Food Vegan

India Oven – Location, Location, Location

India Oven Now on SE Belmont

I always had a love hate relationship with Kinta Restaurant.  I really valued having a vegetarian restaurant in my neighborhood with spicy ethnic food and an ever changing array of fresh vegetable choices.  Unfortunately the idea of Kinta always seemed better than the reality.  Frequently messed up orders and lack of a clear vision plagued Kinta, combined with the hefty competition with a flood of nearby Thai restaurants spelled the end for this local eatery.

Kinta’s loss has been India Oven‘s gain.  Previously located in the dungeon that is the Hawthorne Theater, India Oven moved from SE Hawthorne to SE Belmont into its ideal new location. Even though I am a fan of India food I hadn’t visited India Oven in its previous location. The Hawthorne Theater seems like a dump from the outside, so it was hard to imagine enjoying a meal inside.

Days after their move to SE Belmont, I made a point to give India Oven a try. Even though they had completely relocated their business, I found the service and food at India Oven to be right on the mark.  My meal consisted on Vegetable Pakoras, Papadams, Dahl, Vegetable Byrani and Aloo Gobi (which I think is one of the dishes that is a true barometer of a good Indian restaurant).  All the dishes were well spiced with medium portion sizes. Of the three I enjoyed the Dahl the most with perfectly cooked lentils with nice balanced flavor. The Aloo Gobi was solid, not the best I’ve ever had, but well balanced and tasty.  The Pakoras were a nice mix of vegetables deeply fried and absolutely delicious. I also quite enjoyed the Vegetable Byrani which was the largest portion of the dishes. The final bill was in line with many of the medium priced local businesses but notably higher than going out for local Thai.

The best thing going for India Oven is its new location. Perfectly placed in the heart of the Belmont Business District India Oven should find success where Kinta failed. Even though they had only been open a few days the restaurant was fuller than I had ever seen Kinta.

India Oven is located at 3450 SE Belmont St.


On Portland Resumes

Spring Arrives in Portland
Spring Arrives in Portland

As many of you may have noticed I’ve taken a short hiatus from On Portland. I felt like I needed to step back for a while and make sure I was moving the site in the right direction. There are so many great Portland sites that I don’t want On Portland to just be another voice in the same chorus.

To me the definitive “What to do in Portland this weekend?” site is PDXPipeline. They cover more events and goings on than anyone. As much as I enjoy covering the occasional event I just don’t see On Portland being an event site.

In terms of neighborhood coverage there is nothing that even comes close to neighborhood notes.  If it’s happening in Portland, anywhere in Portland then neighborhood notes has it covered.

Beyond those there are great Portland news sites like Oregonlive (whose Oregon Reddit I use as a key source to keep my finger on the pulse of the city)  the Examiner and my topix feed which catches most news sources in the city.

So I keep asking myself, where does On Portland fit in?  The answer keeps coming back to the reason why I started this site. I think living, working and playing in the city of Portland is something really extraordinary. Having traveled through most of the states in the union and lived on both coasts I can say that Portland offers things that other cities simply don’t. It’s unique in the truest sense of the word.

So as I go forward with this site I intend to try to capture what is special about living in this city.  The people, places and experiences that make this a place that I call home.  It’s a journey and I’m glad you’re following me as I go on it.

Today was one of those true Portland moments for me – sitting up at one of the tables behind the Starbucks at Pioneer Courthouse Square, eating Indian food from The Real Taste of India, soaking up some of the first rays of spring and watching the world go by.