The Original Dinerant

Taco Burger. TACO BURGER.
Taco Burger. TACO BURGER.

300 SW 6TH Avenue
Portland OR 97204

So many people I’ve met so far in Portland swear by The Original. I figured it was high time to check it out, so Nik and I grabbed a couple friends and headed there for a late dinner! This place is open late, so it’s perfect for an after work meal or drinks with friends!
The first thing I noticed upon walking in was how modern and fun this restaurant is! There is a huge glass staircase leading to a second story, which I believe is where the bar lives, but I’m not sure because we didn’t go upstairs. Our hostess was a bit awkward because she saw us standing in the doorway and just kind of stared at us for a little bit until I actually said “Uh…can we have a table?”. Bad service throws me off, but I try to be understanding. I’ve been the new server before, it’s scary!

Loved the feel of this place.
Loved the feel of this place.

We ordered some house-made sodas, because they had some interesting flavors! I had a honey-rosemary one, and one of my friends had a rhubarb soda that was incredible! I’d definitely go back for that one. Nik ordered “The Dude”, which was a milkshake with Kahlua, vodka, and vanilla ice cream. So. Good. Damn.
One of our friends ordered the Taco Burger (pictured up top), which was a  spiced highland oak grass-fed beef burger topped with generous helpings of guacamole, cotija and cheddar cheese, fried jalapeños, and chipotle aioli. Holy yum! It really tasted like a taco without the crunch, which to be honest is what we like about tacos…unless you’re in to soft tacos, which I am. So this burger was awesome. The patty itself was flavorful and with a nice kick to it from the taco seasoning. I loved the cotija cheese in addition to the cheddar as well. There could have been more guac, but I’m from California so I should really just stop complaining about the guacamole here because it’s a lost cause. Really good burger!

Reuben Sandwich and Awesome fries
Reuben Sandwich and Awesome fries

Nik ordered the Reuben, which was a good, solid sandwich. The flavors in this were fantastic, and I loved how melty the cheese was and that the amount of meat wasn’t overpowering. Sometimes you just get too much meat on a sandwich (I know, blasphemy), but really, I enjoy having them even so I can enjoy the textural differences between the pastrami and the gooey cheese and sauce! The sauerkraut was great as well. The real stand-out was the fries! Very crispy and with the perfect amount of greasy goodness! I loved these!

Crispy Chicken Sandwich
Crispy Chicken Sandwich

Our other friend ordered the Crispy Chicken Sandwich. The chicken was fried and it was not greasy at all! It was extremely crunchy. It came with the usual, lettuce, tomato, onion, as well as some honey Dijon spread. The brioche bun was a great touch and it added a rustic feel to the sandwich. Great flavor throughout!

Lava Lake Lamb French Dip
Lava Lake Lamb French Dip and Poutine!

I ordered the Lava Lake Lamb French Dip with herbed goat cheese, caramelized onions, mushrooms, and lamb jus all stacked on a hoagie. I was really excited for this sandwich, but I’m sad to say it was a little bland. The lamb itself didn’t taste like it had been seasoned at all, which was a shame because all those tasty toppings had nothing to bring them all together. I salted it a bit and it was a lot better after that, but I would have preferred my first bite to be flavor heaven. After all, I love lamb! While the sandwich lacked in flavor, my fries were pretty rockin’ because I upgraded them to Poutine. If you don’t know what Poutine is, I don’t know how you’ve been a human for this long. Shame! It’s basically fries topped with cheese curds and smothered in gravy. Yeah. You’ll thank me in the long run. These were killer. Great flavor!
All in all, I think I’ll go back to this place. The food wasn’t spectacular, but it was solid and dependable, and the drinks we had were awesome! The atmosphere and the experience were worth coming back for. I’d love to check out the bar eventually because I’ve heard that’s where the magic happens! Our entrees were all around $13 with the Reuben taking the cake at $11. There was a lot of food, so I think it was worth the price!


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