Oregon is home to a lot of restaurants, bars, wineries, and breweries, but there are tons of hidden gems that the majority of Portlanders aren't unearthing. To help guide us to these potential discoveries, we've enlisted some of our city's many food players to share their recommendations for a weekly feature dubbed Dining Confidential.
Image of Po'Shines courtesy ericolmsted via typepad
Born and raised just outside of Philadelphia, Kyle Rourke started his cooking career at the age of 15 as a dishwasher at a restaurant on the Jersey Shore. In the early aughts he headed west and began working at downtown's Red Star in 2007, assuming the role of executive chef just last year. Rouke maintains a strong commitment to local ingredients, but admits he still misses the flavors of his own East Coast childhood. Though Rouke finds it a bit hard to track down those authentic tastes, he has found someplace deep in the heart of North Portland that satisfies his own comfort food cravings.
Growing up in South Jersey, comfort food was found by picking up an everything bagel with cream cheese at a Jewish deli, a quick slice at a pizzeria, or a soft pretzel from a cart vendor from one of our 3,000 malls. Now that I have been on the West Coast for over 10 years, my taste for comfort food has shifted. Po' shines on Denver Street in North Portland is just that — comforting. Whether it's the middle of a dreary February or end of a hot August day, my girlfriend and I like to grab a spot facing the large windows for people watching. Our order usually includes a brisket basket, rib basket, and side of barbecue pork. Each basket comes with hushpuppies — which they execute very well — and a side. The price is reasonable, the food is good, and the staff is friendly.