The vegan food cart scene mourns the loss of Shady Pines Vegan Food Court and Sharks Cove this week. In happier news, Ecliptic Brewing opens its new satellite location The Moon Room, Pacific Crust Pizza Co. moves into the former Crown space downtown, and Ripe Cooperative and Montelupo Italian Market reopen with expanded dining options. Read on for all of that and more tasty culinary tidbits. For more inspiration, check out our food and drink guide.
NEW OPENINGS AND RETURNS
The Moon Room
Well-known beer industry veteran John Harris's celestial-inspired brewpub Ecliptic Brewing will expand with its first satellite location, the Moon Room, in the former space of Base Camp Brewing this Saturday. The space will allow Ecliptic to expand its production and selection substantially. The new outpost will feature over 30 taps as well as a food cart serving hot sandwiches, soups, and salads, with vegan options available.
Montelupo Italian Market and Monty's Caffé
Montelupo Italian Market, which launched in summer 2020, will open for indoor dining for the first time ever today. Tomorrow, the market will also open a new coffee and pastry shop called Monty's Caffé, serving espresso and baked goods from Jen’s Bagels & Pastries. Reservations and proof of vaccination are required for indoor dining.
Pickup, delivery, dine-in
Pacific Crust Pizza Co.
This takeout-only, Pacific Northwest-inspired pizza delivery service from Independent Restaurant Management moved into the former Crown space inside Hotel Lucia on October 28 and is now open for pickup, delivery, and dine-in. As a nod to the pizzeria's rugged wilderness theme, the Portland Timbers' Timber Joey will chainsaw through a gigantic rope in lieu of a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the business's grand opening on November 11, which will also offer free slices and swag for guests. The menu has three tiers: "Easy," with approachable flavors like pepperoni and cheese suitable for kids and those with less adventurous palates; "Intermediate," with more unconventional flavors like Chicken Campfire (smoked chicken and chili garlic crisp) and Mountain Goat (boar bacon, elk sausage and mushroom); and "Expert," with bold ingredients like elk fennel sausage, alder-smoked trout, elderberry vinegar, and black pepper honey drizzle.
Pickup, delivery, dine-in
Qiao Noodle House
In late October, this Chinese restaurant opened in the Lloyd District. The menu features crispy pork belly, popcorn chicken, and various rice noodle dishes and soups, with proteins like beef, chicken, mushrooms, pork belly, braised beef stew, or crispy pork intestines.
After a short break in October, chef Naomi Pomeroy's marketplace Ripe Cooperative has reopened as a cafe and bistro, with a new heated and covered patio. Those who miss Pomeroy's erstwhile restaurant Beast will be cheered to hear that she's brought on new chef Breckin VonRaalte (an alum of the Seattle oyster bar The Walrus and the Carpenter) and will be featuring similar dishes to Beast in a new á la carte format.
Sushi Yummy & Chinese Restaurant
This combination Chinese restaurant and sushi joint opened in Montavilla recently, serving sushi rolls, hand rolls, nigiri, sashimi, and a wide selection of Chinese dishes like ma po tofu, chow mein, fried rice, dan-dan noodles, dumplings, and more.
Pickup, delivery, dine-in
After announcing earlier this summer that it planned to open a brick-and-mortar restaurant in the former Bernstein's Bagels space in St. Johns by November, the cart MidCity SmashBurger posted an update on Instagram this week that it has scrapped its plans to open a new location. The post read, "It ain't gonna work out. We tried to do something special and it's just not the right time for MCSB to go brick-and-mortar." However, the cart did have some good news to share: It will be opening another cart in the Cartside pod, with a debut slated for Sunday, November 14. The business is also "looking to expand into different trucks around Oregon," with the goal of becoming a "mini franchise."
Chef Diane Lam plans to open a brick-and-mortar version of her hit pop-up Sunshine Noodles in the former Slabtown XLB space on December 13. The spot will recreate the ambience of a "city alleyway" with neon accents and will feature menu items like Phnom Penh noodles, lort cha (a Cambodian rice noodle dish), turmeric pancake bites, and lime pepper wings.
This Arab/SWANA-owned Middle Eastern cart announced its indefinite closure via Instagram this week, writing, "The joy of this project has been stolen from me." On October 26, the cart's neighbor, the bar Someday, posted a photo of a dish with plums and whipped labneh on Instagram, which prompted many to criticize the business for cultural appropriation and for making a Middle Eastern dish suspiciously similar to Alley Mezza's, which serves a vegan version of labneh on its menu. Local businesses such as Kim Jong Grillin, Chelo, Mama Đút, Erica's Soul Food, and Fermenter spoke out in support of Alley Mezza. In response to the criticism, Someday wrote in an Instagram post, "Thank you for your feedback over the past week while we worked on a resolution between the parties involved before addressing the public on social media. The assumptions made about the food we serve are misplaced. Our chef is Sephardic. Her family is from the island of Rhodes, which has a culturally rich history that draws from the Italian, Greek and Turkish occupants over the past century. This food is her food too. Its ingredients which have been used by her, her mother, her grandmothers, and those that came before them are inspirational to the dishes she creates and that we are proud to serve." Alley Mezza then posted a follow-up, writing, "Since Someday decided to confuse everyone and hide behind their chef's Sephardic lineage and shifting the argument from the real issue, I am compelled to speak up again." They wrote that they signed their lease after having been assured by the landlords of the shared complex that Someday would not serve Middle Eastern food and accused Someday of trying to monopolize their shared space by trying to reconfigure the seating, doing table service, managing the seating through waiting lists and reservations, taking over the space for a private event without compensating or warning Alley Mezza, serving hummus next to their cart, and adding labneh to their permanent menu. They also contested Someday's claim that they have been trying to reach a resolution, saying they have blocked them on Instagram and have not apologized.
Shady Pines Vegan Food Court
The vegan and gluten-free sushi cart SushiLove, which closed its Oregon City brick-and-mortar location this summer, announced on Instagram this week that it is closing its cart and that the owner of the popular vegan cart pod Shady Pines is closing the pod down at the beginning of next month. The announcement read, "It really breaks our heart to close so quickly, not only because it hurts us and our amazing employees financially, but also because we've been a part of this community for so long now that this just doesn't feel like a proper goodbye...Please come by the truck if you can this month, and be especially kind and patient with our staff." Other carts in the pod include Safframen, Avocadamama, Ramblin' Rose, Fatsquatch, and Better Together.
It's a sad week for vegan food carts: In addition to Shady Pines closing, this tropical-themed vegan cart from The Mocking Bird owner Kayla Lamberson, which opened in the CORE pod in March, announced via Instagram this week that it will be shutting down permanently. The cart had also aimed to educate customers about ocean conservation. In the post, Lamberson wrote, "This has been a very tough decision, but in more ways than one, it is the right decision to make to close Sharks Cove. Even though this is the end for Sharks Cove in Portland, I want to let you all know that the important concept of conservation behind Sharks Cove is not even close to ending. In fact, there’s a very bright future for my conservation efforts within the next few years, and that passion and fight will only get stronger as I get back to the ocean. I also want to let you all know that it does hurt right now, but I and the team will be okay. We are all alive and healthy, and that’s the most important aspect." She also shared details about a raffle to help cover the costs of the cart closing, with prizes such as reusable water bottles and gift cards to local vegan businesses.
OTHER FOOD NEWS
Domaine de Broglie winery damaged in fire
The Domaine de Broglie winery in Dayton, owned by famed film director Francis Ford Coppola, was severely damaged in a fire late on Halloween night. According to The Oregonian, the winery's tasting room caught fire, and its offices were destroyed. Luckily, no one was harmed. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
POP-UPS AND EVENTS
Around the World in 82 Dishes
Sample international eats and drinks from the abundance of diverse restaurants across 82nd Avenue. Shop or eat at one of the participating locations and post a photo on social media with the hashtag #82Dishes from October 23-November 27 for a chance to win a $25 gift certificate.
Various locations, Friday-Sunday
Raising the Temp
Toast to the full-bodied red varietal tempranillo with this tasting event featuring local winemakers, chefs, artisans, and live jazz music from local duo Bass 'n Drums. You can also snack on bites from Bar Muselet, Dos Mundos, Jory Restaurant at the Allison Inn, Tambayan Restaurant, and Uncle Troy’s BBQ, and sip locally produced non-alcoholic drinks, such as Barreled Bee “faux” toddies and Exilior Coffee.
The Old Schoolhouse, Saturday, 12-4 pm
Sixth Annual Juice Market
Each year, Reverend Nat's shares the bounty of the apple juice they buy at inexpensive wholesale prices with the public for just $4-$6 a gallon. Bring your vessels and come fill them up with three different fresh juices: their "Rev Nat's Blend" (a customized mixture of five different varieties that they use in many of their most popular ciders), a single-variety Newtown Pippin (an heirloom apple used in their New Moon Mandarin cider), and a tart 100% Granny Smith apple juice.
Reverend Nat's Hard Cider, Saturday-Sunday, 12-4 pm
Shot and Beer Week 2021
If you've had a challenging year (and… hello! Who hasn't?), we've got just the thing to make life a little more fun: It's the Portland Mercury's Shot & Beer Week! That's correct: For one glorious week, your favorite local bars and restaurants will be serving up a one-of-a-kind, creative "shot & a beer" pairing—and all for the low price of $8!
Various locations, November 8-14
An Ode to Diner Pie
It's where pies go when they die: This month, the seasonally themed marketplace Zuckercreme will pay tribute to the best diner dessert with a "pie cafe" and markets.
Zuckercreme, through November 24
Mikiko Mochi Donuts
This mochi doughnut favorite has unveiled its new holiday-themed sampler, which includes six flavors: figgy pudding, chocolate orange, coconut nog, cranberry pie, pear ginger, and candied yam with marshmallows. The sampler is available for pre-ordered delivery through the entire Portland area for the holiday season. Mutantis Brewery also debuts a new mochi doughnut sesame porter made in collaboration with Mikiko today—stop by the release party from 4-7 pm to be the first to try it and to snag some free donuts.
Pip's Original Doughnuts & Chai
In other doughnut news, Pip's Original has added a new seasonal flavor, sweet potato pie, made with organic maple syrup and "tiny nuggets" of candied ginger. They call it "literally the most perfect fall doughnut we've ever created." Pair it with a cup of hot chai for instant coziness.
Upper Left Roasters
Pre-game for Thanksgiving with Upper Left's new seasonal "Autumn Turkey" toast—a slice of miche bread topped with smoked turkey, garlic butter, apple slices, sharp cheddar, and apple butter.