One of the joys of long-distance walking, running or cycling is carboloading. If you need that important prerace meal, go to Justa Pasta (http://www.justapasta.com/, (503) 229-0646, 1336 NW 19th Ave). Really cheap, really good, and Roland, the owner, will be running this year's Portland Marathon, so you know he feels for you. Their super-garlicy caesar is one of the best in the city.
If you're looking for fancier carboloading, try Mama Mia's (http://www.mamamiatrattoria.com/, (503) 295-6464, SW 2nd & Washington) for the east coast/NJ style Italian-American cheese fest. The caesar here is nothing to write home about, but the pasta servings are quite generous. They serve a good stiff foofy drink too.
Basta's (http://bastastrattoria.citysearch.com/, (503) 274-1572, NW 21st and Flanders) also makes a good drink, has an excellent wine selection, and is higher-end than Mama Mias and also higher quality for a more authentic tuscan meal. They offer—gasp!—free parking in their lot. And, another excellent caesar.
September 14, 2005 | Permalink