1. Grant’s Philly Cheesesteaks (pictured above)
1203 NW 23rd Ave., 477-7133.
Portland’s best cheesesteak comes from the wilds of Northeast 154th and Sandy to tony Northwest 23rd. You want the original ($6.75 for a half), with provolone, onions, hot peppers, sweet peppers and—this is key, if unorthodox—grilled mushrooms.
2. Local Ocean Seafoods
213 SE Bay Blvd., Newport, 541-574-7959, localocean.net.
It’s tuna season, a great time to visit this casually excellent Newport seafood restaurant, which sits only a few feet from the docks. Try the bacon-wrapped tuna mignon made with ultra-fresh yellowfin.
2140 E Burnside St., 236-7195, luceportland.com.
Little, lovely Italianesque bistro Luce
creates dishes both quiet and beautiful—note-perfect arrancini, hearty
rabbit involtino. It’s almost too bad Bon Appétit named it one of
the top five new restaurants in the country back in 2012. A grand
pronouncement like that isn’t right or wrong; it’s just entirely beside
the point of what Luce is. It is a restaurant that speaks softly.
4. Son of a Biscuit
2045 SE Division St., 971-888-5933, sonofabiscuit.com.
Much at the new fried chicken joint from Micah Camden (Little Big Burger, Blue Star Donuts, Boxer Ramen) has been inconsistent. Not the biscuits, though. The biscuits—big, dense, chewy inside, with a crisp and buttery shell—are something else, friend.
5. C’est Si Bon! Crepes + Vins
22 NE 7th Ave., 703-9378, cestsibonpdx.com.
The crepes at this farmers market stand-turned-wine bar immediately jockey with the best in town. The pork confit, in particular, combines obscenely tender Tails & Trotters pig with apple butter, fried sage and onions caramelized to their melting point.