In Portland for a brief stay and visiting relatives, I offered to take them to dinner in return for a bed.
Having lived in the Portland area for a number of years but longer ago than I care to remember, I was familiar with the paternal Ringside on W. Burnside. And I was reminded of them on my flight from Frankfurt in an ad for Great American Steakhouses in the flight magazine. Not being able to access a prime rib dinner in Cairo, my mouth immediately started watering when I saw the advertisement.
But being on the south east side of Portland, I was happy to be reminded that Ringside had a restaurant on 140th and Glisan. We made reservations for a Friday night and when the appointed date and time arrived, we took off. Traffic was somewhat heavy and when it became clear that we were going to be a few minutes late, I called the restaurant to inform them. "No problem, we'll just move your reservation back fifteen minutes." I was assured I would not be shot on arrival.
Arriving, we found a huge parking lot and heard lots of outside chatter as we walked up to the front door. Nice big building and well appointed. The bar and outside dining looked spacious and well visited. We chose to dine inside.
After being seated, beverage orders were taken and we ordered a side of onion rings. There were three of us and the waiter advised us that a small order was more than sufficient. He was correct. The menu is one page. I recall one choice for poultry wiener schnitzel (odd) and the rest of the menu choices consisted of seafood and beef, plus the usual choices of salads and soups.
My dining partners ordered large butterflied prawns and a hamburger. Not just any hamburger, but a Ringside hamburger! I order the prime rib from the special corner of the menu - soup or salad, an entree and dessert - all for $33.50. And I was not disappointed in the prime rib. The "baked onion soup" was bogus. The menu stated a baked cheese crust. I asked the waiter to assure me that it would not have the funky piece of bread floating on top. After receiving the assurances that it had a crust of cheese (like an official onion soup should have) , I ordered it and got a cup of onion soup with a funky piece of bread floating on top with a barely there coating of cheese. Totally bogus, but unfortunately the norm rather than the exception as I travel the world. Maybe in retirement I'll start a chef's school focusing on one food item: real onion soup. And I'll bring in the true onion soup connoisseur from the Sheraton Abha in Saudi Arabia to teach them.
But I survived. The meal for three came to $110 with one alcoholic drink and tip - very reasonable! The waitstaff were pleasant and efficient. I recommend the Ringside East for a pleasant dining experience.
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