Welcome to EAT THIS CITY, your tour of the best restaurants in one of our favorite cities, as chosen by a world-class chef, celebrity, or local hero.
This week, we return to Portland, Oregon, a city that has staked a well-deserved claim on the national culinary scene. Taking us on a tour of all that PDX restaurants have to offer is Portland-native Joey Harrington, former NFL quarterback for the Detroit Lions, and three-year starting quarterback for the Oregon Ducks. He’s a partner in Pearl Tavern — a new modern Pacific Northwest eatery that’s quickly making its mark on the city.
We asked Joey about Pearl Tavern, and what it offers the City of Roses:
I’m a partner with two other people that are the pinnacle of their field in this city. Kurt Huffman has opened close to 25 restaurants in Portland, and they’re incredible; everything from bakeries, to sandwich shops, to restaurants of the year. The bar side of things is run by Ryan Magarian. He was a partner in starting Aviation Gin and has two great spots in town — Oven and Shaker and Hamlet. His passion is crafting an experience. My job is to be a connection to the community. Three percent of all the profits from the restaurant are going to my foundation, the Harrington Family Foundation, to fund scholarships for Oregon high school students.
While we’re by no means a sports bar, there is a subtle sports theme to it, and I’m trying to tell the story of old Portland and old Oregon through vintage photos and memorabilia that are subtly placed throughout the space. Hopefully, we’ve created something together that’ll be part of the fabric of Portland for a long time.