3735 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 232-1010, pastaworks.com.
[IBERIAN BITES] There’s something about Evoe’s location—which used to be a tapas restaurant, and then wasn’t, but kind of is again—I’ve always loved. It feels hidden, as though its tall windows are a one-way mirror looking out over the vibrant stretch of Hawthorne just east of the Bagdad Theater. On our visit, a busker sat outside with a sign asking for weed. Inside, Evoe is relaxed, despite the bustle of the adjoining Pastaworks market, which provides many of the restaurant’s ingredients. Revered chef Kevin Gibson hands over meticulous plates: charcuterie and cheese boards big enough to sate the starting five of a coed rec basketball team; a meaty sardine and fennel sandwich; a plate of fresh peaches, lemony glacier lettuce and crispy speck I still daydream about whenever I hear the word “salad.” Evoe’s lack of pretension helps. This is a simple Spanish sandwich shop helmed by one of Portland’s most experienced chefs. Doesn’t that just sound awesome?
Ideal Meal: A platter of padron peppers loosely resembling a culinary game of Russian roulette; Little Bo Peep, a lamb meatball sandwich; that glorious peach salad; any Spanish red wine your server recommends. For a party of four or more, add a meat board.
Best Deal: Seriously, the meat and cheese plates are huge and high quality.
Pro-Tips: While the sandwiches are terrific, definitely spend some time on the small plates.
Noon-7 pm, Wednesday-Sunday. $-$$.