Food News

This Week In Portland Food News: Erica's Soul Food Is Back, Chaat Wallah Returns, and A Neighborhood Bar Opens in the Former Beech Street Parlor Space

May 12, 2023 Edition
May 11, 2023
Nosh on a version of bhel puri made with Fritos at Chaat Wallah, which reopens at Upright Brewing Beer Station today. (Chaat Wallah)
This weekend will usher in comebacks for DesiPDX owner Deepak Saxena's street food spot Chaat Wallah and for Erica Montgomery's cart Erica's Soul Food. Plus, the converted house formerly home to Beech Street Parlor is brimming with laidback party vibes once again, now that new owners have opened a bar called Dream House in the space. Read on for that and more of the latest food news. For more ideas, check out our food and drink guide.


Chaat Wallah List
DesiPDX owner Deepak Saxena's short-lived Indian street food spinoff Chaat Wallah served items like masala pulled pork sandwiches, nacho chaat, and spiced lamb sloppy Joes inside 503 Distilling List 's cocktail lounge in the Iron Fireman Collective building for a few months before closing in June 2022. Now, the business is back: Saxena will officially reopen the spot as a cart today at the Upright Brewing Beer Station List . The newly expanded menu features dishes such as lamb khadi smash burgers and smoked saag paneer sandwiches.
Pickup, dine-in

Dream House List
What's next for the converted house that formerly housed the beloved neighborhood bar Beech Street Parlor List , then the ambitious Spanish restaurant Brasa Haya List ? Former Beech Street regulars Ami Taylor, Brighid King, and Tony Lambright have teamed up to relaunch the space as a casual hangout once again. The new project, called "Dream House," opened last Friday and offers food like kale Caesar salads and fried chicken sandwiches from Taylor (who formerly owned the sandwich shop Brass Tacks), plus drinks like hibiscus daiquiris and butterfly pea flower French 75s. They'll also have a diverse DJ lineup.
Pickup, dine-in

Duality Brewing List
Duality Brewing opened this brewpub and restaurant in collaboration with the up-and-coming pop-up Astral last Saturday. The spot serves espresso and a selection of seasonal beers from Duality, plus brunch, lunch, and dinner.
Pickup, dine-in

Erica's Soul Food List
After going on hiatus, Erica Montgomery's popular soul food cart, which gained a loyal following for its Southern menu of dishes like "soul bowls" (stuffed with delights like cornbread, greens, mac and cheese, and gravy) and Atlanta-style hot lemon pepper wings, will officially reopen in its new home at the worker-owned and -operated beer bar Workers Tap List tomorrow. In celebration of the grand opening, which runs from noon until midnight on Saturday, Montgomery promises Waffle House-inspired specials all day long: "Baby, we got you scattered, smothered, and covered!" Workers Tap will donate 10% of bar sales for the day to Atlanta Forest Defenders, and drag performer Atlas will make an appearance.
Pickup, dine-in

Grandma's Secret List
Inspired by the underground bars that popped up in Ho Chi Minh City during French colonization, Lela’s Bistro chef Co Ngan and his childhood friend Dat Truong recently opened this Vietnamese speakeasy. The dark, stylish space features creative cocktails like the "Saigon Fashioned" (a pho spice-infused old fashioned) and "Grandma's Twist" (a take on the dirty martini using pickled daikon and carrot brine) alongside bites like salad rolls, sliders, and tofu fries. You'll know you're in the right place when you spot a blue light.
Nob Hill

Havalina List
Local "rock 'n' soul troubadour" Redray Frazier soft opened this neighborhood cocktail lounge and restaurant in St. Johns last Friday.
St. Johns
Pickup, dine-in


Bolo List
This Portuguese cart is now closed and up for sale due to owner Brad Dodson moving to Hawaii with his family.

Castagna List
Pour one out for Castagna: The legendary Portland restaurant, which launched the careers of some of Portland's most celebrated chefs before going on indefinite hiatus in March 2020, announced last week that it will not reopen. Owner Monique Siu, chef Justin Woodward, and sommelier Brent Braun will focus their attention on their neighboring wine bar OK Omens List
Ladd's Addition


Foodie Passport Program launches in Portland
There's a new way to support BIPOC- and woman-owned restaurants in Portland. The Black Business Association of Oregon and DoorDash have joined forces to launch a new program called Foodie Passport Program. Participants receive a 10% discount and a stamp at 20 participating restaurants, including Akadi List , DB Dessert Company List , Trap Kitchen List , and Unicorn Bakeshop List . Those who collect stamps from all 20 restaurants will earn a chance to win a $200, $300, or $500 gift card on January 8, 2024.

Mother's Bistro receives small business award
Mother’s Bistro & Bar List owner and executive chef Lisa Schroeder has been named Oregon's Small Business Person of the Year for 2023 by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). As part of the award, Schroeder met President Biden and Vice President Harris at the White House alongside other honorees on May 1.



Umbrella Jimmy Can Release & Tasting Past Event List
Usher in rosé season with McMenamins' Umbrella Jimmy Rosé, now available in cans with old-timey illustrations (ideal for tossing into your cooler for the beach or a picnic). At this event, you can be among the first to taste it and take some home for later.
23rd Avenue Bottle Shop - McMenamins, 2-4 pm


Lager Fest Hosted by Buoy Beer Co.
Past Event List Dive into the world of effervescent, light-bodied beers at this festival dedicated to all things lager. Buoy Beer Co. has teamed up with over a dozen West Coast breweries, including Astoria Brewing, Block 15 Brewing, Fort George Brewery, Figueroa Mountain Brew Co., North Jetty Brewing, Sunriver Brewing, Obelisk Beer Co., pFriem Family Brewers, Reach Break Brewing, Steeplejack Brewing, Sisu Brewing, Mirage Beer Co. Friday will feature live music from the Astoria-based indie band Holiday Friends, while Saturday will include tunes from shimmering indie folkers the Hackles. If you want to make the most of it, start off Saturday with the Buoy-sponsored Run on the River half marathon/10K/5K, which raises funds for the Astoria Parks Recreation and Community Foundation.
Buoy Beer Company


Mother's Day Market Past Event List
Forgot to secure a Mother's Day present? Swing by this market featuring local goods such as fresh flowers, Pioneer Farms honey, jewelry, and wine.
Lolati Wines, 1-4 pm


2023 Mother's Day Brunch Buffet Past Event List
With its cozy Scandinavian ethos, Nordic Northwest's in-house Nordic cafe is the perfect place to share a hygge morning or afternoon with your mom. The spot is hosting its annual Mother's Day brunch buffet with hearty dishes ranging from aebleskiver (puffy Danish pancake balls) to Swedish meatballs and prime rib, as well as vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options. You'll also get to sip complimentary Broder Blend drip coffee alongside your meal.
Broder Söder, 8 am-3:30 pm


Delicious Donuts List
The family-owned donut shop is currently slinging a rainbow of seasonal flavors, including strawberry, Thai tea, pandan coconut, blueberry lemon, and Vietnamese coffee.
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

Everyone's favorite fried chicken specialist is serving two new sandwich specials: a BLT (heirloom tomatoes, Duke's mayo, bacon, and shredded lettuce on bacon-fat-toasted shokupan) and "La Bala" (a fried chicken thigh with crispy chorizo, melted mozzarella, pickled onions, mango pepper relish, shredded lettuce, Duke's mayo, and chives, also served on bacon-fat-toasted shokupan). The BLT is available through the end of summer, while "La Bala" will run for one month.
Creston-Kenilworth, Pearl District
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

Kopi Coffee House & Roasters List
Treat yourself to this cafe's seasonal ube blossom latte topped with Fruity Pebbles.
Pickup, dine-in

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