This week in Portland food news, a new motorcycle-themed bar opens, Top Chef star Gregory Gourdet reveals his first cookbook is coming in May, and two new vegan pop-ups make plant-based ensaymadas and Philly cheesesteaks a reality. Read on for that and more culinary updates. For more ideas, check out our food and drink guide.
NEW OPENINGS AND RETURNS
BKK Pad Thai
This Thai food cart opened in Buckman earlier this month and has already received a handful of positive reviews on Yelp. The simple menu features pad Thai, as well as gluten-free, low-carb, and vegan versions of the dish, plus chicken satay skewers, Thai dumplings, and drinks.
Pickup, delivery, or outdoor dining
Hop Capital Brewing
This Yakima, Washington brewery (previously known as Yakima Craft Brewing) is soft-opening its first Oregon brewery and taproom in the former space of Etc…Eatery in South Portland today and Saturday. The brewery will feature nine beers on tap to start (they'll later have 24) and limited food options, plus family-friendly covered and heated outdoor seating.
Pickup, delivery, or outdoor dining
Parts and Service
Owners Brandon and Lilly Reed will open this motorcycle-themed bar in the former space of Stella Taco on Alberta on Saturday. Former Matt's BBQ employee Sage Houser will head up the food menu, which includes burgers, wings, brisket, ribs, pulled pork, Impossible Burgers, and portobello sandwiches, while the Labrewatory will provide a special house IPA for the bar. Other offerings include cocktails and Southern-inspired weekend brunch boxes.
Pickup or limited outdoor dining
Tavern on Kruse
The Lake Oswego tavern will reopen sometime between February 3-8. When it relaunches, the tavern will feature overhead tarps and heated tables (some with wind-proof vinyl tablecloths to trap heat and keep legs warm), available for walk-in or reservation.
Pickup or outdoor seating
Tropicale owner Alfredo Climaco has died
Eater Portland reports that Alfredo Climaco, the owner of the recently opened Latin American bar Tropicale, has died due to COVID-related complications. Tropicale opened last summer and was an instant hit for its piña coladas served out of hollowed-out pineapples, inspired by Climaco's memories of growing up in Mexico. A GoFundMe started by family and coworkers to cover funeral costs and raise funds for Portland Mercado recalls him as a warm and loving person: "Alfredo’s generosity was bottomless. He loved making people feel happy and welcome. He worked hard to make Tropicale a friendly, inviting and inclusive escape for all. The team at Tropicale was very close and quickly became his second family. He wanted everyone to be part of the journey and to be involved in his many plans for the future." The restaurant will be closed this weekend as the staff takes time to grieve, but an outdoor dinner service will be held at 4 pm in honor of Alfredo, and an altar will remain on the premises for anyone who would like to share a candle or pay their respects.
Gregory Gourdet announces cookbook
Top Chef star Gregory Gourdet, who's currently previewing his upcoming Haitian restaurant Kann as a "yurt village" pop-up, announced this week that he will be releasing his first cookbook in May. Titled Everyone's Table, the book focuses on healthy recipes free of dairy, gluten, legumes, and grains, with international flavors inspired by Gourdet's Haitian upbringing and his travels. The book is now available for pre-order—Gourdet encourages readers to support local and pre-order from Powell's Books, which will be the only place to sell signed copies of the book. Gourdet is also unveiling a special menu for Black History Month at Kann in February.
Portland restaurants opening in Mercato Grove
The restaurant group ChefStable is set to open several popular Portland restaurants in a new development called Mercato Grove in Lake Oswego this spring. The upcoming openings include the new Berliner-style donut sensation Fill's Donuts, the pizzeria Oven and Shaker, the sandwich shop Lardo, the pasta stop Grassa, the French restaurant St. Jack, and a new location of the erstwhile Tasty.
A new vegan Filipinx pastry pop-up comes to town
On January 12, sisters Ada and Carla Chavez launched a new pop-up called Kumare, slinging a plant-based version of ensaymadas, a Filipinx pastry similar to brioche. Flavors include dulce de leche, ube, sweet jackfruit, and "Ensaymada Especial" (a popular flavor with buttercream and shredded cheese—Kumare's vegan take uses dairy-free sharp cheddar from Violife). The next pop-up will be at Mama Đút on Tuesday, February 2.
Philadelphia natives launch vegan cheesesteak pop-up
Eem general manager Angela “Ang” D’Occhio and Buddy Richter (who works at the vegan fried chicken cart the Mocking Bird in Rose City Food Park) are launching a plant-based Philly cheesesteak pop-up called Buddy's Steaks starting in February. Their take on the regional carnivore-staple sandwich is made with textured vegetable protein and vital wheat gluten, with pockets of coconut oil fat and a cashew- and coconut oil-based cheese. Besides cheesesteaks, the pop-up will also offer a gluten-free faux chicken sandwich made with soy curls. The first pop-up will be hosted at the Mocking Bird on Monday, February 1.
Amy's plans potential drive-thru in Portland
Amy's, the frozen-food aisle staple beloved for its pizza, burritos, and other convenient microwavable options, might be opening a brick-and-mortar drive-through in Portland, according to its newsletter. The brand operates multiple locations in California and is looking to expand.
POP-UPS AND EVENTS
The food carts Jojo and Matta are bringing back their collaborative pop-up featuring banh mi sandwiches and rice plates. For proteins, choose between bò kho (braised beef brisket) or the "Lovechild" (hot honey nuggets).
Matta, Friday, January 29, 12-4 pm
Virtual OMSI After Dark: FizzFest
Sip a smorgasbord of effervescent drinks (including hard seltzer, hard kombucha, and ginger mules), accompanied by virtual science demos, info from "fizzy drink experts," trivia, music, and more. Tickets include a mixed package of 10 drinks and two tasting glasses, plus a livestream link.
Online, Friday, January 29, 7-9 pm
Ecliptic Brewing Pup-Up
The pet shop Pet Wants Pearl District will "pup up" at the celestial-inspired brewery with "brew-pup packs," Good Boy dog beer, bacon cheddar beer duck treats (made with spent grain leftover from their brewing process), dog food, and other goodies for your pets.
Ecliptic Brewing, Saturday, January 30, 12-4 pm
Ken's Artisan Bakery
Ken Forkish's artisan bakery is selling escargot—no, not snails drenched in butter, but a flaky pastry rolled into a spiral shape. Theirs are glazed with passionfruit.
For a savory twist on the croissant, try this charming bakery's green onion version (just in time for National Croissant Day on Saturday).