In 1979 home brewing was legalized in Oregon. Kurt and Rob Widmer, having trouble finding a beer that they liked in Portland, decided to embark upon the adventure of making beer for themselves and friends. Five years later, they decided to turn their hobby into a career and cobbled together funds to open their brewery. They scrounged up parts and opened in an industrial space in what now is the Pearl District.
This April one of Eliot’s staples, The Waypost, stopped serving brunch, but fortunately for residents of the neighborhood, we’ve still got some great options for Portland’s favorite meal! We asked for your input and now here are the top three!
A childhood portrait of Ed Wampler, who once owned a restaurant supply company in NW Portland, overlooks the counter of his granddaughter’s elegant neighborhood cafe. Naomi Diallo learned the restaurant business from him and from her father, Roger Wampler, who owns Ron’s Restaurant on SE 82nd Ave, but it was three months spent in Italy that inspired her to open a European-style cafe, serving coffee, beer, wine, and pastries.
As dry, sunny days become more frequent, Portlanders begin to think about how we can make the most of these few glorious months before the dark, damp weather turns us into recluses once again. Good news if you live in Eliot or just pass through on a regular basis. Our neighborhood has some great patios where you can bask in the sun (or hide from it in the shade while still smelling the fresh air). We asked you to name your favorite patio in the neighborhood and here are the results! We planned to publish the top three, but we had a tie for second place, so here are the four best patios in Eliot!
By Jackie Sandquist
Que Sabrosa – La Cocina Mexicana is a food cart on the corner of N Fremont and N Vancouver and offers delicious hearty Mexican food for a great price. Que Sabrosa has been in this location for three years but has recently moved to the prime spot on this food cart corner, housed in a new sleek apple red trailer. The sign says “Authentic Mexican food.” I stood out in the crowd on the newly built plywood porch as the only non-Spanish speaker. While I placed my order, two women delivered ingredients and sang along to the Mexican ballads coming from the radio. The owner Yulissa loves to cook and uses the recipes handed down from her grandmother.
Gone are the days when going to a sports bar meant visiting a smoke filled, dingy bar with greasy food. Now there is a choice when you want to join fellow fans or rivals for a fun spirited couple of hours cheering on your favorite team. In the last few years several “new generation” sports bars have popped up around town, but none here in Eliot until now.
Nothing tastes better than a fresh home-made traditional tortilla stuffed with shades of green avocado, ripe tomato, Tillamook Cheddar Cheese and scrambled eggs covered in a generous topping of green chile crema. I mean nothing. This is what I eat, not on Monday, because the Pepper Box, a food cart at Dreamer’s Marketplace, is closed on Monday but as soon as I can I walk down there every Tuesday around 10 am.
One of the many reasons we moved into the Eliot neighborhood was its proximity to so many great businesses, downtown Portland, and the Rose Garden. My husband and I have been half-season Portland Trailblazer ticket holders for several years now and love going to games. My Blazer fan co-workers who mostly live on the west side tend to complain on game night since they know they have a long drive or max ride ahead of them and have to fight with the crowds and traffic in order to get to the game. Not us however! It’s so easy for us to leave our house just 15 minutes prior to tip-off and either walk or catch the number #4 or #44 on North Vancouver for a short bus ride to the Rose Garden.
On the weekends I like to walk over to one of our neighborhood coffee shops to indulge in a latte and bagel for breakfast. Over the past few years I’ve become a regular at Goldrush Coffee Bar. With its brick interior, old hardwood floors, and rotating art, the vibe inside Goldrush is very Portland. I tend to be a creature of habit and get the same breakfast almost every weekend so the baristas all know my order. Occasionally around the holidays I order the pumpkin spiced latte and a peppermint mocha for my husband instead of the usual vanilla latte and regular mocha. Also, during the hot summer days I’ll sometimes change my drink to iced for a real shake up.
In keeping with a current Portland trend, a couple of underutilized lots have been transformed into great little food cart pods in Eliot. The first few carts to call Eliot home are located in a lot named Jimmy’s Corner at the corner of Vancouver and Fremont Street. I discovered them several months ago while out canvassing the area to notify residents about upcoming neighborhood events. The owner of Mum’s Kitchen offered samples of her African fare and I was hooked. Soon after, a Mexican cart arrived and their homemade fresh tamales made my mouth water. The pod also has a pita cart and a drive thru coffee cart.
On a Friday night not too long ago my wife and I were once again looking for a place to go for dinner. It has kind of become a weekly tradition to visit one our fabulous neighborhood spots each and every Friday. After short a discussion with friends we decided to show them Afrique Bistro.
Back in 2003 when we moved into the neighborhood there weren’t nearly as many places to eat. Sure, Popeye’s has been on MLK for a while now. Billy Reed’s was also serving up good food, but was just about ready to start the dreadful transition that had it change styles, ownership and names over and over again. Then in 2004 the level of cuisine in Eliot changed…starting with Echo.
My new favorite neighborhood bar is the Secret Society Lounge located on the 2nd floor of a newly renovated 1907 building on NE Russell St. It’s small and cozy with a fantastic wooden bar. My husband would die to have one exactly like it in our basement, but maybe a touch smaller.
Eliot Neighborhood has a new wine bar and lounge to add to it’s growing list of places of to hang out. The wine bar quietly opened their doors about 6 weeks ago.
According to the menu Alu refers to the aluminum finish on the side of the building. Inside, Alu has a good variety of wine, beer and a German inspired menu created by chef Sandro di Giovanni.