Chopstick into bibimbap at Kim Jong Smokehouse
We’re still on the fence about the Kim Jong Grillin’-Smokehouse 21 bromance happening at Pine Street Market—notably some tough meat, steep prices, and iffy smoked kimchi mayonnaise. But if you can stomach the $14 tag, the bibimbap bowl with smoked galbi short rib is gut-expanding comfort in fine form. The mix of crunchy burnt rice, salted pickled apples, spicy kimchi, and thick, fatty cuts of sweet, lacquered short rib is best slathered in KJS’s tart, gochujang-spiked sauce.
Zip through lunch at Pop Bagel
Quietly, amidst Big Pink’s daily hustle and bustle, Nuvrei Bakery opened Pop, a tiny, bagel-only take-out shop on the ground floor. Six sandwiches—BLT to Kimchi—are built on fluffy, yielding pretzel bagels. It’s entirely more appropriate than trying to wrap your incisors around a true East Coast bagel sandwich. The best deal is the $10 lunch, which includes a sandwich, drink, and pastry; the baked goods, like the flourless chocolate walnut cookie, are Nuvrei’s strong-suit.
Sip natural wine at Dame
Is there a cooler place to drink wine in Portland right now? We don’t think so. Sidle up to the marble bar and let the well-versed staff guide you through their all-natural wine program. From our most recent visit: Hervé Villemade ‘Bovin,’ a slightly effervescent gamay that’s dangerously juicy and savory with a little bit of barnyard funk in the mix. Also, wrap your lips around the Enderle & Moll ‘Müller,’ an “orange” wine. Tart, savory, with a major pear nose. It’s awesome.
Nurse a Krakatoa at Expatriate
Somewhere between Baja and Bermuda, this tall sipper is one of the vaunted cocktail den’s best. Smoky hits of mescal and coffee syrup build on the tropical bones of smooth, drinkable tequila, pineapple, lime, and orgeat. It’s served in a highball and stacked with ice, sans umbrella.