It pains me to write this post for two reasons.  The food was not good and the pictures are pretty crappy.  Somehow, I wasn’t as motivated to take good pictures because the food was so uninspiring.  I like the idea of tapas (good for sharing, more variety), but I’ve not been impressed with real Spanish tapas.  Spanish food in general is not high up there for me, maybe because of my dislike for olives.  Toro Bravo is probably an exception.

Ordering at Navarre is very complicated.  They have their standard menu and another list of specials, which turns out to be a whole lot longer than the standard menu.  You can order things in small or large portions.  You can organize your orders to be served as courses or rounds.  You can also do a chef’s tasting and save yourself a whole lot of trouble.  I guess I wanted trouble and Zhu Zhu Hamster, Little Pet, and Dumpling Man were just little lemmings.

Ken’s Artisan Bread grassy olive oil

People make a big deal bout the bread from Ken’s Artisan Bakery.  I will have to admit the bread was pretty good.  It was so soft, but dense and hearty.  The crust was a little too hard for my liking but overall pretty good.  We were stupid and ordered a large portion of this which was just WAY TOO MUCH bread.

Spicy Italian Sausage pickled beets

I’m big on the texture of sausage.  I like it to be springy and fatty, but this was really crumbly and dry.  The pickled beets were not anything to write home about.  Zhu Zhu Hamster really didn’t seem to mind the offensive texture.

Pork Ribs chestnuts

You’re looking at a small order of the ribs.  Yes folks, 1 rib to share between 4 people.  It was the saddest rib EVER.  Dry, tough, tasteless.

For whatever reason, very few of the vegetable pictures turned out, but I’ll do my best to describe them.

Braised Greens
Seriously one of the most disappointing things served at a restaurant.  It was just boiled spinach or some other leafy green.  It was that awful gray green color.  Completely tasteless!  I was totally offended by this dish.
Roasted Raab Salad ricotta salata
Not bad.
Purple Sprouting Brocolli lemon, olive oil
This was charred to a crisp!  I’m not sure if that degree of burn was intentional or what.  Flavor wise it was ok.

Beet & Pickled Cauliflower

Standard tasting pickled veggies.

Crab Cakes

Probably one of the more passable dishes.  Surprisingly not chintzy on the crab meat.

Pommes Lyonnaise

Caramelized onions + soft moist potatoes?  Good but not all that special.

Fennel Pear Parmesan Salad

The pear and fennel were interesting together, but overall it was another not so special dish.

Cauliflower spanish paprika

Dumpling Man doesn’t like cauliflower but he liked the seasoning here.  It was different and the cauliflower wasn’t charred to a crisp like the broccoli was.


They taste just like they look.

Rabbit Stew Lyonnaise

By this point, I was so fed up with the mediocre food.  The poor rabbit didn’t do anything wrong, it tasted ok, but all the previous disappointments just set a bad mood at the table.

Leg of Lamb

Way too chewy.

Immediately after finishing up at Navarre, we were all in good spirits.  The average food didn’t bring down our mood or anything.  But in retrospect, the food was pretty bad and I’m frankly bothered I had to pay for it.  It wasn’t cheap, it wasn’t good, it’s not even worth a second chance.  Even if the food were decent, the ordering system with the small vs. large plates and the ability to choose how/when your food comes out is just too confusing and overwhelming.  Luckily we didn’t over order by too much, but we were definitely pretty stuffed at the end.  Don’t even waste you’re time here, it’s NOT good by any stretch of the imagination.

10 NE. 28th Ave.

Portland, OR  97214

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