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“toro bravo may just be the best meal i’ve had in my entire life. i’m inebriated though so loop back with me tomorrow to verify.”  these were my thoughts drunkenly typed into facebook (thank god for spellcheck) as i exited portland’s ode to tapas.  receiving multiple accolades, including kudos from the likes of mark bittman and an esteemed 27/30 from zagat, toro bravo stays true to simple, rustic fare by crafting small plates with artisanal flair.  faced with so many menu choices, my bridal bosom buddy and i decided to throw caution to the wind and order the tasting menu, which featured seven courses of edible ecstacy ranging from <drool> bacon-wrapped/marcona-stuffed dates to caña de oveja on a bed of berries and greens to a smoked pork shoulder sandwich with horseradish slaw….</drool>.  interweave some fernet-laced cocktails throughout that story, and the night ended with yours truly cuddled up in the hotel bathtub with a pillow and a bath towel as cover.  but getting back to the original question, the morning after revealed that everything’s more romantic à la minute, but i’d still feel comfortable keeping toro bravo in my top 5, which ain’t shabby when you’re up against some three-star michelin boys (and cracker barrel).

pinchos, pâté, and hanky panky in p-town