Some people say “craw” and some people say “cray,” but however you pronounce it, crawfish are what Jake’s is famous for. And not just any crawfish, but crawfish that come exclusively from Lake Billy Chinook in Oregon’s high desert country east of the Cascades. The crawfish season starts there about the end of May and lasts until October. At Jake’s, the crawfish are made into a spicy New Orleans/Cajun gumbo-style stew (a good idea, since crawfish aren’t the most flavorful of crustaceans). There’s a daily list of fresh fish choices, most of them cooked in a fairly unadorned manner. The “Classics” menu is overpriced, but other entrees are good values. Even if the food won’t win any culinary awards, Jake’s definitely offers a pretty extraordinary ambience for Portland—an authentic turn-of-the-20th-century restaurant with a gleaming mahogany bar shipped around Cape Horn in the 1880s. There are lovely nude ladies posed above, scenic wall murals, and a wonderfully old-fashioned dining room with tablecloths and professional waiters (you won’t see a tattoo or a nose ring on any of them). I would recommend enjoying Jake’s unique atmosphere at lunch, when the prices drop by half because the menu is simpler. Another option is happy hour, always popular at Jake’s thanks to the gorgeous bar, when you can order plates for $3 to $7. Jake’s Bar and Grill at 611 SW 10th Ave. ([tel] 503/220-1850) is under the same management and offers many of the same dishes but lacks the original Jake’s inimitable ambience.
Portland OR› Restaurant
Jake’s Famous Crawfish
401 SW 12th Ave
Our Rating Neighborhood Downtown Hours Sun–Thurs 11:30am–10pm; Fri–Sat 11:30am–11pm; Sun 3–10pm. Phone 503/226-1419 Prices Main courses $12–$19 lunch, $20–$47 dinner Cuisine Type Seafood Web site Jake’s Famous Crawfish
Map401 SW 12th Ave Portland OR
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.