Cantonese pub

10 meals we’re still thinking about from 2021.

We’ve eaten a lot of good stuff this year – some recently, way back in early 2021. Now, as the year draws to a close, these are the bites we still think about.

1.Baon Kainan

4311 NE Prescott Street, baonkainan.com. 4-7 p.m. Thursday-Monday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.

The standout dish at this hot new Filipino food cart located in the Metalwood Salvage lot is its kare kare fries. The classic braised beef peanut stew is thickened and poured over fries, aided by a dollop of shrimp paste and bright red pickled Fresno peppers. The result puts poutine to shame, but be sure to eat them as soon as they come out of the cart window – the fries hold up, but are best when eaten super fresh.

2. YāYā PDX

1451 NE Alberta Street, 503-477-5555, yayapdx.com. 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday.

Chef Steven Chin calls Cantonese barbecue his soul food, and you really feel it. The streamlined menu focuses on serving meat over rice with tangy mustard, dipping sauce, and pickled cucumber and carrots. It’s simple and it’s great. YāYā particularly nails the char siu duck and pork. Of all the ducks we’ve tasted (and there have been many, sorry for our avian friends), Chin’s is the most forward-thinking. The ducks he selects also have more meat on the bone than many others, resulting in delicious birdy bites. As Cantonese duck is served ground and bone-in, it means bigger and better gain when snacking.

3.Derbies

8220 Denver Ave, 503-719-7976, derbypdx.com. 9am-2pm Wednesday-Sunday, 5pm-10pm Thursday-Sunday.

Judith Stokes’ Derby is both a work in progress and an act of the imagination: an all-in-one restaurant, bar, cafe and market with a patio for al fresco dining and events like the live music and drag bingo. For now, Derby is primarily a brunch restaurant offering the classic crippling choice: sweet or savory. If you’re dining in a party of four, no problem: you can split the Cardamom French Toast, Mini Macadamia Waffles, Massive Breakfast Burrito (20 ounces) and Breakfast Sandwich at white cheddar, arugula and mustard aioli. You might also want sides, like pandesal sweet rolls — much like Hawaiian sweet rolls, but with a more substantial crust and crumb — and longanisa sausage, a nod to Filipino heritage. of Stokes.

4. Soup

1902 Burnside Street West, 971-710-1483, thesooopportland.com. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday.

The Soop has certainly been mistaken more than once for a kitsch soup. However, soop is a Korean word for forest, and when you visit, you’ll see why the name fits so well. Especially in the evening, the cozy restaurant glows with warm magenta hues emanating from lamps that hang above microgreen planters in the kitchen. It’s strange to imagine that fresh lettuce could make such a difference, but everything on Ann Lee’s somewhat eccentric menu — dishes as dissimilar as bibimbap, chicken and microgreen nachos, and even a BLT — benefits microgreens treatment.

5. Goumba

1733 NE Alberta Street, 503-975-5951, gumba-pdx.com. 4.30pm-9pm Sunday, Monday and Thursday, 4.30pm-9.30pm Friday-Saturday.

As a food cart, Gumba punched above its weight, serving up fresh pasta, handmade burrata, and ambitious snacks that made you want to linger at an al fresco table. Now it’s brick and mortar in a take-out-only era, but you’ll still want to break out the candles, placemats and cloth napkins once you’ve brought the food home: no meals in 2020 provided more of a “it’s like we’re at the restaurant” thrill than the salad of beets, cabbage and chicory from Gumba, pappardelle with braised beef sugo, pan-fried rainbow trout and eggplant cake in olive oil.

6. Toki

580 SW 12th Avenue, 503-312-3037, tokipdx.com. Dinner served from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. every day, brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. from Friday to Sunday.

For now, Toki is for all intents and purposes Han Oak, with a menu that includes both greatest hits and revised versions of other old favourites. But there are also dishes Chef Cho wasn’t inclined to cook much in the past, including bibimbap and a steamed bao burger, possibly the world’s first reheatable cheeseburger. The star item, however, is the Gim-bap Supreme, which draws inspiration from both Taco Bell and TikTok’s “wrap” trend, in which a tortilla is partially cut into four quadrants, topped with four different ingredients. , folded in layers, and grilled.

7. Bocci is the 7

1728 SE 7th Avenue, 503-234-1616, boccison7th.com. 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday to Sunday.

Bocci’s on Southeast 7th isn’t hip, but it avoids being heavy. It’s not gourmet but it’s still wonderfully delicious. Upon entering, you’ll be greeted by super friendly staff, and perhaps the sounds of Bob Dylan wafting from the kitchen, before being set up with complimentary homemade bread – dense and soft with a crisp, salty edge – served with olive oil and vinegar. Their star dish is Chicken Marsala: a generous, lightly breaded and still very moist chicken breast, served piping hot over spaghetti and a Marsala wine sauce that’s rich and creamy without being painfully decadent.

8. Buddy Steaks

5235 NE Sandy Blvd, 215-694-8095, buddyssteaks.com. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday to Monday.

What’s a cheesesteak without cheese or steak? Vegan cheesesteaks are everywhere in Philadelphia, but Buddy exists because co-owners Buddy Richter and Angela D’Occhio couldn’t find any meatless cheesesteaks to live up to their own pre-vegan Philly memories. The “steak” is made in-house by Richter, and the cashew-coconut whiz is available as “provolone” or “cheddar,” which is a particularly radioactive orange.

9. Everyone eats

138 NW 10th Avenue, 503-318-1619, everyone eats503.com. 3-10 p.m. Monday to Friday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday.

Launched as a dining service in the Outer East, Everybody Eats has moved to the heart of the Pearl District, offering a menu inspired by co-owner Johnny Huff Jr.’s family roots in Texas and Louisiana. The showstopper is the Ultimate Seafood Mac-and-Cheese: Shrimp, lobster, and crab tossed with cheese sauce and noodles, with half a lobster tail, two shrimp, and a piece of crabmeat on top.

10. Chayo

3601 SE Division St., instagram.com/chayopdx. Lunch 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., dinner 4:30 p.m.-8 p.m. dinner Thursday-Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday.

When dreaming of opening a loncheria in 2018, David Lizaola envisioned serving classic Jaliscan lonches over birote fortified with lime and beer. When he couldn’t find birote in Portland, he turned to ciabatta — and while it might not be traditional, it’s still damn good. In the Hot Oli, Lizaola gives her pork loin the adobado treatment by massaging the cuts with a mixture of guajillo peppers, herbs, alliums and warming spices. It’s a perfect sandwich.