Yes, it's true Roux owner Dwayne Beliakoff has a much-anticipated, buzz-worthy restaurant slated for the new downtown Park Block across from Fox Tower, but let's not forget the North Portland Creole cafe that started it all. Long live the croque monsieur salad, the andouille-stuffed quail and the spicy, buttery crawfish pie. Located in an old curtain factory on North Killingsworth Street, Roux is on the fringe in more ways than one. Where else in Portland can you find grilled housemade andouille, chaurice and boudin blanc sausages on the menu alongside soft-shell crab? Classy drinks like the house Sazerac, with cognac, Peychaud's bitters and Absente, set the libation scene, along with a slew of Kentucky bourbons. Service is charming and spotless, but if you sup on the amazingly rich, almost candied ribs, your shirt may not be.

IDEAL MEAL: Half-dozen oysters on the half-shell, croque monsieur salad, crawfish pie, ribs with horseradish mashed potatoes, warm chocolate chip cookies, trip to the river and back to walk it off.