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Portland’s Biggest Dining Surprises of 2018

From the transformation of a beloved bakery to the southern trek of Tasty n’ Sons

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Tasty N Sons potatoes come in a small cast-iron pan with a fried egg draped over top.
Tasty ‘N Sons
Tasty ‘N Sons/Official

As the year comes to a close, Eater sites across the globe are tipping hats to all of 2018’s restaurant memories and meals. Here in Portland, we asked some of the city’s best fed about the biggest dining surprises of 2018. From the transformation of Roman Candle to breathtaking dishes in unexpected places, these are the restaurant shake-ups that shocked Portland’s biggest food nerds.

Michael Russell, restaurant critic for The Oregonian:
“Maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised, but finding Noodle Man’s impressive hand-pulled noodle operation way out in Happy Valley was a surprise for me.”

Gary Okazaki, co-host of the podcast Walk-ins Welcome with Gary & Michael:
“PDX is considered by many to be the finest restaurant city in the Pacific Northwest led by creative, rockstar chefs. After numerous visits to the Emerald City this year, I believe Seattle has now usurped the throne away from PDX. My favorite meal in the Pacific Northwest was at Tarsan i Jane, which was most definitely world-class.”

Vanessa Ng and Vicki Ng, culinary mavens behind @foodbellypdx:
“We were disappointed to hear about the closing of the Woodsman Tavern, but perhaps more exciting was the news of Tasty & Sons going into that space next year with a refreshed name change of Tasty & Daughters.”

Nick Woo, author of Feast Meats West and Eater PDX contributor:
Holiday. It seemed like it transformed from Roman Candle basically overnight.”

Mattie John Bamman, author of Ravenous Traveler and former Eater PDX editor:
Akadi’s version of the killer national dish from the Ivory Coast, attieke poisson braise: a whole deep-fried fish dressed in tangy and nuanced mustard sauce.”

Michael C Zusman, restaurant critic for Willamette Week:
Bullard actually opened.”

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