04 068 eatdrink davis st vgshyu

The dining options for us hungry downtown cubicle drones often feel skimpy north of W Burnside Street, in Old Town, where egg rolls and pork-fried rice are the coin of the realm and the prospect of a proper salad seems slim. The good news is that the recently opened Davis Street Tavern, at NW Fifth Avenue, qualifies as a place that serves up the requisite locally grown produce in a roomy pub setting.

The back dining area looks like a posh destination for the dinner crowd. But it’s the front room and bar that draw the lunch and happy-hour traffic as the suit-and-tie bunch seeks refuge from the ringing phone.

The upscale comfort food is pricey for an up-and-coming neighborhood ($9 for a grilled-cheese sandwich and tomato soup?), but the $5 happy-hour plates offer an economical alternative. The strip loin burger is cooked to order—it’s juicy and smoky and filling. An order of crostini with a trio of spreads makes for an ideal shared snack. The beer selection is small but well provisioned, with regional brews from Ninkasi, Old Lompoc, and Double

The cocktail menu likewise rallies, with Indio vodka, Aviation gin, and Trillium absinthe making welcome appearances. And lest we forget, there are proper salads to be had—the baby spinach salad with French radish, Rogue River blue cheese, and a cider-pink peppercorn vinaigrette is the best of the bunch.

Not that there’s anything wrong with pork-fried rice, but we do need our greens.