Our Restaurant Guide picks the best restaurants in Portland every October. We hem and haw and fuss to recommend 50 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?
Where to eat this week:
1. East Glisan Pizza Lounge (above)
8001 NE Glisan St., 971-279-4273, eastglisan.com.
On Tuesdays, get the best Detroit-style pies in town—sauce on, or sauce off. $$.
2. Kim Jong Smokehouse
413 NW 21st Ave., 971-373-8990, kimjongsmokehouse.com.
KJS's bibimbap is basically what you get at the original Grillin cart on Division—but here it's served with smoky pulled pork or kalbi short rib, plus one of the house sauces. All 'cue should come with gochujang. $.
2. Grain & Gristle
1473 NE Prescott St., 503-288-4740, grainandgristle.com.
In a world of $12 bar burger nonsense, Grain & Gristle's $12 burger is a beautiful ode to simplicity—medium-rare beef, house pickles and mayo, and buttery bun. (You can, if you feel you need to, add bacon and cheese.) $$.
3. Pollo Norte Sur
2935 NE Glisan St., 503-719-6039, pollonorte.com.
Pollo Norte's second location for its rotisserie chicken shack is a marked improvement. The chicken is better than ever—crisper skin, juicier flesh—the room is spacious but warm, and you can now drink margaritas. $.
1001 SW Broadway, 503-790-7752, headwaterspdx.com.
You can't order with impunity at Headwaters, but if you stick to the squid carbonara, the octopus and the double-decker pagoda of the seafood tower, you are in crustacean-cephalopod heaven. $$-$$$$.