Township and Range's Summer Simplicity

SE Hawthorne's new neighborhood eatery offers local beer, hearty fare, and comforting desserts for balmy nights.

By Allison Jones August 1, 2013 Published in the August 2013 issue of Portland Monthly

The "Brookie"

Image: Allison Jones

Summer begs for simplicity. For a few precious months, Portland revels in the sanity-saving pleasures of sidewalk tables, easy comforts, and very cold beer hoisted on starry nights with family and friends. Township & Range, the third partnership for Laurelhurst Theater’s Prescott Allen and Woody Wheeler, is tailor-made for this fleeting moment. On a relatively sleepy stretch of SE Hawthorne Boulevard, walls of windows roll up nightly, drawing balmy breezes through the spacious dining room and bar.  The no-frills patio bustles with daters and neighborhood denizens sharing an eclectic mix of baby-kale salad, salt-cod fritters, and messy-good fried chicken clinging to cornmeal crust. Local microbrews flow as freely as the conversation. 

Chef Jon Beeaker, a Bluehour and Saucebox vet, dishes out home-style, wallet-friendly food stepped up with little touches—perhaps arugula pesto to amplify a burger, or hazelnut butter to glaze seared Northwest steelhead. Nothing rings in over $15, and the big-boy portions recall the Sunday dinner table: crisp iceberg wedge salads sporting fried shallots, beer-braised pork shank toppling creamy polenta. 

Desserts, courtesy of former Criollo Bakery owner Melissa McKinney, are essential. The “Brookie” brings three classics together in one happy bowl—a gooey brownie holding a chocolate chip cookie deep beneath fresh vanilla-bean ice cream. The crustless salted caramel cheesecake comes with graham cracker cookies and a question: does the world truly need forks? 

This is neighborhood dining done right: laid-back, affordable, and satisfying. 

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