Five Bar Plates Good Enough to Make You Forget Your Drink

From Expatriate’s chicken and waffles to the Sudra’s pakora, these are Portland’s destination bar dishes.

By Benjamin Tepler and Kelly Clarke April 22, 2016 Published in the May 2016 issue of Portland Monthly

Chicken and waffles expatriate val2qv


Expatriate’s Chicken & Waffles
After developing the wonton nacho and jalapeño-popper bao, Southern comfort–Asian fusion mastermind Naomi Pomeroy has moved on to her next great mash-up. Her take on the classic pairing involves deep-fried, corn flake–dredged chicken strips, fluffy rice flour waffles, and sweet-spicy honeyed chile butter. (Watch out, Screen Door.)
$15, expatriatepdx.com

Angel Face’s Steak Frites
One of the city’s best steak-and-fry combos is tucked away in that soigné shoebox of a bar next door to Navarre. A heaping bed of golden, super-crispy fries to shame the golden arches sets the stage for rosy-rare slices of teres major steak topped with garlic-parsley butter. Order with a classic martini, and let the night slip away.
$15, angelfaceportland.com

Woodsman Tavern’s Seafood Tower
Gather five of your well-heeled friends and mount an offensive on this two-tiered ice tower of glorious seafood. For starters: 18 oysters, Sea Cows to Olympias. Next come Dungeness crab and chilled prawns, ready for dipping in briny, spicy, and acidic house-made vinaigrettes and sauces. The final layer brings little tins of smoked mussels, ham-cured scallop crudo, and buttery Maine sea urchin, marinated in orange, capers, and prunes.
Around $120, woodsmantavern.com

Smokehouse Tavern’s Smokehouse Burger
Southeast’s gussied-up BBQ spot scores with its late-night burger (available after 9 p.m.)—a double-patty wallop formed from ground chuck, brisket, and marrow, all smothered in stewed onion, thick-cut bacon “jam,” and melty American cheese. Smokehouse makes only nine orders a night of this criminally salty, embarrassingly messy, and ridiculously satisfying burger; don’t miss out.
$9, smokehousetavernpdx.com

The Sudra’s Pakora
Crunchy, salty, tangy, and served lava-hot from the fryer, the habit-forming pakora (pickled, chickpea-battered broccoli and cauliflower) at this vegan-Indian microsaloon could easily challenge tater tots for bar snack supremacy. Dunk each golden nubbin in fruity-tart chutney and zingy cilantro-lemon sauce, both so flavorful they make ketchup taste like wallpaper paste.
$5, thesudra.com

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