Before Memphis spare ribs or Kansas City rib tips are seared and glazed with barbecue sauce, Seven Rivers BBQ's pitmasters slow-smoke each rack for four hours. That's on the shorter end of the spectrum at Seven Rivers, where brisket cooks for 10 hours and Carolina pulled pork for 12. Once the cuts are ready, cooks pile them into lunchtime sandwiches, assemble them into feasts for up to six diners, or sell them by the pound in catered platters. Sides such as cajun macaroni salad accompany mains, as do libations such as three varieties of Johnnie Walker scotch whiskey. And while the business is a vendor for the Portland Trail Blazers, it also has its own dining room that serves as an homage to sports with billiards tables, buck-hunting arcade games, and rounds of tackle karaoke.
The menu at Slabtown Ribs & BBQ contrasts starkly with your garden-variety fast food menu. That's because Pitmasters can spend most of a day tending to their meats, with smokers set to low heats for long periods of time to bring out each cut's flavors. Though this flavor alone is juicy and savory, they can further enhance these flavors with one of their trio of barbecue sauces. Pitmasters take cues from barbecue regions from throughout the country to make sauces including the tangy Carolina mustard, the spicy Texas hot, and the complex Kansas City classic.
While the Pitmasters specialize in brisket?which they put in everything from platters and sandwiches to the house chili?they also prepare a range of other barbecued meats. They cook up Zenner's German sausage with a scoop of sauerkraut, serve barbecue chicken in a flavorful sauce, and grill their pork spare ribs St. Louis style?in one giant arch.
Nob Hill Bar & Grill serves seasonal, upscale American bar fare in a laid-back dining room filled with brick accents and modern, stylish décor or on an inviting outdoor patio. Prep your stomach with clams steamed in Blue Moon beer, with red chili flakes, orange gremolata, lardons, and cippolini onions ($10), before treating it to larger dishes such as the flat-iron steak frites with a sidekick of garlic-parsley fries ($17) and tiger shrimp sautéed in Sierra Nevada pale ale, prowling among artichoke hearts, spinach, and mandarin oranges in an angel- hair-pasta habitat ($15). Veggievores can feast on the Nob Hill edamame and mushroom veggie burger, crowned with ginger and lime mayo along with a courtly crowd of caramelized onions, avocado, sprouts, and veggies ($9), while sipping on one of many inventive drinks. For dessert, diffuse the Guinness waffle car bomb, a sweet explosion of house-made Guinness ice cream on Belgium waffles with Jameson-whiskey caramel and Bailey's sweet cream ($6).
By supplying patrons with eco-friendly art supplies in addition to local beer, wine, and artisan food, The Canvas encourages self-expression while eliminating the menace of a noisy, empty stomach. Begin an artistic feast by choosing adornable surfaces, such as 8"x8” canvas boards ($4 each) or 9"x12” stretched canvases ($6 each), and retina-stimulating water-soluble oil pastels ($4) or acrylic paints ($5). Mixed-media offerings such as eco-friendly markers and recycled color papers ($3) will keep clever collagists absorbed, and complimentary graphite, charcoal, and sketch paper are provided for brainstorming over draft beers and local wines. To soak up excess alcohol and artistic inspiration, The Canvas offers soups, salads, shared plates, and hearty sandwiches. The Jackson Pollock splashes fresh bread with apples, brie, and Oregon blackberry preserves ($8), while the Andy Warhol peppers roast beef and campagnolo bread with pops of gouda, tomato, mesclun greens, sundried-tomato aioli, and at least 15 minutes of fame ($8). Some menu items can be made gluten-free, and many are herbivore friendly.
Miss Delta's menu reads like a southern roadmap, traversing starter dishes such as fried okra ($5), sweet potato fires with homemade applesauce ($5), and steamed mussels shucked by the pound ($10). Main dishes dance to the Cajun beat of jambalaya bowls (tomatoes, okra, andouille sausage, smoked chicken, and shrimp over rice, $10) and flavor-rich po' boys available with Memphis-style sausage, catfish, or barbecue tofu ($7–$10). While dining, feel free to wash bites down to the Mississippi Delta with handcrafted cocktails ranging from classic mint juleps ($8) to the signature Miss Delta martini, which is shaken to please with vodka, pomegranate liqueur, orange-blossom water, fresh lemonade, and a refreshing nod of kinship from your stoic bartender ($7).