Aroy Thai
506 SW 4th Avenue, 274-7004

Aroy's Pad Thai is reputed to be the best in the city, and although I can't guarantee it, their version of this noodle dish is plenty delicious. Although the amount of noodles make any additional ingredients seem like an afterthought, they're cooked to tender perfection and bathed in a savory-sweet sauce that reminds you why you like Pad Thai so much. Aroy is a simple, fast, quality stop for lunch, and every day of the week boasts a new curry special. Friday's Mussamun curry excels; mouth-watering potatoes, tofu, and broccoli swim in a slightly sweet peanut sauce, blanketing a mound of perfectly steamed rice. The portions are gargantuan, and two people could easily split one entrée. If you like spicy, opt for four stars--anything less hovers at the level of medium-mild. Whether you're rushing through lunch or taking a casual midday meal, Aroy provides a delicious destination. EJ

Laurelthirst
2958 NE Glisan, 232-1504

On a sunny day last week, in a search of a decent salad, a friend and I wound up at the Laurelthirst. Not an obvious choice, for sure, but actually a good one. They serve a big chef salad (great for low-carb psychos), or a large garden salad, filled with dark green lettuce, fresh tomatoes, and homemade dressing that is entirely worth going back for. They also make the delicious soups themselves, and you can get a lunch of soup and salad for around $5. Plus, they've got big picnic tables out front, so it's a great place enjoy a meal or a beer in the sun, or at the cool cavernous indoor booths if you need respite from the heat. And if you want breakfast late, they serve it any day of the week until 2:45 pm, which is quite a luxury, especially if you're eating the scramble that's loaded with cream cheese. KS

Besaw's
2301 NW Savier, 228-2619

Besaw's is famous for breakfast (complete with mimosas and bloody marys) and for their Mom's meatloaf sandwich. All of Besaw's food is consistently top-notch. Their patio is near the street and covered by awnings, but is a great, shady choice for summer. KS