Food News

This Week In Portland Food News: A New Birria Cart Arrives, Kachinka Says Goodbye, and A New Food Cart Pod Is Headed For Montavilla

March 19, 2021 Edition
March 18, 2021
Try specialties like birria ramen at the newly opened food cart Birrieria Pepe Chile. (Birrieria Pepe Chile)

This week in the Portland food scene, a new birria cart has landed on N Williams Ave, Kachka's Slavic bar spinoff Kachinka is officially closed for good, and a new food cart pod is headed to Montavilla in mid-May. Plus, a new pho spot comes to town, and Salt & Straw releases its nostalgic breakfast cereal-inspired series of flavors. Read on for that and more culinary updates. For more ideas, check out our food and drink guide.

NEW OPENINGS AND RETURNS

Birrieria Pepe Chile
Portland's birria craze shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon: A new food cart pod has launched on N Williams Ave, and this cart from the taqueria and catering company Pepe Chile is one of its first vendors, slinging birria in tacos, queso tacos, burritos, tortas, soup, ramen, plates, nachos, and fries. The cart makes all their tortillas by hand and also serves drinks like horchata.
Northeast
Pickup or outdoor seating

Mamma Khouri's
This family-owned Middle Eastern restaurant also opened on N Williams Ave in early March. The menu includes hummus, baba ghanoush, falafel, sandwiches, kabobs, shawarma, Turkish coffee, Lebanese and Syrian smoothies, and more.
Northeast
Pickup, delivery, outdoor seating, or limited indoor seating

Mikiko Mochi Donuts
Beginning tomorrow, the popular mochi donut business, which switched over to operating as a delivery service early on in the pandemic, is returning to the pop-up scene. The pop-up will henceforth take up residence indefinitely in Mama Bird from 7:30-11 am on Saturdays and Sundays. They'll introduce three new flavors, including a collaboration with their host, Mama Bird chef Gabriel Pascuzzi. Starting last week, Helvetia Farm Market is also stocking limited amounts of their chocolate and pandan donuts.
Northwest Portland
Pickup

Pholandia Bistro & Bar
Just in time for early spring rainy days, there's a new spot in Beaverton for slurping steaming bowls of pho. This Vietnamese bistro and bar with a name referencing a certain IFC show had its grand opening on March 10 and is serving up egg rolls, dumplings, pho (of course), various other noodle soups, vermicelli bowls, rice plates, and bánh xèo (Vietnamese crepes) in addition to drinks like salted plum limeade, calamansi juice, Vietnamese coffee, and bubble tea.
Beaverton
Pickup, delivery, or limited indoor seating

Principe Maya
This new Yucatecan food cart opened in Portland Mercado on March 1, serving staples like tacos, panuchos, and tortas in addition to more hard-to-find dishes like kibis (a football-shaped street food of Lebanese origin, made from wheat, stuffed with a beef filling, and topped with cabbage and red onions), brazo de reina (a large tamal filled with hard-boiled eggs and served in slices), and relleno negro (a stew made with turkey and mixed chili peppers). 
Southeast
Pickup, delivery, or outdoor seating

T4
The Taiwanese bubble tea chain T4 opened a new location in Northwest Portland in early March. Flavors include rose royal tea, lychee green tea, roasted oolong milk tea, wintermelon, and more. There's also a menu of mostly savory snacks, including popcorn chicken, deep-fried squid, egg puffs, French fries, curly fries, fried cheese sticks, fried lobster balls, takoyaki, and potstickers.
Northwest
Pickup or delivery

CLOSURES

Kachinka
Kachka owners Bonnie and Israel Morales announced in an email newsletter this week that they will not be reopening their playful Slavic-themed bar spinoff Kachinka, which was housed in the original space of Kachka and closed in fall 2019 due to water damage issues. (The closure was only intended to last for a few months but ended up being permanent.) Bonnie Morales told Eater Portland that the impact of COVID-19 wasn't the only reason for the decision, but it was a contributing factor.
Southeast

OTHER NEWS

New food cart pod coming to Montavilla
A new food cart pod called the Yard at Montavilla is set to open on NE Davis in mid-May. The businesses slated to open in the pod include the local chain Shawarma Express, the ghost kitchen American Eclectic Burger, a Philly cheesesteak cart called Kings of Steak, a beer cart from Scout Beer co-founder Joe St. Martin, and currently unnamed Mexican and crepe carts.

Delivery service At Your Door shuts down
The delivery service At Your Door, launched by the team behind Botanist House as a way to generate sales for local distilleries, breweries, and wineries impacted by COVID-19 and create jobs for out-of-work bartenders, stopped taking orders on February 27. A message on the website reads, "We started delivering when all restaurants were closed, and a majority of alcohol sales came to a halt. We created this platform to create an alternative sales channel for our partners, and create a safe buying option for our customers. We would like to thank everyone who was a part of this journey with us!"

Handsome Pizza and Seastar Bakery co-owner speaks out about lack of vaccines for service industry workers
In an Instagram post on Thursday, Handsome Pizza and Seastar Bakery co-owner Annie Moss criticized Gov. Kate Brown's decision to increase dining capacity to 50% while retail, grocery, and service workers have not yet been vaccinated. Moss wrote, "My wish that the folks who have been out in public, working, facing exposure, and ENFORCING MASK CULTURE for the rest of the population are shown some love and acknowledgement. Currently, we have one vaccinated employee, who received their vaccine by VOLUNTEERING TO HELP GET OTHERS VACCINATED. I don’t love that the safety of my staff of thoughtful, civically engaged, generous people of the utmost integrity is at the whim of a government prioritizing capitalism over humanity. I don’t love that this vaccine rollout is blatantly racist and classist."

POP-UPS AND EVENTS

St. Patrick’s Day at Stem Wine Bar
Looking for a belated St. Patrick's Day celebration? Sip "Shamrock Sparkles" (green-hued sparkling wine drinks) on a tented patio while being serenaded with live fiddle music by the Katie Jane Band.
Stem Wine Bar, Saturday, 5:30 pm

Rekindling our Ancestral Relations through Food with Michelle Week
On the eve of the spring equinox, farmer Michelle Week of x̌ast sq̓it Farm will share her thoughts surrounding food sovereignty and connection. Participants will get to explore their own heritages through activities and group conversation. 
Online, Saturday, 12 pm

Matta x Baon Kainan Collab Pop-Up
The Vietnamese food cart Matta and the Filipino pop-up Baon Kainan will come together for a collaborative pop-up with dishes like kare kare fries, ube pandan donuts, chả giò (fried spring rolls), and silog (a category of Filipino breakfast dishes—theirs will feature red Vietnamese rice, longanisa sausage, and a fried egg, with a vegetarian option).
Metalwood Salvage, Saturday, 12-4 pm or until sold out

NEW SPECIALS

Bakeshop
Each month, Kim Boyce's acclaimed bakery is reprising some favorite specials from its menu for a limited time. This month, it's the maple Danish, which they say is their most-requested pastry.
Northeast
Pickup or delivery

Ice Queen
The native- and Chicana-owned plant-based frozen dessert shop recently introduced a new strawberry flavor.
Southeast
Pickup

PDX Sliders
The popular burger cart has brought back its sought-after Nashville-style hot chicken, available in slider form, a full-sized sandwich, or on loaded fries.
Southeast
Pickup, delivery, outdoor seating, or limited indoor seating

Rad Burger
This plant-based burger joint operating out of Aviv's Pearl and Killingsworth locations has released a new burger special: "Mush Me Baby One More Time," featuring mushrooms, jalapeños, blue cheese, Violife provolone, caramelized onion, and an Impossible burger patty on a Dos Hermanos Bakery potato bun.
Southeast
Pickup, delivery, or outdoor seating

Salt & Straw
Today, the artisan ice creamery is rolling out its "Cereal-sly" series, a series of nostalgic flavors inspired by breakfast cereals, according to a press release. The lineup includes Pots of Gold and Rainbows (a fan-favorite flavor with a cereal milk base studded with real Lucky Charms marshmallows), OffLimits' Dash Cold Brew Cocoa Crisps (a Sandino Coffee Roasters cold brew ice cream swirled with malty fudge and Dash Coffee and Cocoa Cereal from the cereal brand OffLimits), Peanut Butter Captain Munch (a dairy-free oat milk and peanut butter base with peanut butter-coated cereal clusters and peanut butter swirl), Snap 'N Crackle Marshmallow Treats (a graham cracker ice cream with pieces of brown butter Rice Krispy treat florentines), and Cornflake Cookies with Marionberry Jam (a "cereal-flecked" ice cream with swirls of marionberry jam and crumbled brown butter sugar cookies).
Northeast, Northwest, Southeast
Pickup or delivery