Andy Ricker’s Pok Pok put Southeast Division Street on the map with its signature Thai street food, but this lively Portland neighborhood continues to dish up tasty new landmarks. Maybe that’s why Food & Wine magazine put Southeast Division Street on its list of “10 Best Foodie Streets in America” in 2013. Here are a few of our favorite flavor spots and destinations for our dining wish list.
Sen Yai Noodles: Andy Ricker’s much anticipated noodle house opened this spring, bringing to Portland the noodle dishes ubiquitous in Thailand. Choose from soup noodles, stir fried noodles and rice dishes — including the Kuaytiaw Reua or “Boat Noodles” traditionally sold from boats along Thailand’s canals.
Sunshine Tavern: Chef/owner Jenn Louis, named Food & Wine’s “Best New Chef” in 2012 and also chef/owner at Lincoln, plates up gourmet comfort food at the Sunshine Tavern — country-style terrine and roasted pork belly sandwich with a side of gravy cheese fries, anyone?
Woodsman Tavern: Opened in 2011 by Stumptown founder Duane Sorenson, The Woodsman features raw and chilled seafood and a menu with decidedly Southern leanings. From drinking snacks and cocktails to dinner and dessert, Woodsman shows why The Oregonian named it “2012 Rising Star.” The campy charm of bearded, flannel-shirted servers doesn’t hurt.
Ava Gene’s: Another Duane Sorenson creation, Ava Gene’s brings Italian cuisine to Division Street. The starter menu alone is enough to put this one on the list — salumis, cheeses and a delightful representation of seasonal vegetables. The “Love Makes You Feel Ten Feet Tall” cocktail is on my summer to-do list.
Xico: Mexican cuisine at Xico (chee-ko) is fresh and spicy. If you’ve never had a sopaipilla (Mexico’s answer to the donut), this is the place. And the freshly made corn chips simmered in salsa de arbol and chorizo — Chilaquiles — will give you an inkling of why Portland Monthly named it one of the top 20 restaurants of 2012.