by Nina Lary - 21 Reviews - 50 List
Over the mountain and through Portland`s hoods, to Montavilla we go. Just over Mt. Tabor lies what was once a working-class rural suburbia and is now a working-class neighborhood with a hot strip of dives, cocktail lounges, restaurants and boutiques. Take a Sunday drive and explore all the up-and-coming action this historic enclave has to offer. (Photo: Flickr user Christmas w/a K)
Updated: July 18, 2011
Start your evening with a serving of artichoke hearts braised, sauteed, then stuffed with beef, onion and pine nuts in a garlic cream sauce, piles of round, pillowy pita and a plate of lemony parsley-packed tabouli. Best attacked with a big hungry group, this menu packs unique home-cooked dishes in with Lebanese standards.
Sure there are things like Molasses Smoked Duck Leg or a Whole Hog dinner butchered in house. Forget all that and focus on chicken. Look no further than this cozy-chic eatery for sublime (read: light and dark meat) fried chicken sided with a sweet cream biscuit and bacon-braised collard greens.
The salad bar renaissance has finally arrived. Or wait? maybe it never left. This cozy joint sniffs of old-school pizzeria with wooden backed booths, arcade games, counter service and, yes, a sprawling salad bar. Gluten-, dairy-, and meat-free diners get happy here cause they can even make a mean pie sans all three.
Tired of the pub/dive scene? In the mood for a real cocktail? Say, an Americano? an Aviator? Maybe a French 75 or an Oaxacan Margarita? Or forget fancy mixes altogether and take in a flight of 12-year Scotch. The sleek masculine interior adds an air of serious to the drink and conversation.
$.75 pool, a dozen+ taps, jukebox and Tuesday night 'short shorts night,? (huh?) draw folk from both sides of 82nd to this not-so-divey dive. The neighborhood vibe of Montavilla runs deep here and you're bound to strike up conversations with new, old, young, down, dirty, pretty and city.
One-stop shopping for all your chi chi drink and foodie needs. Stocking everything from rare beers and half-bottles of wine to baggies of black Indian sea salt and homemade sweet and savory pies for take-away, this specialty shop serves those seeking little gourmet pleasures.
With a heavy emphasis on Middle Eastern and Eastern European pantry staples, this tiny box of a market packs an incredible supply of imported foodstuffs. Pickles, pastes, relishes, soups; fresh cheeses and cured meats; Lebanese grains and bread doughs; desserts, fruits and nuts--all of exotic origin. Those with wanderlust are fed here.