You made it to the weekend, Portland! Once again we're looking at back-to-back, glorious 70 degree weather—before next week gets all oppressive and 90 (WHY). So make the most of your ability to leave the house and check out all the newly opened / reopened spots the Mercury has for you in our Friday Food News round-up. Get out of my dreams and onto a patio—while staying socially-distanced and wearing a mask, PLEASE!
• Downtown hotel The Hoxton reopened their rooftop bar and patio Tope in July, but just recently added weekend brunch to their hours, and a new chef, B.J. Smith, to oversee the menu. Tope's brunch is like a chilaquiles twin to its evening street taco style. I got to stop by there last weekend and everything was a perfectly set level of spiciness (seriously, that Bloody Maria is a gorgeous portal to the pepper zone).
• Eater PDX reports that the Portland State-area Chit-Chat Café (which closed a few months back) has reinvented itself as a pop-up Taiwanese takeout spot on the NE Sandy Chopsticks patio. They've got house-made Taiwanese food, smoothies, and a "'tiger stripe boba' in which streaks of brown sugar syrup contrast against the light colored milk tea." Folded steam bun gua bao coming soon.
• In February the Mercury profiled Purrington's Cat Lounge for its deliciously cut-above snack and unexpectedly expert wine menu—in addition to its ethically cared for and adoptable cats. Though they have not yet returned to hosting critters, Purrington's did recently reopen for takeout coffee, pastries, wine, and beer.
• Flying in the face of all the sad brewery closings of late, Migration Brewing just opened a huge, 2,000 square foot patio on the ninth floor of the Press Blocks building in Goose Hollow. The Oregonian reports that the Rooftop at Canvas taproom overlooks Providence Park, the SW Hills, and serves up "Migration’s lineup of craft beer as well as wine, cider, nonalcoholic beverages and a simple food menu."
• How will we celebrate the fourth year of Support Black Owned-Restaurant Week in the middle of a Phase 1 pandemic reopening? Well, you order takeout, right? In 2014, Bertha Pearl saw the success of San Francisco's Black Restaurant Day and decided Portland should have something similar. Now the city's celebration and appreciation of Black-owned restaurants is a week-long affair. Check out the impressive list at iloveblackfood.com and try a so-far-unknown-to-you Black-owned restaurant, food cart, bar, or catering service that you may end up returning to all year round!
• Sisters of the Road co-founder and former executive director (she retired in 2009) Genny Nelson died last week. Street Roots put together a touching collection of testimonials about Nelson and the small, but innovative Old Town cafe that's been serving cheap, nutritious meals to anyone who needs them for over 40 years.
• Commonly considered a "must try" of Portland tourist snack stops, Blue Star Donuts was rapidly expanding and opening new shops right up until the pandemic hit. It might say something about the state of the Portland food economy that this week the formerly thriving purveyors of "pillowy and tender" fried brioche filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Having closed four of their eight locations, a press release from Blue Star said that it "intends to remain fully operational" throughout the filing and restructure.
• SE Portland food cart pod Cartlandia experienced multiple break-ins on the morning of Mon Aug 24. Eater PDX reports that "a vandal damaged nine carts, including Kesone Asian Fusion, Puerto Rican cart La Wawa, Ooh Pasta, and cookie cart We Are Baked." The pod's co-owners Roger Goldingay and Carol Otis have organized a GoFundMe to help the carts pay for repairs.
• Hey, we love you! We want you to eat something. So make sure to send us all your food news and tips: email@example.com.