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Huber’s Café

411 SW 3rd Ave., Portland, OR - (503) 228-5686
Posted By Michael Stern on 1/22/2014 3:16:00 AM
Opened in downtown Portland over a century ago as a men’s bar, Huber’s found its ultimate sense of self when the original owner hired a Chinese chef and the two of them got the idea that if they served turkey sandwiches, customers would drink more beer. To this day, turkey is at the heart of Huber’s menu; and while many customers come to drink beer in the boisterous back room bar, or to munch jalapeno olive poppers and drink the restaurant’s notorious 151-proof flaming Spanish coffees while listening to live jazz, it is still possible to sit in a quiet booth and have a bird-and-potatoes meal your great-great grandfather would recognize … and likely enjoy.

Here is one supermodel of a turkey dinner: moist, flavorful slices of white meat evenly arrayed on the plate between a mound of sage dressing and a great drift of mashed potatoes from which flow rivulets of melting butter. There’s gravy, too, of course, and a small cup of cranberry relish. Preceding this classic meal is a plate with a slice of “beer bread” cut in two. It’s nearly sweet as cake and so yeasty as to be virtually intoxicating: wonderful to push through puddles of gravy on a plate.

If you need an alternative to turkey, how about ham? This also is a classic: tender pink slices topped with chunky pineapple sauce, also accompanied by mashed potatoes and cranberry relish. Beyond these two square-meals paradigms the menu offers such other examples of what it calls Turkey Cuisine as turkey piccata, turkey stir-fry with prawns, and a turkey drumstick. Plus there are all manner of steaks and chops and cioppino, a Cobb salad, and shrimp Louis.

That back room bar is a merry place indeed; but you’ll likely find us up front, surrounded by vintage mahogany paneling, preferably seated in a booth opposite the open kitchen, where the only commotion consists of flames licking up and the sizzle of meats on the grill.

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Turkey Dinner
Ham Dinner
Spanish Coffee
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

It's Thanksgiving every day at Huber's, where turkey dinner is the menu's main attraction. Note the pool of butter in the mountain of mashed potatoes: mmm-mmm, good!
"It's Thanksgiving every day at Huber's, where turkey dinner is the menu's main attraction. Note the pool of butter in the mountain of mashed potatoes: mmm-mmm, good!"
Michael Stern





The best way to finish your meal at Huber's is with a slice of the excellent homemade pumpkin pie.
"The best way to finish your meal at Huber's is with a slice of the excellent homemade pumpkin pie."
Cliff Strutz


The main alternative to turkey dinner at Huber's is ham dinner: every bit as classic, and as good.
"The main alternative to turkey dinner at Huber's is ham dinner: every bit as classic, and as good."
Michael Stern


Walls are decorated with memorabilia documenting 120+ years of restaurant history. This picture shows Oregon native James Beard seated at a Huber's table in 1959.
"Walls are decorated with memorabilia documenting 120+ years of restaurant history. This picture shows Oregon native James Beard seated at a Huber's table in 1959."
Michael Stern


Huber's bread is so yeasty it made us think of a
"Huber's bread is so yeasty it made us think of a "loaf of beer.""
Michael Stern


Huber's hasn't always been in this location, but the old tavern on S.W. 3rd has a fine patina of age.
"Huber's hasn't always been in this location, but the old tavern on S.W. 3rd has a fine patina of age."
Michael Stern


The front of the menu is a clear indication of the kitchen's specialty.
"The front of the menu is a clear indication of the kitchen's specialty."
Michael Stern



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