Corbett Fish House

5901 SW Corbett, 246-4434

Tucked away on a random residential street in the heart of John's Landing, Corbett Fish House certainly doesn't benefit from a hip location. But if you like good ol' fashioned deep-fried fish accompanied by 20-ounce glasses of good beer, mounds of coleslaw, and extremely friendly service, then it might just be worth seeking out. My waiter recommended the Walleye (caught in the wild in Lake Manitoba), with its sweet, nutmeg-seasoned batter coating, but I wound up preferring the catfish, with its delectably spicy kick and perfect level of crispety-crunch. The oysters are good, too. If you just want plain old halibut, there are plenty of good joints in town, but for the flavor of the Midwest, take a drive to the Corbett. JWS

White Hat Catering/Café

1405 SE Tacoma, 238-6571

Now that Compass Cafe has, sadly, closed its doors, the title of "best garden seating" is up for grabs. White Hat is the heir apparent. This little-known lunch spot by the Sellwood Bridge offers some of the best sandwiches you'll find, homemade cookies, ice cream, sweet tea, and specials that will lure you in for repeat visits. Past the flowers and tiny potted Meyer lemon tree, a path leads to a backyard worthy of a Timber Press book. Have lunch here enough and you'll be inspired to leave soulless Intel or Nike to start a café of your own. Open 11-3 pm, Closed Mon. PA

Widmer Gasthaus

929 N Russell, 281-3333

While I usually avoid brew pubs like public showers, I was recently forced to dine with a couple of under-21s. It was a Friday, and I desperately wanted about four pints of beer, so I said, "Screw it, let's try Widmer," knowing they'd welcome the kids. Well, I don't need to tell you that they've got great beer, but they also have top-notch service, incredible sandwiches (try the veggie Rueben with Swiss, a ton of kraut, and thick rye bread), and their sausage dinner comes complete with the longest damn sausage I've ever seen. They also offer a tasty fondue served with bread or soft pretzel, that won't make you any thinner, but serves as an excellent beer sponge. KS