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Onstad Says Shut Up and Eat; User's Guide to Ava Gene's

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Forget the Subway footlong controversy. The Mercury's Chris Onstad starts his review of SE Gladstone's sandwich shop Shut Up & Eat with the following anecdote about how size matters:

"The sandwich was such a loaded, jaw-dropping zeppelin that I went to the nearby magazine rack, grabbed a National Geographic, and took a picture of the thing dwarfing the magazine. (It wouldn't have wrapped halfway around.)"

That sandwich, the Italian hoagie, and Shut Up & Eat's Broad St. Bomber cheesesteak are both dubbed "masterpieces" and that go down surprisingly "cleanly" (messiness-wise). The cheesesteak's dubbed "a handsome, rich, nearly creamy sandwich," a capocollo with rapini and cauliflower deemed a "knockout." Sides are more of a downer, but ultimately, "Shut Up and Eat was clearly a good restaurant jammed into a cart, and it's a pleasure to see the concept at work in a place more diners can enjoy it." [Mercury]

For its review of Duane Sorenson's upscale Italian restaurant Ava Gene's, WWeek offers a "user's guide" of sorts for the restaurant's "deliberately opaque menu," dubbed "difficult but rewarding." Once the Italian menu is translated, fire-roasted brussels sprouts and a Tuscan Cavalry salad are the veggie winners; "elegantly simple" pasta is deemed the highlight of the menu. On the downside: Meaty entrees prove inconsistent ("Ava's entrees seem like Woodsman B-sides"). [WWeek]

The positive press continues to roll in for Lauretta Jean's SE Division pie-shop. Eat Beat specifically heads over to review its weekend brunch, which emerges as "one of Portland's best." The restaurant's version of eggs benedict is crowned the "star of the show," pushing Lauretta Jean's to "the top of our no-wait brunch list, and a new gem on Division's budding Eat Street." [Eat Beat]
· All Previous Week in Reviews [Eater PDX]

Shut Up And Eat PDX

3848 SE Gladstone Street, Portland, OR 97202