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September 17th, 2014 WW Culture Staff | Food Reviews & Stories
 

Hot Plates: Our Favorite Portland Restaurants This Week

st_jack_jh-25St. Jack - IMAGE: Jerek Hollender

Our Restaurant Guide picks the best restaurants in Portland every October. We hem and haw and fuss to recommend 100 restaurants we think best represent the city.

This is not that list.

Rather, these are five spots we're excited about right now. Maybe that's a taqueria we've loved forever, maybe that's a seafood spot with a special menu this week or a new burger joint we stumbled on Friday night. It's designed to answer that age-old question: Where should we go out to dinner tonight?


1. St. Jack (pictured)

1610 NW 23rd Ave, 360-1281, stjackpdx.com.

We’ve grown quite fond of the bouchon’s bar-side-only boudin noir pigs in a blanket, a bloodied-up answer to Coney dogs, and to its perfect frites. But we’re still left curious what would happen if we took advantage of the $18 foie gras option on a hamburger so rich it might as well already be foie gras.


2. BTU Brasserie

5846 NE Sandy Blvd., 971-407-3429, btupdx.com.

It needs a little more five-spice, but Portland’s first Chinese restaurant and brewery makes wonderful Szechuan noodle dishes and even better fried seitan.

 

3. Kachka

720 SE Grand Ave., 235-0059, kachkapdx.com.

You get the idea with one dish, “herring under a fur coat,” a stratified butte of a salad with pretty pink beets over layers of vegetables leading down to a base of herring. It’s Russian coffee-table fare rendered jaw-gapingly tasty.

Kachka
IMAGE: Anna Jaye Goellner

 

4. Kim Jong Grillin’

4606 SE Division St., 929-0522.

This cart is back in action, with a Vietnamese-Korean-American three-way of a Sabrett hot dog loaded with pickled mango sweetness and daikon kimchee spice on a toasted banh mi bun. And that’s the second-best item on the menu, behind the bibim box, which has options on kalbi short ribs, beef bulgogi, marinated pork or chicken.


PUT AN EGG ON IT: The bibim box with short ribs.
IMAGE: leahnash.com


5. Pizza Maria

3060 SE Division St., 971-303-7000, pizzamariapdx.com.

Division Street now has pizza on almost every block. Maria’s delightfully simple marinara pie is the best, with leopard-spotted crust, bright sauce, thin-sliced garlic and a sprinkle of oregano.


Pizza Maria
IMAGE: Martin Cizmar


Previous Hot Plates:

September 10: 1. The Dime Store 2. Kim Jong Grillin’ 3. Old Salt 4. The Blue Goose 5. Pizza Maria

September 3: 1. St. Jack 2. The Dime Store 3. Old Salt 4. Love Belizean 5. Pizza Maria

August 27: 1. Ración 2. Pizza Maria 3. Old Salt 4. The Blue Goose 5. Love Belizean

August 20: 1. Pizza Maria 2. Kachka 3. Taqueria Portland 4. The Blue Goose 5. Grant’s Philly Cheesesteaks

August 13:
1. Grant’s Philly Cheesesteaks 2. Pizza Maria 3. Taqueria Portland 4. Local Ocean 5. C’est Si Bon! Crepes + Vins

August 6: 1.Grant’s Philly Cheesesteaks 2. Local Ocean 3. Luce 4. Son of a Biscuit 5. C’est Si Bon! Crepes

July 30: 1. Kachka 2. Stammtisch 3. Luce 4. Firehouse 5. C'est Si Bon! Crepes + Vins

July 23: 1. Kachka 2. Stammtisch 3. Albatross & Co. 4. Bun Bo Hue 5. C'est Si Bon! Crepes + Vins

July 16: 1. Stammtisch 2. Kachka 3. Albatross & Co. 4. Smokehouse 21 5. Taqueria Nueve

 
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