1. White curry with brisket burnt ends @ Eem
3808 N Williams Ave., No. 127, 971-295-1645, eempdx.com.
Thai barbecue spot Eem was the most hyped Portland restaurant of the year, but even if it sold nothing but this dish, there'd still be lines out the door. Adding the best burnt ends in town to the best curry, it's the perfect balance of supple fork-tenderness and gentle toughness that encourages blissful chewing you'll wish would never end. PETE COTTELL.
2. Slow-smoked beef rib @ Bullard
813 SW Alder St., 503-222-1670, bullardpdx.com.
Head chef Doug Adams elevates a primitive method of cooking into high art. The meat, which diners can stuff into a warm flour tortilla and heap with fixings like housemade guacamole and tomatillo sauce, comes presented next to a curved bone as long as a man's forearm. You can tell the protein has been in the belly of a smoker for hours, because slicing through it is like plunging a spoon into warm butter. ANDI PREWITT.
3. The Pyro @ Secret Pizza Society
7201 NE Glisan St., 503-946-1926, thegsmp.com.
It's crunchy. It's creamy. It's umami-sweet. It is the Pyro, a folded vegan pizza in the form of a gyro. It comes redolent with soy curls and sweet sauce and crunchy, chewy, garlicky crust. I can't stop thinking about it. JORDAN MICHELMAN.
4. Nasi campur @ Wajan
4611 E Burnside St., 503-206-5916, wajanpdx.com.
Indonesian food is a tough but fulfilling find in Portland. For 2019, I was most smitten by the nasi campur at Wajan. The savory sampler plate of jackfruit, tempeh, coconut, egg, rice cracker and a choice of meat, surrounding a mound of rice and embellished with a side of fiery sambal, was a rare and compelling treat. MICHAEL C. ZUSMAN.
5. Sliced pork belly taco @ Matt’s BBQ Tacos
3207 SE Hawthorne Blvd., mattsbbqtacos.com.
Sadly, the taco truck from Texas barbecue master Matt Vicedomini doesn't serve breakfast all day, but that's OK, considering the sliced pork belly at lunch is pretty much a bean-and-bacon breakfast taco. With pork fat served three ways, there may not be a higher purpose for Vicedomini's lard-based flour tortillas. JASON COHEN.