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.
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.
Named for the Schoening family golden retriever, the owners of Fat Milo's Family Kitchen invite diners into their old-school American-style diner where biscuits, burgers, soups, and sauces are all handmade from locally sourced ingredients. On any given day, the eatery’s breakfasts and lunches may call to mind memories of family dinners and successful school-lunch trading upgrades, with mom-and-pop team Rachel and Miles Schoening cooking special plates of fried chicken and waffles on Wednesdays. Potent house cocktails and flavorful Oregon beers on tap also pair nicely with dinner plates, and may arrive at tables in the hands of Schoening daughter Ashley, one of the restaurant’s servers.
Whether seated inside ChickenBonz’s colorful dining room or outside, diners await platefuls of wings and tenders smothered in one of 12 sauces such as sesame soy, sweet chili garlic, and spicy barbecue. Combo meals match either chicken or hefty beef patties sandwiched between texas toast with fries and a drink. A selection of tasty sides include crunchy fried pickles and delectable sweet potato fries.
Stanford's Restaurant & Bar stays close to home, even as it explores and combines the diverse flavors of the US. In addition to buying fish from the Columbia River, its chefs obtain as many ingredients as possible from Washington and Oregon producers such as Inaba Farms, Ralph?s Greenhouse, and Dungeness Farm. The results: fresh grilled salmon with lemon-chive cream and a rib-eye steak that spends 48 hours marinating in pineapple and soy. As for their combinations, the chefs don't believe land and sea need to remain separate?just look at their Surf & Turf Kobe burger with dungeness crab, b?arnaise sauce, and roasted mushrooms. And both surf and turf tend 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.