Pitxi, pronounced "pea-chee," is as green as the food on its tables, having just opened this past April. The sapling hotspot serves up a petite, specialized variety of robust regional flavors, with each dish prepared with locally sourced and organic ingredients. Turn the closing-day ritual of counting sheep on its head by starting your meal off with some lamb pillows ($9), and then freshen your mouth's crimson hues by adding a bowl of cold beet soup ($9) to your belly. Meat-centered main dishes, such as quail ($18) served with asparagus, potatoes, and quail egg and beer-marinated pork ($18) with broccoli and quinoa, satisfy acute carnivorous palates, while the earthy flavors of Pitxi's mushroom patty ($18) with fresh noodles, stinging nettles, and Oregon truffles happify even the hardest-to-please herbivores. For dessert, treat sweet chompers to a slice of fresh strawberry cheesecake ($7) or a more savory serving of saffron ice cream with olive-oil cookies ($7).
The chefs at Tommy O's Pacific Rim Bistro might be wizards. With local produce, wild-caught fish, and other ingredients culled from Vancouver's farmers’ markets, they conjure meals straight from Hawaiian tables. Their menu combines sake-wasabi oyster shooters from the raw bar with tropical dishes of slow-roasted kalua pork and calamari steak sandwiches doused in housemade tartar sauce. Bartenders stock their taps with beers from around the Northwest and shake specialty cocktails such as the FBI, whose blend of vanilla vodka, coconut rum, and pineapple juice was specially designed to look amazing in the hand of anyone wearing wraparound sunglasses. While diners take their taste buds surfing, their eyes soak up tropical decorations such as surfboards, palm fronds, and murals of surfers, all nestled comfortably in a dining room that hosts happy hours and jazz performances throughout the week.
Cuisine Type: Upscale northwest comfort food
Most popular offering: Pork loin, polenta, bacon and cherry sauce
Alcohol: Beer and wine only
Number of Tables: 11–25
Outdoor Seating: Yes
Parking: Metered street parking
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Pro Tip: Make a reservation. Metered street parking till 6 p.m. costs 60 cents an hour.
In your own words, how would you describe your menu?
Upscale Northwest comfort food, built from scratch with ingredients from local producers where possible.Dishes with few but well sourced ingredients, served with local wines, beers and ciders.
What made you want to work with food? When did you first develop that passion?
I want to teach people that there's so much more to food then just comfort and/or nutrition. Well prepared food will make your day, mediocre food stuffs your tummy and makes you feel guilty. I went to college and started to really like to create different dishes, classic and modern. Why not build a career out of something I love to do?
Are there any dishes on the menu you consider to be a hidden gem—not necessarily the most popular, but surprisingly delicious?
Speatzle. It is actually very popular, but a lot of people don't know the dish. [It] originally comes from countries that have the German language and border the Alps mountain range. It's a dish made with flour, eggs, and milk and [it] tastes great with any protein, vegetable, or simply bacon and cheese.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
Willem's interior is simple but well thought of, like the food that gets served in the restaurant. It has a semi private mezzanine that seats 16 people comfortably, great for business meetings [and] private lunches, brunches or dinners.
Patanegra serves a seasonal menu of authentic Spanish tapas and hearty paellas served in a warm and sophisticated setting. Pair the classic patatas bravas, plucky potatoes swimming in a spicy tomato sauce ($5.50), with the more exotic codorniz en chocolate, semi-boneless quail smothered in chocolate sauce ($10.75). Seafaring appetites can choose from five paellas, including Patanegra's namesake rice dish dotted with seafood, Serrano ham, chorizo, and chicken ($20 per person). The perfect place for a first date or Gaudi fan-club meeting, Patanegra features an extensive wine list highlighting dozens of Spanish and Latin American varieties.
The trio of North Portland natives and connoisseurs behind Grass Roots Cafe tote homestyle cooking around the neighborhood and beyond from a truck they've outfitted with recycled and repurposed materials. The food inside matches their green leanings: many of the ingredients infusing the menu of piled-high burgers, chicken and waffles, and ice-cream shakes are culled from local producers or bartered from local children whose moms never get them Twinkies. An overstuffed aesthetic amplifies classic comfort dishes, from a bacon-caramel milk shake to a baker's dozen of wing sauces to the three pounds of beef and piles of pepper bacon that fill the birthday cake–size BFD burger. Though equipped with wheels and an oxen yoke, the eatery most often rests on Mississippi Avenue within walking distance of parks, and catering staff whisk trays of vegan burgers, pulled-pork sliders, and mac 'n' cheese to family gatherings, parties, and the set of NBC show Grimm.
Wrapped in a cone shape on the spot, the Japanese crepe is a delightful dessert that can be eaten anytime, anywhere, and in any way. Choose between a fruit and ice cream filled crepe or if you're feeling hungry, a savory crepe. Either way, the possibilities are endless.