The fireplace in 45th Grill's cozy dining room offers a Dadaist simulacrum for the grill that fires each Angus beef burger and steak behind the scenes. Deep-fried mushrooms assimilate to grill culture by arriving with a ranch-dip sidekick ($5.95), then kaiser buns proudly present still-hungry diners with half-pound burgers. Those with even meatier appetites can opt for the 10-ounce top sirloin, dusted with a picturesque snowfall of blue-cheese crumbles ($17.95). The 45th Grill also offers chicken, seafood, and pasta dishes, as well as a Sunday brunch that starts at 11 a.m. See the full menu to scout out potential prey, and call ahead for reservations, as seating is limited.
On mornings at Broadway Cafe, patrons cozy into pink-cushioned chairs and turquoise booths for American breakfasts of french toast, syrup-slathered pancakes, and hearty three-egg omelets. For lunch, tables populate with juicy burgers and amply stuffed sandwiches held together by gooey swiss and cheddar cheese. After sipping the last of a strawberry lemonade or iced tea, patrons can dig into desserts, including pie à la mode or an ice-cream sundae.
Gourmet foods, including cedar-plank salmon and flatiron steak, form the foundation of the dishes served by Divine Catering's licensed and insured crew. Chef and proprietor Alisa LaFurge helms the culinary team, which won Best Bite at the 2011 Taste of Portland. Adept at crafting fare for gatherings small and large, the crew pulls together menus for less formal events that call for boxed lunches and afternoon snacks to weddings that command epic feasts or rows of troughs, depending on the species of the bride and groom.
Chef Thu Ha Dinh and her eclectic team at fuAsian merge flavors from a variety of Asian cuisines. Whether they're helming a cooking class or whipping up well-crafted meals for diners or catered events, the chefs use handpicked natural ingredients, creating dishes that ooze earth-culled goodness and each write polite thank-you notes to the ozone layer.
For 25 years, the chefs and party planners at A Matter of Taste have been decorating and catering everything from major events to intimate gatherings. Founder Vanessa Juryla has put her skills to use at weddings and private dinners in New York and Los Angeles, and today she and her staff focus on the Portland area. There, they sauté Maryland soft-shell crab, grill mangos and pair them with rum-glazed plantains, and prepare cakes in flavors such as coconut pineapple and vanilla buttermilk.
Beneath a basil-green awning, Cellar Door Market fills with the universal clatter of a happy kitchen as chef Paul LaLone brings 26 years in the culinary industry to bear on heaps of regional ingredients. Guest chefs lead hands-on classes in specific cuisines and techniques, which may introduce pupils to the art of baking bread, preparing healthy food, rolling sushi, and remembering that sushi is the one food that should not be roasted on a campfire. Each session is rated according to the knife skills required to complete the meal, and pupils bustle past the kitchen, laden with completed dishes for their friends and families.
Beyond the kitchen doors at Cellar Door Market, chefs create meals from scratch, quick-cooling them to preserve integrity. Whenever possible, meals are made with local products including meats and produce from nearby sustainable farms. The rotating menu has included dishes such as red beans and rice with Zenner’s sausage, smoked pork loin with a peach and bourbon sauce, and zucchini manicotti, and each item comes with instructions for easily reheating it or taking it to a dragon’s surprise party.