Comfort food destinations
Portland food lovers waited with bated herring breath for beloved Siberian pelmeni purveyors Bonnie and Israel Morales to open their second, larger location, just up the way from their SE Grand Avenue firstborn (now renamed Kachinka). James Beard Award-nominated chef Bonnie Morales pulls from her Belarusian heritage to dish up fan favorites like Baltic Sprat Buterbrodi, Rabbit in a Clay Pot, and Herring “Under a Fur Coat,” while a new Russian-style mangal grill allows for a slew of charcoal-fired skewers—try the Azeri-style sturgeon, lamb lyulya and whole baby eggplant. The vodka menu remains reliably robust, but the new Kachka also boasts a wine cellar and a strong Eastern-European-centric bottle list.
960 SE 11TH AVE. PORTLAND
Those long hot summer nights of sipping frosé on the patio may be but a happy memory, but this charming Troutdale drive-in, opened in July by chef-owners Emily Cafazzo (Beast, Toro Bravo) and Ryan Domingo (Pok Pok), will carry you through the dark winter days with their belly-warming bacon and onion jam-stuffed waffle grilled cheese and heaping slow-smoked pulled pork sandwiches. And since true Oregonians eat ice cream rain or shine, indulge in the Nuts For Chocolate sundae for dessert—a swirl of custardy chocolate soft serve topped with chocolate toffee hazelnut brickle, honey-hot-fudge sauce, and peanut butter cup cookie dough.
1208 E HISTORIC COLUMBIA RIVER HWY TROUTDALE
If seeking respite from a steady fish-and-chips diet while weekending on the North Coast, detour east—to Eastern Europe, to be exact, at this cozy, quirky slice of Sarajevo right in the middle of downtown Astoria. In the simple, lovingly decorated dining room, husband-wife team Ken Bendickson and Fordinka Kanlic dish up Bosnian comfort food just made for dark and blustery coastal nights, like beef-stuffed cabbage rolls, flaky spinach pie and their trademark rotisserie-roasted lamb, served with crisp cucumber tomato salad and flamboyant fruit arrangements.
915 COMMERCIAL ST. ASTORIA