Thursday, April 15, 2004


Eat NOW!

So, when I was just a wee lad, I used to go on vacation to Disneyland with my parents most summers. One of the things that always stuck with me was a sign, just over the Oregon border in Portland, reading EAT in big letters. Though it had been years since I got down that way, I always stayed intrigued at the thought of a restaurant simply called EAT.

This past weekend, Shelveeta and I went down to visit Chris and Angie in Seattle, and from there we did a day trip to Portland. On the way down, we got to talking about the sign we had all noticed, and vowed to eat lunch at EAT.

Well, there were a couple disappointments. First, despite the absolute certainty of my memories, the sign said EAT NOW, not EAT. Second, the restaurant has a name: Waddles.

But the disappointments were mitigated by the discovery of the best restaurant EVER.

Waddles has been there since 1945. As the name implies, there is a duck theme rather halfassedly woven into the decor.

Thankfully, there doesn't seem to have been any attempt to update the decor, which remains gloriously frozen around 1970.

I had a delicious bleu cheese burger that--and this is my litmus test for any burger--I was able to eat without it coming apart in my hands. Shelly had a cheeseburger, which came with this rather unfortunate side of slaw.

I am totally in love with this place. I want to move to Portland, just so I can buy books at Powell's and read them over lunch at Waddles. Naturally, I won't get my chance.

So, my childhood memory of a restaurant called EAT turned out to be false. But at least I got to check out the best restaurant ever before it gets turned into a fucking Wal-Mart.

Go to Portland. Eat Now.

Copyright 2004 Rich Bowen

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