2411 SE Belmont St., 503-954-1541, blackheartpdx.com.
For aging punk-rockers who loathe the bougie and time-consuming nature of New Portland brunch spots, the arrival of Blackheart is big news. Chef Brian McKnight hits the mark with the chicken and waffles, a generous heap of juicy boneless bird perched atop a Four Roses Bourbon syrup-drenched waffle.
2. Teo Bun Bo Hue
8220 SE Harrison St., No. 230, 503-208-3532.
The casual, busy cafe lacks menus and serves only three things—its signature bun bo hue, as well as chicken and beef pho. The namesake soup is an enormous, steaming bowl of rich, savory soup, and the chicken pho is reminiscent of American chicken noodle soup: a soothing, aromatic basin of noodles and chicken offered bone-in or boneless.
1212 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-234-7786; 1205 SW Washington St., 503-241-2490; lardosandwiches.com.
Lardo is one of Portland's most beloved pig-pushers. There's a pork meatball banh mi and a You Don't Know Jack, made with jackfruit, but the standout is the Korean pork shoulder, which is perfectly tender and doesn't hammer you over the head with seasoning. No sandwich here would be complete without a side of dirty fries, which come loaded with melt-in-your-mouth pork scraps.
4. Kargi Gogo
3039 NE Alberta St., 503-764-9552, kargigogo.com.
Kargi Gogo is likely to be many diners' first exposure to Georgian food. The most iconic dish is acharuli khachapuri, a chewy raft of flatbread with curled edges that holds a fondue-esque vat of melted cheese, slices of butter and an egg over easy. The unadorned version will run you $12, but the addition of wine- and dill-sautéed mushrooms is well worth the $3 upgrade.
5. Rabbits Cafe
115 NE 6th Ave., 971-229-0357, rabbitscafepdx.com.
Rabbits is sort of like the crunchy vegan version of a kid who can't help but dump every topping onto his ice cream sundae. The most decadent item is the Texas red waffle, which comes loaded with soy curls, sharp tofu scramble, potatoes, black beans and two types of creamy cashew sauces. It's a heap of gooey comforts, the kind of hangover-food monstrosity that is either your thing or isn't.