Portland Drink and a Bite Highlight: Ox

For Foodie Friday today, I continue my series highlighting a Portland Drink and a Bite of food that I think not only is best in class within Portland, but is a classic representation of the character of Portland. Of course, that Portland Drink and a Bite Highlight is also delicious, and unique. This week’s highlight is a Portland meets Argentina grilled meat haven, Ox Restaurant. I’ve been loving the Dentons since I first visited Metrovino (now closed) and then when they opened Ox I rejoiced and it’s always on my recommendation list for Portland visitors. Even if you have vegetarians in your group, Ox offers a few vegetarian options and a lot of large sides, so I find it a better way to enjoy a meaty meal even in a mixed group.

Now Ox doesn’t take reservations unless you’re a group of at least  six  – which I skirt around by being super selfish and just going to Ox on my own as I often luck out with a seat at the counter. Sometimes this strategy still doesn’t work out and I still need to wait, so I’ll tell you my plan B – I go next door to their drinking “wait room” of Whey Bar and get that beautiful Ox Blood cocktail and enjoy their house ricotta and it doesn’t really feel like I’m in limbo waiting at all. The Ox Blood Cocktail looks gorgeous and festive all year round.

Ox Blood Cocktail with Dickel Whiskey

The Ox Blood cocktail gets its red color from Beet Syrup, , and the rest is Bourbon, Lemon, and Tarragon. I like to mentally tell myself this cocktail is for the goodness of my health, thanks to the vitamins and minerals in beets including lowering blood pressure. Sometimes I prescribe it to myself after a bad day.

Once you do get seated at Ox, I’m sure you don’t need me to prompt you to enjoy a grilled meat of some sort. Instead, the bite I’m going to insist you also get is Ox’s Clam Chowder, Smoked Marrow Bone, Spring Onion, Jalapeño . . . SO GOOD and so unique with it’s combination of creamy and spicy and smoky and rich but not heavy somehow thanks to just the right hint of saltiness from the seafood. It’s got all the textures, all the colors, it’s the best clam chowder I’ve ever had outside of Boston, but don’t make me choose between the nostalgic tradition of Boston and this new-fashioned genius take. Plus, you don’t have to get on plane to get access to this beauty.

Ox restaurant Fresh Clam Chowder, Smoked Marrow Bone, Spring Onion, Jalapeño

Don’t get distracted by all that meat on the menu – well by all means definitely get some meat, but get the chowder too. It’s the best clam chowder in Portland.

Have you been to Ox? Did you have a favorite dish there? Have you had the clam chowder there, or where do you like to get your clam chowder?




  1. Wow, that cocktail is gorgeous. I so love a restaurant that features a great bar or waiting room so you can relax while you wait for a table!

  2. Oh my gosh! I have to try that clam chowder!! I have not been to Ox, but it’s now on my list of restaurants I need to visit!

  3. I still haven’t been to Ox because there’s always a 2 – 2.5 hour wait, but I like your strategies for getting in! That chowder is fascinating. It looks more like a stew than a chowder, but it sounds absolutely delicious! If I ever get in there, I’ll have to try it!

  4. Oh yes, that cocktail is def just for your health! Take two and call me in the morning!

Speak Your Mind