Oh, you think you're Portland? Then see how your insider knowledge stacks up to what's in our Clinton/Division deep dive, the first in our series of neighborhood guides. Regardless of who wins, lets get Pok Pok wings afterwards
Chicken Not-At-All Little: Reel M Inn 2430 SE Division; 503.231.3880 An ultra-dive full of down-to-earth locals in a stretch known for fanciness, Reel M's full of contradictions. Like, it's a fisherman-themed bar that doesn't do fish. Instead, it pops out the best fried chicken in the city. The NERF ball-sized bird chunks take 30mins to cook, and when the woman known only as "Mama" (no known relation to the ghost) serves it, she'll give you instructions on how to eat it… including a stern "wait 15mins". It's worth it. Reel Inn more info, here
Awesome Brunch, Hold The Line: Sckavone's 4100 SE Division; 503.235.0630 The family owned Italian joint has all the staples of a PDX brunch hotspot: house-made entrees ranging from Florentine to bennies and chicken-fried steaks, spicy Bloodies and other AM cocktails, and cute servers. So what's missing here? Oh, it's the two-hour line! A rare PDX spot where brunch isn't a 3hr affair makes Sckavone's like eating inside a unicorn (note: unicorn will very likely be on the menu somewhere in PDX soon). What's this about unicorns? More, here...
Whiskey and Wings, Hold the Tourists: Whiskey Soda Lounge 3131 SE Division; 503.232.0102 Half of Portland probably has a Pok Pok tattoo by now. Avoid the lines and pop across the street to the small WSL, Pok's sister bar (Lil' Pok?) where you can nab tapas-style Thai -- and the same coveted fish sauce wings -- along with the best whiskey sour in town… all without the long lines and tourists drooling over Zagat guides. Drool over more, here
Your Own Personal Theater Pub: Clinton Street Theater 2522 SE Clinton; 503.238.5588 There are two legendary theaters in the 'hood, and Clinton Street's the one that doesn't show skin flicks to trench-coated men. It's the one made famous for indie screenings and weekly Rocky Horror parties. And it's the one you can rent out and show whatever movie you want, all while utilizing the services of the adjoining Clinton Street Brewing. A private Roadhouse screening w/ craft beers? Beats the hell out of Goobers and Chodehouse at the other theater. Speaking of Goobers, you'd be one, if you refused to read on
Decked Out Happy Hour: Night Light Lounge 2100 SE Clinton; 503.731.6500 Combining one of the area's best happy hours with its best outdoor deck, you can basically turn Night Light into your backyard. The gigantic deck's the best place to be during the summer, where from 2-7p on weekdays you can get $3-5 food and $1.50 beers. And, during Winter, if you want to avoid the DJ sets that give patrons Tinnitus, that outdoor deck's totally heated by overhead lamps. Which is way better than your own backyard, and doesn't include the risk of catching the lawn on fire. Definitely don't light the lawn on fire. But do link to read on.
Honky Tonk Badonkadonk: The Landmark Saloon 4847 SE Division; 503.894.8131 You know those PDX bands full of synthesizers and preening dudes w/ asymmetrical haircuts singing both androgynously and ironically? They aren't at the Landmark during nightly country shows. Yes, country music exists here: the rootin' tootin' outlaw kind, not the "Accidental Racist" kind. The shows play out like the bar from Roadhouse without the fights, but with all the hot chicks and whiskey shots. It's so un-Portland that it's sooooo Portland. Sooooo, read on
Stroke Your Lizard: The Tropical Hut 4106 SE Division; 503.235.4365 Wanna be the coolest dude in the dog park? Pick up a baby bearded dragon and take it off-leash. Actually, don't do that. But do pop into the Tropical Hut and treat it like a free trip to a petting zoo by perusing the collection of lizards, snakes, frogs, and tortoises that you can totally take home if you never want to get laid in your house again. More on potentially never getting laid again, here!