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Stephanie | May 11, 200304:33 PM     12

I moved to Portland almost two years ago after living for 20 years in Tallahassee, Florida, which surprisingly, is a chowhound's delight, although limited when compared to big cities. Portland has been a delight to explore foodwise, but my husband and I have had a serious jones for good barbecue and spicey fare. I've tried almost every barbecue place around Portland and have been disappointed. Yesterday we stopped at the Delta Cafe in the Woodstock neighborhood. Yum!

It's a cross between New Orleans and NC cooking with an Oregonian's homey touch. The decor is 1950's Santeria but the booths are comfy. The barbecue chicken was awesome, with a sauce that was both tangy and flavorful, and the vegies are worth serious praise. Mashed carrots with turnips had a touch of tarragon and enough pepper and butter to make them wonderful. The not-overcooked collard greens reminded me more of my Maryland upbringing than deep south or Cajun, but had a great balance of tartness and the sausage therein was excellent. My husband had the barbecue pork po'boy, a wonderful blend of flavors, if a little disappointing on the quantity of pork. The two less than wonderfuls: His side dish of red beans and rice was bland; and my corn bread was more like a hard corn biscuit. The place is not expensive. Our tab was $20 for the above and an iced tea (which is not refillable for free--a heresy in the South). We will surely return to try the ribs.

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