By Cat Wurdack
5325 E. Burnside St.
Lunch & Dinner • Weekend Brunch • Happy Hour
This recent addition to Mt. Tabor’s restaurant scene helps to break up the once long and thirsty stretch between Montavilla and the many charms of 28th Street in Laurelhurst.
No need now for foot weary urban hikers and cyclists to power up that incline when they can pull in to Tabor Tavern, lock bikes out front, and sally in for a well-deserved nip and a rest. (T.T. will be particularly hard to resist once good weather arrives and the sunny tables out front will not be denied.)
For those who roll on four wheels — good news: there are nine parking spaces in the adjacent lot.
While you won’t find darts or billiards or the latest results of sheepdog trials at Tabor Tavern you will find haddock fish and chips, nine rotating beers on tap (including a cider and a nitro), and something called Chip Buttie, a weekend brunch item featuring fried egg, bacon, fries, slaw, and potato bread.
Shepherd’s Pie with lamb — and the strawberry, basil sorbet and meringue confection called Eton Mess — are catnip for Anglophiles.
Bubble + Squeak, a Brit dish of fried leftovers usually from Sunday brunch, gets a makeover by Chef Chris Greer who does it with potato pancakes, braised oxtail, and cauliflower piccalilli: a crunchy, tangy relish including cucumber and celery.
Greer, who changes the menu quarterly, likes to tweak other time-honored classics like mac and cheese, which he makes with smoked gouda, chorizo, and kale. His beef burger with blue cheese, bacon jam, and arugula on a brioche bun was deemed by Portland Monthly as one of five things one must eat in 2012.
Owners Ken “Zig” Naffziger and wife Kristin Siefkin have created a comfortable modern-meets-bygone atmosphere with sleek lines and salvaged woods, and a rustic, bark-on fir bar harvested near Trout Lake, Wash. Several stunningly reproduced, oversized photos of the once vital steam-powered Tabor Trolley which ran up Burnside provide visual interest and historical perspective on the neighborhood.
The south-facing wall of windows is great for keeping an eye on your bike, basking in a sun break between rainstorms and imagining what it might have been like to ride a trolley there in 1892.