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. Broder Nord (pictured)
2240 N Interstate Ave., 282-5555, broderpdx.com.
Forget brunch. Suppertime’s 20-minute chicken arrives ridiculously tender and brined with a tarragon-infused vinegar, wet with its own juice as well as a bit of salsa verde and capers. It’s like escabeche made of meat but served as a hearth-style broiler. Full review of Broder Nord.
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 of beets over layers of vegetables leading down to a base of herring. It’s Russian coffee-table fare rendered jaw-gapingly tasty. Our 2014 restaurant of the year.
3. Old Salt
5027 NE 42nd Ave., 971-255-0167, oldsaltpdx.com.
This Cully neighborhood butcher shop and restaurant takes sustainability-focused, whole-animal butchery to a new level in town, doing what they can with two cows and three or four pigs, then freestyling the rest. Our 2014 restaurant of the year runner-up.
4. St. Jack
1610 NW 23rd Ave., 360-1281, stjackpdx.com.
Been enjoying those fancy pork rinds and burger? Good. Now move on to the raw-milk cheese plate with farmhouse flavors that almost amount to spice. Full St. Jack review.
5. BTU Brasserie
5846 NE Sandy Blvd., 971-407-3429, btupdx.com.
This is the first brewery that’s ever been included in our Restaurant Guide’s annual top-100 list. Taste the tempura-battered walnuts in a sweet-hot glaze, or the nutty hot bowl of cellophane noodles called Ants Climbing a Tree, and see why. Full BTU review.
Previous Hot Plates:
Oct. 8: 1. The American Local 2. Expatriate 3. Kachka 4. Old Salt 5. St. Jack
Oct. 1: 1. Fireside 2. St. Jack 3. BTU Brasserie 4. Kachka 5. Buki
Sept 24: 1. Pyro Pizza 2. St. Jack 3. BTU Brasserie 4. Kachka 5. The Blue Goose
Sept. 17: 1. St. Jack 2. BTU Brasserie 3. Kachka 4. Kim Jong Grillin’ 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