Strap on your reading hats because this was a very busy week.
The Mercury reported that Brown Hope, the organization behind Reparations Power Hour, is launching Blackstreet Bakery at the Mississippi Street Fair this Saturday. What is Blackstreet Bakery? A black-led soon-to-be weekly vegan pop-up bakery that aims to offer economic opportunity and livable wages to Black folk while honoring the historic presence of Portland’s Black population on and around Mississippi Avenue. We reported that Fish and Rice, an affordable fast casual sushi house—think of rolls costing as little as $6—is opening on NW Westover sometime very, very soon. We reported that Kalé, the Japanese comfort food restaurant, is poised to return to downtown Portland after a year’s absence. And finally, the Mercury’s summer food issue is out. What’s in it? We showcased 60 excellent cheap lunch joints, ranked pizza by the slice joints, explored why local salad joints make us both glad and still somehow sad, explored the ever-changing future of the local food cart pod scene, and, finally, our own MJ Skegg, an English expat, went in search of his beloved, nostalgic and comforting bread-cheese-pickle sandwich. The closest he could find was bread-cheese-mayonnaise. C’mon Portland. Make this happen.
Speaking of exploration, the O took a deep dive into finding what exactly is driving the growth behind all the new wine bars that have reared their leggy heads in the last year. Why so? Turns out this town is full of super talented somms who know how to tell their own unique stories about the many unique wines they champion. And one somm said the local wine bar boom is fueled, in part, by millennials, so let the record show that for the first time in human history, millennials might indeed be the driving factor behind an industry’s growth and not the death of it. It also ranked the 40 best restaurants of 2018. TL;DR? Coquine tops the list. And it rounded up the 10 best new restaurants.
Willamette Week visited the new Either/Or coffee shop up on Williams and found that its recipe of offering coffee, brunch, craft cocktails, and skipping the well-hewn “monochromatic” Ikeafied mod atmosphere that’s become so prevalent for a cozy welcoming environment is a winning combination.
PoMo visited Park Avenue Fine Wines and discovered that its farm-to-table food program is run by “a mushroom-hunting, pig-raising, beehive-communing, vegetable-powder-experimenting, pasta-rolling farmer, and the best chef you’ve never heard of.” The takeaway? “It’s not mind-blowing food, just really good food. No—make that special food, so lovingly thoughtful you can’t believe your luck.”
And Eater was all over the place this week reporting that Kachinka, Kachka’s sister restaurant that serves Moscow mule slushies and “Vladimir Poutine,” is now open in the old Kachka space; the still-spanking new Von Ebert Brewing will open its second location at the Glendoveer Golf Course on Monday; Backwoods Brewing is pouring beers in the old Pearl Tavern space; Eugene’s Tacovore appears poised to settle into the old Fire & Stone pizzeria space up on Fremont sometime by the end of the year; and Botanist, a seafood, gin, and jazz bar from Urban Farmer’s Robbie Wilson, is eyeing a September opening in the Pearl District’s old Pink Rose space.