rolls so big I had to use my hands!

Trust me: if you’re in the neighborhood, you need to stop at Miyamoto and try their Nigiri and Norimaki. It’s just off Stark, on SE 81st.

Then again, if you are not in the Montavilla area, you need to get yourself there. You should make a day of it, because there are so many places that are worth your time to visit. The Montavilla Farmer’s Market will continue every Sunday through October. The Bipartisan Cafe is the comfortable neighborhood coffee shop to get your Pacific Northwest java on. The Academy Theater is a treat for the whole family at just $4 adults/$3 kids to get in. You’ll need to grab a tray to carry your beer and wine in along with your food and candy.  And if you want to watch the movie without the little ones, childcare is available. Flying Pie Pizzeria makes the best pizza in town with an active staff that provides a show while you wait, and pizza for your movie. There’s the awesome Salty’s Dog and Cat Shop pet supply store, Paperdoll stationery shop, and on the other side of 82nd is the GIGANTIC Monticello Antique Marketplace (in competition with her granddaughter for the main reason why my mother keeps coming back to Portland).

inside Miyamoto

All these businesses (and of course many more) are smack between two parks: The Montavilla Portland Public Park, and the huge, high, and uncomparable Mount Tabor Park (the dormant volcano is currently hosting an exciting bicycle racing series, Velo on the Volcano every Wednesday night. Click here if you want to see some pics from July 1st).

And if all this doesn’t bring you in, consider Miyamoto. The owners of Roscoe’s on the corner were convinced to clear out their storage room and open up a sushi shop. Open only three weeks so far, they are jammed daily. They haven’t even had time to erect a proper restaurant sign yet. They haven’t advertised. Actually, I get the sense that they’re just trying to keep the fresh fish, rice and seaweed moving across the counter to their hungry customers.

So you should go, and volunteer to paint them a sign or something. And bring your spare patio table and chairs from before you upgraded, because they’ve got space for outdoor seating. …but don’t get the impression that this lovely shop has been slapped together on a whim. It’s classy, clean, and comfortable.

Let the food convince you though, and eat! You need to order and eat. The portions are large, for what you may typically expect for sushi. We left there stuffed to the gills. The prices are so reasonable, we left a larger tip than usual. Even so, we still spent less than we were expecting.

While we were there, we talked with Kevin, Renee, and owner Quinn, who made us feel immediately at ease. Renee is fun to talk to and exquisitely attentive. Kevin focuses on putting together the best of what they’ve got to serve in attractive arrangements, whether you’re dining or in taking out. Quinn moves fast and manages to keep track of everything going on while simultaneously ready to say hello and answer your questions the moment the need arises.

I should add some “getting here” tips. Don’t use 82nd Street – yucky yucky. Take the Stark/Washington exit off I-205 if you’re coming from north or south. And use Stark, yes, Stark street, coming from east or west. It’s a lovely and smooth route which is nearly always clear of traffic congestion. Another important point: in Montavilla, Stark and Washington are parallel one-way streets, so you may need to make a left turn to get onto Stark and begin soaking up everything we have to offer.

Look out Portland, right behind Mississippi and Alberta, Montavilla’s the next up-and-coming neighborhood.

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