Food News

This Week In Portland Food News: Pizza Jerk Opens a PSU Location, Botanist Says Goodbye, and Marshawn Lynch Launches a Restaurant

December 10, 2021 Edition
December 9, 2021
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The new restaurant Beastro from Seattle Seahawks player Marshawn Lynch specializes in a mix of Korean and island-inspired cuisine. (Beastro by Marshawn Lynch)

It's another jam-packed edition of Portland food news—we've got two new pizza places (Cafe Olli Add to a List and a new Pizza Jerk Add to a List location), a new restaurant Add to a List owned by a Seattle Seahawks player, and the second coming of the Woodsman Tavern Add to a List . Plus, the cocktail bar Botanist Add to a List and the food cart ThiccBoi Add to a List say farewell, and the vegan barbecue joint Homegrown Smoker Add to a List is up for sale. Read on for all of that and more essential updates. For more ideas, check out our food and drink guide.

NEW OPENINGS AND RETURNS

Beastro by Marshawn Lynch Add to a List
Seattle Seahawks player Marshawn Lynch, known by his nickname "Beast Mode," opened this new Hawaiian-Korean restaurant along with Jun Park of Musashi Add to a List  and Kevin Yamada of Kama’aina Comfort Foods of Hawaii Add to a List inside Hotel Vance in late November. (The restaurant was originally set to be called Beast, but appears to have been changed in order to avoid conflicting with James Beard Award-winning chef Naomi Pomeroy's iconic restaurant Beast Add to a List , which closed to make way for her market Ripe Cooperative Add to a List and which Pomeroy has expressed she hopes to reopen at some point. But let's be honest, "Beastro" is pretty good too.) 
Downtown
Pickup, dine-in

Cafe Olli Add to a List
This all-day cafe has officially opened in the former Ned Ludd Add to a List space, with scratch-made baked goods from co-owner and pastry chef Siobhan Speirits, who you may know from her project Saint Frances. The cafe also serves wood-fired pizzas, salads, handmade pasta, sandwiches on house-baked bread, charcuterie, and other wood-oven-baked dishes.
King
Pickup, dine-in


Dot Sugar Add to a List
This Jordan-based dessert chain recently opened a location in Beaverton, serving treats like waffles, lokma (Turkish sweet fried dough), pancakes, crêpes, cast-iron skillet desserts, churros, and other sweets.
Beaverton
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

J&R Mexican Food Add to a List
This Mexican restaurant opened in Oak Grove in late November. The menu includes tacos, burritos, quesadillas, nachos, sopes, empanadas, taquitos dorados, enchiladas, tamales, tortas, breakfast burritos, and flan.
Oak Grove
Pickup, dine-in

Pizza Jerk Add to a List
Surprise: The Connecticut-inspired pizza parlor with Portland punk rock sensibility has expanded to PSU and is now slinging slices, whole pies, salads, Rice Krispie treats, and drinks.
Downtown
Pickup, delivery

The Woodsman Tavern Add to a List
Stumptown founder Duane Sorenson's popular SE Division restaurant, which closed in 2018, reopened once again for dinner and happy hour on December 1.
Richman
Pickup, dine-in

CLOSURES

Botanist Add to a List
The beloved craft cocktail destination Botanist fought a valiant struggle early on in the pandemic, arranging to deliver nearly 40,000 meals to out-of-work industry workers and others in need and fighting for legislation to allow takeout cocktails. Sadly, the Pearl District bar announced via Instagram this week that it has closed permanently. The post read, "We opened up during the best of times in a neighborhood that was vibrant and trendy. We open on the principles of a small classy cocktail bar with the friendliness of a neighborhood haunt. We wanted to push boundaries and question those that came before us in order to push the craft and art that is drinking well. COVID came and between trying to help the community, supporting those that were worse off than ourselves, we made the choice to move upstairs. And while that choice was probably the only one that we had, it then became an impossible journey that we can no longer weather. And sadly our motley pirate ship has sailed its last voyage and will come to rest. Thank you all for the memories, we will cherish them as we all head out on the next journey." 
Pearl District

ThiccBoi PDX Add to a List
This popular food cart, which opened in February 2021 and served fried wings, tenders, popcorn chicken bites, fries, chicken sandwiches, and fried cauliflower bites, announced via Instagram this week that it has closed. The announcement noted that fans who would like to support the business in its time of need may send donations to @thiccboifood on Venmo.
Vernon

OTHER FOOD NEWS

Homegrown Smoker is for sale
The pioneering vegan barbecue restaurant Homegrown Smoker Add to a List , known for its inventive tempeh ribs and smoked soy curls, announced via Instagram on December 3 that founder Jeff Ridabock plans to retire. The restaurant concept and space is for sale, so someone may carry on the spot's legacy; however, if a buyer is not found, the restaurant's final day of service will be on December 19.

Chef Rob Grisham joins Fullerton Wines tasting room

Chef Rob Grisham, whose culinary bona fides include a stint at the Michelin-starred French Laundry, came aboard the Fullerton Wines tasting room Add to a List in Northwest Portland in November. The spot is now serving a new daily menu with items like celery root croquettes and radicchio-apple salad, plus a new tasting menu on Thursdays, which will change from week to week and features optional wine pairings.

A foie gras ban could be coming soon
City Commissioners Carmen Rubio and Mingus Mapps told Willamette Week that they may bring a foie gras ban before Portland City Council sometime this spring.

Son of Man receives silver medal at international cider competition
In November, the Cascade Locks-based cidery Son of Man Add to a List took home a silver medal in the "natural Basque cider" category at the prestigious international Sagardo Forum cider competition in Spain. The cidery was up against 25 local Basque cider producers and beat out all of them but the gold medalist—quite an achievement considering the important role cider plays in Basque culture.

POP-UPS AND EVENTS

Beer & Cookies Add to a List
Skip the milk and team your cookies with beer from Fort George, with pairings like orange Creamsicle sugar cookies with Quick Wit Belgian-Style Witbier, peppermint snowballs with Magnaminous IPA with Grand Fir Tips, tropical fruitcake blondie bites with Funky Funky Eye Patch Mixed Culture Saison, and chocolate peanut butter blossoms with Time Will Tell Bourbon Barrel-Aged Baltic Porter. The cover band Casual Encounters will keep the '90s hits coming.
Imperial Bottle Shop & Taproom, Friday, 5-8 pm

Holiday Market Add to a List
Sip a hot cup of coffee from See See Motor as you peruse wares from local vendors like Lonely Design Co., Malevolent Leather, Black Cherry Vintage, and Happy Camper Stained Glass.
See See Motorcycles, Saturday, 2-6 pm

2021 Cupping The World Add to a List
Savor the first place-winning coffees from the 2021 Cup of Excellence competitions in cupping bowls with spoons. The event will end with finger foods made by Broder, natural wines, and a selection of craft beer and sparkling water.
Broder Nord, Saturday, 5:30-7:30 pm

Native Made Pop-Up Add to a List
Support local Indigenous makers and artisans at this pop-up.
Alder Commons, Saturday-Sunday, 10 am-4 pm

Classy AF Holiday Tea Party benefiting Q Add to a List Center Add to a List
Don your gay apparel for this fundraiser supporting the LGBTQ+ community hub Q Center. The festivities will include holiday tunes from a DJ, photo opportunities with Santa, a raffle, a cash bar, and bites from food trucks.
Castaway, Sunday, 4-9 pm

For Esmé Add to a List
Chef Luna Contreras and bartender Michelle Ruocco will team up for this festive pop-up.
Magna Kusina, Monday, 3 pm

Miracle at Deadshot Add to a List
In 2014, New York bar owner Greg Boehm temporarily transformed his space into a kitschy Christmas wonderland replete with gewgaws and tchotchkes galore. The pop-up phenomenon has expanded to more than 100 locations all over the world, including Portland's stylish cocktail bar Deadshot. The specialty cocktails are no ordinary cups of cheer: Beverages are housed in tacky-tastic vessels and christened with names like the “Bad Santa,” the “Yippie Ki Yay Mother F*****r,” and the “Jolly Koala.” 
Deadshot, Monday-Saturday through December 31, 4 pm-12 am

SPECIALS

Cheese and Crack Add to a List
The snack shop suggests Dolly Parton Christmas music as a soundtrack for their new candy cane sundae special, made with vanilla soft serve, peppermint brownies, dark chocolate sauce, and candy cane crunch and topped with a "gingerbread friend."
Kerns
Pickup, dine-in

Doe Donuts
The donut shop's December lineup features some seasonal flavors that would be right at home on your holiday table, including white chocolate pretzel fritter, gingerbread old-fashioned, peppermint cookies and cream, pink grapefruit, holiday nog twist, apricot sufganiyot, and pumpkin cookie butter CBD. 
Hollywood
Pickup, delivery

Rudy's Pizza Add to a List
The pizzeria has teamed up with the vegan sandwich purveyor Snackrilege for a new special, the "Fall from Grace" vegan pizza: spicy chipotle mayo, vegan steak, mushroom red wine rosemary seitan, homemade mashed potatoes and gravy, braised kale, onions, garlic, and Follow Your Heart vegan mozzarella on a garlic-rosemary crust.
Creston-Kenilworth
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

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