Three times a year, my daughter Shannon, our friend Kate, and I get together in Portland to celebrate our birthdays. The “birthday girl” gets to choose the restaurant, and we give each other little presents. The meal is usually followed by gelato at Whole Foods, and it’s a great afternoon, something we all look forward.
This year, schedules did not allow us to get together in September—my birthday is mid-September—and the best time for everyone was late October. It didn’t matter one bit. As Shannon noted, “We’re not 6 years old.” No, we certainly are not.
Portland has such a wealth of restaurants that finding someplace good is not at all hard. In the past few years, we’ve only had 1 disappointment—The Merry Table—and our success rate is a testament to all the terrific places there are to eat in Portland. For this outing, I picked Sonny’s on Exchange Street, and we hit pay dirt yet again—the food and the prices were equally good. Once upon a time, the building was a bank, and the restaurant has high ceilings, wood, brick, large windows, and a wonderful view of a park, golden in late autumn.
Sonny’s feature’s Latin and Southwestern dishes, using as much fresh, local food as they can. According to their website, all their food is cooked from scratch, including their bread and desserts. And that’s exactly how it tastes. I had Johnny’s tri-pork Cuban sandwich, and as the name suggests, there were three kinds of pork on a handmade roll. Very tasty. As were the homemade chips that came with the sandwich. The chips were lightly spiced, lightly salted, and very crisp. I could have easily eaten another handful. Kate had roast beef, Shannon had a hamburger, and both were more than happy with their choices.
“We should come here again,” Kate said as we stared out the window at the glorious day.
We all agreed. However, when the next birthday rolls around—Shannon’s—it’s my guess that we’ll pick something different. After all, we’ll be in Portland. How can we resist the temptation to try someplace where we’ve never eaten?