Oregon is home to a lot of restaurants, bars, wineries, and breweries, and though certain spots generate all the buzz, there are tons of hidden gems that the majority of Portlanders — ourselves included — just aren't unearthing. To help guide us to these potential discoveries, we've enlisted some of our city's many food luminaries to share their under-the-radar recommendations for a weekly feature dubbed Dining Confidential.
Image of Chen's Good Taste courtesy Joseph Robertson via Flickr
Chef Jenn Louis, of Lincoln Restaurant and Sunshine Tavern fame, is known for her simple yet refined touches in the kitchen. But when she and her hubby/business partner David Welch want to find something simple to eat, that's also quiet, they continue to find themselves at one of Chinatown's most unassuming Chinese restaurants.
"David and I love Chen's Good Taste because the food is simple, authentic, and made with a lot of care. One of our past line cooks suggested [it] when we asked where we should go for Sunday brunch. It is a quiet place for us. When we are tired and need to relax on Sunday morning — our Saturday — David and I like to go: Date lunch! We go there often, sometimes weekly. There is smoked duck and pork hanging in the entrance of the restaurant. Walk back to the kitchen, the door will be open, and you can see the closet-sized smoker and poultry in the sink. We always order a large dumpling soup with vegetable (usually bok choi), add extra dumplings and a side of gai lan-oyster sauce on the side. I use the toasted chili condiment, David loves Sriracha. The dining room is stark, simple tables, nothing remotely fancy. Very straightforward. There are many times when we are the only ones there who are not Chinese. The servers are brisk and super sweet — down to business, but always kind. They usually take a look at us and say, "Do you need a menu?"