Stumptown founder Duane Sorenson's Woodsman is the kind of inviting place that makes you want to become a regular. The wood-paneled walls and large bouquet of cattails on the bar evoke a fairy-tale version of a woodland tavern, and that feeling extends to the menu. The fresh oysters ($3.25 each) are tiny slurps of the sea, accompanied by proper homemade horseradish and champagne mignonette.
The fritters are warm and crunchy without being oily, perfectly accompanied by a sweet, spicy jalapeño jelly. To continue on a theme, try the crispy fried chicken ($18), which nearly melts off the bone. But if it's payday or you've just won a jousting match, order the tri-tip, covered in a tomatillo sauce and garnished with cherry tomatoes and a simple but genius piece of toast covered in blue cheese, and accompanied by a glass of the Knauss Trollinger cold red wine ($9). You'll feel like a hero in a children's novel, stopping into a friendly tavern before you trudge on to your next adventure.
Pro tip: Go for oyster hour (all night Monday, 5-7 pm Tuesday-Friday, 2-5 pm Saturday-Sunday) and get two selections from the ever-changing oyster menu for $2 each.
GO: 4537 SE Division St., 971-373-8264, woodsmantavern.com. 5-10 pm Monday-Friday, 9 am-10 pm Saturday-Sunday. $$$.