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.
One of the stars of this week's Feast fest is definitely Le Pigeon's and Little Bird's Gabriel Rucker. A culinary school dropout who went on to become a two-time James Beard Award winner, Rucker will be popping up all over: Friday at the Oregon Bounty Grand Tasting Demo and Feast's Cookbook Social at the Heathman, as well as with his buddy Andrew Fortgang for a Saturday "Feast Tasting Panel." Rucker also just dropped his first cookbook. That said, Gabe's not always working, writing cookbooks, or winning awards. When he's not at his restaurants, Gabriel can be found at home, often watching San Francisco Giants games with his son and wife, Hana. Speaking of, it was after his wedding that Rucker found one of his favorite burgers at one of the most unlikely of spaces: the Carver Hanger in Damascus.
Four years ago I was married on a friends property in Estacada on the Clackamas River and stumbled upon the Carver Hanger at the fork in the road nearby. I was instantly hooked on their burger: a true bar burger that comes the way it comes. Served on a huge sesame bun with shredded iceberg lettuce, processed American cheese, and a secret sauce so good I wouldn't even try to find their secret. I have it with a Corona and a shot of Patron. It is the only place I play video lottery.
· The Carver Hanger [Facebook]
· All Previous Dining Confidentials [Eater PDX]
Photo of Carver Cafe courtesy Melissa I. via Foursquare