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. El Brasero
18288 SE Division St., Gresham, 503-669-1253.

The people from the El Brasero cart on Hawthorne have a sit-down restaurant with some of the best barbacoa and consomé in town. $

2. Big's Chicken
5663 NE Glisan St., 503-477-5922, bigschicken.com.

The parking-lot chicken from Laurelhurst Market is now here in the former Big-Ass Sandwiches space—with the addition of jojos, wings and a sarat gat hot-pepper sauce that's even better than the Fresno. $.

3. Kama'aina
1910 Main St., Suite A, Forest Grove, 503-430-0465, kamaainacfoh.com.

Want truly great Hawaiian food near Portland? All it takes is a little drive out to Forest Grove. $$.

4. St. Jack
1610 NW 23rd Ave., 503-360-1281, stjackpdx.com.

St. Jack, Jerek Hollender
St. Jack, Jerek Hollender

St. Jack's bar just instated, quietly, one of the most beautiful happy hours in town: $1 oysters till 5 pm, and till 6 pm you can get an amazing $6 fried chicken sandwich. $-$$$.

5. Danwei Canting
803 SE Stark St., 503-236-6050, danweicanting.com.

(Aubrey Gigandet)
(Aubrey Gigandet)

The la zi ji chicken (aka hot pepper chicken bath, $10) is easily the best version of this Sichuanese dish to hit town since Lucky Strike's. $$.