2008/04/07

Chez Machin

I thought I would start off and make my first post about one of our standard places in Portland. This is a little crêperie/bistro on SE Hawthorne street. We went for the first time a few months ago, and since then it has become a favorite and we are essentially regulars.

They have a delicious selection of both savory and sweet crepes, with daily specials on both (that is, crepes which aren't on the regular menu, but are offered just that day). Their Boeuf Stroganoff crepe is amazing, and they had a peach and mango with chocolate drizzled on top sweet crepe this week that was delicious. They have a number of wonderful bistro dishes as well, ranging from Boeuf Bourguignon to Cassoulet to Seared Tuna Fillet and Moules et Bouquet Provençal. Their french onion soup is to die for (and vegetarian - how they make it so wonderful without beef broth we can't figure out), and they usually have one other soup as well, such as a mushroom bread soup or potato cheese soup. They have a few grilled sandwiches and salads for a nice lunch, and they have a daily ravioli special and a quiche as well.

They have a good wine and beer selection, including a Chateau Bouissel Fronton which is a really nice red wine, and Chimay ale, a really nice Belgian ale.

They also serve coffee (including espresso drinks), tea and hot cocoa. They serve Nossa Familia coffee, which is roasted in Oregon using beans from their family farm in Brazil.

The food portions are quite healthy, and prices are pretty moderate for the quality and amount of food. I would expect to spend around $15-$20 per person for dinner and a drink, or somewhere between $8-15 for lunch. Sweet crepes range from $3-$6.

The atmosphere is fantastic - cozy, warm and friendly - and the decor is very (at least by my American estimation) French Bistro. The main evening waitress who is usually there when we go is wonderful and cheery and always makes us feel at home, which is characteristic of all the employees we've met there - it is just a very comfortable place to be.

Everything we've tried here has been absolutely delicious, and I would recommend going several times and trying things that you've never had before. I think you're highly unlikely to be disappointed. We've never had a bad experience here. Reservations are almost never needed, as they usually are not full, but if you're going to go on Valentine's Day or another such popular dinner night, I would recommend making reservations ahead of time.

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The front of the restaurant:
Chez Machin

Nutella Custard with Raspberry Jam and Chocolate Sauce:
Chez Machin

The back enclosed patio area of the restaurant, open year round, with a giant weird Gus Van Sant painting on the wall. (don't we all look happy? It was Dave's mom's first time there)
Chez Machin

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Chez Machin
3553 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Portland, OR 97214
(503) 736-9381


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