Portland >Food & Dining > Wild Abandon
2411 Se Belmont St, Portland, OR | Directions 9721445.516559 -122.641179
Mon-Thu 4:30pm-9pm; Fri 4:30pm-10pm; Sat 5:30pm-10pm; Sun 5:30pm-9pm;
Happy Hour: Mon-Fri 4:30pm-6:30pm: Sat-Sun 9am-2pm
Neighborhoods: Southeast Uplift Neighborhood Program, Buckman
Mundane, Pricey Food Served by a Kind, Polite Waiter – First I'll start off by saying that the waiter was very kind, and the atmosphere here is very cozy and somewhat romantic. This was our second time here, going on a strong recommendation from our friends. The first time we went, we were underwhelmed, but we thought we'd give it a second chance. Well, the second outing was equally as unimpressive.
It is not as thought the food is bad, it just isn't good. Some other reviewer questioned whether any of the people giving this restaurant great reviews can cook, and I guess I resonate with that response. I can't imagine anyone who knows and understands cooking being impressed with this restaurant.
We started with the mushroom appetizer, which was kind of good, but something one of my football buddies would be capable of crafting. My wife's risotto ($17.00), while again, was not terrible, tasted like it came out of a box, albeit perhaps one of the better instant risottos that one can get at Whole Foods. I had the deep fried oysters. Imagine a plate with 6 or 8 deep fried oysters (yep, something any talentless cook could make) with plain steamed rice and vegetables on the side. It was completely, entirely and thoroughly uninteresting. Not bad, just lacking in any intriguing qualities whatsoever, and pretty steeply priced at $20.00. The veggies and rice were literally just steamed, no seasoning, nada. Something I expect to see next to my chicken balls at a hole-in-the-wall American-Chinese food joint.
I guess the real stinger was the bill, which came to $67.00; $44.00 of which was for the food. There are so, so many places one can eat in Portland that will serve much better food at much better prices, just throw a rock in any direction and you'll find one. The food at the Wild Abandon is along the lines of hotel convention food, or something you'd get at the Elk's Lodge. I guess I would have been cool with it if it cost $25.00, instead of $44.00.
Very very slow! – My 3 friends and I went to eat at Wild Abandon on a recommendation from a friend, but she did mention the service was bad. We thought we would give it a try anyway. Yikes, she wasn't kidding. We sat inside while waiting for a patio table and realized it smelled like dirty wet towels. Gross! We asked to order drinks while we waited and were told a bus boy might get to us. Finally a waiter came to take our drink orders. My husband asked about the merlot and the waiter smugly said he didn't drink merlots by choice. What? I don't care if you like merlot, your job is to sell and recommend things on the menu. When we finally got out to the patio it was quite nice. The food was OK, but not amazing enough for me to want to go back. The service was very slow and we had to remind them a few times to bring water, our salad, hot sauce, etc. We eat out almost everyday and we like to patronize local business, but this is a place we will not go again.
Wild Abandon – Perfect happy hour or breakfast spot. Get there early for a seat and don't be shy to order something you haven't had before, they have a way of making everything on the menu delicious.
Best meal of the year – I had the best Cioppino and my dining partner had a fabulous spicy pasta dish. from the service to the coffee and everything in between was stellar. I would recommend Wild Abandon to anyone without hesitation
Solid Choice – Wild Abandon is one of my favorites in Portland, and its been appreciated by both guests and friends. The pulled pork hash on the brunch menu is excellent, and their vegan and vegetarian options (brunch and dinner) have received good reviews from friends. Its nice that vegans have the option of more than one dish.
The sides at dinner (especially the different potato dishes) are excellent. With one exception, the service has always been great, although low-key. (The one exception was a time they said there were short staffed due to someone calling in sick at the last minute -- I've been back multiple times since and it hasn't been a problem, so I'm inclined to believe that really was the problem.)
Fun Time Good Value – We had a great meal at the Wild Abandon. Our first time, good food, nice environment, relaxing spot. I Recommend the Braised Chicken (aka "P.. au Fou" - Citysearch censures the "P" word regardless of it's meaning) and the Pasta Vongole. For a good time & good value visit Wild Abandon.
Whatever happened to great customer service? – A friend and I have been here twice.. Once for dinner and once for breakfast. Both times we have eaten on the terrace. Waiting for a server to come to your table and greet you and serve water is ridiculous. Both times we have had servers that are just lame. So uninterested in doing their jobs. No one smiles or seems to feel any rush whatsoever to make sure the customer is taken care of. I will say this food is good, but the service just doesn't cut it. I'll never go back and won't recommend it.
Incredible Food – We have been hearing great reviews about Wild Abandon and finally had a chance to eat there this weekend. The food, ambiance, and service were all exceptional. Our waiter had great recommendations and we ended up with a crab and asparagus appetizer, the crab risotto and a stuffed chicken breast for dinner, and the tiramisu for desert. Everything was outstanding, but if I had to pick one thing the crab risotto would have to be the highlight of the meal. The prices were also very reasonable and the wine selection was great with lots of choices under $30. We will definitely be back!
really? – I read the reviews. I think the people freaking out about how this place serves up "one of the dreamiest examples of risotto I've ever had the pleasure to taste" are smokin' rock and working the grill. Seriously. Do you cook? I guarantee you go down to the store and pick up a $1 sack of risotto with some bacon and you'll do better. Why do I need a pound of butter and a salty waiter to serve me up bar food that really should cost $1? I wish I could write $1 with extra large font to stress how ridiculous and pretentious the jerks that write this menu must be. That is all for now.
the Risotto will stun you into silence (in a good way) – I work at a culinary school and many of the chef instructors recommended this place.
And for good reason! I ordered the crab risotto...smoked mozarella, crispy bits of bacon and spring peas made this dish one of the dreamiest examples of risotto I've ever had the pleasure to taste.
My husband tried the pork with carmelized granny smith apples served over a to-die-for gorgonzola cheese sauce and neither of us could speak after taking our first bites....it was "eyes rolling to the back of your head" good.
Our waiter was witty and knowledgeable and the cooks helped him google a question about Aqua Man's side kick (aqua lad in case you're wondering) and he even treated us to dessert when the one we first ordered was not available. We shared a half caraf of cold red sangria on the back patio which was perfect also.
I'm not sure what the reviewer who mentioned cold sauce and bad wine experienced, but it certainly was nothing like our evening. I have to say now this is one of my FAVORITE Portland restaurants on all counts!
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