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“Your Old School Cafeteria Was Never Like This!”

McMenamins Kennedy School
Ranked #81 of 4,400 Restaurants in Portland
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$0 - US$20
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Groups, Special Occasion Dining, Bar Scene, Child-friendly
Dining options: After-hours, Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Reviewed 29 November 2016

Probably the best example of how much a sense of atmosphere can make a restaurant that we’ve ever run into, McMenamins was yet another great recommendation from local friends (trust the locals!). The Courtyard Restaurant is great fun in the middle of the larger McMenamins experience; once you’ve found the right door, you pass beneath glass-and-metal custom light fixtures, taking inspiration from some mix of old censers and kaleidoscopes, on your way to your table. Expect to spend much of your meal staring at the décor and being greatly entertained.

The food was rather good overall – between our group of four, we got the Berry Patch Salad, Hogshead Burger, Chicken Marsala, a cup of butternut squash soup and a personal pizza with pepperoni and sausage, and all pretty much hit the mark. The burger was a bit underdone, but the recommended Cajun tater tots were delicious. Everything came out presented beautifully and the chicken marsala was probably the best of the lot. The drinks selection definitely impressed – with many local beers on tap, one of our party greatly enjoyed the recommended Ruby Ale, while another ordered a custom mixed drink with the house rum. (We were pleasantly surprised to find that drink charged on the final bill cheaper than any mixed drink on the menu, effectively just as a serving of the house rum.) The wine list also ran more than two full pages, with many tempting local options, though we didn’t get wine on this visit.

The atmosphere and the service, hands down, are why this is a required stop in Portland. Our waiter frankly made our evening, as glad to make conversation as he was to make menu recommendations. There’s no “oh, that’s my favorite too” style of forced familiarity here, just natural conversation. In addition to our food coming out quickly, we found we had a fun series of connections with our waiter, having grown up many thousands of miles away in the same area as one of our party, and learned the story behind one of his tattoos late in the meal. It should also be noted that our server managed his time carefully – while getting us our food and chatting, he was also serving five or six other tables deftly, making sure to leave no one hanging. We’d be glad to run into him again on a future visit, but regardless, we’ll definitely be back here again the next time we’re through Portland – and maybe we’ll take in the theater or stay upstairs this time.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Mr_and_Mrs_Cuddles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
M J, Manager at McMenamins Kennedy School, responded to this reviewResponded 23 December 2016

Wow, your review is so outstanding. We appreciate all of your colorful details. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience. We will be sure to share your review with our entire staff!
Cheers!
Mel Jensen
Principal
McMenamins Kennedy School

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (372)
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49 - 53 of 372 reviews

Reviewed 12 November 2016 via mobile

11 minutes to the airport. Multiple restaurants and bars on site. Thanks to a couple of friends of mine this is perhaps my favorite place in the greater Portland area to visit for dinner and drinks. It is in a class by itself.

Thank abbeyinc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
M J, Manager at McMenamins Kennedy School, responded to this reviewResponded 27 November 2016

You're amazing, thank you so much for your kind review. We hope to see you again!
Cheers,
Mel Jensen
Principal
McMenamins Kennedy School

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 October 2016

Unique school from the 1900's with incredible arts, unique rooms, and eye catching items that will keep you smiling the entire time. We just walked the area, but would have loved to enjoy a movie at their theater, a meal in their restaurant, or a drink in their bar. A must see while in Portland!

Thank Cindy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
M J, Manager at McMenamins Kennedy School, responded to this reviewResponded 28 October 2016

Thank you for your review. We hope to see you again in the future.
Cheers,
Mel Jensen
Principal
McMenamins Kennedy School

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 October 2016

Breakfast here was tasty, quick, and quiet, with good WIFI. What more can you ask for in a hotel breakfast? Not too expensive either.

Thank Christen F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
M J, Manager at McMenamins Kennedy School, responded to this reviewResponded 28 October 2016

Thank you very much for your kind review. We have worked really hard to improve the quality, value and speed of our breakfast service. Your kind comments will be appreciated by our staff.
Cheers!
Mel Jensen
Principal
McMenamins Kennedy School

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 October 2016

My wife's cousin met us at the Grotto, then said lets go to lunch here. We did not know what to expect. As we drove through the residential areas looking for the restaurant. It was in an old school building! Food was excellent!

Thank mcpcmp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
M J, Manager at McMenamins Kennedy School, responded to this reviewResponded 28 October 2016

Thank you so much for your review. We hope to see you again.
cheers!
Mel Jensen
Principal
McMenamins Kennedy School

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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