Food News

This Week In Portland Food News: Burma Joy Opens, Killer Burger Expands to Slabtown, and 'Food and Wine' Honors Chef Carlo Lamagna

September 10, 2021 Edition
September 9, 2021
Slurp some noodles from the new "plant-forward" restaurant Burma Joy, brought to you by the team behind Top Burmese. (Burma Joy Noodle House)

This week, Killer Burger opens a new outpost in Slabtown, the Top Burmese team soft-opens their new restaurant Burma Joy Noodle House, and Food & Wine names Magna Kusina chef and owner Carlo Lamagna one of the best new chefs of 2021. Read on for all of that and more culinary updates, plus events for this weekend, like Bake Sale for Texas Abortion Rights and the Pix Pâtisserie 20 Year Anniversary Party. For more inspiration, check out our food and drink guide.


Burma Joy Noodle House
The team behind Top Burmese soft-opened this "plant-forward" sibling restaurant in the former Picnic space last week, serving primarily noodle dishes. The initial menu features Burmese spring rolls, jade rice (jasmine rice marinated in fermented tea leaves), chickpea salad, garlic noodles, kyay oh noodles (available in soup or salad), Punn Thay noodles (wheat noodles with five-spice, cabbage, and tomatoes), Golden Hill noodles (wheat noodles in chickpea coconut curry sauce), and tea leaf chicken curry, as well as a selection of drinks and ice cream.
Nob Hill
Pickup, dine-in

Holler Treats
The fried chicken and burger joint Holler launched this dessert spinoff next door on August 10, with a vast menu of treats like ice cream, ice cream sandwiches, drumsticks, pie, floats, cookies, bars, party cakes, ice cream cakes, coffee, and tea. The spot also recently expanded its hours and is now open seven days a week.

Killer Burger
The local burger chain opened a new outpost in Slabtown (its fifth location in Portland and its 10th company-owned location) on Wednesday. Like the other locations, the new spot offers burgers made with natural beef patties with fries and bacon included, along with local craft beer and cider on tap.
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

Precious Pizza
Burrasca alum Alejandro Preciado, who launched a grandma-style pan pizza pop-up called Precious Pizza Project (P3 for short) on Instagram over the last year, opened this cart in the Barley Pod on August 19.
Rose City Park
Pickup, dine-in


The Mexican pop-up Chelo, run by former Nightingale co-owner and chef Luna Contreras and bartender Michelle Ruocco, announced this week it will be starting a residency at Magna Kusina this fall. Chelo focuses on seasonally driven street snacks, pastries, and drinks, made with local ingredients and deriving inspiration from Contreras's grandmother's restaurant in Guadalajara, Jalisco.

Hit the Spot!
The smashburger truck Hit the Spot! will open a brick-and-mortar restaurant in the former space of Starbucks in Uptown Village in Vancouver later this year. The restaurant plans to serve cheeseburgers, fries, hot dogs, floats, shakes, beer, wine, and cider.

Pizza Kat
Emily and Scott Ketterman, the married couple behind Crown Paella, plan to open this neighborhood pizza joint on West Burnside for takeout and delivery later this month. The upcoming restaurant will feature naturally leavened pies made with Pacific Northwest flour and topped with house-made mozzarella and ricotta. Other offerings will include focaccia, beer, and natural wine.
Nob Hill

The whimsical, seasonally-themed marketplace and pop-up Zuckercreme announced this week that it is leaving its current location at Küchenhaus and will be setting up shop in a new home in Montavilla. The first event to take place in the new space will be "Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice," a pop-up and market dedicated to the ubiquitous fall flavor, starting in October.


Doug Adams departs Holler and Bullard
Top Chef star Doug Adams revealed via Instagram on August 31 that he has stepped down from his restaurants, the Tex-Mex-inspired tavern Bullard and the fried chicken joint Holler, and has not been involved with Holler Hospitality for the last few months. In a press release, Adams wrote, "I love being a chef, but when the pandemic hit, it was as if there was a reset button that was hit on all of our lives. A starting over, in a sense. I am a new father, and my dreams have been put into perspective. I feel deeply that my time should now be devoted to my family.” Bullard chef de cuisine John Baxter and Holler chef de cuisine Carlos Lopez will lead the restaurants during the interim, pastry chef Danielle Bailey will head up the recently opened Holler Treats, and bar manager Ariana Vitale will take charge at Abigail Hall.

Magna Kusina chef Carlo Lamagna named one of Food & Wine's best new chefs 2021
Magna Kusina chef and owner Carlo Lamagna was named one of Food & Wine's best new chefs of 2021 this week. Restaurant editor Khushbu Shah wrote, "To walk into Magna Kusina is to walk into a dinner party at Lamagna's house. The dining room radiates welcoming warmth...There are heavy pours of Oregon wines, and Janet Jackson plays over the sound system. Lamagna feeds you with the joy and giddiness of an auntie who hasn't seen you in decades, passing you generous portions of pancit miki-bihon, bulked up with a combination of rice noodles and housemade egg noodles, and meaty, crispy lumpia packed with pork and mushrooms and fried. You'll eventually swear you have zero stomach real estate left for even one more bite, when out comes a mound of biko, coconut sticky rice, cuddled in a banana leaf blanket and topped with condensed coconut milk and an orb of ube ice cream gently melting like a purple snowman caught in the sun. Suddenly, miraculously, your stomach will manage to find an empty quadrant."

Portway Tavern suffers damage after fire

The historic St. Johns dive Portway Tavern caught on fire this Monday. According to Portland Fire and Rescue, the outdoor trash cans caught on fire after staff emptied ashtrays, and the flames quickly spread. The bar is closed for the foreseeable future as the owners take account of the damage.

Gunfight breaks out at Everybody Eats
Three people were wounded by gunfire at the Pearl District soul food restaurant Everybody Eats this weekend. Reportedly, an argument broke out between a group of diners at the restaurant, resulting in the shooting. According to a press release from the Portland Police Bureau, one adult woman and two teenage males were injured. No fatalities have been reported.


The local craft beer and wine mecca John's Marketplace will celebrate Oktoberfest at both of its locations with a mix of "international classics and local festbiers," plus live music. Entry is free, and $20 gets you a custom glass and six drink tickets.
John's Marketplace, Friday-Saturday

HeyDay x P
The pop-up HeyDay will sling rice flour doughnuts at Portland Gear until sold out, with fall flavors like gianduja sea salt, marionberry crumble, cà phê đá, maple apple streusel, and pistachio with rose marshmallow. 20% of the proceeds will be donated to Our Streets PDX.
Portland Gear, Saturday, 11 am-1 pm

Bake Sale for Texas Abortion Rights
Pick up some stunning sweets from Alchemy Desserts and other bakers at this bake sale fundraiser. All proceeds will go towards Fund Texas Choice, a nonprofit that funds Texans' travel to abortion clinics.
Dame, Sunday, 11 am-2 pm

Fifth Annual Kennedy School October Brewfest
Polka the evening away at this Oktoberfest bash, featuring live music from Thomas Mudrick and Howlin' Waters, plus over 20 German-style craft beers.
McMenamins Kennedy School, Saturday, 2-8 pm

Pix Pâtisserie 20 Year Anniversary Party
Fête Portland's pastry institution as they ring in their 20th year of supplying us with fine desserts, chocolates, and more. Said desserts and tapas will be available for purchase so you have sustenance to fuel your moves for a dance-off and a chance to win a $100 Pix gift certificate. In the spirit of getting out of the house and having a reason to dress up again, the person deemed best dressed will also win a gift certificate. Competitive folks might also like to try their hand at speed pétanque, which is similar to bocce. And of course, it wouldn't be a party without some bubbly. Pix will toast their accolade of having the World's Best Champagne and Sparkling Wine List for the seventh consecutive time complete with a sabering demo. 
Pix Pâtisserie, Saturday, 3-8 pm

TASTE for Equity
This event champions Oregon's food and beverage industry as well as organizations and individuals focused on advancing inclusivity and equity. The evening will feature local chefs like Chris Cha, Luna Contreras, Alexandria Guevarra, Nikeisah Newton, Thuy Pham, and Jaime Soltero, as well as winemakers like Abbey Creek and Shiba Wichern. All proceeds will be donated to local "culturally specific and equity-based" nonprofits, including KairosPDX, Latino Network, Native American Youth and Family Center, and Seeding Justice.
The Redd, Saturday, 4:30-9 pm

Corks & Pork
Enjoy heritage pork and vino in equal measure at this wine tasting event series, which will feature meaty bites prepared by Tabula Rasa Farms chef Brett Uniss alongside Willamette Valley wines.
Tabula Rasa Farms, through September 25


Bullard launches its new brunch/lunch daytime menu today, with dishes like shrimp and grits, apple cake doughnuts, and crispy fried chicken breakfast tacos (served with soft-scrambled eggs, guacamole, spicy pickles and pepper jelly on Three Sisters Nixtamal corn tortillas). The new menu will be available from 10 am-3 pm, Friday-Sunday to start, and will soon also be available on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Reservations are encouraged. 
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

Cheese and Crack
The snack shop's newest sundae special is the Strawberry Cream Pie Sundae, made with vanilla soft serve, house-made strawberry custard, and cinnamon cracker crumble. The custard is made with peak-season Hood strawberries that were prudently stashed away.

This month's "Chefwich" special at the sought-after sandwich shop Lardo is the fried chicken nasi lemak sandwich, made in collaboration with the local Singaporean food purveyor and sambal producer Sibeiho. The sandwich is available through September and features Sibeiho OMG! Sambal®, honey soy glaze, coconut cream, rice wine pickles, and a sunny-side-up egg on a Dos Hermanos Bakery coconut milk bun. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Outgrowing Hunger, an organization building and operating community farms and gardens for refugees and immigrants in Portland.
Downtown, Hosford-Abernethy, Lake Oswego
Pickup, delivery

Pine State Biscuits
The flaky biscuit favorite has introduced a new marionberry sweet corn pop tart, made with marionberry compote and sweet corn filling and topped with a marionberry glaze and cornbread crumble.
Nob Hill, Concordia
Pickup, delivery, dine-in