Dinner In Portland: Jake’s Famous Crawfish

After breakfast at Voodoo Doughnuts and a productive afternoon at the Nike TechStars Accelerator, my colleague and I decided on Jake’s Famous Crawfish for dinner.  Jake’s has been around for over a century and has some interesting history.  About 40 years ago the restaurant was purchased by Bill McCormick.  He hired Doug Schmick to be the manager.  If those names sound familiar, they started the seafood chain McCormick & Schmick’s together.

Jake's Famous

The restaurant definitely has some good history and a nice ambience.  Tall backed wooden booths frame up the multiple rooms that Jake’s has filled over the years.  Since we were in Oregon, we decided to stick with local wine choices, especially with so many good ones.

Ponzi Pinot Gris and Acrobat Pinot Gris started us off.  The wine list is very detailed and includes tasting notes for every single wine by the glass.  Side note, Acrobat is produced by one of my favorite Oregon wineries, King Estate.  To pair with that we had some raw oysters, which went well with the wines.

The hit of the evening was steamed mussels with a Puttanesca sauce.  I didn’t get a great picture, but the Puttanesca was flavorful and spicy, the mussels fresh and very tasty.

Two red wines, Del Rio and Panther Creek Pinot Noir accompanied entrees, which included seared tuna and a pot of crawfish (of course).

Jake's Famous


Jake's Famous


The tuna was enjoyable, but the crawfish were just okay.  The flavor wasn’t bad at the bottom of the bowl, but the crawfish were all on top and didn’t soak up any of the sauce.

The service was attentive and personable.  All things considered, I would definitely return and recommend it for seafood lovers visiting Portland.


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  1. Jake’s – at least pre-Portlandia – is really classic Portland. When I celebrated the publication of a book I wrote on Portland many years ago, it was Jake’s that I chose as the most appropriate venue. There are now many, many restaurants here that appeal to both local and visiting foodies, but Jake’s remains a favorite. They have a great happy hour at the bar, too. Glad you enjoyed and kudos for selecting OR wines!

  2. So you should make a trip to Bald Head on August 14th for my King Estate Wine Dinner! I got your ferry ticket covered and your dinner! I have Ponzi Pinot Noir, Acrobat Rose, and NxNW Chard on my list and all are great!
    Hope you and the family are well!

    1. Woody, family is great! Hope your clan is good, too. We already have plans for the 14th but we do need to make a trip down. I’ll hold you to the promise of a free ferry ticket. 😉

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