Established in 1982, this neighborhood gastropub infuses visits with an assorted mix of Americana and sports décor. An eclectic spread of comfort food lures eyes from the paraphernalia-strewn walls to the tables, where crab wontons fit right in alongside Baja-inspired shrimp quesadillas, or New England-influenced cups of clam chowder. The entrees sate heartier appetites, and keep close to classic Americana. Chefs hand dip halibut fish and chips, toss together the billed "famous" wilted spinach salad, and fire up sirloin steak and tiger prawns.
Elephants Delicatessen has been providing Portlanders with fresh deli fare since the dying days of disco. Items are made from scratch daily, with the menu and prices varying from location to location. A few staples pop up at several Elephants eateries, however—namely, the delicatessen's highly praised soups, including the beloved tomato orange soup ($4.50 for a bowl at the Elephants on Wheels location), said to have the ability to align stars in a single spoonful. An array of sandwiches is also available at Elephants Delicatessen, including an albacore tuna salad mini-hoagie ($4.50 at the three Flying Elephants locations), or the Elephants' Own Hamburger ($8.95 at the NW 22nd Avenue location). Depending on which Elephants you choose to harness with your lunch-grabbing lasso, you can also opt for pizza, spinach salad, a black-bean burger, fish and chips, or a Carolina pulled-pork sandwich. Be sure to check your location's menu before making crazy-eyed demands for lobster-and-squash cookies, which don't exist.
Stanford's Restaurant & Bar stays close to home, even as it explores and combines the diverse flavors of the U.S.. Its chefs purchase as many ingredients as possible from local Washington and Oregon sources such as Inaba Farms, Ralph's Greenhouse, and Dungeness Farms. The results: buttermilk fried chicken with country sausage gravy and honey mustard glaze, and walnut crusted brie with house-made seasonal preserves. As for their combinations, the chefs don't believe land and sea need to remain separate?just look at their prime rib and grilled salmon with parmesan garlic mashed potatoes, seasonal vegetables, and Dave's horseradish sauce. Both surf and turf tend to spend a lot of time together atop the kitchen's wood-fired grill, too, soaking up the smokey flavor of the smoldering logs while coming to realize there aren't so many differences between them after all.
Manzana is Spanish for apple, which might seem like a strange name for a restaurant that prizes its meats. But it's applewood that fuels the grill, and it's the grill that cooks everything from a roasted-artichoke appetizer to Manzana's specialty: Oregon-raised chicken. The chicken roasts on a rotisserie throughout the day, deriving flavor from no less than 30 spices, until it's served with mashed potatoes, vegetables, and gravy.
Manzana's other recipes marry northwestern ingredients with southwestern staples, producing enchiladas with Oregon Bay shrimp, and fresh salmon with cilantro rice. The beer and wine list also has a local focus: it features several brews that were bottled in Oregon and Washington, instead of bottles that were merely found bobbing in nearby rivers.
Thu Ha Dinh, the head chef at fuAsian, knows that great food has no single nationality. That's why she cooks up wild seafood in Malaysian-inspired laksa broth made from coconut milk and fresh spices. It's also why simmers local grass-fed beef bones for Vietnamese pho and bakes her own gluten-free bread for French sandwiches filled with ham and Gruyere cheese covered in B?chamel sauce. These and other inventive combinations ensure that you'll never get bored with the menu, but fuAsian Cafe doesn't stop there. Thu Ha leads her dynamic team through many catering events and also inspires her home chefs by offering cooking classes in which she demonstrate how to roll sushi and sculpt rice into a convincing Mickey Mouse.