The American Local


Salmon with corn nuts

Raw Salmon & Oranges with corn nuts

3003 SE Division St
Portland, OR
(503) 954-2687
The American Local

As you know I don’t run out to the new restaurants right away. No real reason, except I can’t keep up and I’m still trying to get to all the others, but this one was different I guess. I had been watching them on Facebook and checking out the pictures and and menus and I was excited to try them out. Plus they just opened and already they are on the list for Portland Food Adventures. That should tell you something.

We went on a Sunday night during the Oscars and pretty much had the place to ourselves, which was great. We sat at the chefs counter which was great for taking it all in, but not so good for pictures, as I was casting a shadow on every plate. So just imagine each dish looking even more enticing.  Our server told us that we needed to kind of pick a thing or 2 from each category and be prepared to share. We love to dine that way, so we just started pointing and ordering.

BBQ's Oysters

BBQ’s Oysters

Whenever we see Netart oysters on the menu we order them. What we managed to miss was that they were BBQ’d. We had never had BBQ’d oysters and we were both impressed. The chili sauce on these was a great addition too.  One of my favorite items of the night was the crispy grit cakes with salmon tartar. They were small, but they were loaded with flavor. Make sure you order this for sure. (sorry the picture didn’t turn out)

This dish pictured at the top of the post was kind of crazy sounding, but was a really good combo. It was raw Salmon with oranges and corn nuts. Corn nuts! I have not had any dish in Portland with corn nuts, but the taste and texture worked really well together. Crazy!

Butternut Squash Salad

Butternut Squash Salad

One of the salads that we chose was the Butternut Squash with a red curry. I loved this dish, but I also love butternut squash. It was a great combination of flavors.

The Brussels Sprout Salad was incredible

The Brussels Sprout Salad was incredible

We also got the brussels sprouts, because you know how I love my brussels sprouts. They were deep fried and served with pickled jalapeno, blood oranges and tossed with a miso dressing. This was a large serving and I ate nearly the whole bowl.

A few of the skewers from The American Local. Korean and Short Rib

A few of the skewers from The American Local. Korean Rice Cake and Short Rib

Even though I wanted to try more salads we moved on to the skewers. We had the Short Rib, Korean Rice Cake and the Octopus.  They were all completely different and offered such a broad sampling of all that they have. My favorite out of the 3 was the short rib, but my husband would argue the Octopus. The Korean Rice cake was like nothing I had ever had before and I loved that.

This rates as a top 5 Burger in Portland.

This rates as a top 5 Burger in Portland.

Thinking we should try one more thing and obviously not thinking clearly, as we were getting stuffed…..we ordered the burger to share. We just had to know. They told us it was ground beef, short rib and brisket. I mean how could we pass that up? The burger does look small, but the truth is, it’s a double patty, so it’s not as small as it looks. The bun? The bun is the butter bun from An Xuyen bakery on Foster, and it was fabulous! Buns are a huge part of a burger and this one was perfect. We would easily rate this as one of the best burgers we have had in town.

Cheesecake from The American Local

Cheesecake from The American Local

Knowing good and well that we were done she asked if we wanted dessert. We told her no. She said they had a cheesecake that was like a creme brulee and I guess I thought I needed to know if she was right.  She was! I loved that it had no crust, instead it had crumbles on top. Despite being stuffed we nearly finished the whole thing.

Overall, we loved it and can’t wait to get back to try the brunch menu out. I also saw on Facebook that they have some new menu dinner items. Might have to go back to try those and get a burger!

  • Atmosphere is pretty simple, yet cozy.
  • Service was great. We even had the privilege to talk to the owner as she was checking in on us. It was great to hear the back story, where she came from, how they got there and to listen to her excitement as she shared it all.  It pays to go on a slow night.
  • Pricing was around $5-$7 for most of the small plates.
  • They had a great cocktail list, a few beers on tap and more bottled, plus they had wine.
  • The American Local is located on SE Division St.

Sorry the pictures weren’t that great. I just wanted to make sure I shared this great find with you anyways.
The American Local on Urbanspoon


  1. We went to The American Local for Valentine’s Day & enjoyed it very much. The wine was great, the food offerings were delicious and our waiter was super helpful. Great choice!!

  2. Oysters, short ribs, octopus, b sprout dish and split a burger….. but you needed that cheesecake….. hmmmmm…. maybe time for a little donut…….. 😉

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