How to never get me to actually eat at your restaurant

I’ve heard some mixed reviews on Vindalho [website], on 21st and Division, and wanted to check it out to see what the fuss was all about. It presents self-described “Spice Route” cuisine (read:mostly a variety of Indian with some Indonesian leanings) for the gentrified yuppie set, and I’ve driven by the space and it looks promising.

I’m always on the lookout for Indian food in Portland, but have had limited success — I once attempted to dine at the Bombay Cricket Club without a reservation and was treated like a transgender, syphilitic shoe bomber. So I figured I’d give Vindalho a try.

Like a few Portland restaurants, it does not accept reservations. The owner himself ( says the restaurant features “the same egalitarian system we’ve been trumpeting all along…”, which means that, presumably, only societal elites own telephones.


However, I wanted to dine there on Valentine’s Day, and thought perhaps that would be a day where they forego their proletariat reservation policy and imbue some order into the chaos that is dining out on the day of St. Valentine’s (i.e. amateur hour – but when the wifey wants a perfunctory dining out occasion who am I to argue?).

“Hi, I was wondering if you are taking reservations for Valentine’s Day.”

[snide voice] “No—we don’t take reservations.”

“Yes, I’ve heard that, but I thought on Valentine’s—”


Egalitarian, indeed.

Update: 8/2/06

I understand Vidalho now takes reservations. I eat my words. And hopefully will soon eat their food.

One thought on “How to never get me to actually eat at your restaurant”

  1. I’d rather eat at a real Indian restaurant than Vindhalo. The spices taste somewhat like Lauro’s Kitchen, the other restaurant from the same owner, only they work better with “Mediterranean” food.

    The first time I went to Vindahlo, I was cold the whole time. I ordered the saag panir. Nothing too outstanding. The next time I went, thought if I ordered the special, rather than the few typical Indian foods they have on their menu, I would like it better. I ordered the steelhead salmon wlith lentils . The lentils tasted overwhelmingly like cinnamon. The fish was cooked very well, nice and moist, and the rice was sweet. Not bad, but not really typical Indian either.

    The restaurant is loud, with some kind of ethnic music banging loudly in my head, making conversation even louder.

    Unfortunately, our favorite Indian restaurant in Gresham just closed down, and we are going to have to look downtown for a substitute; not a natural fit for an outer eastern suburbanite. But never the less, Vindhalo just doesn’t do it if you like authentic Indian spices.

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