Hawthorne Fish House reels in customers with free kids’ meals on Mondays.
With a growing toddler who can easily eat adult-sized meals, our family is on the hunt for great restaurant deals. And Hawthorne Fish House fits the bill.
This Southeast institution has several things going for it. They know how to cater to the short set. They offer a wide variety of sustainable seafood — not just the usual cod and halibut, but yellow perch, walleye, oysters and catfish too. And they offer a gluten-free beer batter in addition to other g-free menu items.
At lunch and dinner on Mondays, kids get their pick of six menu options for free. And the side dish choices include actual vegetables — a huge plus. But the thing that impressed me most was the fact that they brought a covered water glass for my 3-year-old that had a short straw. I have taken to carrying around a pair of scissors in my purse to snip down the too long-for-a-toddler straws that often accompany kid’s cups at restaurants, but I didn’t need them here. They also quickly brought out crayons and a kids menu to color.
Since the evening was nice, we ate on the patio. A fat neighborhood cat wandered around the tables, delighting my daughter and the other kids dining outside. We had arrived in time for happy hour and scored another fantastic deal: huge 20-ounce pours of local brews for only $4.
My husband, who is never happier than when a heaping plate of fried seafood is in front of him, devoured the Tugboat combo of cod, walleye, oysters, catfish and fries ($17.95). He liked the light, rice-flour breading and thought the fish was cooked perfectly. I sampled two fish tacos ($8.95). The Baja cod was garnished with cheddar, cabbage and salsa. The southwest was topped with lettuce, cheddar and a smoky, spicy, chipotle sour cream. Ideally I would have opted for the crunchy cabbage and spicy sour cream together, but the tacos were satisfying and quite filling. The big, messy onion rings ($5.95) were a hit with the table. My daughter nibbled at her fried cod and made a sizable dent in the mountain of corn and peas served on the side.
My only semi-complaint was that when our bill came, the kids’ meal was on it. I pointed it out to our server and she quickly took it off with apologies. As we exited through the main dining room, I noticed how many families were filling the booths. And that’s not a surprise: Hawthorne Fish House delivers fresh, tasty meals for grown-ups and knows how to please kids, too.
Hawthorne Fish House, 4343 SE Hawthorne Blvd., hours vary. 503-548-4434, hawthornefishhouse.com
Vita Café: Serving up hearty tempeh wraps and vegan nachos to the Alberta Arts district, Vita Café also features a $1 kids happy hour from 5-7 pm everyday. 3023 NE Alberta, vita-cafe.com
Portland Brewing Company Taproom: Lots of Widmer on tap for the adults, but kiddos 12 and younger can get a free meal on Sundays at Portland Brewing Company with an adult meal purchase. 2730 NW 31st Ave., portlandbrewing.com
Santa Fe Taqueria: PDX kindie music legend Mr. Ben packs ’em in every Wednesday evening from 5-6 pm at this Nob Hill New Mexican-inspired spot, and for every adult meal you
buy, one kid meal comes free, all night long. We recommend the tasty prawn ceviche for a lighter option. 831 NW 23rd Ave., santafetaqueria.com