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.
Photo of Zach's Shack courtesy Pouregon via Flickr/span>
Doug Adams is the chef de cuisine of Imperial restaurant. Growing up in Tyler, Texas, Adams spent time in Missoula, Montana, and eventually moved to Portland in 2008, where he attended Western Culinary Institute (now Le Cordon Bleu) and first worked at Lucier restaurant on Portland's South Waterfront. Adams quickly moved on to work for James Beard Award winner Andy Ricker of Pok Pok and Ox's Gregory Denton, then of Metrovino.
In 2011, Adams began working under Vitaly Paley's mentorship, and in 2012, after Paley opened Imperial and Portland Penny Diner, Adams was promoted to sous chef at both restaurants. With opening executive chef Ben Bettinger recently decamping for Laurelhurst Market, Adams ascended into the chef de cuisine role: But when he gets a day off, you might find him on the eastside at Zach's Shack playing ping pong and piling on the peppers.
One of my favorite things in the world is a good hot dog. Partially because of nostalgic reasons, my dad always grilled hot dogs with macaroni and cheese every Sunday in East Texas where I grew up. But mostly because I am obsessed with pickled peppers. Zach's is my go-to on a day off because the beer is always ice cold, the juke box is one of the best in town, and the hot dogs are amazing. I usually order the "Sgt. Peppers"... It's got those fucking delicious little "sport" peppers that I am addicted to on it. Also you can build your own: I normally go with cream cheese and pickled jalapeños. And I always sit out back on a sunny day and play ping pong. If I am feeling like a champ I can crush about four hot dogs covered with pickled peppers and then really regret it around noon the next day. But I keep coming back.