Arts District Restaurants

Ada’s is a Little Different Now and I Love It

July 28, 2021

Different isn’t always a bad thing and when it comes to the changes that Ada’s has made, it seems like they are really finding their footing and creating a neighborhood spot for delicious on-the-go food. Keep reading to learn more and see how many tasty meals you can fit in their Eat More Pasta tote with only $50 to spend!

Say so long to the sit-down restaurant model

When you think of Ada’s, you may think of their pasta, pizzas, brunch, and sitting down for a meal. Well, the sit-down restaurant part of the equation has been phased out, but in my opinion, it was to make way for bigger and better things.

For one thing, Portland’s Italian restaurant scene has been a bit…saturated and even overwhelming at times. How many places do you really need to be able to order a bowl of pasta?

But the other thing that Ada’s is addressing with their new format is the grab-and-go meal. I love the Arts District and the West End, but I’m telling you, with Aurora Provisions gone, the area has lost one of the few spots that were available when you needed a quick bite.

Ada's with a market set up

Ada’s is now filling this gap with incredible, fresh food like their potato salad, tarts, loaded focaccia, quiches, roasted chicken, and way more. And then don’t forget their easy-to-prepare fresh pasta and plentiful sauces, both fresh and frozen depending on when and how fast you need them. 

Want to-go fresh pasta? Ada's is the place!

Ada’s wants to be your neighborhood store, and honestly? They are doing a pretty awesome job of it!

Ada's is serving up plenty of food for your on-the-go needs

Don’t believe the pasta is fresh? I saw their pasta machine live and in person and let me tell you, that thing is a BEAST and the reason their pasta tastes so good.

What you can get for $50 aka several meals and wine

So now that we’ve established that Ada’s still has the great pasta you know and love, just in a slightly different format, let’s talk about how many meals I got for $50.

Just a glimpse of what $50 at Ada's can get you

I got a cute tote that says Eat More Pasta (go buy one for yourself, I’m a little obsessed with mine!) and then filled it with $50 worth of meals and whatever I wanted. I’m always concerned with what am I going to eat for lunch because I dislike cooking and never have enough leftovers, so I made this my focus when filling up my Eat More Pasta tote.

Gnochetti and Pesto

Gotta tell you, I picked up the fresh gnochetti and paired it with their pesto, and this was a game-changer. For those still working from home, I’m confident that you could easily replicate this meal for yourself. 

Gnochetti is fresh and handmade at Ada's

I actually made this at my office because we have a full kitchen. Besides waiting for the water to boil for my pasta, it took a grand total of three minutes to make. Everyone is busy, but trust me, you definitely have three minutes (thirteen if you’re counting the ten it took our slow stove to boil water) to make this.

My one regret was not picking up one of the Parmesan cheeses sold at Ada’s but you better believe I’ll do that next time I’m in the area. Did I mention that there was so much pasta in the container that I got two lunches out of this, and the pesto lasted a long time as well? What a value and so goddamn tasty!

Tri-tip steak, potato salad, and kale salad

You can't go wrong with the tri-tip, kale salad, or potato salad that Ada's features

Another delicious lunch I got from Ada’s that was in my $50 was like a little picnic lunch but enjoyed at my desk at work. There were slices of tri-tip steak, potato salad, and a lovely kale salad. 

Plenty of flavors and potato salad had a ton of texture, making it a great pairing with the kale salad. Also, wow…the tri-tip was seriously out of this world because it made my mouth water it was that good.

Christina Grüner Veltliner wine

Okay, wine is not a meal but it is one of the finer things in life, and so I decided to splurge on a $30 bottle of wine during my Ada’s shopping spree. It’s an acidic, natural white wine that’s a little tart, definitely funky, and unexpected, but I love it. 

It may be one of my new favorite wines of the summer, hands down. Having something that’s a little out there and not sweet was ideal for these hot, sweaty, muggy summer days!


The budino was meant to be part of my lunch with the tri-tip and all that, but I was pretty stuffed and saved it for an extravagant snack the next day instead. Budino is essentially a pudding, and this one was excellent. 

Budino is the ideal dessert that Ada's offers

If you want a gourmet feel, it has black garlic incorporated into it, which does lend itself to the fine dining realm. So yes, if you’re looking for desserts, Ada’s has you covered here as well!

All in all, I personally love the new direction that Ada’s has taken, and am looking forward to seeing how they continue to evolve and grow. Next time you need to grab a bite or you want good pasta that’s already freshly prepared, why not stop into Ada’s?