Sherman's Food Adventures: Tanaka PDX

Tanaka PDX

After some healthy and delicious eats from Carioca Bowls, we made our way over to Tanaka PDX located in Downtown Portland.  Upon walking into the place, we were greeted with a spacious dining room with communal seating and high ceilings as well as floor to ceiling windows.  As for the menu, they feature a variety of Japanese fare including those viral fruit sandwiches as well as a host of katsu sammies as well.

As much as the plight of Portland's downtown has been in the news, the area around Tanaka was fine.  We got straight to the Sandos including Chicken with yuzu egg salad, Spicy Fish and Toasted Egg Salad.  With toasted milk bread, the texture was more robust, but it helped hold all of the ingredients inside.  Mind you, the creamy egg salad did leak out from the sides (but that was expected).  Loved the addition of yuzu as it really lightened up the salad.  The spicy katsu sauce really added kick to the crispy fish.

We also had the classic Pork Katsu Sando with cabbage slaw as well as the Breakfast Sando with egg, cheese and bacon.  Being slightly thinner than the chicken, the pork cutlet was more firm, yet was uniformly more crunchy due to the meat-to-panko ratio.  Loved the crunchy and bright slaw.  As for the breaky sando, it was pretty standard and had a nice runny egg with plenty of meat.

As good as the sandos were, I was pretty impressed with the Chicken Katsu Nuggets with a variety of dips including Karashi Honey Mustard,  Tanaka Katsu,  Shishito Ranch, Spicy Tanaka Katsu & 
Curry Aioli. I found the panko coating to be crispy and not greasy.  The meat was moist, but the real draw here was the dips.  I particularly enjoyed the spicy BBQ as it had a real kick to go with the sweetness and tang.
We also had a Miso Caesar Salad as well as some Fries with curry aioli.  With the addition of miso, the salad did have that rich fermented saltiness.  Hence it had a little something something that made it interesting.  As for the fries, they were crispy with soft potato goodness inside.  The side of curry aioli was creamy with only a mild hint of spice and sweetness.

As the defacto dessert due to their fruitiness, the Fruit Sandos featured strawberry, orange and kiwi.  With airy whipped cream and fresh fruit, these ate very much like a dessert, especially with bread that masqueraded as sponge cake.  These were a fine finish to a delicious meal that wasn't very complicated, but executed well.  These could be classified as unique eats that won't break the bank.

*All food and beverages were complimentary for this post*

The Good:
- Fully-stuffed and delicious sandos
- Reasonably-priced
- Spacious dining room
The Bad:
- Can get busy and seats are at a premium
- Parking is a bit difficult to find 


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