Food News

This Week In Portland Food News: Holy Trinity Barbecue Says Goodbye, Salt & Straw Plans Two Portland Shops, and Afuri Announces a Slabtown Location

October 15, 2021
October 14, 2021
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You have until Saturday, October 23, to grab a smoked meat feast at the lauded Holy Trinity Barbecue. (Molly MacAlpine)

The popular cart Holy Trinity Barbecue bids farewell this week as it announces its upcoming closure. In other news, the New York Times calls Eem and Coquine two of their favorite restaurants for 2021, the Oregon-based ice cream sensation Salt & Straw announces two new scoop shops in Eugene and Beaverton, and the buzzworthy Tokyo chain Afuri reveals its plans to open a Slabtown location. Read on for all of that and more culinary updates. For more ideas, check out our food and drink guide.

NEW OPENINGS AND RETURNS

Hello Little India
This Indian restaurant opened in Lake Oswego at the end of September, serving a long list of Indian dishes like biryani and rogan josh alongside chicken wings, mocktails, mojitos, lassis, and milkshakes.
Lake Oswego
Pickup, dine-in

Le Bontemps Cafe and Catering
If you can't make it to the Big Easy, consider this family-run Cajun/Creole restaurant and catering business, which had its grand opening in mid-August. The menu includes gumbo, crawfish etouffée, chicken and waffles, po'boy sandwiches, jambalaya, fried catfish, red beans and rice, beignets, and other soul food.
Eliot
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

Metropolitan Tavern
Here's another restaurant that launched quietly in mid-August: This upscale rooftop spot opened in the former Altabira space on the sixth floor of Hotel Eastlund in late summer, according to a press release from the Urban Restaurant Group last week. For now, the restaurant more or less resembles its predecessor—Willamette Week reports that the owners are waiting for more revenue before making any major aesthetic changes. The menu designed by executive chefs Aaron Franco and Cliff Denney features shareable plates, artisan pizzas, and other locally sourced and seasonal dishes, plus 16 local craft beers on tap, craft cocktails, and European and Northwest wines.
Lloyd District
Pickup, dine-in

Tikim
Tricia San Mateo, Jane Barmore, and food influencer Nori De Vega will launch this new Filipino supper club pop-up with an inaugural event at Mestizo this Sunday, October 17. Each of the tasting menu's five courses will represent a different Filipino meal: breakfast, lunch, merienda (an afternoon snack), dinner, and dessert, with dishes like Jollibee-inspired hot dog spaghetti and ginataang bilo bilo (a sweet coconut-based dessert soup). The first event is already sold out, but more events are set to come for Filipino holidays.
Richmond
Dine-in

FUTURE OPENINGS

Afuri Ramen + Dumpling
According to a press release, this much-buzzed-about Tokyo ramen chain with locations in Beaverton, Buckman, and Old Town-Chinatown plans to open a location in Slabtown in early spring 2022. The new location will serve the chain's specialty, a bright, delicate yuzu shio ramen, in addition to hazelnut vegan and pork-style tantanmen, tsukemen, small plates, gohan, winged gyoza, and more, and will offer customers a clear view of the ramen-making process.
Slabtown

Salt & Straw Ice Cream
The famed artisan ice cream chain plans to open two new scoop shops in Oregon: one in Eugene next spring and another in Beaverton next summer, according to a press release. CEO and co-founder Kim Malek said in the release, "It's always been a dream to open a shop in Eugene and we're so excited to see this location come to fruition. We've spent years collaborating with the University of Oregon and other local businesses, like Singing Dog Vanilla and Red Ape Cinnamon. It's unbelievable to get to open such a special shop in our backyard, and we cannot wait to meet everyone!"
Beaverton, Eugene

CLOSURES

Holy Trinity Barbecue
Owner Kyle Rensmeyer announced via Instagram this week that his beloved barbecue cart, which former Portland Mercury food critic Andrea Damewood called one of Portland's "five most essential barbecue carts" in 2019, will have its final day of service on Saturday, October 23. He wrote, "It’s crazy, one week you’re in Austin eating barbecue, the next you’re closed. Anyways, that’s kind of what happened to us. The fragility of small businesses in the food industry is real. It took two weeks of bad sales for us to tank. That’s it...If it wasn’t next week, it would be the next. Or the week after. There's no foreseeable future where we make it through the winter. We’ve had a couple very rough weeks since getting back from Austin. It’s become apparent that our location, coupled with increased costs on our end have caused our demise." He also thanked his crew for their support and invited fans to come pay one last visit before the 23rd, promising that he will do his best to "blow it out" before they close. To that end, he's offering a lineup of exclusive daily specials for the cart's remaining days, including massaman curry beef ribs, brisket chopped cheese sandwiches, meatloaf sausages, green chorizo burgers, carnitas fries, beef cheeks, and on the last day, a whole smoked hog.
Creston-Kenilworth

OTHER FOOD NEWS

Two Portland restaurants appear in the New York Times' 2021 favorite restaurant list
This week, the New York Times confirmed what Pacific Northwesterners have long known—that our dining scene is worthy of the national spotlight—with its 2021 list of "the 50 places in America we’re most excited about right now." Portland restaurants Eem and Coquine were included in the compilation of the nation's "most vibrant and delicious restaurants," and the Times' critics had plenty of glowing praise for the local spots. Read our post to see what they had to say and to find out which other Pacific Northwest restaurants made the cut.

POP-UPS AND EVENTS

Olympia Oyster Bar at Function
Chef Maylin Chavez of Olympia Oyster Bar will sling a seasonal, oyster-centric seafood menu at Function in collaboration with winemaker Cristina Gonzales of Gonzales Wine Company, pastry chef Palmira Obeso of Here for the Cakes, and the farmhouse brewery Wolves & People.
Function, Friday-Sunday through October 17

City of Books IPA Release
Powell's Books is teaming up with the brewery Ex Novo to release an exclusive, limited-edition beer called City of Books IPA, with a can featuring art of the Powell's storefront. On October 16 from 10 am-4 pm, you'll be able to get your hands on a four-pack at the Powell's flagship store on West Burnside, but the beer is expected to sell out quickly, so show up early. Limited quantities will also be available at Ex Novo's North Portland and Beaverton locations while supplies last. Ten percent of all proceeds will be donated to Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc), a nonprofit that helps bookstore workers and comic retailers with unforeseen emergency financial needs.
Powell's City of Books, Saturday, 10 am-4 pm

Cask Days 2021
Sample a selection of cask-conditioned beer (a type of mellow, full-flavored beer originating from English tradition, made with unpasteurized and unfiltered beer conditioned in a cask and poured using gravity or an electric beer engine). British snacks from Away Days' sister company, the Toffee Club, will also be available.
Away Days Brewing Co., Saturday, 12-8 pm

Portland Oktoberfest
Say "Prost!" to Oktoberfest season with a selection over 16 German-style beers on tap from the Civic Taproom, plus a keepsake glass mug.
Pine Street Market, Saturday-Sunday, 11 am-8 pm

Order of the Gourd
Chef Ramon Navarro (who is known for his Chamorro roast chicken pop-up on Instagram) is joining forces with the seasonally themed pop-up and marketplace Zuckercreme to host this dinner devoted to the reason for the fall season—gourds. The menu features a cornucopia of autumnal dishes, including beef tartare with charred cabbage and pear, an “Altar of the Gourds" dish (confit butternut squash, smoked Robin's Koginut squash, crispy delicata squash, and squash molé), sunchoke soup, and pork shoulder with red kuri squash, followed by a candied ginger cookie with ice cream and vanilla bourbon pears for dessert.
Magna Kusina, Monday, 8 pm

Pumpkin Carving
Kick back with a Hopworks beer amidst the spooky digs of the haunted mansion-themed bar Raven's Manor while carving a baby Bella organic pumpkin into your very own jack-o'-lantern masterpiece. Hopworks prize packages will be awarded to the top three creations.
Raven's Manor, Wednesday, 5 pm and 9 pm

Zuckercreme Presents: Pumpkin Spice And Everything Nice
Inspired by fall's most ubiquitous flavor, this autumnal pop-up from Zuckercreme will feature a bakery, cafe, community markets, workshops, cozy home goods, clothes, accessories, vintage wares, and art.
Zuckercreme, Wednesday-Sunday through October 24

SPECIALS

Cloud City Ice Cream
As part of its "Horoscoop" series, the local ice cream parlor has created a Libra-inspired flavor that embodies the astrological sign's romantic side with a vanilla rose tea base, vanilla cake crumbles, house-made tangy frosting, and plenty of rainbow sprinkles.
Woodstock
Pickup, delivery

Sammich
The sandwich shop's current special is the spooky "Franken Pig": house-smoked pork loin, mayo, chimichurri, and melted provolone on a toasted Dos Hermanos Bakery baguette, topped with "zombie slaw" and pickled red onions.
Kerns
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

Sweedeedee
The charming cafe's latest ricotta toast special is topped with pickled hot peppers, honey, fresh dill, and walnuts.
Humboldt
Pickup, dine-in