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It's general consensus that Podnah's serves the best barbecue in Portland. Elsewhere I've frequently been let down by dry meat covered with a mediocre sauce, but not here. This is true Texas barbecue, cooked by the sweetest, most adorable Texan in town. Rodney Muirhead started Podnah's in 2006, after working the rounds at some of Portland's fine eateries. He named the restaurant after his grandpa's nickname, "podnah" being Texan for partner.
The brisket in the sliced smoked brisket sandwich ($11.25, includes one side) is simply seasoned with salt and pepper and smoked for 10 hours, resulting in sublime, melt-in-your-mouth tender meat full of smoky, beefy flavors. It's served on a brioche roll from Portland French Bakery. Rodney recommends eating the sandwich with a side of vinegary cole slaw; it cuts through the magnificent fat of the meat.
Rodney wakes up every morning before dawn to start smoking at 5 a.m. Podnah's smokes about 200 pounds of meat per day, and not just brisket—the pulled pork, chicken, and whole trout shine along with the magical beef.
1625 NE Killingsworth Street, Portland OR 97211 (map)
About the author: Laurie Wolf is a food writer, blogger, tweeter and recipe developer. She is happy to call Portland, Oregon home. You can read more of her on FoodfiendPDX.com