1. Lucky Horseshoe Lounge
2524 SE Clinton St., 503-764-9898, luckyhorseshoeportland.com. 4-11 pm Monday-Thursday, 4 pm-midnight Friday-Saturday, 4-10 pm Sunday.
Rally Pizza owners Shan Wickham and Alan Maniscalco purchased this Clinton Street Theater-adjacent bar in spring, swapping out the venue’s quasi-Western theme and replacing it with Italian-inspired cocktail lounge vibes. The food menu reflects Maniscalco’s Italian American upbringing, and you can now get a number of those dishes for a discount thanks to a newly launched happy hour. Your best bets: an Olympia Provisions salami and provolone sandwich ($8) and a Monday-only, 10-inch Neapolitan-style pizza with rotating toppings ($12).
2. Smokehouse Chicken and Guns
55660 NW Wilson River Highway, Gales Creek, 503-359-9452, smokehousecng.com. 9 am-9 pm Friday-Sunday. When a beloved food cart finally goes brick-and-mortar, the opening is usually surrounded by a great deal of fanfare and a Christmas-like countdown clock. Not so for Chicken and Guns. The Cartopia pod staple very quietly launched its first full-service restaurant this past spring, and did so in Gales Creek—miles away from any of its regulars. The trek to the roadhouse-style diner is worth it. You’ll, of course, find the cart’s famed wood-fired birds and crispy potatoes (the guns), but also an expanded menu that includes burgers, locally grown vegetable-based sides, and weekend brunch.
3. Double Mountain Brewery
4336 SE Woodstock Blvd., 503-206-5495, doublemountainbrewery.com. Noon-9 pm daily. 1700 N Killingsworth St., 503-206-4405. 11 am-9 pm Sunday-Thursday, 11 am-10 pm Friday-Saturday. 8 4th St., Hood River, 541-387-0042. 11:30 am-10 pm Sunday-Thursday, 11:30 am-11 pm Friday-Saturday.
Double Mountain Brewery has been dropping its seasonal heirloom tomato pesto pizzas since shortly after the original Hood River pub opened in 2007. Back then, Oregon was not known for pizza, and the New Haven style that co-founder Matt Swihart brought to the pub was almost as big of a draw as the hoppy ales. Double Mountain seems to know that all eyes are on these special pies—every single one comes out thin and crusty, yet they are stiff enough to withstand a heavy layer of ripe tomatoes. Each pizza is also topped with a piping-hot layer of mozzarella and Fontal cheese and a dusting of pecorino and Parmigiano, filling the air with a scent that we would buy if it came as a candle.
4. Midtown Beer Garden
431 SW Harvey Milk St., we.are.expensify.com/midtown-beer-garden. 10 am-10 pm daily.
The large selection of food carts at Southwest 5th Avenue and Harvey Milk Street now officially has a brand that was rolled out in late August at a grand opening party in an effort to revive a beleaguered part of downtown. The naming and redevelopment of Midtown Beer Garden was a joint project between software company Expensify (which happens to sit across the street from the pod) and ChefStable. There are 25 carts, both old favorites and newcomers, but we’re most excited by the addition of permanent restrooms, a zhuzhed-up ambience, and Fracture Brewing beer.
5. White Pepper Burger Thursday
7505 NE Glisan St., whitepepperpdx.com/burger-thursday. 5-9 pm Thursday.
Most of the week, the kitchen at this 10-year-old Northeast Portland catering company is a quiet prep space by day, while some evenings its tasting room hosts weddings and corporate dinners. But on Thursday nights, White Pepper transforms into a neighborhood hangout serving burgers. We’ve sampled them all, and the standout of the bunch is the Classic Burger. The stack is everything you want a Big Mac to be but never is: two housemade patties, American cheese, iceberg lettuce, mustard and mayo, with ketchup on the side. No one element stands out; it’s just a harmonious combination that makes for the perfect summer meal.