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.
Colin Howard is the co-owner of Oso Market + Bar, the new joint that is equal parts bottleshop, specialty market, and neighborhood bar. Colin leads the beverage program and exclusive product sourcing, and from his perspective, the concept is all about meeting guests' level of excitement and knowledge of wine, beer, and food, so they can relax and enjoy an experience to the fullest in an environment that's boisterous and fun. It's how he likes his taverns too. In his free time, Howard enjoys playing guitar, cycling, touring motorcycles... and eating chicken and waffles in a North Portland tavern turned hipster hangout.
Chicken and waffles are a big deal in Baltimore, where I grew up, and I love finding a place that does them the way I remember. North Portland's Barlow Tavern nails it down pretty darn well. The facade of the place has this great optical treat happening with the geometric wood patterns and the staff is always smiling. If I'm with a friend, two pints and a plate of Cajun tater tots is the ideal companion.
Photo of Barlow Tavern courtesy Foursquare