While the opening of the more "serious" sister restaurant Old Salt in 2013 siphoned off the attention of the food scene at large, Grain & Gristle has grown into a cornerstone of the Sabin neighborhood, particularly with the closure of neighboring young-creative hangout Tiga last year.

A gastropub in the truest sense, it splits the difference between all-American carnivore cabin and legit Portland beer bar better than any place else in town. Given the pedigree of its owners, that's no surprise.

Opened in 2010 as a collaboration between Ned Ludd co-founder Ben Meyer and Upright Brewing's Alex Ganum, the rustically decorated eatery is regarded as much for its tap list as anything on the food menu, to the point that the items served on plates rather than in glasses might even be deemed "underrated." True, there isn't what you might call a "signature" plate here, but it does a lot of things right and at the right price.

Stopping in with the bros and/or gals for a quick pint and an appetizer? Grab a rotating cheese, meat or fish board, the latter two of which come with housemade pickles. Got a bigger appetite? Just go straight for the burger ($11), a stripped-down third-pounder that's above average even when not gussied up with various add-ons.


Pro tip: The daily "twofer" deal—an entree, sides and two pints for $25—is one of the best in town, no matter what the special happens to be.

GO: 1473 NE Prescott St., 298-5007, grainandgristle.com. Noon-midnight Monday-Friday, 9 am-3 pm and 5 pm-midnight Saturday-Sunday. $$.