clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

The 15 PDX Restaurant Dishes That Keep You in a Rut

View as Map

Photo of Dove Vivi courtesy Avila/EPDX

2008_10_hasmaps.jpeg

We asked readers to name the one restaurant dish that kept you from branching out — the dish that's so satisfying, so seductive, that it ensures the rest of the menu inadvertently goes unordered. A quick survey of the results reveals why many of Portland's most popular restaurants — Pok Pok, Bunk Sandwiches, Biwa, Tasty N Sons — remain so popular (they apparently offer an insanely wide range of "siren song" dishes, making it easy for everyone to have their favorite).

Here now, a small sampling of that conversation, in the form of a map of Portland's 15 Dishes That Keep You in a Rut. These are the dishes mentioned most consistently, had the most impassioned arguments, or surprised in some way. Either way, they just scratch the surface — for the original discussion and laundry list, head here.

· All Previous Open Threads [Eater PDX]

Read More
Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process. If you buy something or book a reservation from an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

Autentica

Copy Link
[Photo]

Boke Bowl

Copy Link

Maybe the ramen at Boke Bowl's too obvious a go-to: Readers say they get into a deep rut with the menu's warm brussels sprout salad. Says one: "Agree with [other votes for] the brussels sprout salad at Boke Bowl. It's the only thing I've eaten there."

Bollywood Theater

Copy Link

With its focus on Indian street food, perhaps its no surprise that the siren-song dish at Bollywood Theater is the Kolkata region's kati roll. Several readers professed a love for the comfort-food flatbread.

Chiang Mai

Copy Link
[Photo]

Country Cat Dinnerhouse & Bar

Copy Link

Maybe it's no surprise that the Midwestern/Southern-inspired Country Cat has one believer in its chicken-fried steak: "That plate made me a chicken fried steak believer and I have a hard time ordering anything else there!"

Dove Vivi

Copy Link

Cornmeal-crust pizza spot Dove Vivi offers no fewer than a dozen toppings, but commenters apparently go straight for the untraditional: the corn-topped pizza came in as a frequent vote, with one reader suggesting that the sausage add-on is a must.

Kenny & Zuke's Delicatessen

Copy Link

One reader applies the "go big or go home" approach to Kenny & Zuke's, going for the sandwich featuring pastrami, chopped liver, and cole slaw. "I've been unable to eat any sandwich other than Ken's Special for three years now at Kenny & Zuke's," the commenter writes. "EVERY TIME I go, I can't order anything else."

Lardo West

Copy Link

Lardo made its fame with its porchetta and enjoys a loyal following for its massive hamburger, but Eater readers name-dropped Rick Gencarelli's pork banh mi sandwich as their menu-killer.

Nostrana

Copy Link

The radicchio-and-Parm Insalata Nostrana is one of Cathy Whims' signature dishes, and for good reason: No matter what the main course, readers report being unable to skip the dish as an appetizer.

Restaurant St Jack

Copy Link

For one reader, simplicity is key at St. Jack, where the steak frites emerges as the most-repeated dish: "I have ventured a couple of times and tasted other dishes, but I just can't get away from the perfectly cooked steak, crispy fries and Bearnaise. Swoon."

Screen Door

Copy Link
[Photo]

Sen Yai

Copy Link

Andy Ricker's noodle joint offers more than a dozen varieties, many of which are collecting their share of loyal fans. Says one reader: "I know it's recent, but I can't lay off the Tom Yam Plaa Naam soup noodles at SenYai. Intense flavors with a perfect combo of salty, spicy, sweet. About every fourth visit I force myself to order something else, but I always come back to this."

Swiss Hibiscus

Copy Link
[Photo]

The Farm Cafe

Copy Link

One reader e-mails with an ode to the aauteed crimini mushrooms appetizer at the Farm Cafe: "The ingredient they don't list is magic. There is something extra special about this mushroom dish. They've been out once when I tried to order it. It was a wrenching disappointment." [Photo]

Toro Bravo

Copy Link

Perhaps the key to Toro Bravo's success is that its sprawling menu results in different "must-order" dishes for everyone: Readers confessed addictions to everything from patatas bravas to squash with harissa. But perhaps the most fervent love came in for a non-tapas item: the burger. Says one reader: "Cannot go to Toro Bravo without getting their burger — ever! It is the holy grail of — best in Portland, best on the planet!"

Autentica

[Photo]

Boke Bowl

Maybe the ramen at Boke Bowl's too obvious a go-to: Readers say they get into a deep rut with the menu's warm brussels sprout salad. Says one: "Agree with [other votes for] the brussels sprout salad at Boke Bowl. It's the only thing I've eaten there."

Bollywood Theater

With its focus on Indian street food, perhaps its no surprise that the siren-song dish at Bollywood Theater is the Kolkata region's kati roll. Several readers professed a love for the comfort-food flatbread.

Chiang Mai

[Photo]

Country Cat Dinnerhouse & Bar

Maybe it's no surprise that the Midwestern/Southern-inspired Country Cat has one believer in its chicken-fried steak: "That plate made me a chicken fried steak believer and I have a hard time ordering anything else there!"

Dove Vivi

Cornmeal-crust pizza spot Dove Vivi offers no fewer than a dozen toppings, but commenters apparently go straight for the untraditional: the corn-topped pizza came in as a frequent vote, with one reader suggesting that the sausage add-on is a must.

Kenny & Zuke's Delicatessen

One reader applies the "go big or go home" approach to Kenny & Zuke's, going for the sandwich featuring pastrami, chopped liver, and cole slaw. "I've been unable to eat any sandwich other than Ken's Special for three years now at Kenny & Zuke's," the commenter writes. "EVERY TIME I go, I can't order anything else."

Lardo West

Lardo made its fame with its porchetta and enjoys a loyal following for its massive hamburger, but Eater readers name-dropped Rick Gencarelli's pork banh mi sandwich as their menu-killer.

Nostrana

The radicchio-and-Parm Insalata Nostrana is one of Cathy Whims' signature dishes, and for good reason: No matter what the main course, readers report being unable to skip the dish as an appetizer.

Restaurant St Jack

For one reader, simplicity is key at St. Jack, where the steak frites emerges as the most-repeated dish: "I have ventured a couple of times and tasted other dishes, but I just can't get away from the perfectly cooked steak, crispy fries and Bearnaise. Swoon."

Screen Door

[Photo]

Sen Yai

Andy Ricker's noodle joint offers more than a dozen varieties, many of which are collecting their share of loyal fans. Says one reader: "I know it's recent, but I can't lay off the Tom Yam Plaa Naam soup noodles at SenYai. Intense flavors with a perfect combo of salty, spicy, sweet. About every fourth visit I force myself to order something else, but I always come back to this."

Swiss Hibiscus

[Photo]

The Farm Cafe

One reader e-mails with an ode to the aauteed crimini mushrooms appetizer at the Farm Cafe: "The ingredient they don't list is magic. There is something extra special about this mushroom dish. They've been out once when I tried to order it. It was a wrenching disappointment." [Photo]

Toro Bravo

Perhaps the key to Toro Bravo's success is that its sprawling menu results in different "must-order" dishes for everyone: Readers confessed addictions to everything from patatas bravas to squash with harissa. But perhaps the most fervent love came in for a non-tapas item: the burger. Says one reader: "Cannot go to Toro Bravo without getting their burger — ever! It is the holy grail of — best in Portland, best on the planet!"

Related Maps