The sandwich has been the staple of the midday meal since the turn of the century. But despite its commonality, the sandwich is anything but boring—at least in Portland. Take the ones at Bunk Sandwiches, which come stuffed not with common cold cuts, but with house-cured pork belly. Or the burgers at Little Big Burger, which feature pillowy brioche buns bursting with locally made meats and cheeses. And of course, you can’t forget the traditional grilled-cheese sandwich, though the ones at Brunch Box are anything but traditional. The crispy, cheesy concoctions function as hamburger buns, bookending a massive beef-and-turkey burger to create a sandwich-on-sandwich-on-sandwich masterpiece.Read More
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Though food trucks are a popular sight throughout the country, the city laws that govern them have imbued the mobile-food culture with distinct regional differences. For years in Chicago, no food truck was able to cook onboard, a regulation that routinely led to sold-out menus for tardy customers. (Luckily, the law changed in 2012.) In San Antonio, mobile vendors can’t sell within 300 feet of a restaurant. And in many cities, time limits for parking keep trucks moving from neighborhood to neighborhood, making up-to-the-minute social-media updates integral to customers knowing where they are. Portland, however, has less stringent time limits and regulations. Carts outnumber trucks, as the ability to move at a moment’s notice is less crucial. This reduced emphasis on mobility also makes Portland’s many food-cart “pods” possible. Stationary pods ranging from six modest carts to those that sprawl over a city block pepper various neighborhoods, giving customers a chance to explore a range of unique culinary treats—from Korean hot dogs and wood-fired pizzas to an all-out Scandinavian feast.Read More
There's a big difference between a steak grilled at home and one served in an upscale steakhouse—in flavor, anyway. According to _Serious Eats_, that difference comes down to one very important factor: dry aging. The process involves storing large cuts of meat in a temperature- and humidity-controlled chamber for anywhere from a few weeks to several months, which concentrates the flavors, tenderizes the meat, and allows the naturally occurring bacteria and enzymes to infuse the steak with more complex aromas. Portland's steakhouses take this process seriously—most age their steaks for a minimum of 28 days, and some, such as Urban Farmer and its 42-day-aged Painted Hills new york strip, go above and beyond to achieve that nuanced, melt-in-your-mouth quality that only a well-aged steak can achieve.Read More