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Portland Food Writers and Personalities’ Favorite Meals of 2019

Seafood dinners and Japanese tasting menus won the hearts of Portland food writers

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Shellfish at Erizo
Seafood platter at Erizo
Brooke Jackson-Glidden/Eater PDX

As the year comes to a close, Eater sites across the country are celebrating the highlights and bemoaning the lows of 2019. Here in Portland, Eater contributors and food personalities are sharing their thoughts on the year in a series we call the Year in Eater. In this edition, Eater Portland writers and food personalities share their favorite meals of 2019. For more year-in-review stuff, take a look at our 2019 retrospective package.

Seiji Nanbu, Eater Portland contributor:
For dinner, Nodoguro omakase hands down. For lunch? A toss up between Fermenter and Hat Yai (That damn crispy trout).

Krista Garcia, Eater Portland contributor:
I’m a rabid Langbaan fan. No, it’s not new, but the menu changes up enough that every meal feels fresh. Syun in Hillsboro because the vibe just screams Japan. Birria at Los 7 Hermanos in Gresham because it feels so un-Portland.

Gary Okazaki, Instagram influencer and co-host of the podcast Walk-ins Welcome with Gary & Michael:
My number one PDX meal was Nodoguro’s Supahardcore, which I have had many times in prior years, but my September Nodoguro meal was truly spectacular. Dining with Pete Cho and Sun Young Park (Han Oak) also added to my enjoyment. PDX is fortunate Ryan and Elena Roadhouse settled in our city. I was born and raised here — Nodoguro is the best Portland Japanese restaurant ever, as in E-V-E-R.

Joy Church, Eater Portland contributor and Portland Culinary Alliance Vice President:
Maybe not a “meal” exactly, the meatball parm at DeMarco’s food cart is an East Coast sub lovers dream!

Alex Frane, Eater Portland guest editor and contributor:
A tie between Gado Gado, Coquine’s tasting menu, gnocchi night at Nostrana, sushi and ramen at Afuri, eating everything at Yonder, and chicken and rice at Nong’s. Plus, Diane Lam of Revelry and David Sigal of Mian’s adorable noodle pop-up at Holdfast was probably the best food party of the year.

Brooke Jackson-Glidden, Eater Portland editor:
That’s tough. I ate at 281 restaurants last year — about three restaurants every four days. The immediate thought, however, is my dinner at Erizo, the new hyper-sustainable seafood restaurant in Southeast. I can’t remember a more luxurious moment than when Harth delivered a gorgeous platter of raw seafood — the sweetest spot prawns, little hunks of fresh fish in lemon oil, amber mussels in their shells. Close second: A tie between contributor Nick Woo’s birthday dinner at Departure and my last dinner at Mae, with its potlikker consommé and homey, braised venison.

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