We don't often think of the past here in Portland. Between the tall condominiums popping up all over town and the mad dash to see what will be the next Salt & Straw or Pok Pok, the city's history is often hiding in plain sight. And with Sayler's Country Kitchen celebrating its 70th anniversary this week, it's an excellent opportunity to visit an authentic Portland landmark.
Art and Dick Sayler came to Portland from North Dakota in 1946 with dreams of serving quality steaks at affordable prices. Operating out of its current location at Southeast Stark Street and 105th Avenue since 1951, the old Country Kitchen is currently under its third generation of Sayler ownership—with a wait staff that's been working here for more than a decade, sometimes for more than three.
Like the owners and the staff, the menu hasn't changed much at the Country Kitchen. It hasn't had to. It still serves every cut of steak there is in any size you can imagine, including a 72-ounce behemoth that's been challenging Portlanders since 1948. The baked potatoes are loaded and the famed mushroom sauce as hearty as ever. Sayler's is the classic, old-fashioned meat and potato joint that has passed the test of time.
And now it's time for a new generation of Portlanders to celebrate this local landmark. Hang out in the Mad Men-era lounge adorned with vintage photos of patrons from days gone by, while sipping a Burnside Manhattan. Or maybe you're just craving a gigantic top sirloin and some onion rings. Seventy years is a long time, especially in this quirky little city. Come find out what keeps so many Portlanders coming back.