Hazelwood Offers Everything From High-Speed Strips to Slow Country-Tinged Paths

Find Slavic baked goods, tasty huaraches, and Obama’s grilled cheese lunch spot all in one of the city’s largest neighborhoods.

Hazelwood Mercado (Chris Nesseth)

Hazelwood is one of the largest neighborhoods in Portland, full of longtime dwellers and newer residents looking for a more affordable part of this increasingly expensive city. The area is as versatile as it is big, with bustling high-speed strips and slow country-tinged paths. Go get lost in the bounty this neighborhood has to offer. RB.

Park Daze With the Dog

The paths come and go in Cherry Park (Southeast Stephens Street, portland.gov/parks/cherry-park), feeling more like worn-in tread than carved-out trails. But that’s the laid-back allure of this big space that’s almost like connected lots, offering a wide open field, a shaded grove, and more greenspace butted up against stuffed backyards fenced off by chain-link. The 10-acre lot was once a quarry, but now it’s a good park for any walking wanderer, especially if you’ve got your pup in tow, because part of this pasture is an off-leash paradise for dogs to run. The park has a relaxed feel to it—scattered branches and downed limbs, Spanish blue belles and dandelions sprouting all over, and big swaths of blackberry vines in midspring growth, the kind that are so thick and stacked they look like they’re floating. It almost sounds unruly, but it’s not—Parks and Rec has rules posted on the 106th Avenue side for both dogs and handlers, along with off-leash hours that shift by season. RB.

European Delight

When you walk into Cherry Hill Deli (10121 NE Glisan St., 503-262-6733, yelp.com/biz/cherry-hill-deli-portland), you just get the vibe that this is a chef’s market—because it is. In 2022, Ukrainian and Georgian chef Inga Turman took over the former Euro foods spot as a home base for her catering company, Chef Inga, with the aim to one day open a restaurant (she’s also shared her food knowledge through Slavic Family Radio, offering tips on adapting local ingredients to cook traditional foods). There’s no full restaurant yet, but the market offers a wide variety of European items with an emphasis on Slavic offerings. You’ll find homemade Markiza and Spartak cakes ($15.99 a pound) in the cold case, dried gutted roach fish in a wicker basket, quince and cherry wine on the shelves (prices vary), bags of pierogi in the freezer, freshly made rye bread…the list goes on. Go grab a few tasty things for your pantry. RB.

The Water Trough

Though we’ll ever wonder just how Hazelwood’s most prominent watering hole can brazenly borrow from The Dukes of Hazzard IP without penalty, Boss Hawg’s Bar ‘N’ Grill (617 NE 102nd Ave., 503-252-4647) does lean in—wallow, some would say—to an unabashed celebration of its literal namesake’s outsized appetites. The signature Hawgarita ($10) arrives so blessedly oversugared as to question why mixes should ever be sour, and a daunting array of pub grub long on gravy and deep-fryables somehow avoids vegetarian options on even the salad menu. Less a dive than defanged roadhouse done well, ownership’s taken pains to fluff creature comforts of yesteryear while eliminating near every hint of the 21st Century (wi-fi removed after brief experiment) save for the wall-spanning HDTVs airing all live sports, most clip shows, and, at full volume on the largest screen during recent afternoon visit, a John Candy marathon. That’ll do, Boss Hawg. That’ll do. JAY HORTON.

Fiesta Ready

Mercado Las Palomas (13036 SE Stark St., 503-754-4391, laspalomaspdx.com) lives on a gray stretch of deep Southeast Stark Street that’s wide and fast, tucked in a strip you could cruise right by. But you must, must stop and step into the vibrantly colorful world of Las Palomas. Bags of dried chiles, cans of hominy, a fridge of ice cold beer on one side of the store, and cool frosted pastries on the other, with festive piñatas hanging above the aisles—here you’ll find a wealth of grocery goods to take home. And if you’re not in the mood to make your own meal, just wander to the adjoining next room over where you’ll find a full restaurant offering mouthwatering enchiladas ($12.50), tortas ($10-$11), huaraches ($9.50), taquitos ($12.50), and more, with a perfect zigzag sour cream drizzle and bright green avocado wedges on top. The burritos ($11.75) are a must, too. RB.

Presidential Bite

Hidden within a small, modish storefront along a bustling stretch in Hazelwood, the Gateway Breakfast House (11411 NE Halsey St., 503-256-6280, gatewaybreakfasthouse.com) (this does technically fall on Parkrose Heights’ southern border but is in the Hazelwood glow) looks more like a ‘90s photo kiosk or chalet-themed nail salon than the landmark eatery beloved by generations. Walk inside, though, past the overloaded community bulletin board and waiting nook decorated floor to ceiling with scrawled pages ripped from kids’ coloring books, and you can see pretty quickly why Obama’s motorcade chose the Gateway for an unscheduled 2012 lunch stop, fist-bumping flabbergasted regulars. For almost 40 years, the 10-table family diner has rewarded loyal patrons and interlopers alike with heaping platters of senior luncheon faves (breaded beef cutlets, tuna sandwiches served cold or melted, Obama’s grilled cheese ‘n’ split pea soup) alongside breakfast treats for junior hedonists of all ages—luminous strawberry-and-whip-topped waffles ($8.50) and German sausage-stuffed omelets ($12.95). The Breakfast House still plays host to a markedly diverse clientele, even if our former gourmand-in-chief has yet to return. He should’ve ordered the waffles. JH.

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