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Chow! EW's quarterly restaurant guide

August 24, 2017 01:00 AM

Carlito’s Pupuseria’s modest cart sits on the lot of a used car dealership at Sixth and Polk. A newcomer might be overwhelmed by the expansive menu, but when in doubt, try a taste of its namesake: a pupusa.

August 24, 2017 01:00 AM

Southern beer-can chicken with cilantro jalapeño pesto, fish marinated in orange and lime for a perfected citrusy bite and Cuban pork sweet potato fries are among the many Latin specialties served out of a 1970 Metro step van driving around Eugene. 

August 24, 2017 01:00 AM

A sizzling combination of flavors, cultures and communities is spreading throughout Eugene as one local restaurant — Novo Modern Latin Table — is bringing “Latin flavors and local goodness” to the area. 

August 24, 2017 01:00 AM

Nestled against a pink shopping complex, Lonches To Go’s green truck may look a touch out of place. But don’t let the color clash put you off; this is some of the most authentic Mexican food at some of the lowest prices in Eugene.

August 24, 2017 01:00 AM

Across from Ninkasi, on a nice little patio, you can find Adriana Cruz sharing her homemade Mexican food. Adriana’s features traditional Mexican food as well as fan-favorite breakfast burritos.

August 24, 2017 01:00 AM

Membrillo seems to be the best of all worlds — a quirky, cozy, modern interior, chill music and attentive wait staff. And when the head chef and the owner of a restaurant are the same person, it’s my bet the place will be tasty. It’s a plus if it’s well-run, too.

August 24, 2017 01:00 AM

The Taqueria El Trenicito taco stand is tucked away in east Springfield and worth the drive through construction and the slight bit of traffic along Franklin Boulevard.

August 24, 2017 01:00 AM

Walking up to Mama Mayra’s, the first thing you might notice is that it seems to be attached to someone’s home. The next thing you see might be a full-sized metal suit of armor holding a sword and wearing an apron.

August 24, 2017 01:00 AM

Since he was a 19-year-old pantry chef working at what was then Red Agave, Mikey Lawrence has been telling anyone who would listen that the restaurant spot at 454 Willamette Street would one day be his. Twelve years later, his prophecy is about to come true.

August 24, 2017 01:00 AM

Tacovore’s atmosphere is like its salsa: fresh and laid back. Whether you sit on the breezy patio or at the well-stocked bar, it’s a vibrant place for a leisurely meal and a casual drink.

August 24, 2017 01:00 AM

Erica's Meat Market isn’t owned by anyone named Erica any longer, but the sign is unlikely to change anytime soon. Behind the large green sign saying Erica’s is a smaller, more colorful sign that says “Tienda Mexicana,” and that tells more of the story.

June 15, 2017 01:00 AM

Butchering — cutting down an animal for food — is an art, a calling, a passion.  But for Mikey Lawrence from wildly popular food truck Buck Buck, it’s his life. “It’s all I have,” Lawrence says. 

In fact, he's so dedicated, Lawrence has a small meat cleaver tattooed next to his right eye.

June 15, 2017 01:00 AM

Açai bowls — those fruity concoctions like smoothies you eat with a spoon — may be a trend but they certainly aren’t a fad, say the three owners of Big Kahuna Bowl. Christopher Tennis, Elliot Gruver and Howard Choe Miyashiro who were all born on Oahu. 

June 15, 2017 01:00 AM

Step into Lion and Owl Brunch, a new food truck located on 5th and Washington, and immediately smile. Lion and Owl is in a converted sleek, silver 1977 Airstream that owner Kristen Hansen calls a “land shark.” The truck began its life in Portland, as Lebaneser Scrooge, a food truck open daily from 4:20 to 4:20 (Why? — Because Portland!) 

June 15, 2017 01:00 AM

Tucked into the trees at the edge of Highway 126 along the McKenzie River is a vintage storefront. Don’t let the quaint exterior deceive you. Out back, there’s a party going on.

June 15, 2017 01:00 AM

What makes the perfect picnic? Aside from a memorable locale, isn’t it all about the food? But just any food does not a perfect picnic make. Picnic food should be easy to transport and easy to eat, using fingers or minimal silverware. Nothing fussy is allowed, but elegant is excellent. 

June 15, 2017 01:00 AM

Jon Bertolone, owner of The Fresh Press Northwest organic juicery, took his first shot at juicing to help a friend who was battling cancer. From there it grew into something bigger than he ever imagined. 

April 6, 2017 01:00 AM

John Li, founder of Spice ’n’ Steam, Eugene’s brand new dim sum-style restaurant, visits his native Guangdong (Canton) every few years. He says the southern Chinese province has changed a lot since his childhood, but more than anything, returning home shows him how much living in America changed him.

April 6, 2017 01:00 AM

The Equiano tasting room is tiny, calm and slow. I enter and am embraced with the redolence of expertly roasted coffee. Two older gentlemen sit in a corner, nailing down the answers to life’s mysteries over espresso. Dave Harney, having driven across town from his auto body shop, waits expectantly for a couple of Americanos, a latte and a half-pound of beans.

April 6, 2017 01:00 AM

Eugene, Oregon, and Chef Ibrahim “Ib” Hamide, founder of Café Soriah on 13th Avenue, have been through a lot together: the tumultuous ’60s, the booming ’90s, the tense aftermath of 9/11 and, now, Donald Trump’s anti-immigration rhetoric. 

April 6, 2017 01:00 AM

He came to the U.S. with $300 in his pocket and a partial scholarship to the University of Oregon. Now, after 48 years in Eugene and a string of restaurants to his name, he has finally started a place that serves the food of his home country, Lebanon. 

April 6, 2017 01:00 AM

It survived colonial occupation, war, immigration and migration. Refugees helped spread it around the world. Today, Vietnamese beef noodle soup — called pho — is more popular than ever and has earned a global following, including in Eugene. 

April 6, 2017 01:00 AM

On a recent mid-week afternoon, the dozen people who drove up to Tortilleria el Metate’s storefront along Main Street in Springfield were greeted with a sign on the door stating: “No hay tortillas.” No tortillas today.

January 26, 2017 01:00 AM

The Hayden Bridge Tap House is full of happy customers on a Friday evening. Multiple screens flicker with basketball games, and classic rock is urging us to sing along. But there must be some sort of acoustic magic happening, because my husband and I can still hear each other over it all. We sip a heartwarming stout as an enormous serving of fresh, veggie-topped nachos sits between us. Overall, we find ourselves in a comfortable and comforting place to have a beer and a meal.