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Portland’s first indie steak house features an eye-popping butcher counter up front and a notable lack of cigar-chomping ambience. Equal parts American brasserie, lunchtime sandwich shop, and neighborhood diner, Laurelhurst Market was conceived by Jason Owens, Ben Dyer, and David Kreifels, the trio behind Simpatica Dining Hall. Their changing menu showcases local meats and seasonal vegetables as well as moderately priced steaks from affordable cuts (tri tips, skirt, bavette) and a love of handcrafting down to fresh-made graham crackers and marshmallows for s’mores. Not to mention a passion for house-smoking, fueled by a whomping brisket swaddled in soul-satisfying barbecue sauce. Unlike its wallet-wringing west-side steak-house peers, Laurelhurst asks $20 or less for many of its entrées, which means dining can be a joy for both prince and pauper.

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