Pok Pok chef Andy Rickers popular izakaya Ping is back in the form of a delivery-only kitchen, run by the restaurants former chef Michael Kessler.
Pok Pok chef Andy Ricker's popular izakaya Ping is back in the form of a delivery-only kitchen, run by the restaurant's former chef Michael Kessler. Ping

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Happy New Year! Despite the many blows dealt to the restaurant industry in 2020, the Portland food scene is already off to a strong start in 2021: The vegan comfort food sensation Plant Based Papi has launched a brick-and-mortar restaurant, Andy Ricker's Thai izakaya Ping makes a comeback, a new "virtual food hall" has come to town, and a new location of Tea Chai Té opens today. Plus, Hungry Tiger says goodbye, and to-go cocktails have arrived. Read on for all that and more essential updates. For more ideas, check out our food and drink guide.

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ChefStable Collective
According to a press release, the restaurant group and catering business ChefStable officially launched this new collective of seven new "chef-driven, delivery-only concepts" on January 4, with more planned to come. Similar to other "virtual food halls" like Central Kitchen, the collective offers the ability to order from several differently branded "restaurants" in a single transaction (a convenient option if you and whoever else you live with are experiencing different cravings). The concepts currently include Charlie's Hot Chicken (a Nashville hot chicken concept that chef Doug Miriello launched in September), Abuelita Lupita (traditional Mexico City-style machetes, a type of long oval- shaped taco, and more from chefs Salvador Cristobal and Araceli Alvarez), Cruzer Burrito (SoCal-style burritos with crinkle-cut fries from chef Alex Jackson of Kex and Dóttir), Jackson's Smoked Sandwiches (shredded beef, cheddar cheese sauce and pulled pork from Alex Jackson), Lumo Teriyaki Grill (teriyaki with local kimchi and choice of protein from chef Lucas Morales), and Waldorf and Cobb (fresh salads and wraps with homemade dressings from Doug Miriello). A concept called Chill Noodle serving Asian-influenced vegan noodle bowls from Alex Jackson is also set to join the group soon. The restaurants are available on DoorDash, Postmates, and Caviar, and will soon be available on GrubHub and UberEats as well.

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