Wild little tastes concentrated into small plates is the driving concept at SuperBite, the still-shaking-out, 9-month-old downtown experiment from the talented chef-couple (and cookbook authors) behind Portland’s famed Ox. Now, those bites are about to get super-affordable, at least for an hour or two a day. Starting tonight (Monday, January 16), the Dentons launch a daily happy hour menu to run at their side-by-side projects, SuperBite and next-door bar Kask. The move coincides with expanded hours (see below), reservations, and, as of December, a $45 tasting menu with an all-vegetarian option.
Back to that happy hour menu. It’s a mix of new and current dishes divided among $2 “bites” (same size as always, but for a bargain price) and $5–10 “plates”—downsized and/or simplified entrees. It’s a good way to sample the menu and check out what the Dentons are up to these days.
New dishes that caught our eye on the “bites” list: beef tongue "Spam" musubi with Chinese hot mustard and a combo listed as “Dungeness crab, celery root tortilla, sesame mayo, citrus, tobiko.” That’s a lot of intrigue to pack into one bite.
Among the plates, the new Nashville-style hot fried cauliflower, served with cucumber ranch and “Grandma Agnes Pickles” sounds like pure, bold Denton. I’ll definitely be trying that. (It’s also the sole option available at happy hour only).
But the dish that says “Sit Up and Pay Attention?” The new double stack cheeseburger, a hulk of dueling beef and shiitake patties, cheddar, fontina, “fancy sauce,” pickles and onions on a homemade sesame bun for $10 ($3 extra for fries). The last time the Dentons unleashed a double-decker burger at Metrovino, it vaulted them into Portland’s food pantheon and took its place as an icon of Portland eating, only to break hearts later when it was a no-show at the couple’s meaty restaurant, Ox.
What separates the SuperBite burger from the Metrovino legend? A number of things, says Greg Denton, including mushrooms ground into the meat and sharper cheese. But the versions are linked by a spirit. Adds Denton: “Our burger tastes like the best memories of our favorite childhood burger, but upgraded to an adult version with quality ingredients.”
1215 SW Alder St.
4 p.m.–close daily
Happy hour 4–6 p.m. daily