Food News

This Week In Portland Food News: GrindWitTryz Arrives, Kargi Gogo Closes, and A French Dip Sandwich Shop Opens

November 5, 2020
The Hawaiian food cart sensation GrindWitTryz is celebrating the grand opening of its permanent restaurant tomorrow. (GrindWitTryz)

If election fatigue has you wishing for an island getaway, here's the next best thing: The smash-hit Hawaiian food cart GrindWitTryz opens its brick-and-mortar restaurant tomorrow. Plus, a new French dip sandwich shop launches, ramen comes to Hillsboro, Kargi Gogo says goodbye, and chef Naomi Pomeroy reveals her plans for the Beast space. Read on for that and more food updates, and check out our food and drink guide for additional culinary inspiration.

NEW OPENINGS AND RETURNS

GrindWitTryz
Finally, some good news: This buzz-worthy Hawaiian food cart, which opened in September 2019 and which frequently attracts long lines for its Oahu-style cuisine, is celebrating the grand opening of its highly anticipated brick-and-mortar restaurant in the former space of the recently closed Bunk Alberta tomorrow The spot is open for dine-in and takeout, and will offer live kanikapila (a style of impromptu Hawaiian music). The restaurant's menu will feature a rotation of popular specials from the cart, such as Hawaiian nachos, ono chicken, kalua pig, lechon kawaii, poke, loco moco, and chicken katsu, as well as tropical drinks like mai tai, lava flows, and "jungle juice."
Northeast

Kevin & Franky's
When I dip, you dip, we dip: Restaurateur Micah Camden, the man behind Super Deluxe, Blue Star Donuts, Little Chickpea, and Boxer Ramen, opens this takeout- and delivery-only concept serving French dip sandwiches in the former space of QuickFish today. (Fun fact: The restaurant is named after his dogs.) Variations on the classic sandwich include a classic beef sandwich with jus; a seasonal Thanksgiving-inspired turkey sandwich with sage butter, onion jam, and cranberry sauce and a turkey gravy jus for dipping; a roast pork and broccoli raab sandwich; and a vegetarian mushroom version with celery root, fennel, and goat cheese. 
Downtown

Koku Ramen
This ramen spot soft-opened in Hillsboro in late October and currently serves a pared-down soft opening menu, including small bites (karaage, edamame, gyoza, and calamari), ramen (tonkotsu, miso, shoyu, mala tonkotsu, and vegan), and Japanese curry. For dessert, there's vanilla and matcha panna cotta.
Hillsboro

Mama Đút
Thuy Pham's Vietnamese pop-up, which she started at the beginning of the pandemic while unable to continue her usual job as a hairstylist, specializes in vegan Vietnamese food, with remarkably realistic plant-based versions of crispy pork belly, chicken wings, and other meats. This Saturday, November 7, she's opening her brick-and-mortar restaurant, which will be available only for takeout for now. The current menu includes bao, vegan "phish sauce wangs," grilled "pork-less" skewers and "pork-less" skins, My Tho noodle soup, steam rice dumplings, mochi snowball cakes, sweet and salty sesame coconut corn pudding, Vietnamese coffee cheesecake from Muse Cheesecakes, and ube and Vietnamese coffee tarts from Toast'd.
Southeast

FUTURE OPENINGS

Nightingale
This Mexican bar, restaurant, and bottle shop from industry vets Chris Mateja and Luna Contreras will feature Pacific Northwest-focused Mexican food, including ceviche, tlacoyos (an oval-shaped Mexican masa dish), and crudos, as well as brunch and craft cocktails. The spot is currently expected to open in early December.
Northeast

Yui
Chalunthorn “Yui” Schaeffer opened this Thai restaurant in the former home of DOC in August, serving Thai street food-inspired dishes like pad Thai, panang curry, and even a creative take on pad kee mao using squid ink pasta. Yui's mother, who influences her cooking style, ran a small food business in Bangkok and previously worked as a Thai chef in Beaverton, and Yui has spent time as a server at acclaimed New York restaurants like Morimoto and Bar Masa. The restaurant is currently open only for takeout, but will officially open for dine-in soon once Yui gets her liquor license, according to Eater Portland.
Northeast

CLOSURES

Afuri Beaverton
This buzz-worthy Tokyo-based restaurant specializing in yuzu ramen, which just opened its Beaverton restaurant on October 22, has temporarily closed due to an employee testing positive for coronavirus. The restaurant wrote in an Instagram post, "We are greatly saddened by this as we have strictly adhered to all recommended protocols to protect the safety of all. While we cannot divulge the identity of the infected individual, we can tell you that there is no proof that the virus was contracted on premises. During this closure, we will continue to follow our safety protocols which includes a professional deep clean and sanitization of the property." Its other locations will remain open.
Beaverton

Kargi Gogo
Owner Sean Fredericks announced via an email newsletter that he will close his Georgian restaurant specializing in khachapuri (a type of Georgian cheese-filled bread) and khinkali (a type of Georgian soup dumpling) on November 22, citing a change in priorities and having a new baby at home as factors contributing to the closure. Fredericks will continue to sell to-go dumplings, khachapuri, and pantry items through his website and says he will continue to sell Georgian wine "online in the Portland area and beyond."
Northeast

OTHER NEWS

Tropicale starts brunch service
The Latin-themed cocktail bar Tropicale, which opened earlier this year and is known for its hefty piña coladas served in hollowed-out pineapples, launches their new breakfast menu today. The menu will be served Fridays through Sundays and includes guava French toast, pork belly breakfast sandwiches, chorizo breakfast tacos, and chilaquiles verdes.

Beast is transitioning into Ripe Cooperative
In mid-October, Naomi Pomeroy announced that her landmark fine-dining restaurant Beast, which won a James Beard Award in 2014, would close permanently to make way for a new project. She's now revealed her plans for the future: This winter, the space will become Ripe Cooperative, a sustainability-focused community market with prepared foods, wine, ice cream, fresh bread, homemade pasta, and specialty pantry items. The selection will change with the seasons, and the market will also host Dining In, a series of four-course set menus ("Land, Air, Sea and Field") that change monthly and will be available a la carte or on a subscription basis.

Clyde Common launches Clyde Tavern and Common Market
Another staple of Portland's early 2000s food scene is undergoing a COVID-friendly rebranding: Clyde Common, the bar and restaurant inside the Ace Hotel, is pivoting to two new concepts. One, Clyde Tavern, is a tavern on the bar side of the space, with adequate room to accommodate social distancing thanks to additional seating and the addition of a new mezzanine level. The other, Common Market, is an all-day counter serving "simple prepared dishes from our kitchen, and thoughtful staples from local purveyors" and will launch soon.

POP-UPS & EVENTS

The Pix-O-Matic Pandemic 24/7 Nonstop Sherry Week
Pix Patisserie and Bar Vivant are celebrating International Sherry Week, a worldwide seven-day celebration of fortified wines. They'll have flights of sherry with food pairings available by pre-order to go, as well as goodies like sherry almond macarons. No pre-order? No problem! The shop's magical Pix-O-Matic vending machine will be stocked with sherry flight coupons, food pairings, and "educational sherry materials" for 24/7 contactless pickup.
Pix Patisserie, through November 8

Fall Farmers Market
Scoop up the bounty of autumn at this farmers market, which has extended its usual season to run through December.
Vancouver, Saturdays through December 19

NEW SPECIALS

Bakeshop
This weekend, whole-grain baker Kim Boyce's bakery will be featuring chocolate orange scones, chocolate fudge brownies, and kouign amanns.
Northeast
Pickup

Berlu
Starting today, the fine-dining restaurant Berlu will offer Vietnamese-style noodle soups, with one beef and one vegan option, for takeout each Friday. The popup will also feature Vietnamese pastries and spring rolls. Kits come in reusable containers and include broth to heat up at home and pour over the rest of the ingredients. Chef Vince Nguyen will focus on soups that are lesser-known and hard to find in the U.S., such as this week's meat-based offering, Bánh canh Trảng Bàng, a regional specialty made with pork neck.
Southeast
Pickup


Fills Donuts
The recently opened Berliner-style donut shop, known for its unconventional sweet and savory fillings, has crammed the flavors of a fromage board into their new “Cheese Plate for One!” donut, stuffed with Manchego, quince fruit leather, and Marcona almonds.
Downtown
Pickup