1. Il Solito Portland Marathon Carb-Loading Dinner
627 SW Washington St., 503-228-1515, ilsolitoportland.com. 5-10 pm Friday-Sunday, Sept. 29-Oct. 1.
Some 10,000 runners will take over the streets of Portland this Sunday, but before that happens they’ll be loading up on carbs to try to boost performance during the Portland Marathon. Il Solito has offered to help with that pre-race task by hosting a special dinner in the days leading up to the event. The meal includes a smoked heirloom tomato soup appetizer with fontina cheese toast, your choice of pasta (Alfredo, carbonara, pomodoro), and a butterscotch budino (creamy Italian pudding) or an Italian soda. Plus, you get all of that for just $27—a bargain these days. Oh, and Il Solito promises it won’t tell if you’re carbo-loading to sit on the sidelines and watch other people run.
2. 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).
3. Bullard Tavern
813 SW Alder St., 503-222-1670, bullardpdx.com. 4-10 pm Sunday.
Given the fact that Bullard’s burger will set you back nearly 30 bucks, the Woodlark Hotel restaurant’s new $39 Sunday Supper Dinner is a bargain that shouldn’t be missed, especially since it’s a limited-time offer (albeit one that’s redundantly named). The three-course special features a mixed green salad with blue cheese crumbles and hazelnuts; a smoked half-chicken served with fresh tortillas, guac and salsa verde; and an ice cream sundae. You can add a $39 bottle of wine to that if you really feel like splurging. The best part: A portion of the proceeds raised from the dinners go to the Maui Strong Fund to help victims of the devastating August fire.
4. 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.
5. 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.