Food News

This Week In Portland Food News: Nacheaux Opens A Restaurant, Oma's Takeaway Is Becoming Oma's Hideaway, And Grilled Cheese Grill Says Goodbye

March 5, 2021 Edition
March 4, 2021
The popular "Mexicajun" food cart Nacheaux opens its new restaurant today. (Nacheaux)

This week in food news, several local restaurants—including Belmont Station, RingSide Steakhouse, Pizza Schmizza, and Wyrd Leather and Mead—are making triumphant returns. Plus, the "Mexicajun" food cart Nacheaux opens its new brick-and-mortar restaurant today, the new car-themed bar Shifters Bar has arrived, Oma's Takeaway is rebranding into a new night market-inspired concept, and Grilled Cheese Grill and L'Unico Alimentari close for good. Read on for that and more culinary updates. For more ideas, check out our food and drink guide.

NEW OPENINGS AND RETURNS

Belmont Station
The beer bar and bottle shop reopened its Biercafe for outdoor and limited indoor service on Monday.
Southeast
Pickup, outdoor seating or limited indoor seating

Bit House Collective
Deadshot bartender Natasha Mesa, Magna Kusina chefs Carlo Lamagna, Dante Fernandez, and Roberto Almodovar, and local brewery Pono Brewing are coming together to form a dream-team collaboration. On Wednesday, the group opened their new project Bit House Collective, which they jokingly refer to as a "Michelin-starred dive bar," in the former space of the historic Bit House Saloon. Expect a menu of playful drinks from Mesa, such as boozy Capri Sun-esque cocktails served in pouches, fancied-up flaming Dr. Peppers, and a gin-spiked version of buko pandan (a Filipinx "dessert salad" with coconut milk and fruit jelly). Some other draws? Beers from Pono Brewing, like a hazy pineapple IPA and a blackberry-raspberry stout, and Filipinx-inspired bar snacks, like crab fat gravy waffle fries and pineapple barbecue-glazed burgers with atchara (pickled papaya).
Southeast
Outdoor seating and limited indoor seating

Kai's Stir-Fry
This new Chinese-American cart, serving wok-fried favorites like General Tso's chicken and black pepper beef, soft-opened in the CORE food cart pod on February 26.
Northeast
Pickup

Mezcaluna
This upscale Mexican restaurant and mezcal bar soft-opened in the former space of a Red Robin Express in Happy Valley on February 11.
Happy Valley
Pickup or limited indoor seating

Nacheaux
Today, the popular "Mexicajun" food cart Nacheaux opens a brick-and-mortar restaurant inside the former space of Alameda Brewpub, which it shares with the taproom and liquid nitrogen ice cream shop Blind Ox Taphouse. The new Nacheaux will serve its signature brand of Mexican-Cajun fusion comfort food, with dishes like "Doriteaux" cheese-dusted beignets, crawfish étouffée, Cajun fried chicken crunch wraps, and carnitas mac and cheese. Eater Portland previously reported that the new location will also revive two of owner Anthony Brown's abandoned food cart ideas as delivery-only restaurant concepts: Taceaux, a taqueria, and Sweeteatz, a bakery with desserts like deluxe cheesecakes, cookies, and tres leches cakes.
Northeast
Pickup or delivery

RingSide Steakhouse
The old-school classic steakhouse reopened for indoor service, available by reservation, on Wednesday. 
Northwest
Pickup, delivery, or limited indoor seating

Pizza Schmizza
The local thin-crust pizza chain reopened its location inside the Lumberyard Indoor Bike Park on Wednesday.
Southeast
Pickup, delivery, or limited indoor seating

Shifters Bar
The new car-themed pizzeria Humdinger Pizza, which opened in late December, launched a new sister bar called Shifters next door on February 17, serving beer on tap and automobile-inspired cocktails like the "Grand Prix" (Bacardi and Goslings rum shaken with fresh pineapple and grapefruit juice) and the "DeLorean" (Bacardi silver rum, fresh-pressed watermelon juice, and mint simple syrup, shaken and topped with soda water). Both establishments are owned by longtime residents Chad and Dana Rennaker. Portland Mercury contributor Janey Wong writes, "I went home with the 'Thunderbird' (Benchmark Bourbon stirred with house jalapeno simple syrup, muddled pineapple chunks, and pineapple juice) after Villarreal gushed that it was her favorite. The whiskey really revs up the cocktail, and the simple syrup provides complexity but not much spice."
Southeast
Pickup or delivery

Wyrd Leather and Mead
Don your finest Game of Thrones garb: This medieval-inspired mead hall, which was first opened by the Milkwaukie-based company Wyrd Leatherworks and Meadery (which makes mead as well as handmade leather goods and has supplied articles of clothing for the TV show Vikings) in October, is having its "grand re-re-opening" today, with outdoor seating, limited indoor seating, and takeout. 
Southeast
Pickup, outdoor seating, or limited indoor seating

Yang Kee BBQ Noodle House
This Cantonese noodle house and Hong Kong-style barbecue joint has opened in the former space of So Good Taste Noodle House, serving barbecue, vegetables, congee, soup, noodles, and rice plates.
Southeast
Pickup or delivery

FUTURE OPENINGS

Oma's Hideaway
Gado Gado owners Thomas and Mariah Pisha-Duffly, who opened their pandemic-friendly "Asian stoner food" spinoff Oma's Takeaway (which went on hiatus in January) inside the former home of Whiskey Soda Lounge last year, are planning to reopen the restaurant as "Oma's Hideaway" in mid-April. The new spot will transport diners to a lively night market featuring a live cooking station and will serve a blend of Malaysian-Chinese street food and New England cuisine.
Southeast

CLOSURES

Grilled Cheese Grill
Owner Matt Breslow announced on social media this week that his nostalgic grilled cheese emporium housed inside a converted school bus has closed permanently. The restaurant had previously closed due to the pandemic in March, and the lot the bus is parked on has been sold to a developer.
Northeast

L'Unico Alimentari
Chefs Caitlyn Hamel-Spencer and Lanfranco Paliotti's well-received Italian pasta cart, which The Oregonian had named as one of the 10 best food carts of 2020, has met an untimely demise shortly before its year anniversary. An Instagram post from the business reads, "In life, every ending is just a new beginning. Yesterday was our last service, we decided to take two different paths. Thank you PDX for all your love and support."
Northeast

OTHER NEWS

La Reinita launches "community-supported bakery"
You're probably familiar with the concept of "community-supported agriculture," i.e. receiving bountiful boxes of kohlrabi and Swiss chard from a local farm in exchange for an up-front payment. Now, baker Cortney Morentin of the pop-up "panadería urbana" (urban bakery) La Reinita is launching a "community-supported bakery," for which she will deliver $25 worth of naturally leavened pan dulce treats like conchas, doughnuts, and empanadas to customers' doors every two weeks in exchange for an up-front fee of $200. Reservations for the upcoming season, which begins on May 5, are open now.

Burgerville teams up with new app to offer mobile order pickup
The Vancouver-based fast food chain Burgerville has teamed up with the app FlyBuy Pickup to allow its customers to place mobile orders for pickup. According to Burgerville director of marketing Stacey Chapman, some customers have said the app was "so seamless, they barely had to stop the car when they arrived."

POP-UPS AND EVENTS

Girl Scout Cookie & Wine Pairing
If you've never unfurled on the couch after a long day with a box of Thin Mints and a big ol' glass of Cabernet, you're missing out, friend. Redeem yourself with Hip Chicks Do Wine's package of four Girl Scout cookies paired with four wines of their choosing, which you can pick up at the shop or have delivered to your door.
Hip Chicks Do Wine, February 26-March 5

Le Pigeon at the NEXT
James Beard Award-winning chef Gabriel Rucker's celebrated Le Pigeon is pivoting to room service: The French restaurant is teaming up with the modern boutique hotel Jupiter NEXT to offer a pop-up with three-course meals in hotel rooms for $100. Guests have the option to book a stay for the rest of the night for $89 and can also add on optional wine pairings or cocktail pairings from Hey Love. A portion of proceeds from all meals will go towards the nonprofit Feed the Mass.
Jupiter NEXT, Thursday-Saturday through March 6

Puffy Jacket Pop-Up Dining Series
This new pop-up series from Columbia Hospitality is making the best of winter al fresco dining by encouraging local diners to bundle up in their most voluminous outerwear for outdoor meals with cozy cocktails at 12 different venues in Washington and Oregon. 
Various locations, Friday-Saturday through March 27

NEW SPECIALS

Café Reina
This first generation Latina-owned restaurant is baking up dreamy cream cheese Danish pastries with lemon glaze and blackberry sauce.
Northeast
Pickup or delivery

Mirisata
The BIPOC worker-owned vegan Sri Lankan restaurant is now offering a limited-time meatball curry special made with plant-based Impossible beef.
Northeast
Pickup, delivery, or outdoor seating

Petunia's Pies and Pastries
In honor of their 11th birthday, the vegan and gluten-free bakery is offering some specials in its signature pink and green, including frosted sugar cookies with sprinkles and "baby cakes" in vanilla mint and raspberry lemon. 
Southwest
Pickup or delivery