LANCE CHESS - Director of Circulation

Hi, I'm Lance and I'm an Aquarius. I like long walks on the beach, a well-made Maker's Mark Old Fashioned and pointing out that I'm the only person at the Mercury who actually physically works for a living. I also like Mississippi Pizza and its recent addition the Atlantis Lounge (3552 N Mississippi). Like a lot of other parents in the Fifth Quadrant known as North Portland, I've discovered this place has great food, live music, really impressive cocktails that rival anything else on Mississippi, and you can take your screaming baby there and almost nobody will hate you for it. When pizza doesn't quiet my screaming baby, we hit King Burrito (2924 N Lombard), whose mouth-watering tortas, carne asada tacos, and enormous burritos will make you beg for mercy. They also have a veggie menu and huge juicy hamburgers. When I crave a taste of the Mediterranean, it's time for Foti's (1740 E Burnside), a Greek grocery/deli with meal-in-themselves Greek salads, yummy veggie souvlaki sandwiches, and a classic fishwich that'll kill your craving for the corporate version. And for dessert it's the downtown standard Voodoo Doughnut (22 SW 3rd). Keep Portland weird... and delicious!

MARJORIE SKINNER - Coordinating Editor

I love to check out new spots and have no qualms about eating in whichever bar I happen to be in at the time hunger strikes—but there are also a few spots I return to with alarming frequency. XV (15 SW 2nd), one of my supper standbys, has an ahi tuna sandwich that'll turn a vegetarian veg-aquarium. Chin Yen (18 NE 28th) features divine hot and sour soup, plus drinks that'll near kill ya. El Grillo (703 SW Ankeny) suffices when I have little cash and a lotta appetite and need a big-ass burrito on the cheap. Valentine's (232 SW Ankeny) is bookish and quiet, and offers sophisticated sandwiches and other late-night fare for healthier-eating party people.


I do not enjoy eating. I mean, it's fine and all—I kind of have to do it to survive—but aside from my usual diet of Kraft macaroni and cheese, Amy's frozen lasagna, Lucky Charms, and beer, I just don't get that stoked when I need to eat. When necessary, however, I'll lazily roll to a Taco Del Mar (435 SW 4th; 911 NW Hoyt; 438 SE MLK; 3106 SE Hawthorne), despite the fact their cheese enchiladas feature half-melted cheese, gluey beans, and bland rice. As a, say, 90 percent vegetarian, it's also rather weird/gross to me that they put fish in their enchilada sauce. And yet, there I be, day after day. Every so often, I crave good food, too, and hit up Byways Café (1212 NW Glisan), which has amazing breakfast and lunch stuff—especially their clam chowder (on Fridays) and their breakfast Space Needle Scramble with eggs, spinach, tomatoes, onions, cheese, and garden sausage. Also, I dare you to resist the tofu Pad Thai at Chaba Thai (5810 NE Sandy)—even I love it, and I fucking hate tofu. I'll also drive clear across town to get a mushroom and olive pie from Stark Naked Pizza (2835 SE Stark), sporting a crust that's soft and delicate, a killer sauce, and just the right amount of toppings. It's totally where I go to pick up dinner if I'm out of both ramen and cheddar-flavored goldfish crackers.

EZRA ACE CARAEFF - Senior Designer/Resident Vegan

As the token vegan on this staff, my nine-to-five consists of being picked on by my cruel and bullish coworkers. After another day of my cafeteria tray being batted from my tender hands in the Mercury lunchroom, I'll often leave this hellhole and head across river to Veganopolis (412 SW 4th). There I can bask in a world of creative/healthy vegan lunch treats, including a dizzying array of daily specials and an amazing (fake) chicken caesar salad. When I find myself trolling NE for a new job, I'll often bounce meal-to-meal with some vegan tamales at La Bonita (2839 NE Alberta) and a slice of vegan heaven at Bella Faccia Pizzeria (2934 NE Alberta), a cheese-free pizza loaded with copious amounts of garlic, veggies, and tempeh. After this article runs and I get my well-deserved pink slip, you'll find me blowing my severance pay at Ya Hala (8005 SE Stark). Their bold mezza spread can easily feed two and the vegan baklava is reason enough to make the trek out to 80th and Stark.