Oregon is home to a lot of restaurants, bars, wineries, and breweries, but there are tons of hidden gems that some 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 Hot Pot City courtesy chelley l. via Yelp
Chef Jun Robles — who's worked at Nostrana and Le Pigeon — serves up non-traditional pub fare at BridgePort Ale House, weaving his Asian-American heritage throughout the menu by pairing Asian drinking food with Oregon microbrews. But when Jun is looking for a food-fueled religious experience, he and his girlfriend head downtown to Hot Pot City for some crave-worthy restorative Taiwanese broths.
Hot Pot City is an all-you-can-eat Taiwanese soup joint hidden in a little strip mall in downtown PDX. Here's how it works: You sit down at a table in front of your individual heating unit (a great touch) and select your base broth from flavors like Szechuan barbecue, spicy Thai, and vegetarian. Then it's time to line up for the buffet, where you pile on various sauces and other delicious add-ons, like garlic, ginger, fish sauce, pickled eggs, kimchi, handmade meatballs, and dumplings to name a few. My favorite combo is the spicy Thai broth topped with pork knuckles and tripe with a whole mess of veggies. Hot Pot City is well loved among Portland's Asian community and PSU students, so it's definitely an eclectic crowd. One thing everyone has in common though, is that when they sit down at HPC, they are focused on one thing and one thing only — slowly slurping their soup. It's a delicious, meditative experience.
· All Previous Dining Confidentials [Eater PDX]