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$19 (feeds 1-2)


102 NW Fourth Ave, 503-229-7464, pingpdx.com
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Two fish-ball skewers $5
Two bacon-wrapped quail egg skewers $6
Khao kha muu fried rice $8
Total (feeds 1–2) $19

Ping. That’s the sound of pennies hitting the counter after you’ve devoured a pair of delectable soft-boiled quail eggs wrapped in bacon, along with fish balls and khao kha muu—an aromatic dish made with fried jasmine rice, stewed pork knuckles, palm sugar, mustard greens, a tea egg, and a chile sauce for dipping. And it’s music to your recession-whipped wallet.

East India Company

821 SW 11th Ave, 503-227-8815, eastindiacopdx.com
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Four-course prix fixe: samosa chaat, grilled mushrooms, garlic naan, saag aloo
Total (feeds 2) $20

With its restrained décor and hushed atmosphere, the place doesn’t necessarily feel like India, but the perfectly spiced and flaky samosa, fluffy and garlicky naan, saag aloo, and light-as-air rice more than make up for the Olive Garden-comes-to-Mumbai aesthetic.

Le Pigeon

738 E Burnside St, 503-546-8796, lepigeon.com
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Escarole, preserved lemon, parmesan $9
Honey-apricot bacon cornbread with maple ice cream $7
Coffee $3
Total (feeds 1) $19

Settle in for an action-packed seat at the cozy bar; order this bright, lemony salad; and dive into the biggest pile of greens you’ve seen this side of a farmers market stand. Get your pork fix in the cornbread, a dense and not-too-sweet cake dotted with sharp apricots and smoky bacon.


3735 SE Hawthorne Blvd, 503-232-1010, pastaworks.com/evoe
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A snack, salad, and plate (feeds 1–2) $20

With ingredients provided by Pastaworks, Evoe’s next-door neighbor, former Castagna chef Kevin Gibson offers $20 meals that he prepares in front of you. The menu changes weekly as Gibson sensually chops, tears, and massages his raw materials into dishes like a chicken and chanterelle croustillant.