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Noodles at Sen Yai

Image: Allison Jones

1. Slurp Phat Sii Ew at Sen Yai

At Division Street noodle house Sen Yai, platters of springy wide-cut noodles benefit from a vigorous wokking in black soy sauce alongside egg, bright spears of Chinese broccoli, and fatty nubs of pork. Add sizzle with the tabletop house-made accoutrements (pickled serrano rounds, Thai chiles in funky fish sauce) and then—we strongly advise—refuse to share.

2. Chomp into empanadas at Que Bacano

This cheery Portland Mercado cart relies on the traditional corn dough of Colombia for its crispy-shelled empanadas, which give way with a satisfying crunch before melting into cumin-spiced beef and potato heaven.

3. Melt into The Rookery’s baked mac ’n’ cheese

All hail Raven & Rose’s bar mac, brimming with springy cavatappi noodles and salty ham bits mixed with an intensely sharp blue cheese, English cheddar-and-ale sauce, and oily garlic-rye nubbins.

4. Chug Sourdough IPA

Chef’s Week PDX may be over, but some of its collaborations party on. One superlative example? Biscuit Shooter RyePA, a small batch experiment from Everybody’s Brewing and Portland pastry chef Eve Küttemann of pop-up Sage Hen. This is a seriously smooth, subtly tart IPA fermented with wild yeast isolated from Küttemann’s own sourdough bread. (Find it at Lardo, Green Dragon, IBU, and Bollywood Theater.) 

5. Slice into Navarre’s Hanger Streak

The casual European eatery’s hanger steak offers tender, perfectly seasoned, buttery bites—so good you should really reconsider your small plate decision on this one. Go large. If that’s too much red meat for you, the trout in parchment is a juicy, gift-wrapped joy that offers an equal, melt-in-your-mouth experience.

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