Poor Richards Restaurant

3907 NE Broadway St (at Sandy & 39th)
(503) 288-5285
get there via trimet
find a bike route

poor richard's
top sirloin at Poor Richards
There are two words you need to remember when you think about Poor Richard's: family restaurant.

I didn't come up with this definition, but when you hear family restaurant, you need to abandon hope that the food will be anything better than edible.

When I first moved to Portland, my ex used to drag me to Poor Richard's in Hollywood. We'd sit in the bar, order a stiff drink and a steak, and each time I'd realize that I had blocked out the previous visits and how awful it was.

Similarly, recently, I was thinking that it wasn't all that bad. Sadly, I was wrong.

Poor Richard's has a dining room and a lounge. The dining room is shabbily colonial, with tables here and there of large family gatherings and elderly folks. We didn't visit the lounge, but I'm sure it was probably a little less comatose.

The claim-to-fame for Poor Richard's is their two-fers: order two of the same thing for one low price! You have a choice of tenderloin ($21.95-$32.95), top sirloin ($20.45-$27.45), cod fish & chips ($21.95), pork loin ($19.95), and three different styles of chicken ($19.95). Admittedly, you save a buck or two off the menu price, but realistically, these aren't incredibly cheap prices. Even the single menu prices aren't cheap.

We ordered a couple beers (the hefeweizen was fine, but less popular beers weren't quite right), an appetizer of Teriyaki Grilled Chicken Strips ($5.95), and the 8oz top sirloin. The chicken strips were speedy and quite tasty.

Dinners include your choice of

cole slaw, tossed salad or soup of the day, garlic bread, choice of baked potato (after 4:00pm), seasoned french fries or rice pilaf, coffee and tea and soft vanilla ice cream. All dinner items are cooked to order.

We were quite hungry and our waitron quite accommodating—we consumed multiple small baskets of garlic bread. The cole slaw arrived, a perfectly round scoop with a big round slice of pickled beet laid against it. The cabbage was cut into tiny tiny pieces and the dressing was too sweet.

Not long afterwards came our steaks. I ordered a loaded baked potato and they took me at my word—it was the highlight of the meal for me. The steaks—eh? Tough, gristly, overcooked. Admittedly, when a steak costs $15, I'm not expecting much, but there are plenty of great steaks at the $20 mark, and good steaks at $15. Just not here.

I'm usually a good eater, but the potato was all I could finish.

With tip, it was over $50, which is straying into special-occasion territory. And while the people watching is excellent, I can't recommend this for a special occasion.

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May 10, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1)


Walt said:

My wife and I have been going to Poor Richards for almost 40 years. We went tonight, 6 Jan. 09, and if this would have been the first time, then it would have been the last. We normally do not complain, but tonight was very different. We also do not want to cost anyone their job. Let's just say that if tonight was "Tuesday for trainees", then there is lots of training to be done. I was able to see our meal put up on the warming table waiting for the waitress to pick it up. When the next table's meal were pushed up there, I caught the cook's eyes and raised my hands as saying .. Well?? Our plates sat there for almost 10 minutes !! I have back problems and cannot sit long, so I walked around the restaurant and saw our waitress in the lounge ... not really taking care of business, but it looked more like a visit or flirting. Hopefully a little chat with your workers will help. It does not matter how fast they buzz by our table, but how do they organize their mind to make the most out of their steps. I am looking forward to our next dinner there, but hopefully we can get Mark or David to take our order. Thank you, Walt

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