SOUTHERN

Screen Door

Even the most hardened "been there, eaten that" foodie will leave Screen Door a believer.

2337 E Burnside St,
503-542-0880
Tue-Sat 5:30-10PM, Sat-Sun 9AM-2:30PM, Sun 5:30-9PM
screendoorrestaurant.com

A little before 10 p.m. on a warm Saturday evening, this East Side bastion of country fare feels like a Maker’s-Mark-fueled church social just hitting its raucous stride. Blame all the whooping and wailing on the Screen Door Plate ($12.95): a design-your-own ensemble of three house sides from their regular menu or their organic vegetables menu, which garners boisterous approval from both carnivores and vegetarians. Options for the Screen Door Plate change weekly, but might include a hungry-man portion of crispy-fried catfish accompanied by walnut-topped asparagus cooked in brown butter, and a salad of baby romaine and avocado. Or a succulent serving of thin-sliced pork chop accompanied by bacon-infused collard greens and a corn cake topped with pickled veggies. By our calculations, that makes six high- and lowbrow flights of Southern comfort for just a few cents over $25. Between the eats and the hospitality, even the most hardened “been there, eaten that” foodie will leave a believer. —Stacey Wilson

VIETNAMESE

Banh Cuon Tan Dinh

2850 SE 82nd Ave, Ste 11,
503-445-6807
Wed-Mon 9AM-9PM

Why is it that finger food almost always costs less? Are forks really that expensive? Not that we’re complaining. After all, at Banh Cuon Tan Dinh, a strip-mall hideaway with chartreuse walls and tinny pop tunes, the very best meal on the menu is the Bun Cha Ha Noi ($7), a large platter-for-two that’s piled high with ingredients meant for custom-building your own delectable, handheld rolls. Dip a sheet of dried rice paper into a bowl of warm water to moisten it, then fill it with vermicelli noodles; strips of pickled carrot and daikon; leaves of basil, mint, cilantro and lettuce; and tender bits of barbecued pork and pork patties. Roll it up. Dunk it in a tangy and sweet mixture of lime juice, chiles, and fish sauce. Devour. Of course, there are plenty of other variations on this do-it-yourself theme worth exploring too, but there’s no reason to stray toward anything on the menu that requires utensils. It’ll just cost you more, and it won’t taste nearly as good. —Camela Raymond

BAKERY

Ken’s Artisan Bakery

338 NW 21st Ave,
503-248-2202
Mon 7AM-9PM, Tue-Sat 7AM-6PM, Sun 8AM-5PM
kensartisan.com

Whether for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, we find ourselves going back to the lively, sunlit dining room at Ken’s Artisan Bakery again and again. More akin to a French bistro than to a bakery (though they do bake all of their own bread and pastries on the premises), Ken’s has all the right dishes to fuel a morning spent dawdling over the Sunday Times and a Stumptown latte. A croque monsieur ($6.45) is best for such an occasion: Made with country brown bread that’s been toasted to perfection, the open-face sandwich is topped with warm béchamel, gooey gruyère cheese, and baked portobello slices or smoked ham. If you prefer lingering in the late afternoon, a simple sandwich of jambon serrano and butter ($4.50) served on a length of French bread, pairs well with a glass of Côtes du Rhône and a lightly dressed green salad. And since either meal will hardly affect your bottom line, you might as well top it off with a chocolate praline pecan tart ($4.95), a decadent end to the perfect meal. —MC