Fried bologna sandwich from Parkside
Fried bologna sandwich from Parkside Suzette Smith
We're looking at a beautiful week of extremely Portland weather—60 degrees, sunny and strangely damp?—so I know you'll be wanting to get your collective butts outside. Even if you can't get into the forest, there's nothing like enjoying the sun of a city park, and Parkside is literally named for the park it borders.

A hidden jewel of the Kenton neighborhood, Parkside is more of a pub than a restaurant. The main selling point of Parkside in the pre-COVID era was their small, ongoing trivia and board game nights. The bar's intimate size created a strong neighborhood feeling and I heard from more than one person that they "actually made friends" there.

However, the other thing about Parkside is that everything on their short menu is secretly stellar. AND around half the items on it are vegetarian—for everyone tired of being relegated to the wedge salad. Although, they do actually have a great wedge salad too.

Parkside's fried bologna sandwich is essentially unshakable. They make the bologna in-house and it's neither too fatty nor does it stray from that basic, salty meat snack that combines the power of all the meats. Evenly stacked into a ciabatta roll with mustard, cheese, and shredded lettuce, this sandwich is unpretentious and satisfying. I noshed upon one in nearby Kenton Park while I watched dogs perform passion plays of fetch on the damp grass. It's been dark forever so I sort of forgot—the park is really great, you guys!

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Another sandwich worth pointing out is the Double Stack, which lines up two portobello mushrooms, house aioli, onion, lettuce, balsamic, and cheese inside a ciabatta roll. This sandwich supposes that vegetarians deserve the finer things in life. And you do, vegetarians. All the balsamic and aioli—you're worth it.

Parkside currently operates takeout service from a cute little window off N Willis—call in, or show up and wait. Though I noted that the menu is brief, there are frequent specials, which Parkside shows off on their Instagram,
Outdoor seating is limited, and super cute: Picnic tables under red and white awnings that look like little covered wagons. But, of course, there's also the park. Right there. You can't get back to trivia night just yet, but you can still get some human connection at Parkside.

Parkside, 2135 N. Willis, (503) 719-6826, portlandparkside.com