Food News

This Week In Portland Food News: Ripe Cooperative Is Here, Japanese Hot Dogs Arrive, and Gustav's Closes (For Now)

December 3, 2020
The Tokyo-based ramen chain Afuri has introduced a new ghost kitchen called Kemuri, slinging Japanese charcoal-grilled hot dogs and house-made potato chips. (Kemuri)

Outdoor dining is a go in Portland once again this week, as the state shifts from a "freeze" to a different system based on counties' levels of risk. The week has also brought with it a flurry of other dining developments: Naomi Pomeroy has opened her new marketplace Ripe Cooperative in the former Beast space, the Tokyo-based ramen franchise Afuri has introduced a new Japanese hot dog ghost kitchen, and the local German chain Gustav's is closing all its locations temporarily. Read on for all that and more culinary updates. For more ideas, check out our full food and drink guide.

NEW OPENINGS AND RETURNS

Boxer Bento
In late November, the popular Boxer Ramen restaurant family introduced a new location called Boxer Bento, perfect for the current takeout boom. The menu includes chicken teriyaki, steak teriyaki, pork katsu, ahi poke bowls, and vegetable curry, as well as sides like miso soup, cabbage slaw, and mac salad. There's also a selection of beer, sake, and soft drinks.
Downtown
Pickup or delivery

Chop Chop Chicken Sundaes & Salads
The popular pop-up-turned-food truck opened its first brick-and-mortar location in Bridgeport Village on Saturday, November 21, according to a press release. The brand is known for its savory "sundaes" (two scoops of rice and a choice of chicken or tofu, with a variety of toppings like crushed pineapple, crispy chow mein noodles, and cheddar cheese and a drizzle of chicken gravy or vegetable broth) served in takeout containers. The new location expands the menu to feature chopped salads, with options for Cobb, Mediterranean, Caesar, Far East, Southwest, and build-your-own. 
Bridgeport Village
Pickup

Excellent Cuisine
This new Chinese restaurant soft-opened in the former space of Wong's King in mid-November. The extensive menu features fried rice, soups, seafood, pork beef, and chicken dishes, clay pot dishes, sizzling platters, noodles, and vegetable sides like Chinese broccoli and eggplant. 
Southeast
Pickup or delivery

Grubtopia
This new food cart serving comfort food will have its grand opening this Saturday.
Southeast
Pickup

Kemuri
According to a press release, the acclaimed Tokyo-based ramen chain Afuri, which opened its first U.S. location in Portland in 2016, launched a new hot-dog-focused ghost kitchen called Kemuri in its Beaverton location last Friday, November 27. The name, which means "smoke" in Japanese, refers to the charcoal and robata grills the hot dogs are cooked on, and the hot dogs come with toppings such as kimchi, spicy ground pork, or tonkatsu sauce. The restaurant also features house-made potato chips with different Japanese flavors.
Beaverton
Pickup or delivery 

No Name Pho
On November 22, this mysteriously named pho restaurant opened in Hawthorne. You can customize your own bowl with different options for broths, noodles, and toppings, or opt for a plate with a choice of base (vermicelli noodles, white rice, or brown rice) and protein (ranging from pork skewers to egg rolls). The menu also includes small plates (like skewers and wings), spring rolls, salads, banh mi, and "signature" entrees like classic pho, tom yum pho, or "Korean fire noodles."
Southeast
Pickup, delivery, or outdoor seating

Oswego Grill
This wood-grilled steakhouse chain focused on seasonal Northwest ingredients opened a location in Beaverton in November, serving dishes like grilled salmon bowls, burgers, seafood, and specialties like fried chicken dinners and prime rib pot pie, as well as cocktails, craft beer, and wine. There's also a patio for outdoor dining.
Beaverton
Pickup, delivery, or outdoor seating

Ripe Cooperative
Naomi Pomeroy's highly anticipated new specialty market Ripe Cooperative, which takes the place of her legendary James Beard Award-winning restaurant Beast, opened for pre-order on November 30 and is now open for contactless pickup. The online marketplace showcases a mixture of pre-made dishes, like "wedding chicken" (the dish Naomi served at her own wedding, with chicken, lemon, ginger, fish sauce, and chiles), eggplant parmesan, and curried lamb shepherd's pie, and ingredients for home cooks, like house-made pickles, salad dressings and greens, and handmade fresh pasta. There's also some baked goods and intriguing house-made ice creams in flavors like coffee-caramel chocolate shortbread and cannoli mascarpone. The site also has a "meal boxes" section with a series of made-to-order, locally sourced four-course set menus ("Land," "Air," "Sea," and "Field") that change monthly and are available a la carte or on a subscription basis. 
Northeast
Pickup

Stumptown Cuisine
This restaurant serving pizzas, burgers, sandwiches, fried chicken, desserts, and drinks has opened in Mill Park.
Southeast
Pickup or delivery

Yes Restaurant
This restaurant serving a mix of traditional Chinese and Japanese cuisine opened in Argay in early November. The Japanese side of the menu features a wide selection of sushi, nigiri, sashimi, bento, donburi bowls, teriyaki, and yakisoba, while Chinese dishes include staples like kung pao chicken, General Tso's, lo mein, and honey-walnut shrimp.
Northeast
Pickup or delivery

CLOSURES

Gustav's
On Tuesday, the local German chain announced via social media that it has temporarily shut down all three of its locations and both locations of its Bavarian spinoff Bargarten in Beaverton and Keizer. The announcement explains, ""Nearly 98% of our revenue comes from in-house dining. With the governor's recent extension of the indoor dining ban, it is not viable for us to continue to operate on takeout alone." The message also promises fans that the restaurant will re-open as soon as they can do so and noted that those who wish to support the restaurant through the hiatus can purchase gift cards from their website.
Tigard, Clackamas, Vancouver

OTHER NEWS

Outdoor dining reopens
On Thursday, following Gov. Kate Brown's "freeze" order that had included restrictions on outdoor dining, Oregon moved into a new system that will divide each county into four different levels of risk, which determines what businesses and residents can do. Counties considered "lower," "moderate," or "high" risk may reopen for outdoor dining and indoor dining, while counties considered "extreme risk," like Multnomah County, can open for outdoor dining for up to 50 people per establishment and a maximum of six people per table. We're keeping track of newly reopened spots here.

Scottie's Pizza Parlor launches doughnut pop-up
Like a lot of us, Scottie's Pizza Parlor owner Scott Rivera has been cultivating his baking skills since the pandemic hit. Now, he's launched a pop-up called Bomba PDX, slinging Italian filled doughnuts called bomboloni, with flavors like pistachio cream, Meyer lemon curd, London Fog, and vegan raspberry jam. The last pop-up was on November 29 and sold out quickly, but according to a post on Instagram, another will be coming in the next few weeks.

Alpenrose adds new delivery options
The Portland-based dairy Alpenrose, which has been in operation since 1916, launched a wildly popular home delivery service this summer. It's now added offerings from local restaurants to its selection of products, including Renata pizza and Blue Star doughnuts. Gravy's beloved French toast is also set to join the lineup soon.

POP-UPS AND EVENTS

Nevor Shellfish Farm Drive-In Clam Shack Pop-Up with Jacob Harth
Erizo chef Jacob Harth will run a drive-in seafood pop-up at Tillamook-based Nevor Shellfish Farm's clam shack, with everything from barnacles, barbecue oysters, and butter clams to mackerel crudo and Dungeness crab.
Tillamook, Fridays-Sundays through December

Hanukkah Pop-Up
The small-batch bakery Baker & Spice will host a pop-up with sufganiyot and other Hanukkah treats.
Southwest, Friday, December 11

NEW SPECIALS

Canard
In the mood for comfort food? Gabriel Rucker's acclaimed Canard, which reopened on Wednesday, has introduced take-and-bake lasagna meals that are sure to blow Stouffer's out of the water. 
Southeast
Pickup

Coquine
The Mt. Tabor neighborhood restaurant is featuring a lovely harvest salad with roasted kabocha squash, chicory, harissa yogurt, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and Meyer lemon. They've also got a pasta dish with spicy-sweet-potato sauce, spigarello, pickled cipollinis and young Mimolette cheese.
Southeast
Pickup

Doe Donuts
The donut shop has some seasonal flavors that would be right at home on your holiday table, including pecan pie fritter, buttered rum and Coke, eggnog, Boston cream, candy cane crunch, gingerbread Old Fashioned (as in the cocktail), red velvet, and lingonberry sufganiyot. 
Southeast
Pickup or delivery

Salt and Straw
The artisan ice cream shop is getting into the holiday spirit with their yearly Holiday Classics series. This year's lineup: Dwanta's Teremana Spiked Eggnog (an eggnog flavor with Teremana’s Reposado, amontillado sherry, nutmeg, and salt), Cocoa and Peppermint Patties (a mint and cocoa base with homemade peppermint patty pieces), Gingerbread Cookie Dough (a "royal icing" ice cream with gingerbread cookie chunks and gingerbread cookie butter), and The Great Cookie Swap (a vegan flavor with strawberry thumbprint cookies, gingersnaps, chocolate almond bark, sugar cookies, and sprinkles in a macaroon-inspired coconut ice cream).
Northeast, Northwest, Southeast
Pickup or delivery