Oregon is home to a lot of restaurants and bars, 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.
Later this summer, Texans-turned-Portlanders Ian and Becky Atkins will open the doors at their casual restaurant Stella Taco, offering a border-inspired menu from El Paso native chef Matthew Fields. When the restaurant makes it official in NE Alberta's Bar Lolo space next month, the Atkins plan to serve simple Mexican staples like street tacos, spicy seafood cocktails, antojitos (Mexican snack foods) and frozen drinks indicative of border town cuisine. It's that laid-back atmosphere that attracts the Atkins to another neighborhood favorite: Cannon's Rib Express.
During long shifts at our space on Alberta we enjoy sneaking off to Cannon's Rib Express for really authentic barbecue. We all came here from Texas so Cannon's feels like home. It is just a small walk up food stall with a covered seating area but the flavors are spot on and Cannon's is one of the few places in town to serve beef ribs (a Texas staple). The smell of smoke as you walk up and the first taste of the spicy sauce are heavenly. With live music on the weekend and the owner walking around passing out free watermelon, it is just delightful.
Photo of Cannon's Ribs Express courtesy Leah J. via Foursquare