Portland Oregon-Based Digital Media

Toney Bento

Posted by Brooke in Bento | Sushi - (0 Comments)

toneybento

1423 SE 37th

Toney Bento on Urbanspoon

Date of visit: June 28, 2010
Cost for 2 (with tip): $20

Our “new” options on Hawthorne are limited, so there have been a lot of trips to the same old places lately, but yesterday we finally decided to get back on blog-wagon and try out something new. Toney Bento is tucked just off the strip on 37th, and is one of the few places left on our list that isn’t a dingy-looking sports bar. In fact, it looks quite appealing and even has sweet samurai swords on display. How can you go wrong with swords!? Despite the name, there is also more on the menu than bento, specifically a sushi bar. The menu is quite long in fact, and after staring at it for awhile I finally opted for one of the many combo meals.

A decent value at around $8, the Hawaiian combro included a spicy shrimp roll, a giant bowl of udon miso soup and a salad. On the other side of the table Jared went with the Vegan combo: an avocado roll, pot stickers, rice, salad, and a small bowl of miso. Seemed safe enough. As usual, Jared didn’t have much to say, this time blaming the food for being “too basic” for him to formulate a real opinion on the place. But I have no problem forming an opinion, so here goes.

The soup come out first and started things off well. It was simple udon noodles in regular miso, and was actually quite tasty. Unfortunately though, it would be the highlight of my meal. The shrimp roll was made with pre-cooked (and probably previously frozen) shrimp meat and if the sauce it was in was spicy, I couldn’t tell. There was also avocado and cucumber, but overall, it tasted no better than the stuff you get in the grocery store: like it had been made and then refrigerated for hours, if not days. The salad was also a miss for me. Basically just chopped napa cabbage in sweetened rice vinegar with a garnish of carrots and black celery seeds, it was not particularly good as far as consistency or flavor were concerned.

Overall, Toney Bento proved to be a place I would have been fine with never eating at (but at least it didn’t make me sick, or anything!) I think the lesson here is when a place has “bento” in the name, probably best to stick with chicken terriyaki.

Speed: Fast
Veggie options: A couple veggie combos, fairly basic veggie rolls

Vegan Combo

Vegan Combo

Hawaii Special

Hawaii Special

Mio Sushi

Posted by Brooke in Sushi - (0 Comments)

mio

3962 SE Hawthorne Blvd

www.miosushi.com

Mio Sushi on Urbanspoon

Date of visit: October 9, 2009

Cost for two (with tip) $36.10

Sometimes at the end of a long, hard week, you just have to treat yourself to a really bitchin’ lunch. For me, sushi is the ultimate extravagance because I am 100% incapable of doing anything less than completely over ordering. In fact the only real difference between sushi lunch and such dinner is I am much less likely to opt for a saki bomb mid day, so I guess that makes it a bit more affordable.

Mio has been a favorite sushi place in Portland for awhile now, and actually has several locations around the metro area. One of the major appeals of Mio is the dining rooms are decent sized, so even during the dinner rush, you can usually get seated quickly. This is not to say it’s not a busy place, and on our visit the dining room was nearly full and the servers were buzzing around and multi tasking like crazy.

Though we were no offered any specific lunch menu, there are several affordable bento boxes on the menu which would probably be perfect for lunch. However, as I’ve already mentioned, I don’t go small when it comes to sushi, so we ordered cucumber salad, miso soup and two rolls each. Another thing I love about Mio is the number and variety of rolls they offer. I always go with at least one “crispy” roll, rolled and then tempura battered and fried, this time it was the Crunch Roll, with spicy tuna with avocado. The best part is the sweet sauce drizzled over top of it. I also got a yellow tail roll with avacado. The fish is always fresh and “spicy” isn’t too spicy, which I like. As for the vegetarian, there are several veggie rolls with more variety than many places which simply offer the standard cucumber, avocado choices. Today he got the Super Vegi roll and the Sweet Vegi roll and both were delicious as expected.

Since it’s a chain, Mio definitely has a bit of chain feel, with weird little drink and dessert cards on the table, and if it’s an authentic Japanese experience you are after, it’s not it. But if delicious and realatively affordable sushi is what you want, Mio certainly delivers.

Veggie options: Better than most

Speed: Fresh not fast

Miso Soup

Miso Soup

Cucumber Salad

Cucumber Salad

Sushi!

Sushi!