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bbq or soul food in Portland

I am moving from Ga to Portland this summer...any good BBQ or soul food places around or am I going to be at a loss?

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  1. It's definitely fancied up, gentrified, soul food, but I really like Screen Door.

    1. There's Podnah's Pit for BBQ along with others on both sides of the river so you're definitely not lost there.

      As far as soul food, what exactly are you looking for? I'll second the Screen Door rec, and while some of the menu might be fancied up, cheese grits are still cheese grits. I still need to make time to head over to Pine State Biscuits for the Reggie Deluxe: biscuits, gravy, fried chicken, eggs and bacon. Oh yeah, that's the stuff.

      1. i haven't lived in portland for 5 years but i always liked yam yam's way up north for soul food. is it still any good?

        1 Reply
        1. re: ericlutzker

          Unfortunately, its gotten some pretty horrible reviews on Citysearch:


        2. I'd 2nd Podnah's for the Que.

          Also - Russell street bbq has big plates of delicious calories too.

          1. I like the Delta for southern food-yummy, inexpensive, funky atmosphere, huge portions.

            Delta Cafe
            4607 SE Woodstock Blvd, Portland, OR 97206

            1. We were visiting in Portland a few months ago and I found Russell St. BBQ on a Chowhounds listing. We loved it and will go back when we visit again in two weeks. In addition to great food, they had a fab beer selection and it was very child friendly which was great for us as we had our 2 grandsons with us. Funky inside and fun.

              1. In addition to Russell Street, you should try the shack near the corner of Beaverton Hillsdale and Scholls Ferry, at the entrance to the scary looking monstrosity Club Amazon (or whatever they're calling it these days).

                I think the guy's name is Charles, and everything I've tried is awesome. The brisket and cajun chickens are second to none. I think he only sells on Saturdays only:

                6750 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy
                Portland, OR 97225

                4 Replies
                1. re: AlbertaHound

                  There seems to be quite a few BBQ pits out there in beaverton, though some will be a Mexican restaurant, not a soul food joint.

                  1. re: SauceSupreme

                    Well, whether BBQ=Soul Food is a topic to argue forever.
                    Sort of depends on the part of the country one is from, along with
                    where the BBQ is located.

                  2. re: AlbertaHound

                    Charles', aka Delicious Texas Pit BBQ, business hours are now 11am-8pm, Monday through Saturday, closed Sunday. The name of the club whose parking lot his shack is in is called "Club 503."

                    he's doing brisket, tri-tip, rope sausage, pulled pork, pork ribs and beef ribs, and chicken. Sides are potato salad, mac salad, coleslaw, beans, corn on the cob, collard greens, and fried okra! I loves me some fried okra.

                    Sandwiches are $10, 1 meat/3 sides is $8, 2 meats/3 sides is $10, 3 meats/3 sides is $12 and a half rack of ribs is $12, a full rack is $20.

                    1. re: JillO

                      I stopped by Texas Pit BBQ for lunch yesterday to try 'em out. I ordered a 3-way combo plate ($12), with brisket, pork ribs and rope sausage. Beans and macaroni salad on the side.

                      The macaroni salad is the kind you get at the Safeway deli counter. Beans were straight from a can, though it was a can of Texas chilli beans rather than the more common pork & beans. BBQ sauce is likewise straight out of a bottle, a sweet, sticky red sauce with artificial smoke flavor added. Ask for it on the side, or they drizzle it over all your meats.

                      Though I'd ordered brisket, what I got was tri-tip. Dunno if they got the order wrong, or just silently substituted. I *LOVE* grilled tri-tip, but don't think it fares as well in BBQ; it's a bit too lean, and thus often dry, and can be tough. This wasn't fully tough or dry, but was in the middle of the range, still fairly moist and with a fair bit of chew. It had a deep smoke ring and great smoky flavor, though not as intensely beefy as brisket is.

                      The ribs were very good, and the way I like them, cooked "dry". They're from a fairly large slab, meaty and smoky. Not falling off the bone, but still with a bit of chew to them. These are easily among the best ribs in town right now.

                      The sausage seemed like a store-bought brand, smoky and very juicy by virtue of being very fatty. The flavor was good, but I couldn't eat more than a few bites because of all the fat. I'll skip the sausage next time.

                      Our party also ordered a pulled pork sandwich. At first glance, $10 seems like a lot for a sandwich, but we wanted to try the pulled pork. Good thing we did. The sandwich comes on either a very large roll or a small loaf of Italian bread; don't know which. There's about a pound and a half of pulled pork on it --and, except for a drizzle of the sauce, nothing else. Hope you're hungry!! This pulled pork is, as the sign says, Texas style rather than Carolina style; no vinegar-based sauce or baste, this was dry-rubbed and heavily smoked. Huge smoke ring, lots of smoky flavor, moist, tasty pork with a ton of flavor. This might just be the best I've had, certainly the best in PDX these days. The sandwich is relatively expensive, but it will easily feed two, especially if you order a couple of sides to go with it.

                  3. Russell St. is as good as your going to get in Portland. One thing I would be sure to try are the beef ribs. They have just enough dry rub and smokiness. The coleslaw is some of the best I have had in a long while as well!

                    1. It really depends on what style you're looking for. What's the typical bbq style in Georgia? After spending a few years in Virginia, I've been looking for a good Carolina barbecue in Portland, and I've discovered that just about every barbecue or southern restaurant I've set foot in in Portland has given me Texas barbecue (or worse yet, Kansas City). Even more disturbing, they'll call it all sorts of things. But what they call Carolina barbecue has no vinegar, and has ketchup!

                      I'm not a Southerner--in fact, except for the barbecue, my few years in small-town Virginia were mostly torture. But what I've discovered is that the Hawaiian places make meat that tastes more like what I'm looking for than the "barbecue" joints around here, which often emphasize the sauce, and don't always do the meat right. Kalua Pork cooked outdoors for 12 hours is a lot closer to Carolina barbecue than anything that has a sweet, red sauce.

                      Does anyone know of a place that makes good Carolina (vinegar-based, no tomato) barbecue in Portland? I'd sell an organ to find a place like that.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: lpfaf

                        From Podnah's Pit online dinner menu (website mentioned near the top of this thread).

                        The ribs and brisket are definitely Texas style (and Rodney is from Texas) but the pulled pork was close to what I recall from NC - VA. No red sauce added and they had extra vinegar based sauce on the table.

                        Pulled Pork plate with two sides - $11.75

                        Pork shoulder smoked 12 to 14 hours pulled and tossed with Carolina vinegar sauce

                        1. re: lpfaf

                          Russell Street has a really good version of Carolina style pulled port I believe. You can sell your organ nearby at Emanuel Hospital or the Red Cross (both a few hundred yards away from the restaurant...

                        2. We second (or third) the recommendation for Russell Street! The brisket is wonderful, the smoked turkey great, but the greens are out of this world!

                          1. Can't help you on Soul Food but my husband who spent 25+ years in Texas swears some of the best BBQ is from Clay's on Division.

                            It's pretty damn tasty.

                            1. No one's mentioning Campbell's -- way out on 87th and Powell. Can be a bit hit or miss but when they're on they are ON and they are soooooo good.