This week, superstar bartender, columnist, and author Jeffrey Morgentahler (Clyde Common, Pepe le Moko, Playboy) took to Twitter this week to ask his many guests, customers and colleagues, “What’s your deal?” As in: “Guys who sit with their back to the bar and stare at the crowd: what’s your deal?” and “Rich white ladies who would rather split the check than buy your friend a glass of happy hour white wine: What's your deal?” and “Americans who order the 'charcuterie' with a comically-fake French accent: What’s your deal?” and “Bartenders that serve drinks over one large ice cube in a stemmed glass: What's your deal?” and “Guests who answer ‘What do you feel like making?’ when we try to take your drink order: Did you just answer a question with another question? What's your deal?” as well as this little gem, “People who make changes to a recipe before trying it, and then get upset when it doesn’t turn out well: What’s your story? Why are you the way you are?” All very good and very great questions! The startender also joked on the medium that reported on his musings must mean it’s a slow news week. If only!
This week, the Mercury reported that Ling Garden, the Taiwanese restaurant that shuttered after more than two decades on NW 21st, has grandly re-opened today for lunch and dinner. Get ready for popcorn chicken and General Tso’s chicken, and Kung Pow chicken, as well as other vegetables and proteins.
The O visited and reviewed Happy Valley’s Noodle Man and called it nothing short of “magical,” adding that it’s the “first Portland-area noodle shop to truly embrace a sense of the dramatic.” It also previewed the opening of Taiwan’s Din Tai Fung, which opens tonight in the old Gap space in the Washington Square Mall—well, at least for those of you lucky enough to score a now sold-out opening night rezzo.
PoMo reported that a pair of Biwa alums have opened a Japanese deli called Giraffe inside Central Eastside’s Cargo shop. And it reported on a pair of upcoming NW PDX openings: Eb & Bean will someday soon dole out scratch-made organic fro-yos across the street from Cinema 21 on NW 21st, and Pink Rabbit, the new cocktail with Barista and Teardrop Lounge street cred, will fling its doors open on December 27.
Willamette Week showcased Portland’s 16 mightiest new food startups and it had the news that Portland’s favorite transient karaoke party—Baby Ketten—just inked a deal for a new permanent home at SW Powell at 25th. But the weekly was also not having it this week. It was the first outlet to review La Neta, the new Mexican-inspired restaurant anchoring Old Town-Chinatown’s Hoxton Hotel. For them, the menu “lands in a void of flavor that feels condescending.” Ouch. But it agrees that we shouldn’t sleep on its burger. Speaking of ow-ies, the paper reviewed Radisson Red’s new OuiBar, which it says comes lit like Chuck E. Cheese and dressed like Kevin Federline, concluding that the price pints don’t match the quality of the food and drinks attached to them. “Nobody should pay this much money to be sad.” Brutal.
Last but not least, Eater reported that Burgerville’s Hawthorne location has unionized, bringing the chainlet’s official unionized shops to three; it had great news for Lake Oswego residents who are getting their very own Bamboo Sushi outlet; and it followed up on a lead from a neighborhood newspaper that the NW District will soon be home to Montesacro Pinseria Romana, the San Francisco-based focaccia-pizza joint. It’ll stake its claims in the old Nicoletta + Beppe’s space (née Bellino, née Fratelli). Will the fourth time be the charm for Italian food in that space? Show up to find out when it opens sometime next year. And, of course, it reported on the story that led this story: Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s wonderful tweets. Seriously, who sits at a bar and then faces the room? Who are you and why are you the way you are?