Let's Do Lunch: Great lunchtime deals let you loosen the belt | Chow | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
The Source Weekly’s reporting is made possible by the power of your support. Be a part of it!
Pin It

Let's Do Lunch: Great lunchtime deals let you loosen the belt 

All you can possibly, ever eat at Taj Palace.In lean times, we all find ourselves cutting corners. Dining out-particularly for lunch-is usually among the first casualties of a slashed budget. It's true, it's easy enough to save and grab a slice or a taco at midday or (gasp!) pack a sandwich from home. But sometimes there's business to take care of that's best done over food, or maybe you just want to sit down for a civilized meal at midday. Well, don't sweat the bill. Bend has some excellent options in a variety of flavors for inexpensive lunch, and it's a great way to get your eat-out fix for a fraction of the dinner price. The maximum cost for two at the restaurants below was $16 (without drinks). So treat that potential client, indulge in a hot meal that doesn't come out of a can. As the saying goes, there's no free lunch. But it's pretty impressive what you can get in this town if you're willing to shell out a few bucks.

Toomie's Thai Cuisine

If you can't find something that tickles you among Toomie's 35 lunch specials, you probably just don't like Thai food. With the exception of a few noodle and rice specials that come a la carte (love the Drunken Noodle), lunch consists of a portion of your dish of choice-from red and green curry to stir-fry to sweet and sour-served with Pad Thai, steamed rice, and salad. The deal is hardly a secret, so it may take a minute to be seated and served on busy days. But turnover is fast, and the $6.50-$6.95 price tag makes it worth the usually brief wait. 119 NW Minnesota Ave., 388-5590.

Aloha Café

Aloha Café, specializing in Hawaiian barbecue, might have the cheapest lunch deal in town. For $5 you get your choice of chicken or pork with rice or noodles and potato-macaroni salad or pineapple slaw (until 1 p.m.). But if you happen to be dining with a companion and you aren't afraid of a mountain of delicious meat, don't mess around. Go for Da Big Kahuna. For $12.25, you get all of the above (no either/or, both of everything) plus tri-tip beef, ribs, and two additional kinds of chicken. One order is easily enough to satisfy for two hungry carnivores. Northwest Crossing, 745 Mt. Washington Dr., 318-KONA. Eastside, Crossroads Plaza, 547 NE Bellevue, 382-KONA.

Taj Palace

If you're feeling both ravenous and indecisive, the all-you-can-eat buffet at Taj Palace is the perfect choice. Entrees range from Tandoori chicken and Tikka Masala to vegetarian options like Aloo Saag (potatoes with spinach and spices) and Dal Curry (lentil-based vegetable curry). With a heap of pakora (vegetable fritters) and samosa, Sambar (lentil soup), bins of basmati rice and nan (flatbread), and a variety of chutney and raita (yogurt sauce) to mix and match, there's no appetite this buffet can't vanquish. As it turns out in my case, all-you-can-eat is one plate, but at $7.95 I definitely got my money's worth. 917 NW Wall St., 330-0774.


The self-proclaimed "Sultans of the High Desert" at Kebaba offer an extensive menu at reduced lunch prices, including appetizers, sandwiches, salads, rice bowls, and soups. The hummous ($4) and falafel sandwich ($5.75, add $1.75 for fries or salad and a soft drink) are great deals, as are the mezza combos ($9.25 vegetarian, $9.75 meat), a sampling of Middle Eastern favorites-a kebab or falafel, hummous, babaganouj, taboule, rice pilaf, and pita. But my favorite by far is the chicken schwarma sandwich ($6.25). I'd pay double for that tender meat perfectly spiced, rolled with garlic sauce, pickled onion, and veggies, but I'm glad I don't have to. 1004 NW Newport Ave., 318-6224.

The Downtowner

For inventive soups, salads, and sandwiches, the Downtowner is the place. Nothing on the menu tops $9, and portions are generous across the board. But the best deal is the Half 'N' Half ($8), a mug of soup, a half salad, or a half sandwich (choose two items) served with a house-made herb roll. Soups rotate but the creamy Spicy Tomato, which is almost always an option, and a half Caesar make a great combination. As a bonus, you get to watch the omnipresent crowd of high schoolers and skate punks tooling around out back while you eat. 852 NW Brooks St., 388-2467.

About The Author

Pin It


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

Today | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed
Outdoor Yoga Flow Classes

Outdoor Yoga Flow Classes - Free Spirit Yoga + Fitness + Play

Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays, 9:15-10:15 a.m. Continues through Sept. 11
Submitting an event is free and easy.

Newsletter Signup

Get Central Oregon daily news
directly in your inbox

Get Social

Latest in Chow

More by Alice Finer

  • Repeat Offender: Central Oregon's bad-boy Top Chef defends his title

    Kokanee Cafe's Roscoe Roberson takes home the top honors again at this Bite of Bend
    • Jun 30, 2010
  • Little Bites: Repeat Offender: Central Oregon's bad-boy Top Chef defends his title

    Another Top Chef Competition at Bite of Bend has come and gone, leaving delicious memories in its wake (and for us judges the residual heartburn and sunburn that go along with them!).
    • Jun 30, 2010
  • Après Ski Pub Crawl! - Eat and drink your way down the mountain for a song

    There are pros and cons to situating a ski resort on National Forest land, but one of the biggest cons for Mt. Bachelor - that last call for food and alcohol coincides with the last chair at around 4 p.m. - can also be a huge pro. Since après ski up top lasts only a few minutes, local businesses all the way down the mountain and into town roll out some excellent happy hour options to lure in passers-by looking for post-play refreshments. Whether you're a vacationer or a local, a hungry winter sportsman or simply a bargain hunting day-drinker looking for a deal, there's après ski merriment to be found around every corner. Set yourself up with an appetite and a designated driver and embark on your very own après pub-crawl down the hill - a must for any winter in Bend. Here's one possible route, in geographical order:
    • Dec 30, 2009
  • More »

Want to advertise with us?

For info on print and digital advertising, >> Click Here

© 2022 LAY IT OUT INC | 704 NW GEORGIA AVE, BEND, OREGON 97703  |   Privacy Policy

Website powered by Foundation