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Russian-Uzbeki Restaurant Uzbekistan Extinguishes Its Grills

As Russian and Eastern European food continues to soar in popularity, one restaurant loses its lease

Restaurant Uzbekistan
Restaurant Uzbekistan
Yelp/Debbie L.

As the team at WWeek reports, "Portland used to have an Uzbek restaurant." But on March 11, Restaurant Uzbekistan (aka Uzbek Grill), located at 18488 E Burnside St., defaulted on its lease—putting an end to its lamb kabobs, steamed beef and lamb dumplings, borscht, and Uzbeki pilaf.

A note on the restaurant's door discovered by WWeek says the landlord "has terminated the tenant's right to possession and retaken possession of these premises by reason of the tenant's default on the lease."

Restaurant Uzbekistan received positive reviews from multiple media outlets, including The Oregonian and WWeek. In April 2014, the Oregonian's lead food critic Michael Russell described its manti dumplings as "outstanding" and wrote, "It might not look like much from the road, but inside, this sleepy restaurant, surely the only Portland-area spot specializing in Uzbeki food, and one of the few focused on Soviet cuisine at all, fills an important gap in our restaurant landscape."

WWeek mirrored this sentiment in today's coverage, writing, "Restaurant Uzbekistan was also Portland's finest example of a sit-down spot serving eastern European fare by immigrants from those countries, at costs so low one felt almost guilty ordering it."

Despite this press, as well as the fact that Russian food is all the rage right now, Restaurant Uzbekistan has closed for good.