G Station is like Portland's answer to Bob's Burgers, if it were set in a port town bus station.
Opened in 2015 inside the Greyhound station in Old Town, it is one of Portland's secret cheap-eats gems and, one imagines, many travelers' first bite in town. They will not be let down. Serving affordable, greasy delights, the black-owned mom-'n'-pop diner slash gift shop sells sandwiches, smoothies, breakfast items and books like Ross Matthews' biography and Jackie Collins' cookbook. What the menu lacks in puns it makes up for in surprising flavor.
The blueberry grilled cheese ($5), which I tried with havarti, was sweet, creamy and crunchy, the bread burnt just like your dad would make. The cheeseburger ($6.75) brings to mind Burger King's Whopper, with onions, pickles, tomatoes and secret sauce. It's not charbroiled, though, and decidedly more filling than its fast-food counterpart. Bus stations aren't my first stop for fish, but the fried seafood platter ($12.99), with prawns, halibut bites, clams and fries, is a shockingly safe, satisfying bet. Meanwhile, the turkey wing dinner ($5 for a full leg with bread and a mystery Shasta; $3 for a half-wing) made me live out my Elizabethan fantasy of partying with Henry VIII's ex-wives, who all got spousal support instead of, well, you know.
But G Station's best item is perhaps its Impossible Burger, which might be the most affordable in the city. At $10.99, it's sold for significantly less than neighboring Wilfs' own "bleeding" meatless burger, and compared to many of the Portland locations serving these patties, the diner's version runs $5 less on average. If you've ever been in a tight spot while traveling, it's good to know you can eat something healthy on the cheap.
EAT: G Station, 550 NW 6th Ave., 503-224-0776, gstationdiner.com. 5:30 am-1 pm and 3-11 pm Monday-Saturday, 7 am-7 pm Sunday.