Trifecta Combo from 808 Grinds
Trifecta Combo from 808 Grinds Suzette Smith

Now that the weather is nice—for a minute—it's time to clear the afternoon agenda, sip beer on a patio, and stuff your face with tasty chicken and rice. At 808 Grinds' Southeast Portland location, you can do all that for a price that won't break your budget, and their portions might even leave you with leftovers.

Named for Honolulu's area code and a Hawaiian slang term for food (grinds), 808 Grinds was a longtime fixture at the SW 10th and Alder food carts downtown. Co-owners Kevin Scofield and Jensen Yip met in Hawaii at a young age and reconnected as adults with a desire to feed Portlanders their passed down family recipes. You may even remember seeing Yip on a 2019 episode of Guy Fieri's Grocery Games!

Now sitting pretty outside Gigantic Brewing Co., on a quiet industrial street behind Reed College, 808 Grinds sets Portlanders up with big plates of Hawaiian-style smoked and marinated meats at collegiate budget prices. A heaping box of their 808 Fried Chicken (plus rice, plus mac salad) will set you back a mere ten dollars. Their generous Trifecta plate, which comes with 808's Fried Chicken, Shoyu Chicken, and Kalua Pig, rings up to a saintly $14.

Of the three, the Kalua Pig treats me best. The sweet, smoky pulled pork falls apart and mixes beautifully with the rice—or maybe you mix it with the mac salad, no judgement. All food in an 808 Grinds box was made to be mixed together!

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Also worth noting: Their mac salad is a texture-laden treat. I've never found mac salad to be as much about flavor as much as it is about adding a creamy element to a meal. But the mac salad at 808 Grinds has an above-average pop, thanks to the mixed-in carrots and peas.

If you think you could possibly have room leftover (HOW) or you're splitting (SMART), grab some seaweed-wrapped Spam Musubi. The spam is marinated, then seared, playing on nostalgic childhood tastes and updating them to the delicious now. While 808's entrees reheat beautifully, their Spam Musubi is best eaten immediately after purchase.

808 Grinds, Portland: 5226 SE 26th, (503) 941-6637; Beaverton: 10100 SW Park Way, (503) 477-9976; Hillsboro: 1035 NE 25th, (503) 992-6339, 808grinds.com