A hardworking family of taste-makers fashion delicious meals of Italian fare from cherished recipes and fresh ingredients. Each menu item speaks to the restaurant’s commitment to handmade, one-of-a-kind dishes. Hot and cold deli sandwiches are clutched between the kitchen’s freshly baked bread, and pastas and pizzas arrive dressed with sauce made each day from Mama Carlino’s original secret recipe and dashes of nostalgia extract. Fresh, handpicked veggies burst with color atop generously portioned pies, and spicy pepperoni and italian sausage plant hearty deposits in cheesy slices.
Bellagios Pizza, locally owned and operated since 1996, brews ripe batches of tomato sauce and tosses fresh disks of dough daily at their Wilsonville location, while crews at each restaurant sprinkle pies with delicious toppings to create a menu loaded with pizzas, grinders, and calzones. Heaps of spinach, artichokes, and juicy tomatoes guide wandering bellies out of the desert with the Oasis pizza ($10–$19.99), while the Butcher Block throws a crust-top party of salami, pepperoni, canadian bacon, and italian sausage ($10–$19.99), coming together in hearty harmony like a chorus of lumberjacks. Diners interested in a wider variety of toppings or in teaching children about medieval class structure can opt for a pie cleanly divided down the middle, such as a half-cheese, half-pepperoni pizza ($8–$17.99). Slathered with pizza sauce and adorned with meaty toppings, the Bellagio grinder ($5.99) competes with a host of calzones ($10.99) for the silver medal to the pizza menu's gold.
Generally, the undiscriminating palates of post-party college students are not to be trusted. But since 2009, hungry Ducks (and even Puddles himself) have been flocking to the late-night Uly's Taco cart in Eugene, enabling founder Keith Bisbee to open not just a second cart there, but also a brick-and-mortar restaurant in Gresham.
At the new restaurant, Uly's Taco Bar, Keith has the literal and creative space to expand the menu, going beyond a handful of taco and burrito offerings to introduce cilantro salads, sweet-potato burritos, and tortilla soup. But even at the new location, the most popular item is still the Trifecta, a trio of chicken, carnitas, and adobada tacos. Once the upstairs taqueria shuts down for the evening, groups can head downstairs to the lounge, where on-tap beers and a pool table keep the ambiance buzzing into the wee hours.
A place where the colorful interior is rivaled only by the vibrant cuisine, Taqueria Nicos is an authentic Mexican eatery that prepares made-to-order fresh fare. Step up to the counter to try specialties such as tender carne asada and cheesy enchiladas, or breakfast burritos filled with bacon or sausage, cheese, and eggs. The chefs have also mastered a number of classic American plates, such as burgers and fries, turkey sandwiches, and chicken nuggets.
From cracking two-row malted barley in a roller mill to carbonating at 31 degrees Fahrenheit, brewer Adam Roberts’s five-step process yields each of 4th Street Brewing Co.’s handcrafted beers. A window in the brewpub’s restaurant lets patrons take a peek at the working microbrewing equipment, which churn out the ales, porters, and IPAs that make up the five mainstay brews. Adam also crafts seasonal beer selections such as the Get Jiggy Wit It, a belgian white ale, and the czech pilsner.
In the kitchen, Chef Abe uses locally raised, organic ingredients to craft pub food that complements Adam’s beers. Those dishes include beer-battered onion rings by the pound or half-pound, charbroiled or stone-oven-baked pizzas with toppings such as IPA barbecue sauce and artichoke hearts, and a pork-fillet sandwich topped with french fries. Meals unfold in a spacious dining room where sports flicker across nine high-definition televisions and magician Brian Proctor dazzles diners every Friday night by performing card tricks and magically, with only the use of minutes, turning once hot dishes into lukewarm ones. 4th Street also accommodates private feasts in two party rooms equipped with amenities such as a 78-inch projection screen and a private bar.
Fueled by an insatiable fan base built selling tamales at bazaars and markets, the Tamale Factory has evolved into a takeout shop that’s “unlike anything else in the area,” according to The Oregonian.
Each handmade tamale begins with corn flour dough that is filled with beef and pork as well as vegetarian-friendly ingredients such as jalapenos and cheese, which are cooked in vegetable oil instead of lard. After adding mild red or green chile sauce, each tamale is wrapped in a corn husk before slow-cooking it in a steaming pot. For customers who can resist digging in on the spot, Tamale Factory's instructions explain how to reheat your tamales in a microwave, steaming basket, or witch’s cauldron.