6:45: we just arrived at Pok Pok Portland, I asked Nancy if it was jam action PACKED with people waiting for a table, what should we do? She answered, we’ll wait… It better be good…
6:50: I’m in a pretty good mood, there’s a bit of a wait… 1.5-2 hours. Should be sooner than expected. At least they have a bar (Whiskey Soda Lounge Portland) across the street, which serves the same Ike Vietnamese Chicken Wings as Pok Pok. Looking forward to it.
7:15: Ordered viet coffee, it’s weaksauce but that’s ok… There was more ice than actual coffee. Not the best caffine if you need to stay awake! They are probably better with cocktails. The “drinking vinegars“ was pretty good… I guess… If you like lychee syrup. Please stir vigorously to mix the saturated sugar.
Plaa Lek Thawt Krob 3: Deep fried dried anchovies with sri racha sauce. I wasn’t expecting much of these little fishies. I wasn’t even expecting them to be small. But seriously, TINY is an understatement. I can easily buy a pound bag of these in Chinatown for less.
Ike’s Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings (regular or spicy) 12.50: Same wings as the infamous chicken wings across the street at Pok Pok. We ordered spicy. So what is the big deal or the hype anyways? Basically some wings marinated in fish sauce, heavy soy, very salty that is charred and even slightly dry. I can’t believe we waited for 2 hours to try this. FML
8:15: We tried to inquire about the status of our table. Our server was rude and told us, “it says 1.5-2 hours, just wait!” We drove for all this way from Vancouver for 6 hours, reading reviews it was good, waited for this long… we debated whether we should call it quits and leave. Alas, we stayed till the bitter end.
8:30: Servers came by repeatedly asking if we were still working on the wings and want to kick us out. It’s windy and cold and the place wasn’t packed. Clearly I am not in the position to wait outside for my table across the street to clear up.
8:50: it is 2 hours, we were about to leave. Grab pho or McDonald’s for all I cared. Another server came by and told us our table was ready. Our wait was not 1.5 – 2 hours. Please gauge using the longest time on the slip!
Kudos, for Pok Pok Portland to utilize a bar location across the street to lock in customers. Once you’re in so deep, you do wonder if it’s worth it to leave or just to tough it out. I’ve learnt my lesson, to move on… Sometimes it’s simply not worth it.
Whiskey Soda Lounge was alright on its own. Not the best, but I suppose it’s a swanky place for the area it is in. Havana (Commercial Drive) or The Union Bar (Chinatown Strathcona) in Vancouver beats this any day!!
Now let’s see if Pok Pok Portland lives up to its name. We heard this restaurant Pok Pok is one of the best in town. (Actually there’s another in NYC too)
3131 SE Division St
Portland, OR 97202