Pause Kitchen and Bar: A Pleasant Surprise in North Portland

As I have mentioned in my last couple of posts on restaurants I have been in a bit of a funk lately with my dining out experiences.  I have been striking out left and right on new places that I have tried, culminating in a very disappointing experience at the Woodsman Tavern.

This being Portland, I would eventually come out of this funk and the funk recently ended with a stop at Pause Kitchen and Bar.  This is a nondescript little restaurant on a less than ideal stretch along North Interstate.  I tried Pause for the first time a few months ago and was impressed.  We went again last week and I was curious to see if the food experience was a fluke or the real deal.  Turns out it was the real deal, this place is good.  With our second visit Pause now ranks as one of our favorite restaurants in North Portland.

On this trip my wife ordered seared albacore tuna with fingerling potatoes, green beans, and a kalamata olive muffaletta.

Pause Kitchen and Bar

My wife was kind enough to share a bite with me and man was it good.  I’m normally not a huge fan of albacore tuna.  I prefer ahi and I usually associate albacore with tuna fish sandwiches.  Don’t get me wrong I love a good tuna fish sandwich but thanks to that mental association I don’t really eat albacore.  It’s fish from a can, right?  Wrong! This was good and flavorful.  I think I will need to rethink that mental association.

I ordered a smoked pork chop on greens and latke.

Pause Kitchen and Bar1

This was easily the best restaurant pork chop I’ve ever had.  My only complaint was that it was too small.  I thought I was in for a good chop when the server warned me that they serve the pork chop medium rare. Unbeknownst to her, I love pork and I am well versed on the proper temperature to which a pork chop should be cooked – e.g. medium rare.  I also don’t like greens, so I mean this as a huge compliment when I say they were edible. They did not take away from my enjoyment of the meal at all. Lastly, the latke that was wrapped under the greens was crisp and flavorful.

After having a very disappointing experience with the Woodsman Tavern, Pause was a real joy.  I also thought it was a good value.  Both our meals were reasonably priced and kids eat free!  I highly recommend this restaurant.  They also have a good happy hour.

Pause Kitchen & Bar on Urbanspoon

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