In the heart of downtown Portland, next to the Hotel Lucia and across the street from the venerable Benson Hotel, you’ll find a corner diner with updated diner-inspired foods, surprising cocktails and a youthful vibe that belies it’s name.
The diner is rather new, just three years old. It does have a historic tie, though, as it was named after the coin that Frances Pettygrove and Asa Lovejoy used to decide Portland’s name in 1845.
Renowned chef, Vitaly Paley (Imperial and Paley’s Place), chose the Portland Penny Diner (PPD) as a place to fuse Pacific Northwest immigrant food cultures, the Native American’s basic approach to food with good old American comfort food. Comments Chef Paley, “I wanted to bring a new type of diner to our city and Portland Penny Diner will recapture its warmth and comfort while updating and elevating the food and drink.”
The Portland Penny Diner recently announced the addition of evening hours, happy hour cuisine, specialty cocktails and more. After three years as a downtown breakfast and lunchtime staple, Chef Vitaly Paley’s casual spot is poised to become the next happy hour hot spot, remodeled with cozy red faux leather banquettes, additional tables and 8 draught cocktail taps—more than any other bar in city. Look for their Daily Punch. They also serve draft beers and a selection of wines.
I sampled their new happy hour menu and house-made craft cocktails and was impressed. You’ll find “Pennydraft Cocktails,” with names like Between the Sheets and Chrysanthemum. There is more substance to the cocktails than just intriguing names. I tried several and found them to compete well with made to order libations. I especially liked El Presidente – with rum, dry vermouth, organge curacao, and house grenadine.
The new menu is equally intriguing. What can you do with fried chicken, sliders and fry bread tacos? Plenty! Fry Bread Tacos at TPD aren’t your typical rez fry bread with hamburger meat. You can choose from three varieties right now: House Smoked Pastrami (a Paley staple), Soy Braised Pork Belly, and Hangtown Fry. I sampled the soy-braised pork belly on fry bread. It was amazing. Melt in your mouth pork, delicate veggies and a light addition of soy to tie it all together. I enjoyed the sample size and will be back for the regular plate!
Diners will find other items to rave about like Doug’s Buttermilk Fried Chicken (excellent… now another of my favs), Blackened Trout, soups, salads, fries, and a menu of signature burgers.
Portland Penny Diner will continue to serve espresso and the quick grab-and-go breakfast sandwiches they’ve become known for. But this new addition is very exciting. On balmy nights such as during their launch party, you can sit outside and watch the downtown Portland world go by.
Monday – Thursday: 7am to 3pm; 4pm to 11pm
Friday: 7am to 3pm; 4pm to Midnight
Saturday: 4pm to Midnight
Happy Hour: 4-6pm Monday-Saturday
410 SW Broadway, Portland OR 97205
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