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RESTAURANTS WE LIKE

A rotating guide to Portland dining

DOWNTOWN

Brazil Grill

Catch the infectious Brazilian spirit at Portland's first outpost for churrasco (shoo-RAH-sco), and a hungry carnivore's dream. There's an all-you-can-eat salad bar but the real attraction is the 'gauchos,' who come to the table faster than bulls to the matador carrying different kinds of meats on the 'swords' they were roasted on.

11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Friday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily. $28.95 adults, $24.95 over 65, $14.95 children 7 to 12, free for children 6 and under, $14.95 salad bar only

1201 S.W. 12th Ave., 503-222-0002

Cafe Voilà

Oft-changing and diverse menu makes this a terrific place for lunchers bored of turkey and Swiss. 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Monday-Friday. $2.75-$6

901 S.W. Washington St., 503-595-5606.

Carafe

Lovable French bistro. Excellent pre-theater.

11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m Friday, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday. $14-$19

200 S.W. Market St., 503-248-0004

Heathman Restaurant

French-inspired Northwest cuisine in a classic space.

6:30 a.m. to 3 pm., 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. $18-$32

1001 S.W. Broadway, 503-790-7752

* Higgins

A paragon of Northwest bistro-style cuisine.

11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Friday, 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. daily. $17.50-$31.50

1239 S.W. Broadway, 503-222-9070

Jake's Famous Crawfish

Legendary Portland seafood institution.

11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday-Friday, 4 p.m. to midnight Saturday, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m Sunday. $10.95-$31.95

401 S.W. 12th Ave., 503-226-1419

Jake's Grill

Old-fashioned charm and service in the heart of downtown. Great steaks.

6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 5 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. $7.95-$36.70

611 S.W. 10th Ave., 503-220-1850

* Karam

Terrific Lebanese food in the most welcoming restaurant.

10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday. $10-$23

316 S.W. Stark St., 503-223-0830

Masu

Where Portland's glitterati go for sushi rolls.

11:30 a.m. to midnight Monday-Thursday and Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday. $15-$23

406 S.W. 13th Ave., 503-221-6278

Mother's Bistro and Bar

Not your mother's home cookin'.

7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday. $11.95-$19.95

212 S.W. Stark St., 503-464-1122

Ristorante Roma

A sweet dose of Italia downtown with authentic pastas, generous antipasto platters and lovely fish and meat entrees.

11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Friday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. $8.25-$18

622 S.W. 12th Ave., 503-241-2692

Saucebox

Portland's best Pan-Asian food. Great happy hour and late night dining.

5 p.m. to midnight Tuesday-Saturday. $17-$34

214 S.W. Broadway, 503-241-3393

• Veritable Quandary

A longtime Portland restaurant with enduring charm.

11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Friday, brunch 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, dinner 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily. $18-$27

1220 S.W. First Ave., 503-227-7342

NORTH

* Equinox

Cultures cross but don't clash on the plate.

5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, 5 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. $8.50-$18

830 N. Shaver St., 503-460-3333

• Lorenzo's

Sincere Italian food in an easy, airy setting.

11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday, $8-$13

3807 N. Mississippi Ave., 503-284-6200

* Lovely Hula Hands

The comforts of home combine with exotic, inventive cuisine in a setting that's like visiting an interesting expatriate in-country.

5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday, $12-$23

938 N. Cook St., 503-239-7000

• Mint

A redesign shows off the perenially smashing cocktails and spicy, earthy, meaty dishes. Terrific happy hour menu.

5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, bar menu until 1 a.m. and happy hour 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily. $11-$18

816 N. Russell St., 503-284-5518

Widmer Gasthaus

The beer's the thing for the Widmer brothers, and several of the food options recall summer barbecues and picnics.

11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $9.25-$18.95

955 N. Russell St., 503-281-3333

NORTHEAST

Bernie's Southern Bistro

A big taste of the South.

5 p.m. to midnight Tuesday-Saturday. $12-$24

2904 N.E. Alberta St., 503-282-9864

Cafe Wonder

In the basement of Wonder Ballroom, this cozy cave offers tasty '50s style dinners - roasted chicken, meatloaf, baked ziti - at extremely reasonable prices.

5 p.m. to close Tuesday-Saturday. $7.50-$14

128 N.E. Russell St., 503-403-0371