Everyone in Portland loves Elephants. Whether you need to meet someone to catch up on each other's lives or want to grab something on the go, Elephants is the perfect spot. Elephants opened in 1979. They set up shop in a failing deli and introduced good wine, cheese and coffee to the then un-cosmopolitan Portland. It was, and still is, the creme de la creme of food to go.
In 2004, Elephants moved out of their original location in Uptown Shopping Center and into a new building on NW 22nd, right off of Burnside. While this new location is their main store, they also have a storefront in downtown Portland. This store was opened in 2000, with the intention of being a smaller and quicker version of the big store. They also have another shop at the Portland International Airport. Both of these smaller outlets are called Flying Elephants.
I find new tasty treats in Elephants every time I go, but some of my favorites include their Chinese Barbecue Chicken with Mustard Sauce, Willamette Valley Salad, Chicken Enchilada Verde, Banana Bread and any of their desserts! As you can tell, there is quite a myriad of choices from which to choose.
Elephants recently changed some of their signature items, including their Northern Italian Sandwich. While they still have a similar sandwich, the new version simply does not compare. (I hate it when restaurants do not realize when they have a good thing going!)
Although I tend to pick up my food to go, I have had many pleasant meals in Elephants. Just recently, I had lunch with my internship supervisors at the main store. We sat at the long table in the middle of the seating area because we were not able to secure a booth during the busy lunch hour, but it was very pleasant. I recommend going mid-afternoon if you want to have a seat inside, but there is usually always somewhere to sit outside if you go during the more popular hours.