This Week in Portland Food News: Delivery Chicken, Birria Tacos, and More!

September 25, 2020 Edition
September 23, 2020
Doug Miriello's new "cheffed up" Nashville-style chicken project Charlie's Hot Chicken serves loaded crinkle-cut fries. (Charlie's Hot Chicken)

Put on your sweatpants, queue up some Netflix, and order some chicken: Dimo's Apizza chef Doug Miriello has launched his new Nashville-style hot chicken delivery-only concept, and Andy Ricker of Pok Pok is teaming up with Reef Kitchens to offer his famed fish sauce wings for delivery as well. In other news, there's a new birria cart and a new outdoor bar highlighting gin cocktails. Read on for all that and more essential updates. For more ideas, check out our list of places to drink fresh hop beer, our takeout and delivery directory, and our outdoor dining directory.


Birreria PDX
If you just binged the new season of Taco Chronicles on Netflix and are now jonesing for tacos stuffed with birria (spicy stewed meat), the new food cart Birreria PDX, which opened in early September, is here for you. Offerings include consommé (broth), quesabirria (a quesadilla with birria), queso tacos, tortas, mulitas, and even ramen birria.

Charlie's Hot Chicken
In partnership with the restaurant group ChefStable Catering, chef Doug Miriello of Dimo's Apizza, which opened in mid-July, has launched a new Nashville-style hot chicken project, available for delivery only via Postmates and Uber Eats. According to Willamette Week, Miriello said in a press release that he wanted to focus exclusively on "cheffed up" hot chicken after seeing other chefs feature the Southern staple in sandwiches or specials but not as the main event. The double-brined chicken comes in wings, tenders, half or whole chickens, loaded crinkle-cut fries, and salads.

Gin Alley
According to a press release, a new "gin-centric," outdoor-only bar opened outside Belmont's Circa 33 on September 23. The garden-like cocktail spot is the brainchild of veteran Portland bartender John Paul Longenecker, who has previously worked as program director at Bit House Saloon and Castagna and as bartender at the Rum Club. Drinks include the "Belmont Sling," an update on the Singapore Sling with a chamomile, plum, star-anise and cognac reduction in lieu of cherry brandy, and a "Cascadian Driftwood," a Pacific Northwest-inspired gin martini made with olive-oil washed vermouth and fresh bay leaf. There's also a dairy-free, gluten-free, Chinese-American-inspired food menu by chef Justin Bayer, who has spent time at The Nines and Urban Farmer, with dishes like duck confit bao, kung pao calamari, and duck frites.

This new independently owned convenience store just opened in early September, but is already drawing praise on Yelp for its hot Indian food, with both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options.

VK Sushi
Thanks to a reader for tipping us off to this opening: The food cart VK Sushi is now open in the Scout Beer Food Cart Lot in Division. The cart's menu is available for delivery on Uber Eats and Postmates and includes fried calamari, takoyaki, poke salad, udon tempura soup, nigiri, sashimi, chirashi bowls, and signature rolls like the "Beauty and the Beast" (shrimp tempura, eel, avocado, crab salad, seared salmon, tuna mango sauce) and the "Monster" (eel, salmon skin, avocado, asparagus, scallion, and tiger sauce).

Stem Wine Bar
The wine bar 45 North, which closed just five weeks after opening due to the pandemic, has re-opened as an "urban bar experience and wine delivery service" under the name Stem Wine Bar. The bar offers 150 wines by the glass, 18 flights, and a socially distanced indoor bar and outdoor patio. They're also donating 100% of their profits through September 30 to American Red Cross' Oregon Wildfire Relief Efforts.

Thai MLK
This family-owned Thai food cart opened in mid-September and is serving papaya salad, lamb, noodle dishes, stir-fries, fried rice, curries, appetizers, and soup.


Celebrating Hispanic Roots/Raíces Unidas - Virtual Panel
This event puts the spotlight on six Latinx winemakers: Ximena Orrego of Atticus Wine, Carla Rodriguez of Beacon Hill Winery, Sofia Torres of Cramoisi Vineyard, Cristina Gonzales of Gonzales Wine Company, Sam Parra of Parra Wine Co., and Juan Pablo “JP” Valot of Valcan Cellars. First up, there's a Zoom panel in English moderated by the wine writer, journalist, and The Four Top podcast host Katherine Cole, followed by a Zoom panel in Spanish moderated by the award-winning bilingual reporter Roxy de la Torre, who produced and founded Somos Media. All of the winemakers are offering their own special wine packages all month long, and 10% of all sales will be donated to the Latino Partnership Program.
Online, October 1

Second Annual Fresh Hop Showcase
To make the most of the ephemeral fresh hop season, Coin Toss Brewing will devote six of their 12 taps to Oregon fresh hop beers and cider, including brews from Bent Shovel Brewing, Coin Toss Brewing, Oregon City Brewing, Oakshire Brewing, Shattered Oak Brewing, and Bauman Cider Co. Guests can try the featured drinks in a flight of six or by the glass, pint, or crowler. 
Oregon City, September 29-October 3


Ecliptic Brewing
John Harris's astronomy-themed brewpub invites you to "pour some space in your face for a cause": They're donating 10% of all restaurant sales (dine-in and takeout) on Saturday, September 26, to the independent, member-supported, non-commercial, volunteer-powered community radio station KBOO.

Bushel and Peck Bakeshop
The charming bakery and coffee shop currently has a fig and rosemary chèvre galette, as well as oat cream pie cookies made with smoked lapsang souchong tea and a rose ginger chai cream cheese filling.

Nacheaux Food Cart
The Mexican-Southern fusion food cart is pulling out all the stops for fall with their new autumn specials, which include blended apple cider, raspberry apple cider, glazed pumpkin chip pound cake, and pumpkin beignets.

Ice Queen
The native- and Chicana-owned plant-based frozen dessert shop has dropped its first fall flavor: "Shut Your Pie Hole," an oat-based pumpkin pie bar with gluten-free graham cracker.

Dinger's Deli
This 100% plant-based deli is offering their Vegball sub as a French dip special, with a side of savory broth for dunking.


This forthcoming food cart, from chef Chris Ericsen and his wife Aurelia Galimberti, will serve Tuscan-style sandwiches with homemade bread, with a strong focus on local and seasonal vegetables from Praxis Farm. The cart is set to open in late September.


According to an email announcement, chef Jose Chesa's acclaimed Barcelona-style tapas bar Ataula will be closed for the next few months. The last day for takeout is Sunday, September 27. The announcement insists that this "is not goodbye" and that the restaurant hopes to return "stronger than ever." In the meantime, the restaurant will have private meals, catering, private events, pop-ups, and collaborations. Ataula's sister restaurant Masia also recently re-opened.

Rogue Pearl Public House
Rogue's Pearl District brewpub closed permanently on September 20 after 20 years of business. The announcement cites "challenges from the pandemic and rising costs" as contributing factors and notes that the company has offered jobs to all of the location's employees.
Pearl District


Pok Pok wings are coming back
Though Andy Ricker has shut down four of his five Pok Pok restaurants permanently and plans not to reopen his original Pok Pok location until a vaccine is found, there's still hope for his fans: Ricker has temporarily partnered with Reef Kitchens, an operator for delivery-only "ghost kitchens," to offer his restaurant's famous Ike’s Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings, which he created with the help of employee Ich "Ike" Truong, exclusively for delivery. (Reef Kitchens was also the supplier for David Chang's Fuku fried chicken pop-up, which came to an abrupt halt in Portland after facing criticism from locals for choosing to start its operations in the city during a pandemic.) Ricker told Portland Monthly, "I don’t know if [ghost kitchens are] right for Pok Pok, but it’s certainly one of the things you’re probably going to see in the future. I don’t care what anybody says—it’s not economically viable to run a restaurant the way it was run before COVID hit, for the vast majority of people.” The wings will initially be available only for Northwest Portland residents, through Uber Eats, Grub Hub, and Postmates. All profits will benefit the Immigrant Legal Resource Center.

Out of this world grapes
A new vendor called Galactic Grapes has created a new snack they're calling the "fruit of the future": frozen grapes covered in crushed candy.

Simple Machine Winery destroyed in fire
The Southern Oregon winery Simple Machine has been tragically burned down in the Almeda fire, which took with it 20-30 full barrels and 12,000 bottles of wine. If you're looking for ways to support them as they rebuild, the winery has started an "After Fire" wine club with options for 6 or 12 bottles of wine for pickup or delivery in 2021.

Von Ebert Brewing brewer starts a new brewery
Sean Burke, formerly the head brewer at the acclaimed Von Ebert Brewing, has left to start his own brewery, LandForm Beer, in McMinnville. According to The New School, Burke says that "barring anything else crazy that 2020 throws at us," he should have his beer available in cans by November 19.