Saigon Kitchen

835 NE Broadway, 281-3669, 3829 SE Division, 236-2312

The cooks at Saigon Kitchen are magicians--every time, their tofu cubes are gleaming and golden, the exact right consistency of crispiness, devoid of excess oil, but moist enough that each cube explodes in crunchy bursts. The perfect way they stir-fry tofu is undoubtedly an act of God. There's one dish in particular--stir-fried vegetables with vermicelli noodles. For a measly $5.95, it comes in a humongous bowl that will yield at least one more meal of leftovers. Clumps of skinny rice noodles are piled with crisp broccoli, snow peas, bean sprouts, cabbage, carrots cut in an attractive zigzag shape, and the aforementioned crispy pillows of heaven. JS

Portland Steak & Chophouse

121 SW 3rd, 223-6200

The Portland Steak & Chophouse is a good place for an after-work meal or some late-night eats--because, even though they're a swanky restaurant, their super-cheap appetizer menu is in effect everyday from 3:30-6:30 pm and 9:30-close. They have a plethora of generously portioned and tasty dishes, and they all cost just $1.95. Cheapass-yet-tasty appetizers include the Barbecue Beef and Roasted Garlic Pizza, the Peppered Beef and Jack Quesadilla--filled with thick chunks of pot roast-style beef, and the White Cheddar Cheeseburger for a solid meal. KS


1412 SE Morrison, 235-8150

The ambiance of Crush is exactly what you want in a good bar that specializes in great wines: they serve beer, light appetizers and snacks, and have lots of crushed velvet, burgundy leather, mirrors, and an extremely friendly and cute waiter named Woody, who makes great wine suggestions and grows the lavender plate garnishes in his garden. The menu features a thorough, but not exhaustive selection of red and white wine, champagne, as well as a yummy snack list with salads, breads, fruit, olives, and spreads. KS