Whenever my friend Tipton, who now lives in Bangkok, comes to visit friends in Portland, Oregon he hits the ground running looking for the best biscuits and gravy in town--a dish he sorrily misses in Thailand. Each one of the following restaurants is a favorite we've discovered on our quest.
My Father's Place remains a Portland institution because they open early, close late, and pour it stiff. Folks come in droves for the no-rules atmosphere and chicken-fried steak.
To avoid the often long wait at Helser's, arrive early--before nine--and enjoy a special, cheaper breakfast menu.
Consider the Country Cat Dinner House your gateway to the Montavilla neighborhood. You'll be familiar with the farm-to-table freshness of the greater Portland food scene, with Grilled Idaho Trout and Hickory Smoked Duck Leg, while the Country Cat's diner-style charm speaks to the local close-knit community.
Head to Bare Bones for a hearty breakfast without the typical lines. On weekends Bare Bones offers a special brunch menu, but the best option is the always-available Build Your Own breakfast sandwiches with inventive options such as asparagus, toffuti and basil.
Thursdays at East Burn is folk night, so head to the downstairs game room bar where you can enjoy the same menu fare and draft selection as above, with the added bonus of free skee ball below.
This Pine State location boasts late Fri & Sat hours: open until one a.m.! If you're wandering down Alberta for a night cap but sick of the dark, noisy bar scene, stop in here for a spiked Arnold Palmer in a mason jar. Their cocktails rival their biscuits!
Tater tots have become a Portland institution, but Tilt reworks this food icon from scratch, with fresh potatoes, cheese, and breading that rivals hush puppies. And then there's the Parmesan (and dill!) fries!--and we haven't even gotten to the burgers yet. Just go there now.