If Guy Fieri were a bar, he'd be the Rock and Roll Chili Pit (304 SW 2nd Ave., 971-242-8725, rockandrollchilipit.com).
The decor of the new downtown bar approximates a roadie truck, or the garage of a suburban dad who really understands the blues. There are guitars on the wall, snare-drum light fixtures, table supports made to look like Marshall amps, and an entire bar top in the shape of a Flying V. Why the bar contains no visible flames is a mystery, but there are paintings of boobs and Keith Richards.
The food, meanwhile, is a come-hither whistle to the producers of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. When we asked what was good, the guy with the Spinal Tap quote on his RRCP shirt informed us, "You can order whatever you want, bro!" The guy wearing a Richards quote told us, "All the food is pretty extreme," then added that any menu item could be "amplified" by the addition of chili, which also comes in a $12 flight of three (pulled pork, beef and vegan). The grain-rich vegan chili is the best of them, but don't get it if you're vegan: There's a solid chance it will arrive, as ours did, topped with sour cream and cheese.
The peanut-butter-fried-pickle tater tots ($7) were smothered in taupe-colored nut paste that had the approximate consistency of caulk—an ingredient combo that might clue you in that the place is owned by a former partner in Killer Burger. While this makes its location three blocks from KB's downtown spot hilariously suspicious, it also means the burgers are damn good, especially the $11.95 "Epic" topped with pulled pork, bacon, jack cheese, "slawsome" and barbecue sauce—a clusterfuck that came together largely because the spicy slawsome was, indeed, awesome.
The beer menu is decent and local, the "Classic Rock Hour" lasts from 2 pm to closing time (9 pm weekdays, midnight weekends) with a $5 amplified baked potato and $6.75 Classic Rock Burger with fries, and there's a Little Rockers menu for the chilluns. It's sort of like what would happen if the city of Gresham took over the Hard Rock Cafe, and it's hard not to find it both guileless and charming.