Cookin’ up comfort

Portland’s best comfort food pampers the homesick heart | When you’re far away from home, feeling stuck in an unfamiliar place, food is an easy way to find solace. Sometimes just sitting in a warm, bustling restaurant where the waitress calls you “sweetie” before serving you a steaming vat of mashed potatoes and meatloaf can give you the strength to carry on—or at least put you in a food coma until you feel better. When you need a pick-me-up, try these Portland comfort food staples.

Dorm Gourmet

Two non-chefs duke it out in a bitter (and potentially food-poisoning-inducing) culinary battle | The Food Network is a veritable hotbed of competitive cook-offs, none as entertaining or absurd as one of its most popular shows, Chopped. For the unacquainted, Chopped forces professional chefs to cook gourmet meals in 20 to 30 minutes using four secret ingredients, which are hidden in the infamous “mystery basket.”

Carnivores vs. herbivores

Local hotspots for the best of both worlds | Portobello Vegan Trattoria
1125 SE Division St. Portobello Vegan Trattoria produces some of the most inventive food creations in all of Portland. Each incredible dish is bursting with flavors that honor the local and seasonal produce being used. It is the restaurant that could surely turn sworn meat eaters into full-on veggie worshipers. Between delicately crafted pizzas, warm buttery gnocchi and their famous peppered Portobello mushroom steak, customers can experience a menagerie of prime vegan eats. All of the items take a classical Italian approach and turn it on its head to generate unique aromas and flavors that will definitely land a place in your heart.

International flavor, around the corner

You don’t have to travel far to experience a wide world of food. The PSU area is a treasure-trove of international finds. Here are four staples on or within five minutes of campus to get you started on your food hunt, along with additional restaurants to venture out to when you’ve got a bit of extra time. You’ll find it easy to squeeze in a delicious voyage between classes.

Gnarley Gray

The local watering hole you’ve always wanted | There’s nothing better than meeting a group of friends for a drink after a long day juggling school and work. The problem is finding a place that everyone can afford, that offers cheap yet delicious food and that isn’t a food cart.

Take it from tea

America is a nation of coffee drinkers, but tea lovers need not feel left out in the tea-friendly city of Portland. Here are some of the best tea spots in town. Behind the Museum Cafe 1229 SW 10th Ave. For a tea shop that’s very close to campus, try the Behind the Museum Cafe. Since it specializes in Japanese teas and foods, sencha (green tea) is a good starting selection for first-timers. The tea served at the cafe is pretty affordable: A 12-ounce cup of tea starts at $2.50, while a whole pot starts at $3.50. The cafe also offers matcha (finely powdered green tea) along with manju (traditional Japanese sweet tea) that is served in the ryurei style of tea ceremony, for $5.50, every day except Tuesday.

Not just ‘please’ and ‘thank you

Manners and etiquette from an expert (sort of) “A guide to manners and etiquette?” you might be thinking incredulously. “You’re not my mother, Dining Guide!” Well, that’s true. But let me offer a case for thoughtful etiquette that has nothing to do with authoritarian figures yelling at you.

No, my argument is simple, entirely selfish and very easy to follow: Acting nice makes you feel nice. Making other people happy does, too.

Farmers market

You may not know it, but on Saturday mornings, the Park Blocks outside the Smith Memorial Student Union and Neuberger Hall transforms into a foodie’s paradise. Picture it: heaps of organic vegetables and fruit—picked that morning—mounds of musky mushrooms and loads of loaves, dusty with flour and still warm from the bakery.

Food Carts you should heart

Savor Soup House Location: Southwest 10th Avenue and Alder Street Specialty: Tomato fennel orange soup Rainy days call for soup, and Savor has the very best of that. Every day of the week has its very own unique soup menu full of mind-blowing flavors. Savor’s healthy soups are velvety smooth and filled with vibrant ingredients. Many options are either vegan or gluten-free or both, and they sport splendid textures that will leave your taste buds craving more. Create your own sandwich from Savor’s grilled cheese bar, and you’ll have a crunchy and melty companion with which to soak up your remarkable soup.

Who boasts the best roasts?

Coffee and Portland are two words that just go together.
And it’s no wonder: Just walk outside your door and you’ll likely be at a coffee place in a matter of minutes. But where is the best place? And where do you go if you don’t want to spend four or five bucks on a daily drink?