Kustom Pizza Co.

2727 NE Glisan, 239-4444

Kustom pizza is sweet, bready, and unpretentious. The crust is nice and thick, the sauce is freshly made, and they do have a few fancy extras like a spicy-honey crust glaze, and kalamata olives. Kustom is operated by the owners, and they really try to please their customersÉ or "Kustomers." They even went so far as to say my friend and I could bring in decorations to put up on their wall. Also, if they aren't that busy, they'll deliver the pizza to you for free. And if there are two words in the world that are just as sweet as "Manu Berelli," they're "Free Delivery." MB

El Taco Express #2

5447 NE 42nd, 284-8446

When I frequent one of the scores of taquerias littering greater Portland, I have this sort of litmus test I perform. I order the always-offered-but-easy-to-fuck-up chile relleno burrito, aka CRB. Helping me put aside my fears that I may bite into the wet dog taste of burnt egg in my CRB is El Taco Express #2. They nail it every time. For the novice: the chile relleno is a confection created by stuffing a pablano or Anaheim pepper with jack cheese. It is then dipped in an egg wash and fried just-so to create a golden brown augmentation of its previous self. Delicious! At $3.25, magnificent! Ignore the siren song of her competitors. Viva El Taco Express #2! LC

Urban Grind

2214 NE Oregon, 546-0649

This is probably the best coffeehouse you haven't heard ofÉ yet. They roast their own beans and damn are they tasty! Cool summer drinks, like the coffee ice milk creation the Mackercino, (named after the owner, Mack) inspire mid-day cravings. Lovely nibbles like generous toasted Ciabatta panini, kicky homemade lime-cilantro Hummus, and delicious homemade soups round out the allure of this enormous out-of-the-way refuge. With free Wi-fi (for non-nerds that means high-speed wireless internet) and a sweet-heart staff, UG might just become your new fave Northeast hat hanging spot. Perfect for the studious set. BB