As we recklessly and inevitably swerve into Constitutional Crisis Land, our very smart and not dumb president greeted the NCAA’s Clemson Tigers championship football team this week with a White House feast of pizza and “hamberders” from Wendy’s, McDonald’s, and Burder King. In the meantime, Portland’s food and drink makers and creators were very busy distracting us all from the worst dumbest things that make America America.
For instance, this week, the Mercury sent its crackerjack booze reporter to document his friend Tommy’s heroic downing of 25 Jell-O shots without showing any signs of intoxication. They did it “for science,” and science officially says you can’t get drunk from Jell-O shots—at least not 25 (!) of them. At least Tommy can’t. Whomever you are Tommy, thank you for your service.
This week, the Oregonian profiled Portland’s very own Old Spaghetti Factory, the state line- and continent-jumping pasta franchise that turns 50 years old this month. Among the goodies reported here: in five decades, OSF has baked almost 80 million loaves of bread and has made more than 10 million feet of spaghetti. It also sent a pair of tag-teaming reviewers to see if Din Tai Fung, the world famous dumpling shop out of Taipei that’s now open at the Washington Square Mall, is worth the wait to be seated. They liked it…but probably not enough to stand in line.
PoMo broke the news that Gado Gado, the noodle pop-up from a pair of transplanted Mainers, is opening a storefront at 1801 NW Caesar Chavez, and it took a first look at easily this city’s punniest restaurant, Fried Egg I’m in Love, which will next week transition from a SE food cart to a yolk-yellow brick-and-mortar joint in the old Blue Star Donut shop at 3549 SE Hawthorne.
Willamette Week reviewed Normandie, the fish-centric French-inspired restaurant in inner-SE and didn’t like it as much as we did, citing the kitchen’s TMI, or “too many ingredients.” The weekly did, however, dig the bakes at the new Guyanese food cart Bake on the Run out in Sellwood. Finally, it poured one out for O’Neill’s Pub, aka Biddy McGraw’s, which closed its NE Glisan doors this week after two-plus decades.
Finally, Eater took a first look at Farm Spirit, which transitioned from SE Morrison to SE Belmont this week. Likewise, it did the same with Nate Tilden and Co’s newest seafood restaurant, Erizo, which will open at 215 SE 9th on February 1. Speaking of openings, the site reported that Carlo Lamagna’s Magna will open in the soon-to-be-vacated Noho’s space on SE Clinton (Noho’s on Fremont will remain open); that an old food cart, Polli-tico, is now serving tacos and burritos at its new brick-and-mortar storefront on SE Belmont under the Char Latin Grill banner, and that Little Taco & Tequila is doing similar things down in Old Town; that the highly anticipated cocktail bar, Pink Rabbit, is now pouring drinks in the old Hamlet space in the Pearl; that a Hungarian-Polish restaurant, Anchor End Eurocafe & Bakery, will open next to Pip’s on NE Fremont next week; and that while Maya Lovelace’s fried chicken palace, Yonder, still hasn’t opened on NE 42nd, it has released its opening menu, which means that opening is getting really really close. Oh, and the website also rounded up local bars, restaurants, and cafes that are offering discounts and freebies to furloughed government workers who haven’t been paid in weeks and who are being used as pawns over the Hamberderer-in-Chief’s racist border wall, the non-funding of which has led the the longest—and dumbest —government shutdown in US history.