There are some things it takes me an embarrassingly long time to get around to. Like learning how to roast a chicken. Or, perhaps more surprisingly, trying and subsequently falling in love with bourbon. I'd heard a lot about Rick Gencarelli and his Lardo food cart, but it took until he'd opened not one, but two, brick-and-mortar outlets for me to get in there. The focus, of course, is meat, mostly of the porcine variety, in all its wondrous incarnations: smoked, ground, grilled, braised and fried. There are a couple of vegetarian sandwiches, a few salads, a long tap beer list. (Word is, Gencarelli's planning on simplifying the menu and making it into a chain operation.)
Details: Lardo Eastside, 1212 SE Hawthorne. 503-234-7786.
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Tacos, to me, are the perfect street food, best consumed standing up outside where the juices and, occasionally, some of the contents can trickle onto the ground. Ideally, that would be on a sandy beach in Mexico or from a market stand in the city with people and scooters hustling by loaded down with what will become the day's meals.
Uno Mas makes that a pleasure, especially with the handmade corn tortillas and authentic fillings and sauces of Oswaldo Bibiano's latest Mexican eatery.
Details: Uno Mas Taquiza, 2337 NE Glisan St. 503-208-2764.
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One of the absolute best perks of being a writer is the opportunity to meet and get to know people I might never have had the chance to talk to in my normal life. One of those was an interview with Tina and David Bergen (below left) owners of the landmark restaurant Tina's in Dundee, for last year's spring wine guide in the Oregonian.
Prices, as you might expect, aren't cheap, but for a special day out in the country in spring, you won't find better, more beautifully prepared ingredients anywhere, or more lovely people.
Details: Tina's, 760 Hwy 99W, Dundee. 503-538-8880.
Photo of David and Tina Bergen by Beth Nakamura for the Oregonian.