Allison Kerek

WITH ALL APOLOGIES to the recent newcomers, who I'm sure are very good: If someone opens another fucking pizza restaurant I'm going to lose my goddamn shit.

Like a Frozen-loving toddler who still can't "Let It Go," this town has developed an infantile obsession with opening pizza joints ["Pizza Overload!" Feature, April 1]. Pizza is great, and we were definitely due a "second wave" of great spots after Ken's Artisan and Apizza Scholls blazed a trail. But as a new year dawns, let's work on bringing in more ambitious high-end dining, or even simple world cuisines still struggling to take off (a decent soup dumpling, anyone?).

Portland has a superduperfantastic food scene, as if you haven't noticed. But balancing our national celebrity with fostering the culture that got us here in the first place is going to be ongoing food for thought in 2016.

And since no one asked us anyway, here's a few Food Year's Resolutions that the Merc's food and drink team would love to see our bars and restaurants adopt (none of them involve losing weight):


Andrea Damewood


Mercury food critic

• See above rant regarding pizza (especially wood-fired).

• Resolve to keep up the trend in friendly service: Coquine, the American Local, and Taylor Railworks have all stepped up the front-of-house game. More of that, please.

• Stop trying to plate small portions on huge platters. It doesn't look all that pretty and just reminds eaters how you should probably get more than a few lettuce leaves for $15.

• Stop making fancy hotdogs. They're expensive, and, for the most part, abysmal.

• Pop-ups: Resolve to keep making great food and then settle into a permanent spot. Nodoguro, Coquine, and Nomad come to mind. Mae, the Southern food pop-up from chef Maya Lovelace, should resolve to be next.

• Resolve to let us keep peepin' the action. Love, love, love the open chef's counters at new spots like Renata and Taylor Railworks (and the old ones at Le Pigeon and Imperial).

• Resolve to quit freaking out *every time* an old restaurant closes. Some of them sucked. Resolve to save your indignation for the ones that were truly great.


Heather Arndt Anderson


Mercury Eat This! writer and author of Portland: A Food Biography

• I'd love it if every brunch place in town would stop serving shakshuka. [Editor's note: This stands as a warning to anyone trying to pull this off that isn't Tasty n Sons.]

• Also, I don't need to know the name and star sign of the farmer that grew everyfuckingingredient.

• While we're at it, let's resolve to use any green besides arugula for every burger, sandwich, and salad. 


Thomas Ross


Mercury Lush Life writer

• Resolve to get rid of "house" everything on cocktail menus, especially tonic. Resolve to just buy tonic water. I'm not so into the history of cocktails that I want a brown gin and tonic that tastes exclusively of tree bark.

• Resolve to stop infusing everything. Somebody made that gin, and they didn't finish and go, "Oh shit! I forgot to add the cucumber!"

• Resolve to instate one of those "just throw your peanut shells wherever" policies.

• Your menu is not the Paris Review. Resolve to find another outlet for your literary aspirations.

• Resolve to stop making veggie burgers that are better than your beef burger. The real burger should be better; this is just a common courtesy.

• Resolve to put your goddamn hours on your goddamn homepage.

• Call your parents more.


Chris Onstad


former Mercury food critic

• Though our deeply impaired national digestion calls in agony for acidic foods, I feel that the ubiquitous use of kimchi has gone a bit long in the tooth. The novelty has dissipated up Burnside and over the hill into the 'burbs; we are nearly at the point in its digression that McDonald's will feature Hot Kimchi Macs and soft-serves redolent of fermented oyster. Please, chef: The next time kimchi pops to mind as the missing "it" factor for your next dish, check your calendar. It is no longer the 'aughts.


Courtney Ferguson


Mercury copy chief

• SUPER IMPORTANT: Have a website that includes name, address, hours, and menu for your restaurant or bar. Why not include your happy hour info while you're at it?