The Pacific Northwest is known for its fresh local seafood. In order to try and convince me to stay out in Oregon, my vegetarian boyfriend did a little meatatarian reconnaissance. He asked around to find a good seafood spot in Portland. Jake's came up on more than one occasion. I wasn't entirely convinced until we mentioned the name at breakfast. One of the other hotel guests remarked, "It's good. HE likes it." She pointed to her husband. The man leaned back in his chair, eyes partly closed, and rumbled to himself, "The bouillabaisse. Oh the bouillabaisse." His eyes were rolling back as he rubbed his belly.
Later that day we headed to downtown Portland to check out Powell's and to try out the seafood (or rather, I tried the seafood; my boyfriend sacrificially just had a salad for dinner.) I knew exactly what I wanted.
In a very short amount of time the waitress brought by a large steaming bowl chock full of fresh seafood. She also brought a tacky plastic bib with a cartoon of a crawfish on it. Ignoring the teasing comments, I suited up and dug in.
The broth was light, herby and just a little bit spicy. The mussels and clams were fresh and perfectly steamed. The shrimp tasted better than the stuff we get on the East coast and the gigantic crab legs were DELISH. I've heard that in the NW you can get a variety of salmon. I'm not sure which variety they added to the soup, but it was really good -- very light, juicy and tasty.
I ate beyond the point of no return and felt rather ill for the next day or so (I think I might be slightly allergic to seafood!) Even so, I would say the trip was worth it.
And yes, I would go back to Oregon.
Image lifted from wikipedia.com
Jake's Famous Crawfish
401 SW 12th Ave.
Portland, Oregon 97205
1-888-344-6861 toll free