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Updating the Eater PDX HeatMap: Where to Eat Now

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Restaurant obsessives want to know what's new, what's hot, which favorite chef just launched a sophomore effort, etc., and more often than not, tipsters, readers, friends and family of Eater have one question: Where should I eat right now? And while the Eater 38 is a crucial resource covering old standbys and neighborhood essentials across the city, it is not a chronicle of the "it" (ie, newest) places of the moment.

Thus, we offer the Eater HeatMap, which will change often to continually highlight where the food-focused crowds are flocking to at this very second. This time around, four openings to add to the list: Micah Camden's noodle joint Boxer Ramen, Rodney Muirhead's cantina La Taq, the second outpost of Little T Baker, and the very-buzzy bar Multnomah Whiskey Library.


2013 HeatMap Updates:
1/3/2013: Added: Ava Gene's, Verde Cocina en la Perla
2/7/2013: Added: Tasty N Alder, Raven & Rose
3/7/2013: Added: Levant, Racion, Kingdom of Roosevelt, Tarad
4/4/2013: Added: The Fireside
5/2/2013: Added: din din Supper Club, Sok Sab Bai
6/6/2013: Added: Sen Yai, Old Salt Marketplace
7/11/2013: Added: Roman Candle Bakery, Block + Tackle, Grassa
8/1/2012: Added: Teote Areperia, Expatriate, Alberta Street Pub
9/5/2013: Added: Ataula
10/3/2013: Added: The Sugar Cube
11/7/2013: Added: Boxer Ramen, La Taq, Multnomah Whiskey Library, Little T Baker

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Boxer Ramen

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Micah Camden's much-anticipated Boxer Ramen (the sister spot to Boxer Sushi) cultivated strong pre-opening buzz thanks to weeks' worth of preview/soft opening dinners that introduced diners to Camden's untraditional take on ramen and Japanese snacks. (Spicy miso broth is dotted with Parmesan and chili flake; okonomiyaki appears on the menu in tater-tot form.)

La Taq

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Podnah's pitboss Rodney Muirhead opens his take on a playful Mexican cantina, with an emphasis on queso, tacos, and the drinks that best accompany them. Muirhead's expertise with meats shines through in dishes like brisket enchiladas, carne asada tacos, and rib tips in broth; onetime Beaker bartender Kevin Ludwig, meanwhile, shakes up his signature carrot margarita.

Multnomah Whisky Library

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Certainly one of the buzziest bar openings in memory, the Multnomah Whiskey Library has nursed long lines and wait times seemingly since day one. The crowds are flocking for two reasons: 1) the gorgeously appointed room and 2) you know, the some-1,500 bottles of booze that line the walls.

Little T Baker - Union Way

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Four words: Little T, west side. Tucked deep within the Union Way retail alley (also home to Boxer Ramen), baker Tim Healea's second outpost of his popular bakery offers a limited menu, but it's a great addition to the West End neighborhood in need of another breakfast-pastry slinger.

The Sugar Cube

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Baker Kir Jensen brings her Sugar Cube cart to a proper bakery space, expanding her repertoire to include a few savory breakfast items (like a roasted mushroom and tomato strata) and spiced cornbread. But as to be expected, it's the sweets that shine: a chocolatey brownie with olive oil and sea salt; buttery crostatas, and citrusy tea cake with lemon curd.

Chef Jose Chesa emphasizes a convivial, familial vibe at his restaurant Ataula, which considers itself a Spanish gastropub more than a stuffy "tapas restaurant." The tapas themselves combine similar levels of comforting familiarity and playfulness: beef and potato "bombas" arrive in a suitably spicy sauce; an almost-savory sangria is the perfect drink for rainy evenings. And as of last month, there's a new addition to the menu, in the form of traditional Spanish brunch.

Roman Candle Bakery

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This bakery by Stumptown mastermind Duane Sorenson inches back up the list, thanks to the launch of its long-awaited pizza bianca menu last month, offering massive squares of pizza that don't follow the traditional "bianca" mold. During the day, the case features breads and pastries by Lovejoy Bakers alum Dan Griffin.

Expatriate

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Beast chef Naomi Pomeroy breaks from French tradition to partner with St. Jack founding bartender Kyle Webster to open a bar featuring an Asian-inflicted take on drinking food. The highlight's a Burmese tea leaf salad, but expect big flavors in dishes like samosa chaats, a tempura halibut sandwich with kimchi, and of course, the cocktails.

Teote Areperia

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Chef Michael Kennett has traded in his food cart Fuego de Lotus for a proper brick-and-mortar restaurant dedicated to masa arepas and a menu of grilled meats. Early buzz suggests you should go for the family-style "La Cena" meal, with grilled lamb and fino ribs.

Block + Tackle

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Chef Trent Pierce pulls a switcheroo at his Division spot Wafu, transforming the space and concept into a casual seafood restaurant that celebrates his Oregon roots. The result is an American take on seafood, elevated: hot crab dip is re-imagined as a light interpretation of Wafu's crab roll; seafood "charcuterie" arrives in the form of marlin rillettes and mussels cured in pimenton.

Like at his familiar sandwich spot Lardo, Rick Genarelli debuts a similarly fast-casual take, this time on fresh pasta. The menu features impressively varied and well-executed takes on carbonara (with a perfected cracked egg), gigli (simply cracked pepper and cheese), and chitarra (with squid ink, octopus, and chorizo).

Sen Yai

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Andy Ricker takes his familiar approach to Thai cooking — authentic, unexpected, and street-influenced — and applies it to the humble noodle, devoting an entire menu to stir-fried and soup-stewed iterations of the dish. As expected, the place is already packed during lunch and dinner hours, but head in for a leisurely morning brunch.

Boxer Ramen

Micah Camden's much-anticipated Boxer Ramen (the sister spot to Boxer Sushi) cultivated strong pre-opening buzz thanks to weeks' worth of preview/soft opening dinners that introduced diners to Camden's untraditional take on ramen and Japanese snacks. (Spicy miso broth is dotted with Parmesan and chili flake; okonomiyaki appears on the menu in tater-tot form.)

La Taq

Podnah's pitboss Rodney Muirhead opens his take on a playful Mexican cantina, with an emphasis on queso, tacos, and the drinks that best accompany them. Muirhead's expertise with meats shines through in dishes like brisket enchiladas, carne asada tacos, and rib tips in broth; onetime Beaker bartender Kevin Ludwig, meanwhile, shakes up his signature carrot margarita.

Multnomah Whisky Library

Certainly one of the buzziest bar openings in memory, the Multnomah Whiskey Library has nursed long lines and wait times seemingly since day one. The crowds are flocking for two reasons: 1) the gorgeously appointed room and 2) you know, the some-1,500 bottles of booze that line the walls.

Little T Baker - Union Way

Four words: Little T, west side. Tucked deep within the Union Way retail alley (also home to Boxer Ramen), baker Tim Healea's second outpost of his popular bakery offers a limited menu, but it's a great addition to the West End neighborhood in need of another breakfast-pastry slinger.

The Sugar Cube

Baker Kir Jensen brings her Sugar Cube cart to a proper bakery space, expanding her repertoire to include a few savory breakfast items (like a roasted mushroom and tomato strata) and spiced cornbread. But as to be expected, it's the sweets that shine: a chocolatey brownie with olive oil and sea salt; buttery crostatas, and citrusy tea cake with lemon curd.

ATAULA

Chef Jose Chesa emphasizes a convivial, familial vibe at his restaurant Ataula, which considers itself a Spanish gastropub more than a stuffy "tapas restaurant." The tapas themselves combine similar levels of comforting familiarity and playfulness: beef and potato "bombas" arrive in a suitably spicy sauce; an almost-savory sangria is the perfect drink for rainy evenings. And as of last month, there's a new addition to the menu, in the form of traditional Spanish brunch.

Roman Candle Bakery

This bakery by Stumptown mastermind Duane Sorenson inches back up the list, thanks to the launch of its long-awaited pizza bianca menu last month, offering massive squares of pizza that don't follow the traditional "bianca" mold. During the day, the case features breads and pastries by Lovejoy Bakers alum Dan Griffin.

Expatriate

Beast chef Naomi Pomeroy breaks from French tradition to partner with St. Jack founding bartender Kyle Webster to open a bar featuring an Asian-inflicted take on drinking food. The highlight's a Burmese tea leaf salad, but expect big flavors in dishes like samosa chaats, a tempura halibut sandwich with kimchi, and of course, the cocktails.

Teote Areperia

Chef Michael Kennett has traded in his food cart Fuego de Lotus for a proper brick-and-mortar restaurant dedicated to masa arepas and a menu of grilled meats. Early buzz suggests you should go for the family-style "La Cena" meal, with grilled lamb and fino ribs.

Block + Tackle

Chef Trent Pierce pulls a switcheroo at his Division spot Wafu, transforming the space and concept into a casual seafood restaurant that celebrates his Oregon roots. The result is an American take on seafood, elevated: hot crab dip is re-imagined as a light interpretation of Wafu's crab roll; seafood "charcuterie" arrives in the form of marlin rillettes and mussels cured in pimenton.

Grassa

Like at his familiar sandwich spot Lardo, Rick Genarelli debuts a similarly fast-casual take, this time on fresh pasta. The menu features impressively varied and well-executed takes on carbonara (with a perfected cracked egg), gigli (simply cracked pepper and cheese), and chitarra (with squid ink, octopus, and chorizo).

Sen Yai

Andy Ricker takes his familiar approach to Thai cooking — authentic, unexpected, and street-influenced — and applies it to the humble noodle, devoting an entire menu to stir-fried and soup-stewed iterations of the dish. As expected, the place is already packed during lunch and dinner hours, but head in for a leisurely morning brunch.

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