceiling that I always used to love as a kid. There were a few other decorations and a string of Christmas lights going around the top of the wall. Other then that is was kind of plain. There was one wall directly across from our booth and it had a cluster of pictures of the owners, the staff and the building back from the time when it first opened along with some old time advertisements that were in frames.

The staff was very friendly and helpful. After taking our order I sat back and listened to the music: low and behold they were actually playing 1940's Christmas music! I felt like I was in a time warp except our waitress looked very modern day. We got our food in a timely manner and believe it our not the food was not too bad.

Huber's Restaurant

Another delightful place to dine and drink is Huber's. Huber's was established in 1879 and is Portland's oldest restaurant and bar. The interior is absolutely beautiful with dark, solid Philippine mahogany paneling, it has a very large arched stained glass skylight and a terrazzo floor. The current location and building of Huber's is on the National Registry of Historic places and is located on 411 SW 3rd ave. in down town Portland.

In the 1920's during the prohibition era Huber's was primarily a restaurant but during that time it was also a speakeasy and served Manhattans in coffee cups. Speaking of drinks Huber's is quite famous for it's Spanish Coffee drinks, I have tried many Spanish Coffee drinks in Portland and a few other spots in the United States and NOBODY 'S can compare to the Huber's Spanish Coffee they are also a great winter time drink. Plus when the server/bar tender comes out they make the drink right in front of you and they put on quite a show at the same time.

Huber's food specialty is turkey, turkey and more turkey, in 1891 they started serving turkey. Because they have been serving turkey for that many years why change things now, right? However if you do not happen to like Turkey they do have nightly specials where they do serve other things. Not only does Huber's have a great vintage atmosphere the foods and drinks are Delicious too.

Tony Starlight's

In the gateway to Historic Hollywood in Portland Oregon on 37Th and Sandy Boulevard sits: Tony Starlight's Supper Club which is a fine example of a modern day restaurant with a Golden Era feel and old time values.

It opened in 2007, with a full bar and full course meals. While dining you get to enjoy live performances of traditional jazz, swing, piano bar, vocalists and even an 18 piece band. On Saturday's Tony puts on his own show - which is a real live Vegas style unique musical comedy show.

Mr. and Mrs. Starlight had a vision to open a club in Portland where the patron's can take a step back in time and enjoy shows very similar to the types of shows that men and women back in the Golden Era had enjoyed.

The staff is wonderful and will cater to your every need plus the food and drink is most excellent. For food, drink, fun, entertainment and a great atmosphere Tony Starlight's is highly recommended.

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