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The 38 Essential Portland Restaurants, October 2012

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It's time to update the Eater 38, your answer and ours to any question that begins, "Can you recommend a restaurant...?" This highly elite group covers the entire city, spans myriad cuisines, and collectively satisfies all of your restaurant needs, save for those occasions when you absolutely must spend half a paycheck. Every couple of months, we'll be adding pertinent restaurants that were omitted, have newly become eligible (restaurants must be open at least six months), or have stepped up their game.

This time around, after much reflecting and poring over reader emails and comments, the 38 bids farewell to Tabla, Beaker & Flask, Park Kitchen, and Jade Patisserie. That's the bad news. The good? They depart in order to make room for Ox (NE MLK's uber-buzzy Argentine grill, which debuted in April), Smallwares (a spicy small-plates spot in a neighborhood with few upscale options), the Bent Brick (Park Kitchen's more experimental younger brother), and Nuestra Cocina (a longtime neighborhood favorite that just happens to serve an otherwise underrepresented cuisine). These changes are reflected in totally random order here.
And, just in case, rather than a stage-four meltdown over our having excluded your favorite restaurant from the list, wouldn't it be more productive to just nominate it for inclusion?

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Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process.

Ned Ludd

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Tasty N Sons

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Pok Pok

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Le Pigeon

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Natural Selection

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Olympic Provisions

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Bunk Sandwiches

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Portobello Vegan Trattoria

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The Country Cat

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Nong's Khao Man Gai

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Screen Door

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Bamboo Sushi

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St. Jack

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Podnah's Pit

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Toro Bravo

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The Woodsman Tavern

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Paley's Place

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Broder Cafe

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Ha & VL

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Smallwares

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Tienda Santa Cruz 2

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Grain & Gristle

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Grüner

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Nostrana

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Nuestra Cocina

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Castagna

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Laurelhurst Market

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Apizza Scholls

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The Bent Brick

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Ned Ludd

Tasty N Sons

Pok Pok

Le Pigeon

Aviary

DOC

Natural Selection

Olympic Provisions

Tanuki

Bunk Sandwiches

Portobello Vegan Trattoria