Corey Pierce

Tired of hearing our stupid opinion on restaurants? US, TOO. That's why we're letting our readers have the final word in this edition of theMercury Food Issue Directory. Want to share your gustatory opinion with the world? Write your own reviews on the Mercury's Found It! dining site! (portlandmercury.com/dining)

[Stars indicate average reader review.]

Aalto Lounge

3356 SE Belmont, 235-6041

Alvar Aalto was a designer, especially noted for his furniture creations. The one time I visited this establishment, trying to impress a girl, we sat out front at a table most definitely not inspired by Finland's Father of Modernism. That being said, I remember the drinks fondly. The girl... not so much.—Jimmy the Tiger

Amnesia Brewing

832 N Beech, 281-7708

The cool, relaxed atmosphere is welcoming—and the beer is great! This place is underrated—especially for those who live outside the Mississippi neighborhood.—chanceofrain

Apizza Scholls

4741 SE Hawthorne, 233-1286

Yeah, the line takes forever. And yeah, there are no slices, no take out, no All-Meat Marvel combinations, and it kind of sucks that you never can tell when they'll close ("when we run out of dough"). But the pizza, oh damn the pizza... Portland has better thin-crust pizza than New York. There. I said it.—2HALFHITCHES

Bay Leaf

4768 SE Division, 232-7058

A vegan dragged me here, raving, and I thought "sure, it'll be good... for a vegan place." Turns out it was just plain delicious.—AMY

Bella Faccia Pizzeria

2934 NE Alberta, 282-0600

"Holy crap, that is a big slice!" That is the standard reaction to the slices at Northeast's best pizza option. A couple slices and a beer will set you back around $8, which is a steal. Also, their vegan slice, with tasty tempeh and spicy tomato sauce, will please both hippies and carnivores alike.—TEDDY

Beulahland

118 NE 28th, 235-2794

Beulahland is a fine coffee shop, a solid restaurant, and an excellent bar. The staff is down to earth and friendly, prices are affordable, and there's a computer onsite if you need to check your email. In the haze of concept bars and trendy restaurants, Beulahland is a lighthouse for the day-to-day sailor.—ZACHY

Biwa

214 SE 9th, 239-8830

The food is pretty decent and I like that it's all homemade, but a simple vegetarian bowl of noodle soup with some tofu in it can run you around $9. That amount will buy you a more than decent lunch elsewhere. I left still feeling hungry. They should either bring down the prices or give you a little more.—Beer Batter

Blue Gardenia

3747 N Mississippi, 460-2583

They not only have the best coffee in town, but also the most attractive baristas. They roast their own single origin coffee and it is great. Plus they bake all of the wonderful pastries that go along with the coffee.—JohnnyDangerously

Blue Monk

3341 SE Belmont, 595-0575

Hey, check out the bread and cheese plate. It's monstrous! Roasted garlic, awesome bread, cured meats. Mmmmmmmmmmm.—foodjunkie

Bombay Cricket Club

1925 SE Hawthorne, 231-0740

This place almost always has a waiting line and I'm not sure why. The food is okay but I've definitely had better. Maybe it's the fact that Portland has a dearth of good Indian restaurants. I've lived only a couple blocks away for quite a few years and maybe eaten there twice. Maybe they were both off nights. I'll probably try Vindalho before I go back though.—Lenny Carlson

Bridgeport BrewPub & Bakery

1313 NW Marshall, 241-3612

A perfect place for Pearlites to take a break from their Ketel One Martinis. Once I went from the hospital straight to the "pub." I don't know which was a more sterile environment.—Biz Markie

Chaos Cafè & Parlor

2620 SE Powell, 546-8112

I appreciated the atmosphere immediately. I had a wrap with feta, roasted red pepper, and other lovely fillings with a salad that was great—except it didn't come with any dressing, and I wasn't offered any either. So I'm not sure if they don't believe in dressing, or perhaps it was an oversight. The fried potatoes with tahini are so yummy! I'll be back to try more things...—Jasper

Dingo's

4612 SE Hawthorne, 233-3996

A regular in my rotation of evening dining options. It is all about the honey chipotle dipping sauce—I seriously crave it! There are tons of veggie options, but I always go back to the Dingo's quesadilla on the appetizer menu. I've also heard the lime chicken burritos are amazing. There is something for everyone. Even my picky parents loved it when they visited.—Fanny

Encanto

5225 N Lombard, 286-2929

Don't miss Encanto's green chile stew. I've spent a lot of time in Albuquerque and this stuff is the real deal. I'm salivating just thinking about it!— McLovin

Farm Cafè

10 SE 7th, 736-3276

On my first visit to the Farm, everything was perfect. Excellent food, great service, and a great place to bring a date. Every course was just amazing and the local, organic dishes are the right mix of simple and creative. My second visit was good, even considering our neglectful service and food that was just short of mind-blowing... Regardless, the Farm remains one of the best restaurants I've visited in this town.—CLAUDE

Fishwife

5328 N Lombard, 285-7150

This place is like something out of Mystic Pizza with its emphasis on fruits de la mer and its old-timey vibe. It's not fancy, but they do serve good fresh fish, right there on good ol' Lombard.—Francine Machine

Fire on the Mountain

4225 N Interstate, 280-9464

I liked this little hippie chicken-wing place. You order at the counter and are greeted with a tray of tasty sauces to choose from: peanut to chipotle. It's a different concept than any other restaurant in Portland, and with a fun atmosphere. Order a side of tater tots and a pitcher of beer to wash it down. And if your heart can take it... a fried Twinkie for dessert.—JEN BETH

Flavor Spot

2310 N Lombard, 289-9866

I tell everyone I know about this awesome waffle stand. The guy who runs it is awesome, and way more friendly than I'd be if I was working in such tight quarters. I stick to the fruity waffle fillings, but am regularly tempted by the more sandwich-y varieties, like ham and smoked Gouda. Please, waffle man, consider expanding your space to include inside seating so I can continue to visit you during the winter!—NEW TO NOPO

Floyd's Coffee Shop

1502 SE Morrison, 230-2154

This is two blocks from my house and I love it. Other people in my neighborhood love it, too. We smile politely at each other over our tasty coffee. It is simple and small and all anybody needs in a coffee shop.—Jones

Goodfoot

2845 SE Stark, 239-9292

The Goodfoot chicken strips are the best ever made. I'm a vegetarian now, but I bet I would drunkenly cave for some of those chicken strips. Word to the wise—I've suffered some serious burns on the roof of my mouth from these guys, so even if you're drunk and they're delish, wait a couple of minutes before stuffing your face. Oh, and awesome pinball and booth selection. Not awesome selection of dudes in baseball caps hogging pool tables and scamming on chicks, though.—JONES

Gotham Tavern

2240 N Interstate, 517-9911

I think this place is on its third owner since the ripe empire fell a year or two ago. Usually, that's a terrible sign—but the current slate of owners seem to be doing just fine. The menu's been tweaked a bit, but the drinks are still generous, the semi-upscale pub grub satisfying, and the atmosphere as woodsy and interesting as ever.—amy

Gravy

3957 N Mississippi, 287-8800

Although the sign-in sheet on weekend mornings may be daunting, stick around. Everything I've tried here has been amazing. The old standby of a giant fluffy biscuit drizzled with honey is about the best you'll ever have, not to mention the choice of gravies. If you're not a coffee drinker, the fresh orange juice is a great option, but hold your horses for the hot cocoa, it's like drinking a cake... in a good, utterly decadent sort of way—KATEGREY

Hammy's Pizza

2114 SE Clinton, 235-1035

Dear Hammy's: You are delicious pizza, but I don't order you as much as I'd like, because you do not carry pepperoncini peppers. For me, that's a deal breaker. I still love you though, we can still be friends sometimes.—I wish

Hungry Tiger Too

207 SE 12th, 238-4321

Oh man, their mac 'n' cheese is out of this world! My only complaint would be that they serve it with garlic toast. That's like serving a pat of butter with a dish of olive oil. C'mon folks, it's the 21st century! Ditch the garlic toast (even though it's good). How about a side salad or some steamed veggies to offset the heart attack-inducing goodness of starch and fat?—LENNY CARLSON

Horse Brass Pub

4534 SE Belmont, 232-2202

Three words: fish and chips! Oh my god! Seriously, some of the best fish and chips I've ever eaten. Plus, they got the whole 50 beers on tap thing going for them. Nothing equates NW winter like some fish and chips and a Rogue Chocolate Stout on a dark, rainy night.—LOUISE

Italian Joint

3145 SE Hawthorne, 234-3004

Everyone I've ever met that's eaten here says it's really delicious. I've been wanting to go here for YEARS but nobody will ever take me there on a date. So, for the love of God, someone take me there, already! I want to experience the goodness everyone's talking about!—Louise

Jam on Hawthorne

2239 SE Hawthorne, 234-4790

This place rocks my socks... corn... beef... HAAAAAAAAAASHH!!!!! (breathe) —supersic

Kalga Kafe

4147 SE Division, 236-4770

The single most romantic place has no real view (unless you count Division), but Kalga is a fantastic date spot. It's dark (always a plus, because face it... light is not your friend), spacious, private, and serves wonderful food as well. Mostly Indian, but some Thai, vegetarian dishes, plus a great mix drink/wine selection too. Trust me, with your game, you'll need liquor on your side.—Teddy

Le Happy

1011 NW 16th, 226-1258

Perfect semi-authentic crêperie that offers just the perfect amount of "zazz" to make you feel comfortable, but not enough to make you feel like you are trying too hard to be overly cool. Basically get drunk somewhere and then go to Le Happy and eat a mushroom crêpe. You will probably fall in love. And before you leave, pick up a dessert crêpe and take it to a friend's house as a drunken offering. Your friends will forget to be mad about you waking them up at 3 am and will instead fall in love and make out with you (awkwardly).—prunetang

Los Baez

2424 E Burnside, 230-0956

I really like the fresh-made tortillas, but the actual dishes leave something to be desired. The enchiladas I tried were covered in this gravy-like sauce—what's wrong with good old enchilada sauce made from smoked peppers? Then there's the black beans served as a sort of soup but there's hardly any flavor. Some onions and cumin would help a lot. The staff is really friendly, I just hope they can make some improvements in the food.—Beer Batter

Marinepolis Sushi Land

1409 NE Weidler, 280-0300

Sometimes the sushi is pretty good here and other times it's just downright bad. Good for a quick sushi fix. Wait staff and ambiance is unimpressive. The seared salmon can be good if cooked to order. I usually try and order everything fresh and avoid the conveyor belt offerings. I will say that they do have great fried calamari.—bluebell

Matchbox Lounge

3203 SE Division, 234-7844

The steak salad at Matchbox is badass. The fish tacos are fresh and tasty, and the burgers are on point. The specials are always creative. And the prices are really good—you won't pay more than $12 and most dishes are in the $8-9 range.—Clinton Hoodie

Miss Delta

3950 N Mississippi, 287-7629

Mac and cheese: excellent. Ditto mashed potatoes and gravy. But my favorite was the Ginger Drop, one of their specialty drinks. The staff was lovely, and the ambiance warm and inviting.—forlornfox

Montage

301 SE Morrison, 234-1324

The Montage has been a staple in my restaurant experience for the past few years. Recently, I've been known to crave their fried pear salad with bleu cheese crumbles at odd times. I would stick to eating there at lunch, though, as the night-time crowds of folks pouring in there are loud and full of douchebaggery.—LOUISE

Muddy Waters Coffeehouse

2908 SE Belmont, 233-1923

I love the open mic night, and yummy hot chocolate, and the strange gay locals I meet in my hood. Gangsta love is expressed in the coffee drinks.—tattooedgeisha

New Old Lompoc

1616 NW 23rd, 225-1855

Great beer, good food, free pool! NOL is single handedly saving 23rd Avenue. A little bastion of reality in a sea of f*ck-up-ed-ness.—Zooey

Night Light Lounge

2100 SE Clinton, 731-6500

New menu is a nice upgrade, and it looks like they're expanding their kitchen a bit as well. The nachos were always the favorite—BBQ chicken quesadilla, a close second, is now gone. A great bar with good food.—Clinton Hoodie

Nostrana

1401 SE Morrison, 234-2427

Great selection of salads and breads. Try the steak tartar... very good. Service was great and our host looked like Anthony Kiedis. Bonus!—maninacheapsuit

Ol Ol

2137 E Burnside, 230-1132

Olé Olé is great—lots of food for a little money—pretty solid quality ingredients, standard burrito joint fare. I personally love the food but always find myself running for the Tums afterward. I wish I didn't. It's not you, Olé Olé, it's me.—Clinton Hoodie

Otto's Sausage Kitchen

4138 SE Woodstock, 771-6714

Sausages? Dope as fuck. Go during lunchtime or dinner on nice days, and there's somebody from the family on the sidewalk grilling really good, garlicky homemade wieners and chicken or pork sausages, with a table of condiments next to the grill and tables facing the Shell station parking lot. Big wieners are $1.75 apiece, sausages $2.75 apiece. I've never even bought anything inside and it's one of my favorite places.—cantadelalma

Pho Green Papaya

402 SE MLK Jr., 231-1431

Yes! This restaurant is so awesome. You can eat inside. You can eat outside. You can eat meat. You can eat vegan. You can eat fresh piping pho. (Which is very good in any form.) You can also eat Luc Lak, which I personally recommend, because it's beef, soaked in butter and spices, with a tangy sauce on rice. DELICIOUS!—100%AWESOME

Podnah's Pit Barbecue

1469 NE Prescott, 281-3700

Get there early. When you get to Podnah's in time to have your pick of the menu, you're in luck—it's all amazing. But when the day's meat is gone, it's gone. Last time we popped in, all they had left was brisket, and I was there with a pulled-pork jones. But we'll be back... (Also, the air conditioning is on overdrive... bring a sweater!)—amy

Produce Row Cafè

204 SE Oak, 232-8355

Produce Row has a great beer selection to sample while hanging out on their cozy patio. Their sandwiches are really good and happy hour goes 'til 7 pm! About my only complaint is that the service is sometimes on the slow side, but if you're not in a hurry and are in the mood for good beer and food, don't let that get in the way!—starbellyboy

Pub at the End of the Universe

4107 SE 28th, 235-0969

Ultimate college hangout for beer nerds.—monkey

Random Order Coffeehouse

1800 NE Alberta, 331-1420

This place has the best sandwiches ever. The Don Rickles is to die for, as are their fried egg sandwiches. It gets pretty busy in the morning, but it's worth the wait when you get to the counter and pick out a delicious homemade muffin or slice of pie. Oh and they have the BEST wheat-free and vegan apple pecan bars!—Annie

Ristretto Roasters

3520 NE 42nd, 284-6767

Hands down, my favorite coffee in town (beating out even Albina Press' rendition of Stumptown). The beans are roasted—to medium—in house. I'd walk across town if I had to, to partake. I'd also give this place 10 stars if they were available. Actually, only 8, because they close too early. Instead I'll go for a 4.5, rounded up.— amy

Roadside Attraction

1000 SE 12th, 233-0743

This place is one of the most unique bars around. It's so casual and laidback and the patio rules! It's almost as good as sitting in my backyard and I have an awesome backyard. The only food I've eaten here were some nachos and they were decent.—Beer Batter

Rocco's Pizza

949 SW Oak, 223-9835

The pizza is good for the price. The slices are huge, the cheese is fake, and there is a wide assortment of condiments. They use clever names like "Texas Barnyard Massacre" for their meat lovers' pizza and "Pine and Swine" for their Hawaiian pizza. $1 Pabst, too.—Erich

Roxy

1121 SW Stark, 223-9160

The food isn't what I'd call great and the servers may ignore you, but at 3 am whatareyagonnado? Mostly, it's good for people watching. All the fucked-up teenagers and queens. So fun!—Brian D

Rumpspanker's Beyond Broth

5124 NE 42nd, 481-5967

American pho is such a cool concept. Breakfast all day!!!!! Forget the line on Alberta, we got right in for breakfast on a Saturday at 9:30 am.—SASSY

Russell Street Bar-Be-Que

325 NE Russell, 528-8224

As a local fatass, I feel that it's my duty to share that this place is fucking fantastic and everyone should go. That being said, if one goes and doesn't try the marvelous baked macaroni and cheese, then said self should kill themselves immediately, having completely missed out on true goodness! The booze selection is pretty good too.—Rolled out of the place...

Sagittarius

2710 N Killingsworth, 289-7557

I was unimpressed with this little hotspot. It got a good write-up, so I thought I would try it. The food tasted like something I could whip up in five minutes in the kitchen (and I'm not a good cook). I don't know, I guess when I go out to eat I want to feel like I'm eating food a little different than I eat at home.—jen beth

Sapphire Hotel

5008 SE Hawthorne, 232-6333

It feels like you just wandered into some really sexy, hip (and tough) girl's loft apartment, and said chick has way cooler tattoos than you. The cocktails are killer fruity concoctions, the late-night food menu is just right on. There is a cool pasta dish there with chicken, angel hair pasta, dates, and apricots served chilled... to die for. I never venture into SE (too many dreads and hemp clothes, if ya know what I mean) but when I do, it's for this li'l gem.—Paper_Cuts

Savoy Tavern & Bistro

2500 SE Clinton, 808-9999

Being from Wisconsin myself, I was really excited for this place and really wanted to like it. BUT, the Friday fish fry was a teensy piece of walleye and the fried cheese curds were not that good. I don't think they were actually fried. However, I am going to try it again because my boyfriend's meal was so good and the atmosphere is great. Refine my Wisconsin foods, Savoy!—Muffin

Screen Door

2337 E Burnside, 542-0880

I'm from Alabama so I feel like I can give y'all a pretty accurate Southern point of view on this joint. Everything I've ever had here is so good. The fried chicken is crispy not greasy. The fried oyster benedict is scrumdiddlyumptious. The sweet potato fries are awesome. The grits are quite decent and the corn bread is passable, but everyone from the South knows that you don't put sugar in cornbread, which every "Southern" restaurant up here including Screen Door doesn't seem to realize. I heart Screen Door!—Caroline

Slow Bar

533 SE Grand, 230-7767

Best drinks, best food, and best people. Slow Burger is the best burger in town. Great Manhattans, great crowd.— ben

Star E Rose Cafè

2403 NE Alberta, 249-8128

They serve some damn fine pie here. You sometimes have to step through a lot of trustafarians to get to the door, but generally, it's got a good vibe and the most important thing? GOOD PIE!—Beer Batter

ten01

1001 NW Couch, 226-3463

This menu is horribly misguided and is more likely related to the chef's ego than to any real culinary skill. Menu items like a weak steamer appetizer that wants to be curry, but somehow isn't, served with a puttanesca-type bruschetta... didn't anyone think about whether those two things would taste good together? It was pretty to look at, though... and it was tall. Fire the chef and try again.—MOSES JONES

Toro Bravo

120 NE Russell, 281-4464

I have been here three times and all three were amazing. You must try the marinated sheep's cheese with harissa, if they still have the squash blossom, my oh my! They have just as much amazing veggie fare as they do meat so all will be happy! Great atmosphere and a nice make-out room to boot! ;) Can't wait to go again.—Sickout-sticker

Veganopolis

412 SW 4th, 226-3400

One of the best veggie burgers I've ever had, and I've tried mucho. Places like this prove there's no need to eat animals.—satyagraha

Vita Cafè

3024 NE Alberta, 335-8233

Lord knows what you'll get at Vita. Sometimes it's a perfect Portland veggie-friendly spot, full of character and charisma, making you grateful for living in such a great town as ours. Other times it's hell, with horrible service and hit-or-miss food. Safest best is to go for a good hangover breakfast (order the corn cakes or Tofurky Florentine, even if you are a carnivore) and pray the waitress remembers to top off your coffee cup.—TEDDY

Whiskey Soda Lounge

3226 SE Division, 232-1387

Woah, I was blown away with all the options on this menu. I know they got Restaurant of the Year, but the food was kinda over the top. I liked it, it was different, but I don't know about "Restaurant of the Year." Be sure to ask for extra water, whatever you order will be spicy/salty/tasty. —AMY