1. BTU Brasserie (pictured)
5846 NE Sandy Blvd., 971-407-3429, btupdx.com.
The beer at this outer-Sandy Szechuan restaurant and brewpub is great even if the housemade stuff isn’t yet on tap. Look for Pfriem’s Pilsner and the Commons’ new autumn seasonal.
2. The Conquistador
2045 SE Belmont St., 232-3227.
Landmark degenerate hangout the Matador now stands empty and forlorn, but Casey Maxwell’s other bar, the Conquistador, had already superseded it and is still going strong—just with nicer cocktails and black velvet paintings of Ponce de León instead of toreadors. Perhaps Scott Baio will move east.
3. Mi Mero Mole (Chinatown)
32 NW 5th Ave., 971-266-8575, mmmtacospdx.com.
There’s a lot to prefer about the second location of Nick Zukin’s taqueria. Our favorite addition? Happy-hour pints for $2.50 and a basket of hot sauce-sopped duritos.
4. Paymaster Lounge
1020 NW 17th Ave., 943-2780.
The Paymaster patio recently withstood a car being driven into its back fence. Yet another reason why we love it.
5. Mad Sons
1109 SE Madison St., 265-8531, madsonspub.com.
This Revolutionary War-themed bar is a beautiful hardwood affair complete with 13-star flags, a hearth, a giant blue-felt billiards table and a picture of the signing of the Declaration of Independence burned into the wood of the bar’s service gate. This time last year it was Madison’s Bar and Grill, an 18-year survivor that looked like a Denny’s in West Virginia.
Previous Buzz lists:
Sept. 17: 1. Prettyman’s General 2. Mi Mero Mole (Chinatown) 3. Paymaster Lounge 4. Mad Sons 5. Higgins Bar
Aug. 6: 1. Scout Beer Garden 2. The Hop & Vine 2. Spin Laundry Lounge 3. George's Corner Bar 4. White Owl 5. Lompoc Tavern
Jul. 30: 1. The Hop & Vine 2. Cooper's Hall 3. George's Corner Bar 4. White Owl 5. Lompoc Tavern