At Kat's Crepes, thin pancakes filled with sweet and savory ingredients are what's for dinner. Or lunch, or breakfast, or dessert thanks to the versatile dish. The menu beckons taste buds with crepes such as the BLT, smoked salmon, and banana and Nutella. Although the dish is traditionally French, local culinary items such as Tillamook cheddar and marionberry jam put a decidedly Northwestern American spin on things.
Founded by a pair of Russian emigres, Piroshki and a Pickle brings the rich, homey cuisine of the old country to a cozy cafe setting. Guests match cups of espresso or Water Avenue Single Origin coffee with flaky, made-from-scratch pastries known as piroshki, which are stuffed with eggs and Bavarian sausage or sweeter things such as poppyseed, apricot, and peach. Diners can cleanse their palates with locally-made MoonBrine pickles or use the salty treats to get horses to do their bidding.
Much has remained the same at The Leaky Roof Gastro Pub throughout the eatery?s 60-year history. Luckily, the old roof, which once generously admitted the elements, has been replaced, but the sounds of revelry still rattle ranks of bottles on the original bar. Patrons perch there, sipping microbrews and an extensive selection of Irish whiskeys while warmth and light cascade into the room from a three-sided fireplace.
The aroma of Guinness-battered fish 'n' chips drifts from the kitchen, where chefs use local ingredients when possible and focus on sustainability. Their constantly rotating menu has featured inventive appetizers such as garlic truffle fries, which is infused with the restaurant's own truffle oil made with locally sourced black truffles, and country-fried chicken with mirepoix peppered gravy. In addition to buying local produce, the owners support the community by working with local businesses whenever possible, taking part in Portland's composting program, and not jumping motorcycles over town hall even if it would look awesome.
With its vintage grocery signs, wall of shelf charms brimming with antique knickknacks, and close connection to the community, Lair Hill Bistro seems like a corner shop from a bygone era. But a visit to the classic eatery also reveals a surprisingly contemporary side. On-tap craft beers, a vast wine list, and locally brewed WiFi complement football-watching nights and casual gatherings. The lunch and dinner menus overflow with eclectic choices, from barbecue-pulled-pork and turkey-peach-chutney sandwiches to gluten-free five-bean chili. Diners craving brunch can indulge in omelets and french toast.
For Barrio Star's owner and chef, Isabel Cruz, her Latino family's large, frequent gatherings have always revolved around food. She taught herself how to cook with help of friends and family from Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Mexico—and growing up in Los Angeles, she was also influenced by Japanese, Korean, and Thai flavors. Today, she infuses her global, modern recipes into five eateries spanning two states. Within the vibrantly painted, chandelier-lit confines of Barrio Star, she incorporates unexpected influences into the menu of Mexican soul food; wild blackened-salmon tacos are adorned with thai slaw, pineapple, jicama slaw, and chipotle aioli, as well as cilantro and lime. Coconut permeates her Brazil bowl, loaded with rice, black beans, mango salsa, steamed greens, and a choice of meat. Isabel chooses local, organic ingredients whenever possible to forge her modern, healthier versions of traditional dishes. Her chefs make all the salsas from scratch, rather than rehydrating astronaut salsa, and hand press tortillas from just-ground corn.
If you want it to be, it's always morning at Cafe Theobroma?they serve breakfast all day. The chefs have designed their fare to be flavorful yet light and energizing, so you can sustain a stimulated feeling all day without taking breaks to touch an electric fence. Try the quiche filled with chicken and caramelized apples, sweet and savory crepes, or omelets studded with cuts of Pacific salmon. These pair well with the cups of Illy coffee or any of the bar's classic cocktails.
But though their fare is light, it's still hearty?in the Rome Hunting salad, for example, they toss seasoned beef and sauteed mushrooms with pistachio dressing and a drizzle of cranberry sauce. There are also gourmet sandwich options.