Wild Abandon

2411 SE Belmont, 233-8699

CORRECTION! Last week in our patio guide, I wrote this: "What's clear is that Wild Abandon takes its culinary feats seriously--from wine list, to risotto, to tiramisu--without pretention. The only drawback: the patio is super-tiny, about twice the size of a walk-in closet." While I was not mistaken about the quality of Wild Abandon's food, I was mistaken about their patio. It turns out their patio is actually huge! Why they're hiding it behind the small patio, I have no idea. But it's definitely there, and according to owner Michael Cox, it seats 25, is up the stairs from the smaller area, and is "one of the most charming patios in town." PHIL AMARA

Yam Yam's

7339 NE MLK, 978-9229

One of the few Southern food joints in Portland, Yam Yam's is top notch. As you might expect, the sweet, buttery yams are one of the highlights, along with the tangy, baked-in-a-pan macaroni and cheese. My favorite main dish is the catfish, fried in a light cornmeal breading, and served up in piles. Be warned though; Yam Yam's isn't fancy dining. You order at the counter, the Blazer's game is often on, and expect to spend about eight to 12 bucks on a meal; a little more than diner fare, also a lot more exciting. KS


524 NW 14th, 916-0099

Muted lights, a sleek bar, and slick-looking waiters juxtapose well against the bare wood beams that crisscross Holden's lofty ceiling. And while the look is swank, most of the dinners are familiar fare (burgers, skewers with rice or grits, steak, pasta, fish tacos) with a sly twist. It must have been tempting for Holden's to blindly follow the trend of over-stylized dishes, tossing in mango chutneys and oven-dried tomato spreads, but their restraint is appreciated. The blackened salmon is simple, juicy, and fresh--managing to retain the richness of the salmon while cooking out the fishiness. At only ten dollars and some change for most dinners, the quality is remarkably high. PB