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We booked the Emmylou Harris room on-line for two nights, based on the pictures and the lore. We got in late and were extremely disappointed with the reality--especially given the fact that the room cost $114/night. In contrast to other write-ups that this place is clean and comfortable, we found previous guests' (probably not Emmylou's) hair in the barely functional shower. Seriously, I've had better showers at KOA campgrounds. Also, the bed was lumpy and difficult to sleep on. We felt bad telling the staff (whom we didn't see once, since the office hours are an inconvenient 3-8 p.m.) that the place was a dump and we couldn't possibly stay there another night, so we wrote a note saying we'd had an emergency and asked for half our money back. We weren't there for even 8 hours--arriving at 1:30 a.m. and leaving at 9 a.m. We figured they could rent the room and that our request for a one-night refund was reasonable.
We called once the office was open and asked about our request. The person we spoke to said that if they could rent the room, which he thought probable, we didn't have to worry about it--he just had to speak with his manager. He said the manager would call us back and we could work it out.
We didn't get a call back. Two days later, after we were home from Joshua Tree and the bill for two nights appeared on our credit card statement, we called again. The person we spoke to was decent and personable enough. He confirmed that they were able to rent out the room the night after we'd left. Then he told us they were charging us for two nights anyway. We asked why they were taking our money if they'd rented it out in the end. He offered us a credit toward another stay. Again, we felt bad saying that the place is a dump and that we would never possibly entertain the idea of staying there again, so we said we have no reason ever to return to Joshua Tree. We repeated our question: why do you need any of our money if you didn't lose out in the end? Isn't that stealing? They didn't have a good answer. They intended to take our money on the basis of some kind of late cancellation principle.
In the end, after we threatened to initiate the stop payment process with our bank, they agreed to refund all but $50 of the second night. So, with tax, our nine hours at the Joshua Tree Inn cost us $160-some dollars, and additional headache dealing with the management. This place is a rip-off and a total dump. We also didn't experience the friendly and decent service that others here attest to. So, while I don't often give one star reviews (or stop to write places up on Yelp anymore), I wanted to share our profoundly negative experience with potential visitors.
Enjoy Joshua Tree, though--the park is amazing.
My five star rating is based on the fact that we're talking about the Joshua Tree area, and if you want a sanitized, deluxely appointed experience then you'd best make your way back up to Palm Springs. When we're back in the area, we'll stay here.
Our plans fell through at one place, and we stayed one short, disappointing night in another at an exorbitant rate (that review will come later, after we've worked things out with the management). Fortunately, we then found the Pioneertown Motel. The people running the place were friendly and accommodating. They gave us a discount because we were traveling in a group and paid cash--and their rates are really decent relative to the mark-up going on at true dives nearby (I add this because it seems that negative reviewers may not have checked out other places in the area).
In addition to being happy with the owners and staff here, we were happy to discover that the rooms are spacious, clean, everything works, and the place is styled with only a touch of Pioneertown's unique, ramshackle, faux-Western character. Of course, you're staying next to a movie set, so there's a little kitsch factor. But the place is tucked away from Highway 62's road noise, and you can enjoy the stars and the honky tonk from Pappy and Harriet's with a sense of something like rustic seclusion. The lack of a TV and phone were nice--and while cell phone reception wasn't perfect, our own phones still worked out there.
In sum, if you're planning to be in the area and want a fairly priced, unique experience, the Pioneertown Motel is a great way to go. We're happy we discovered this little gem, and are almost sure to stay here when we return.
This is one of the more surreal places to eat in Portland. The ambience / dining experience is a juxtaposition I find difficult to describe. On our visit, the food was generally very good, with lots of vegetarian options, if it wasn't blazingly spicy (which how we prefer our Indian food--which is more or less trad). The buffet price is what you'll find elsewhere, if you can find an Indian buffet for dinner in Portland. Again, the food was generally better than what we've had in our beloved hometown (which is weak for Indian, admittedly). We'll definitely be back to Namaste and will recommend a visit to others. Oh, and the mango soft serve is a funny, rather brilliant way to end the meal. Don't miss this restaurant if you think you might like to eat an Indian buffet in a weird space.
This place is owned by Winchell's. It's an instance of old corporations rebranding more than it's the latest in local Portland donut artistry. Don't get me wrong--it's quite all right, but it's just Winchell's 2.0. And yeah, donuts, in general, are good. I've eaten the donuts here before. But just be aware that this isn't, um, Heaven...
This is neither a review of the inn nor the dinner. We just had breakfast at the Shelburne on our way out of town, and our stop was certainly a review-worthy experience.
For one, the building is beautiful: lots of original woodwork, unique light fixtures, etc. There was a bit of a funky odor in the hotel lobby that many such older buildings have, which can be dealt with by ripping out all of the carpet from the 1980's and maybe stationing a bit of lavender here and there. But hey, the smell is in some way familiar and comforting, if not so fresh and clean.
The dining room is elegantly set. A whole army of well-heeled people might've eaten there, although we, in our sweatshirts and sandy shoes, were one of only a couple tables. We looked over the menu--a choice of a half-dozen breakfast dishes that all come with coffee, juice, potatoes, fruit, and pastry for $11.95. A reasonable price for the beach, and the dishes sounded really nice.
Our server, a middle-aged woman who seemed hurried by her eight other charges arrived with delicious fresh-squeezed orange juice while ordering around a teenaged apparently mute girl who we decided was the busser--which seemed like staffing overkill, until we learned of the reservation they were expecting.
The server was nice and the kitchen swift, but the lone waitress did more yelling than anyone I've dealt with in such a role since we lived in Philadelphia. When she went into the kitchen we heard her orders to the cook, how badly she wanted a cigarette, about the reservation for 12 people at 11 o'clock, and so on. When she emerged from the kitchen one time, she yelled across the room, inquiring if we wanted more coffee. The other eight diners knew all about our coffee needs, which was, if not charming, a little funny.
In any case, we learned that this was brisk business for the Shelburne, and it was a surprise to the server and the proprietor that they couldn't do this type of breakfast every day. Perhaps the best moment was when she took the half-pitcher of room temperature cream from an unbussed table and put it in front of us, saying, "There's a little more cream in there. Let me know if you need more." Now, I'm not naive enough to think that she'd have done anything but carry the little pitcher back into the kitchen and top if off with more cream from the refrigerator, but so much of the dining experience is about maintaining illusions that I was shocked she wasn't better at it. We were more than willing to suspend disbelief, yet she was oblivious to fairly obvious dining conventions (outside of busy diners, where yelling is to be expected).
This aside, the food was good (for the beach) and the kitchen/server swift. We had the sourdough pancakes, which were tasty, and a wild mushroom and cheese omelette. The omelette was oddly but excusably dusted with parmesan cheese, the potatoes a saffron color and perfectly done with tasty fennel seeds, and the muffin and fruit were nice touches. If you have about $30 to drop on breakfast for two, you'll get a truly decent meal here.
We may even look at staying here next time, judging by the other positive reviews. We probably won't take all our meals in the dining room, but we'll see about perhaps having one. Mysteriously, as we left around 11:30 am the waitress was still crowing about the reservation for 12, who at that point were a half an hour late. We heard her deliberating how best to set up for them. When we walked out, there was still no sign of a large party. For the Shelburne's sake, we hoped they were still going to show.
Everyone here was younger than me and had more facial hair. Well, except for some of the women. If you can't stand Portland's hordes of hipsters, then you'll be immediately turned off by practically all the clientele. If you're inured to the hipsters' incredibly stupid conversations and get to Bye and Bye's food and drink then you'll be very happy.
We plan to return. I had a solid IPA and the lady a very fine bourbon and spicy ginger beer (I don't know if this is a drink on the menu or if she ordered it to taste). We split the vegan chili dog, a bowl of barbecue tofu with greens, and the special--a vegan philly "chz" steak. It was all good--really good. The prices are predictable this-is-a-totally-sweet-bar prices--a buck or two more than you'd expect to pay elsewhere--but the space is great with ample seating. I'd expect to find this place in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, frankly--it reminds me of a vegan version of the Fette Sau. But again, we'll be back to eat and drink up and practice ignoring those around us in the very near future.
We saw Three Leg Torso here for my birthday. Three Leg Torso is a great Portland band. Tony Starlight's Supperclub/Lounge's drinking and dining details leave a lot to be desired--Tony wasn't there, so this review doesn't at all pertain to him.
First, our party was large. The chef was accommodating, although we ended up at three different tables. This meant that service was fairly slow. When it did arrive, it didn't offer much. The drinks/beers/wines range from $1 to $3 higher than your standard Portland prices. Buying bottles of wine appeared to be the way to go. In any case, I tried to order an Aviation and tonic. No dice. Then I tried Hendricks. No such luck. If you want to pay a premium for slowly served, inexpertly mixed cocktails with a limited bar, this is a fine place to drink. I personally should have forced down another quick drink before we left the house.
The food was inexplicably horrible. As with the drinks, the mark-up was steep, and the restaurant ran out of french fries before 8pm. How does a restaurant run out of french fries? Being a vegetarian, I ordered the pasta with a Caesar salad. The Caesar was a handful of pieces aged, sliced romaine served sans croutons, house-made dressing, or care. It was heartier, however, than the three relatively flavorless ravioli presented in a small pool of red sauce at the bottom of a large dish. Another friend ordered the same dish and took a picture with his fork on the plate, for perspective. It's a pretty funny photo. But to receive this for $15 isn't quite as funny. The burgers looked to be another story in terms of value, but, as I mentioned, I don't eat meat. This in mind, I continue to be amazed at how vegetarians tend to absorb some of the cost of pricey meat ingredients. Tony Starlight does not break from restaurant convention in this regard.
In the end, our party had a good time. The company and music were exceptional. The rest of the experience left good booze, decent food, and reasonable prices to be desired. I won't hurry back here, as we probably could've hired the band to play in our home and catered the event far better.
My second visit led to food. The good news is it was really cheap. And it wasn't bad. It was all fried, which didn't bother my party in the least. So there is no bad news and Duckett's is still a 4-star bar. I'm glad the other reviewer gave it three stars and probably won't be back, so that it won't become a lame Portland scene. Please don't come here and eat the cheap food and drink the decent beer (the PBR is really cheap, incidentally, and reasonably cold).
Allotting a particular number of stars to Penang is difficult. We had a very mixed experience. First, the beer selection was inexplicably bad. One can do far better than $2.75 Yuenglings in Chapel Hill. We didn't try any of the cocktails or wines on the menu. It was all pretty overpriced. This was a one or two star aspect of our visit.
Our server was actually decent. The menu is enormous and she was able to steer us to acceptable dishes (without squid, for example) with fairly knowledgeable remarks on particulars. She didn't bring us enough soy sauce with the sushi we ordered and, although we asked for our food extra spicy it wasn't, but I would give her three stars.
We ordered three things off different parts of the menu to get a sense of Penang's strengths. The thai rolls that we started off with were totally unremarkable. There was little spice or flavor discernible. They were crunchy and fried. The sauce was sweet, I think. One star for the appetizer.
The sushi gets two stars. In quality it's three star sushi, but it's very expensive (a dollar or three more per roll than nearby competition) and they gave us only a tiny shallow dish of soy sauce and a speck of wasabi with two rolls, and we had to ask for more. It was just okay, to be frank.
But the noodle dish we ordered saved this experience. It was phenomenal--delicious, vegetables and seasoning perfect, I would eat this again and again if Penang had anything else to offer. I would recommend any of the noodle dishes, based on this experience, because that seems to be the kitchen's expertise. Four or five stars.
Knowing what I know now, I might brave Penang again (especially for the lunch special, which looked like a better deal). But I'd be careful on my second visit. There is a lot of sub-par food and drinking to be done here, but the noodles are super. All said, I'm going with two stars, although I'm tempted to give it three... Maybe I'll write an update if we go back, to be fair.
Japan Express needs to change its name pronto. My suggestion is "Japan Kind of Slow," or simply, "Janky."
We stopped in after picking up groceries, interested in some quick and simple sushi and miso. A young man with Carolina blue basketball shorts took our order. A handful of people were scattered around the dining area, which was bright, with a flatscreen TV. We waited. We watched the moment of silence at the Apollo for Michael Jackson. Then we waited some more.
Unfortunately, our food finally arrived. The Krab in the California rolls tasted strongly of fish and we couldn't finish them. There was no dish to mix the wasabi with the soy sauce so we tried to sprinkle some on the vegetable rolls, which we were determined to eat. They were lackluster, but cheap. With our meal we had water out of styrofoam cups and cheap, drinkable miso soup.
We will never come here again. It wasn't unclean or unfriendly, just slow and pretty terrible. We'd gladly pay an extra couple of bucks to eat food that we could, well, eat.
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"Unfair and unbalanced"
Oakland, CA, Vereinigte StaatenYelper seit
Januar 2009Dinge, die ich mag
coffee, fish tacos, traveling, avocadosHier bin ich häufig anzutreffen
the Bay AreaHeimatort
Portland, OregonWenn ich nicht gerade yelpe, dann ...
I'm really alive.Warum du meine Beiträge unbedingt lesen solltest
Because it's a socially acceptable form of apathy.Was ich zuletzt gelesen habe
Mayakovksy's RevolverMein erstes Konzerterlebnis
Tom Petty...?Mein Lieblingsfilm
Dead Man, 400 BlowsErzähl's nicht weiter, aber...
This question sucks.Meine neueste Entdeckung