Where to Eat This Week

Ward off winter’s chill with a retro burger, spicy jerk chicken or Salvador Molly’s famed Great Balls of Fire.

1. Fuller’s Burger Shack Pioneer Place

700 SW 5th Ave., Suite 1113, 971-415-6480, fullersburgershack.com. 11 am–7 pm Monday–Saturday, 11 am–6 pm Sunday.

Just a few weeks after the reopening of Fuller’s Coffee Shop following a fire that caused its temporary closure, the heart of downtown Portland welcomed the diner’s spinoff that pays tribute to its hamburger. Urban Restaurant Group (Bartini, Swine, Brix Tavern) launched Fuller’s Burger Shack in the former BurgerFi space at Pioneer Place in November. The star of the lineup is, of course, the titular burger, made the exact same way (21-day aged beef patty, secret sauce, fresh bun) as it has been since Fuller’s Coffee Shop began serving customers in 1947. The price is also welcomingly retro: The classic goes for $6.95.

2. Salvador Molly’s

1523 SW Sunset Blvd., 503-293-1790, salvadormollyspdx.com. 11:30 am–9 pm Tuesday–Sunday.

You can learn a lot about a person in a very short time after they bite into the Great Balls of Fire at Salvador Molly’s. These are the all-mighty fried habanero orbs of cheese that look innocuous enough sitting in a calm pool of devilishly, um, stimulating habanero sauce on a bright piece of Fiestaware and come three or five to an order. It starts with a nice innocent crunch, followed by a watery eye or two (bonus if there’s runny mascara). They’ll laugh it off at first. “Well, that was surprisingly kicky,” they’ll blubber. Or maybe they’re the type who licks their fingers clean of all the molten goodness and goes in for another—i.e., a keeper.

3. Montelupo Italian Market–Eastside

1613 SE Bybee Blvd., 503-954-3275, montelupo.co/sellwood. 11 am–7 pm Monday-Thursday, 11 am–8 pm Friday-Sunday.

We’re all about cacio e pepe season. And now Sellwood-Moreland residents have another source for adult mac and cheese: Montelupo, which boldly opened in Northeast Portland the summer of 2020, has spun off an eastside location. The intimate space offers take-home pasta that’s handmade daily as well as sauces, sandwiches and half-a-dozen focaccias—with toppings like Italian sausage, potato and guanciale, and goat cheese, you might just make a meal out of the bread and call it a night.

4. L’Orange

2005 SE 11th Ave., 503-880-5682, lorangepdx.com. 5–10 pm Monday-Saturday.

Behind an easy-to-miss orange door in a 1905 home lies one of Portland’s best new restaurants. L’Orange feels cozy and well suited for a bohemian dinner party thanks to its fantastical wallpapers, white lace curtains and colors of each room. Meanwhile, the menu is focused and hyperseasonal and—perhaps most importantly—won’t break the bank. You can work your way through much of it if you’re willing to share. On our visits, we were impressed with a deviously indulgent riff on French onion soup with a gravylike broth and Gruyère cheese skirt, the Lyonnaise salad with smoky pork morsels, and the supremely underrated sturgeon that was kissed by smoke and served over a bed of vegetables.

5. Jamaica House

8307 N Ivanhoe St., 503-462-9710. 11 am–8 pm Monday–Saturday, 1–8 pm Sunday.

The jerk chicken is the classic move at this St. Johns oasis of island cuisine, served super smoky with just the right kick of spice. But ordering the oxtails or curry chicken, both fall-off-the-bone braised just right, and sharing is even better. Savor the excellent cabbage cooked in coconut milk until it’s more succulent than you ever thought possible for a cruciferous vegetable. Split a beef patty, a breaded and lightly fried Jamaican meat pie, and every little thing is gonna be all right.

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