Berlin Inn

3131 SE 12th, 236-6761

I have it on good authority that it's virtually impossible to get a pork-free meal in Germany, and nobody in Portland does authentic German food like the Berlin Inn. The family-owned restaurant offers a mouthwatering menu of German favorites, from fondue to wiener schnitzel to several preparations of pork chop. They also serve an absolutely incapacitating weekend brunch: Go ahead and order a beer with your breakfast, because when you start your morning off with a smoked pork chop and a side of potato pancakes, your day is going to be pretty much shot anyway. ALISON HALLETT

Cannon's Rib Express

5410 NE 33rd, 288-3836

If you like your BBQ saucy, Cannon's is the place for you. The pork ribs are satisfyingly succulent, and fall right off the bone, as a good rib should. The sauce they are doused in comes in different levels of heat, and while the medium tasted perfectly delicious, it was a little too plentiful. Similarly, the chopped pork sandwich is quite good, but drowned in the same sauce to the point where the flavor of the meat becomes nearly obsolete (the effect of a napkin is likewise rendered obsolete). The more modestly portioned sides, including red beans and rice, and greens, were surprisingly delicious and served as nice palate cleansers. It's quick and fairly cheap ($6 for a sandwich, $11.50 for ribs), but if they'd lay off the sauce just a bit, it'd be a whole lot better. ERIN LACOUR

Daily Café

1100 SE Grand, 234-8189; 902 NW 13th, 242-1916

There is a sandwich at the Daily Café that is quite possibly the most perfect sandwich ever brought to Portland. The porchetta panini—pronounced pork-etta—is the right balance of smoky, salty, and tangy, layering a generous pile of thinly sliced rosemary-fennel marinated pork with provolone and a light daub of red pepper relish, between slices of focaccia. The whole thing is toasted, which makes for one comforting sandwich—the warm bread and slightly caramelized porchetta is the perfect antidote to the last dreary days of spring. AMY JENNIGES

Dog House

2845 E Burnside, 239-3647

Wow, it was rather hard to find an all-pork hot dog in this town. I tried Nick's Famous Coney Island (3746 SE Hawthorne), where there was "a touch" of pork in the dogs. I went to Zach's Shack (4409 SE Hawthorne) where I happily devoured a couple hot dogs (try the Grateful Dog—cream cheese, onions, and tomatoes) only to read the menu and discover that most of their dogs are 100 percent beef. Zach's does consistently have a pork sausage special, though. More beef than pork was also the case at the Dog House, where I enjoyed the Wednesday daily special—the British Bulldog, a huge all-pork sausage, topped with onions, cheese, spicy mustard, and celery salt (pick your own toppings). The sausage had major snap and it was juicier than any other I've had 'round town. I've never taste-tested pork vs. beef sausages, but I'm definitely a convert—that pig tasted better. COURTNEY FERGUSON

Doug Fir

830 E Burnside, 231-9663

The Doug Fir's food has improved dramatically in the past year, going from incongruously terrible—a bizarre sour note in an otherwise polished establishment—to generally quite good. My friend proclaimed their croque monsieur to be the ultimate hangover food, and I'd tend to agree: A layer of bread, a layer of ham, and a layer of Gruyére melted until it gets just a little bit crispy. Pair that with a DF Bloody Mary and you should be good to go. The Doug Fir's pepper bacon has also garnered quite a following in recent months: Try the Clendenin Croissant, a breakfast sandwich with scrambled eggs, bacon, and cheddar. Everything on the Doug Fir's bar menu is only $2.50 during happy hour (3-6 pm), including chicken wings, a darn good cheeseburger, and that croque monsieur I was telling you about. AH


2725 SE Ankeny, 234-7909

On the recommendation of a friend, I recently made my way over to the gaudily decorated Tex-Mex joint on the south end of NE 28th's "restaurant row" to try their allegedly delicious barbeque pulled-pork nachos. All I can say is, I will not be taking recommendations from that particular friend anymore. The nacho concept was fundamentally flawed: Instead of the standard pile of tortilla chips topped with beans, cheese, and other yumminess, we got a plate full of individual chips, upon which a small amount of dry, chewy pork had been placed, then topped with melted cheese. Equally unappealing was the boar enchilada: It was my first experience eating boar, so I'm not sure if it always tastes like low-grade hamburger meat mixed with dog food, but it sure did this time. I mention Esparza's at all only because they have apparently somehow garnered an entirely undeserved reputation for delicious pulled-pork nachos—I just don't want anyone else to make the same mistake I did. AH

Harold's Barbecue

902 N Killingsworth, 240-0288

I love pork so much, I almost need constant supervision so I don't run around licking live pigs. However, I have a two-fold problem with many local barbecue restaurants: (1) The quality of their pork, and (2) Burning their ribs to resemble the aftermath of Nagasaki. Happily, Harold Harrison—the owner of the newish Harold's Barbecue on Killingsworth—knows exactly what he's doing. This barbecue pitmaster (and former judge of nation-wide 'Que contests) uses only fresh, natural meats from the Northwest that boast "no added hormones, no antibiotics, and a 100 percent natural vegetarian diet." His super slo-mo method of smoking these meats leads to some of the most perfectly cooked, tender, fall-off-the-GD-bone pork ribs I've ever tasted—and as previously mentioned, I've eaten a FARM-LOAD of pig. In fact, even though their sauce is delish, I rarely apply it to the rib—simply because I consider it a crime to disguise meat this flavorful. Trust me, it's so fresh you'd swear the pig is squealing in ecstasy. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY

Higgins Restaurant

1239 SW Broadway, 222-9070

Not only does Higgins smoke and cure their own charcuterie (processed, cured, and/or salted meats), but Greg Higgins was one of the first in Portland to begin doing so: If there's a must-try charcuterie plate in town, it's this one. I'm accustomed to thinking of Higgins as "fancy," i.e., too expensive for the likes of me—but at $13.50, the very shareable charcuterie plate isn't going to break anyone's bank, and it's worth it for a chance to taste various cured meats and different kinds of sausage. Round up a few friends, sit at the bar, order a round of perfectly mixed cocktails from Higgins' expert bartenders, and pretend you're one of the "haves" for a change. AH

Ken's Artisan Pizza

204 SE 28th, 517-9951;

Ken's Artisan Bakery

338 NW 21st, 248-2202

Ken does a few nice things with the pig. My favorite menu item at Ken's Artisan Bakery is the authentic-as-hell sandwich au jambon: A simple French bistro sandwich made with nothing more than ham, baguette, and butter. The pulled-pork sandwich is also quite popular, while I'm partial to the savory croissant stuffed with ham, thyme, and Gruyère. Meanwhile, on the other side of the river at Ken's Artisan Pizza, the prosciutto plate is a great way to whet the appetite before the main course, one of Ken's delicious 12-inch artisan pies. Piggy pie toppings include fennel sausage or sopressata, but other toppings are worth trying too: The anchovy pie packs an assertive, salty punch, and it's hard to miss with the classic Margherita. AH

La Bonita

2839 NE Alberta, 281-3662

Sometimes it takes a lot of lovin' to pull every last molecule of deliciousness from pork—that's why the Mexican dish of carnitas (or "little meats") is so universally enjoyed. After acquiring the "picnic ham" or "Boston butt" section of the piggy, the seasoned meat is slowly braised (or roasted) at a low temperature for eight to 12 hours, which makes it tender enough to be torn apart with a fork. Afterward, the rendered piggy liquid is added back to the meat, then quickly roasted at around 475 degrees to provide that succulent juiciness partnered with crispy edges. Sure, you can toss it into a tortilla with a little cilantro, onion, and guac—or the next time you're at La Bonita on Alberta, try their amazing carnitas tamales, or carnitas fajita burrito. Both of these delectable treats encase the carnitas in easily manageable packages of juiciness, without overpowering the tender, non-fatty wonder of Bonita's perfectly prepared pork. It really doesn't get much better. WSH


22 NE 7th, 236-3896

L'Astra is an adorable hole in the wall tucked away off E Burnside, with six or so tables and a lovely, ever-changing menu of French-meets-Northwest cuisine. While there's nothing particularly pork-tastic about L'Astra's menu, one thing does stand out: They stock their salami plate with meat from Salumi, the Seattle shop run by Armandino Batali (AKA celeb chef Mario Batali's dad) that is widely considered to produce some of the best cured meat available on the West Coast. The plate comes with two flavors of salami, crunchy baguette, and good mustard, and it's a steal at $4. AH

Le Pigeon

738 E Burnside, 546-8796

Le Pigeon has rapidly become one of those must-try Portland restaurants; the atmosphere evokes some cozy, family-owned European bistro, and it's upscale without being at all stuffy. Wunderchef Gabriel Rucker turns out inventive, eye-opening dishes—and he sure has a way with a pig. From his house-smoked pork belly to his famous apricot-cornbread-bacon dessert, Rucker's concoctions have caused more than a few diners to drop their forks and say, "I had no idea pork could taste like that!" (Pig tail sometimes pops up on the ever-changing menu, and from all accounts it's phenomenal.) For the faint of heart, brunch is a good way to sample Le Pigeon's cuisine without going out on any terrifying culinary limbs: Try a breakfast sandwich with egg, bacon, and cheddar. Can't get much more accessible than that. AH

Mash Tun Brewery

2204 NE Alberta, 548-4491

It's time to give a shout out to the good old-fashioned ham sandwich—and after much deliberation, I've decided that the Mash Tun's ham and Swiss is the one worth writing about. It's a simple sandwich, no frills: toasted white bread, ham, cheese, lettuce, mayo, served with a side of Mash Tun's excellent skinny fries. Throw in a pint of house-brewed IPA, and you've got a pretty unfuckwithable meal combo, delivered to your table by some of the sweetest, friendliest servers I've ever encountered. AH


10 NE 28th, 232-3555

This is simple dining at its best: a soft sandwich roll, overflowing with sweet and tangy pulled pork and crisp purple cabbage slaw. That's the Carolina pulled-pork sandwich, one of several lunchtime sandwich options at Navarre, a NE 28th hotspot that serves eclectic Spanish-style tapas at night. (Aside: The evening menu included a dish simply marked "pork"—last time I tried it, the pork was lightly dusted with a crisp and slightly spicy bread crumb mixture that nicely balanced the tender meat. I tried to flag down our server to get the details—I think it was bread crumbs—but was unsuccessful. Thankfully, the food leaves a great enough impression that I'm willing to overlook the sub-par service.) AJ

Otto's Sausage Kitchen

4138 SE Woodstock, 771-6714

Otto's is a sausage party in every sense of the word. Walking into the place my friend and I were greeted with a "hey, ladies..." from the boys behind the meat counter; and when I asked one of them what the most popular sausage is, it was hard not to drop a wink. Otto's is home to a snappy little wiener that's been ranked among the top 10 sausages in the country; get it to go by the pound (it's cheap as hell) or buy a sizzling hot dog from the dudes grilling out front. Otto's also sells fresh-made sandwiches like the meat-laden Oktoberfest sandwich, as well as a lovely array of high-end cheese, wine, and beer. AH

Podnah's Pit

1469 NE Prescott, 281-3700

Soon after ditching a decade of vegetarianism, I went through a period of mourning. I'd committed myself to only devouring meat from trusted sources (farms where the pigs, cows, and chickens live a decent life before landing on my plate), and I soon realized that this meant I'd be passing on plenty of restaurants, not to mention entire cuisines. Including, I presumed, barbecue shops—the places cranking out the meat that through aroma alone had consistently caused me to question my commitment to Boca Burgers. Thankfully, Podnah's is on the same page I am, sourcing their pork from local Carlton Farms before coating it with a dry rub and smoking the ribs for up to six hours. On my first visit, I gleefully gnawed the tender meat off the bone, relishing the crust of smoked spices and practically ignoring the generous sides (I went for corn bread and potato salad, both of which were stellar). And I'll be visiting again soon, to try the pulled-pork sandwich I admired on other diners' tables. Thanks, Podnah's! AJ

Russell Street Bar-B-Que

325 NE Russell, 528-8224

The Russell Street Bar-B-Que looks like a charming, innocent little neighborhood barbeque joint, with its smiling pig logo, checkered tablecloths, and abundance of pig knickknacks. Don't be fooled: This place will kick your ass. The Virginia pulled-pork plate—a saucy pile of shredded pork with your choice of two sides—is an almost overwhelming amount of food. When the unceremonious pile of meat arrives at the table, you might think that you could never eat it all—but then a weird thing happens. You take a bite, and you take another bite, and then you lose sensation everywhere except your mouth and everything disappears except for you and your plate... until you snap out of it and realize you've just eaten like, six pounds of pork. You might not be able to move for the rest of the day, but it's worth it. Baby back pork ribs also lurk enticingly in the folds of the Russell Street's menu—or go with "Meatapalooza," a choice of any three meats, from smoked beef ribs to smoked turkey to grilled wild salmon. The Russell Street might also be the most vegetarian-tolerant ("friendly" would be going a bit far) BBQ joint in town, offering vegetarian collard greens as well as the delightfully named "No Meatapalooza"—smoked grilled tofu. AH

Screen Door

2337 E Burnside, 542-0880

I'll take any opportunity I can to write about the Screen Door. The welcoming restaurant always impresses me with good service, well-mixed drinks, and tasty Southern dishes made with seasonal, local ingredients—both during dinner, and at their rollicking weekend brunch. Luckily, they smoke their own meats, providing an easy opportunity to work them into these pork listings: Their bacon is excellent and showcased to good effect in an oyster benedict, while the Carolina pulled-pork sandwich is a guaranteed crowd pleaser. I've never had the bourbon-braised Carlton Farms pork shank, but based on my experiences with just about everything else on the menu, it's probably pretty darn good. AH


828 SE Ash, 235-1600

Sunday brunch here is worth the inevitable wait (and the wait here is made comfortable, with pots of coffee and The New York Times awaiting you in the hall). Though the menu changes regularly, you're guaranteed to find bacon and pork throughout—after all, the crew behind Simpatica runs Viande Meats and Sausage, a company with a pig for a logo. Recently, my favorite brunchtime pork came in the crêpes: Bits of smoky bacon were delicately folded into mashed roasted squash, to create a savory and salty filling. Then there's always ham on the eggs benedict, plenty of sausage in the gravy, sides of bacon, and pork in other guest-starring roles. (Brunch served Sundays only.) AJ


18 NW 3rd, 241-8823

Even when I was a vegetarian, I never really got on board with fake meat: Something about that weird processed soy texture gave me the willies. I gotta say, though, that Tube's faux ham and cheese sandwich (totally vegan) really hits the spot. The grilled sandwich is nice and crunchy, and the fake meat and cheese are both relatively inoffensive (high praise from this meat eater—and my vegan friends swear by it). Don't miss the vegan hot dog, either—it tastes uncannily like the real deal, and is only $2 during happy hour (5-10 pm daily). And for all you haters out there: Sure, Tube might foolishly be considered a scenester snake pit, but the food is pretty good and the bartenders, in my experience at least, are nothing but nice. AH

Voodoo Doughnut

22 SW 3rd, 241-4704

Once available only to night owls, Voodoo's famous maple/bacon doughnuts have proved so popular, they are now available 'round the clock! They aren't strictly doughnuts, but bars, like big fat éclairs with maple frosting and a crispy slice of bacon perched neatly on top. Once you've gotten over the concept, the combination of salty pork with sweet icing is not as surprising as it sounds—in fact, it seems perfectly natural once you're gobbling a third bar down. They taste pretty good sober, much better after a few beers to assuage any gluttony-associated guilt. By then, you'll just be sad they don't have cream filling inside. Or more pork. MATT DAVIS

Yakuza Lounge

5411 NE 30th, 450-0893

Yakuza Lounge offers two delicious and distinctively different pork dishes on their current menu (the menu changes seasonally). First up, the Kobe beef and bacon-chèvre burger is a delicious treat, and certainly unlike any bacon cheeseburger in town—it's much more than just a bar snack, with the ingredients coming together to produce a pleasingly complex taste far removed from the average burger. It's reasonably priced at $12, but comes à la carte, and begs the question of why anyone would order a burger at a restaurant known for more unusual dishes. Speaking of unusual, the next pork menu item is the miso-rubbed Kurobuta pork loin. This dish, served over rice with rapini and shiitakes, is mesmerizing. The tender pork is complemented by subtle flavors ranging from sesame to honey to miso. The serving size was more than filling, and a steal at $13. EL