2508 SE Clinton St,
Mon-Sun 9AM-2PM

Frukost and middag—“breakfast” and “lunch” to you—are the main attractions at this tiny hallway of a café on SE Clinton Street. And for both of these ever-so-important Scandinavian meals, it’s all about appealingly subtle spareness. Think a platter of cured salmon or pickled herring ($5 for an appetizer; $9 for an entrée) with brown bread, pickled cucumbers, and horseradish cream for lunch. Or airy puffs of the eggy dough known as aebleskivers ($8) slathered with lingonberry jam, lemon curd, or maple syrup for breakfast. Or Swedish meatballs ($9) swimming in a luxurious sherry cream sauce. No matter what you order here, almost everything comes with a salad, pickled vegetables, and walnut toast. And in each dish, the flavors are simple but rich, the composition elemental and comforting. In other words, it’s just the kind of minimalist food you’ll want to spend a leisurely morning or afternoon maximizing your time with. —CD


Pine State Biscuits reggie biscuit

The Reggie sandwich at PINE STATE BISCUITS combines fried chicken, bacon, cheddar cheese, and gravy on a buttermilk biscuit.


Pine State Biscuits

3640 SE Belmont St,
Tue-Sun 7AM-2PM

If you can snag one of the three tables at Pine State Biscuits, don’t hesitate. Otherwise, after you’ve done your time on the sidewalk waiting to order, get your fare to go and find an empty park bench in nearby Laurelhurst Park. And yes, that bench must be empty. You don’t want to be rubbing elbows with anybody when you finally sink your teeth into the McIsley ($6), a flaky buttermilk biscuit sandwich of fried chicken, sweet pickles, mustard, and honey that deserves your undivided attention. Nor do you want to be distracted when you’re feasting on a biscuit doused with creamy, herbaceous shiitake mushroom gravy ($5). Even if you’re simply slathering a spoonful of huckleberry jam on one of Pine State’s peerless biscuits ($3), you’ll need to be able to focus, in order to thoroughly cover every inch of that buttery goodness. —Megan Callow



3652 SE Division St,
Mon-Sat 5PM-1AM, Sun 5PM-midnight

The owners of Victory describe their establishment as, simply, “a bar with good food.” But let us expand on the humble definition of this Southeast Portland drinking hole. It’s more of a quiet, sultry, sexy bar with sublime food. Not that the food is in any way complex or high falutin’. No, it’s the simplicity of the plates served here that we love so much. Try as we might to branch out from our favorites, we never can seem to order anything but the following perfect triumvirate of flavors: a silky, decadent roasted pork belly and white bean stew ($9) spiked with sweet carrots and brussels sprouts; a bowl of sizzling, creamy baked spätzle ($7) topped with gruyère and crispy shallots; and a plate of house-smoked trout with horseradish cream and house-made rye crackers ($8). Admittedly, there aren’t many vegetables in the combination—although you could round out your meal with one of the tasty salads on the menu each day—but between the succulent meat, the decadent cheese, and the velvety fish, you’ve pretty much got all the most enticing flavor groups covered. And if that doesn’t represent “a bar with good food,” really, what does? —CD