2236 NE Alberta
(503) 284-1168
get there via trimet
7 nights a week
iraqi-lebanese noshes
kitchen upon until midnightish

Zaytoons has got to be the cheapest food in the neighborhood between 5-7. While the happy hour doesn't have any drink specials, the drinks are already reasonable, and the already reasonable food prices get insanely good. The majority of appetizers are less than $4.50, and during HH, $3.50. Entrees run $6.50-$10, and during HH, $2 less. We had an appetizer, two entrees, and two beers, and our bill came in less than $20.

I like this place a lot. Comfortable chairs, pleasant space. Four taps, many bottles, lots of liquor. The downstairs is non-smoking, the upstairs, smoking, and downstairs, you'd never even know that there's a smoking section. Upstairs also has a tiny pool table. The wide-open downstairs affords lots of people watching. I'm told it gets loud when it's full, but I have yet to see it full.

The food is very good, though some of the flavorings are not conventionally Levantine. My one complaint was this evening's shorba, my favorite, a red lentil soup redolent of cumin and lemon, was also newly redolent of onions. Sigh. Our hummus was heavily tahini-ed, and for those spoiled by Karam and YaHala and Nicolas, the pita is not fresh and pillowy and full of hot air. That didn't stop us from inhaling it, natch. But the entrees are pure pleasure, with all the sandwiches coming on a Bosnian roll called lepina. Baba's burger is a painted hills patty with feta and my new favorite thing, lemon aioli—the combination of beef, garlic, salty feta and lemon is so nice. Chicken jemila is a chicken breast marinated in sumac, encrusted in zaatar, and nestled in the lepina—yum. Timman u Marag, a chickpea stew, with a side of laban (youghurt and cucumber)—yum. It's clear that they are taking care on some of the details: the tomatoes served were romas, gorgeous, and with some tomatoey flavor. All in all, good food and a tremendous value in or out of happy hour.

filled under food in NE Portland, Portland bars
January 26, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1)


Rebecca said:

Zaytoon has awesome bartenders, too.



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