If a certain popular Portland-based television show had a themed restaurant, it would look something like Ned Ludd.
This restaurant has vintage enameled pots hanging over a wood-fired hearth and succulents crowding every surface.
One almost has to struggle not to invoke the spirits of Fred and Carrie as the tattooed waitstaff explain the accompaniments to the harissa-rubbed chicken with freekeh. ("Would you like to take your hen home?" asked one server with genuine concern upon spotting a small uneaten portion.) The main menu is divided into "forebits," "kaltbits," "warmbits" and "plats," the first three being shareable plates and the latter constituting entree-sized portions.
The wood-fired hearth isn't just for display. True to the technology-averse Luddites from which Ned Ludd takes its name, everything is cooked by the flame.
Though this is sometimes to a dish's detriment, as in a recent plate of French gnocchi with charred cabbage and romanesco that, despite a cheery swipe of verdant herb puree, was as dry as the Eastern Oregon plain. The earnest nature of the lo-fi ethos is hard to resist, and the quirky décor makes it a must for out-of-towners.
Pro tip: Admiring those quaint shelves lined with preserves? Be sure to try the "Dickle & Pickle" with your meal: a tall shot of rye whiskey with a "seasonal pickle back."
GO: 3925 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 288-6900, nedluddpx.com. Pizza 5-10 pm Monday, 5-10 pm Tuesday-Sunday, brunch 10 am-2 pm Saturday-Sunday. $$$.