Poor Richard's

3907 NE Broadway, 288-5285

There are plenty of steak places in Portland, but very few that don't require a six-figure income in order to finance your T-Bone. Poor Richard's, on the other hand, has the glorious two-fers--two steaks for one low price. This brand of bargain pricing is far too low-brow for the prestigious Ringside of Ruth's Chris--but absolutely perfect for me. The most you'll spend on two hunks of top sirloin or tenderloin with a salad, baked potato, garlic bread, ice cream, and coffee is $22. The steak always comes out cooked to your specifications, with a bit of a crisp on the outside regardless of how you order it. KS

Thien Hong

6749 NE Sandy, 281-1247

Thien Hong is sort of like smack. Once you put the first slithery, salt-and-pepper squid in your mouth, you'll be hooked. In fact, my friends and I don't even refer to Thien by its name, but merely as "salt-and-pepper squid." This appetizer is made up of big pieces of calamari, thinly battered, deep-fried, salted and peppered equally, and cooked with green onions left slightly raw. Even if you claim not to like squid, you should try this squid. I have seen many a non-seafood eater come over to the squid side, and then jones weekly for another serving. KS

Michael's Italian Beef and

Sausage Company

1111 SE Sandy, 230-1899

At Michael's there's no question who is the star of the show. Why that would be BEEF, of course! And, in particular, the Chicago Style Italian Beef sandwich, which is cram-packed with the drippy deliciousness of thinly sliced, roasted top round marinated in its own gravy, topped with peppers (your choice: hot, mild or pepperoncinis), sauteed onions, and jammed into a soft Italian roll. It's like a French Dip sandwich that's already been dipped for your convenience. Naturally, there are other meaty delights on the menu, including the Italian Sausage (which is the teensiest bit dry, but a delight when ladled with BEEF juice), and the Chicken Italiano (brimming with thick hunks of chicken breast and doused in lemon sesame gravy). WSH