Portland >Pok Pok
Pok Pok has expanded, and not just in the form of another lounge (Whiskey Soda) or location (Noi and NY), but now with another upstairs dining room. If you have a party of five or more, make reservations that can last up to two hours.
Andy Ricker's tribute to the flavors of Thailand has utterly transcended its ethnic niche and even its city, making a national name for itself with its spicy but complex foods -- especially its legendary chicken wings.
'Tis important to approach this Portland dining icon with a sense of adventure, an open mind about what constitutes Thai cuisine, and an affinity for spice, which is why we don't take my mother anymore. Everything's good, but...it's kind of all about the wings for me.
If it's raining sit outside under the corrugated roof for extra atmosphere and do not leave without having a whole bird and a spicy papaya salad.
Loved the papaya salad and even when the spice was toned down it packed a kick! Also loved the "broken crepe" with tenders muscles, green onions, egg and siracha sauce. Sipping vinegars can be added to any liquor, like vodka, for a touch of exotic flavoring. Our waiter could explain everything on this authentic, exotic Thai menu. Seating inside is loud but lively. The space heaters outside created ample warmth while dining in the closed off outdoor seating sections. Most times you will wait but turn in your name & head across the street to The Whisky Soda Lounge where they'll let you know when your table is available.
PDX's first cinderella story. Former shack turns into a full-on national empire. The wings are an obvious must-order, and be sure to sample from the list of exotic drinking vinegars. Try the muu paa kham waan!
How can these wings be this good? We come from Seattle just to get an order!
I recommend trying lots of things. There is a wide variety of food dishes and the more you try the more you'll find one you like.
The food's great and everyone knows it. I love the circus-like street food atmosphere inside and we ended up staying for hours. Loved it.
Great food, I love the wings and the bbq ribs as well. I also tried the one in Brooklyn and have to say they are both excellent (the wait in Brooklyn was about two hours though..). Lots of options dine inside/outside or hit the takeout window. I also came here for a birthday party and they seated us upstairs and were very accomodating for a group of eight.
Yummy yummy yummy! But can be a wait, so don't show up hungry.
Our first visit. Too much money for portion size and it's not that great.
Much ado about nothing.
We had reservations for seven and everybody showed up on time. Since our 'server' was not available we waited outside in the cold and damp--our teenage son was with us and consequently we could not wait in the bar. There were ample empty tables but they would not seat us until the server was available. After 15 minutes they seated us on the front porch of the house--with a nice view of all the clean, empty tables inside the house! Although the heat strips on the ceiling of the porch kept our heads warm, nearly everybody had cold feet.
The food was mediocre and the portions were small for the price. This was our first and last visit.
Umm Yum. Since most people Have had negative experiences, I was kind of worried. I got the boar's collar and sticky rice and my worries totally subsided. I would come here again just to see if it stand up to my 4 star first experience.
Not the greatest experience.
Okay, here's the deal.... expectations were high for Pok Pok, but in the end... well let's just say My stomach wasn't doing so well....
First off, this place is a haven for the hipster crowd. There is an attempt to be all Manhattan... but lets be real, this is Portland....
we were intended to be a party of four, and our "reservation" was for four... but another joined at the last minute and that added an additional 45 minutes to our already hour long wait.
They have you wait at the Whiskey Soda Lounge across the street... (a much better experience)... After a few drinks and some appetizers we were finally able to be seated at Pok Pok . (now hungry and with high anticipation of the place) Upon entering the atmosphere was very bland, as was the food compared to other Thai restaurants in town...
(Thai Fresh is the best) All five of us walked away unsatisfied... and at the end of the night three of us had sour stomachs. All in all... this was a below average experience. One I will never do again. And I wouldn't recommend it to my best or worst friend.
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