Sometimes, there’s simply too much good stuff happening out there to dedicate a whole column to just one spot. So I have to take a step back and let everyone know about all the good bites, nibbles, content, and sips I’ve been digging lately and how you can get in on them, too. Let’s start with....
The $25 chicken bucket dinner from Noraneko! For years now, Noraneko has been low-key making some of the city’s most underrated fried chicken—breaded in rice flour that’s oh-so-crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. And for the last few months, they’ve been serving up a to-go special that’s super killer: $25 nets you a giant bucket of karaage chicken, Japanese potato salad, cucumber salad, and two rolls from Beaverton’s Oyatsupan bakery. It should feed three to four, no problemo. Call ahead (503-238-NEKO) so it’s ready to go when you roll up. Noraneko, 1430 SE Water
The chicken sandwich and jojos from Jojo! I’ll stay on the fried-chicken train for one more stop: It’s criminal that the food cart Jojo has heretofore not been mentioned in these hallowed pages, because their massive sando ($10) and perfect wedges ($3) are the anecdote to all that’s wrong with the world. And their Instagram (@jojo.pdx) is the funniest food account in town. Jojo, 3582 SE Powell
Happy-hour sushi handrolls at Tekka Bar! We’ve had some disappointing imports from Vegas (Holsteins burger bar, we hardly knew ye), but I say Tekka Bar can stay. Especially during happy hour (3-5 pm daily), when they serve their handrolls and sake at deeply discounted prices. They roll each roll as you finish the one before, so the seaweed stays crispy and everything’s fresh as can be. Go with a bay scallop handroll ($4), their signature spicy Tekka roll ($5), and an ample carafe of sake ($6). Tekka Bar, 1237 SW Washington
Vegan Coconut Bliss shakes at Burgerville! It must be the crunchy hippie in me (or my mild case of lactose intolerance—WHO KNOWS), but I’m loving the new vegan shake options from Eugene-based Coconut Bliss at Burgerville. I’m partial to the chocolate variety, but you can get any shake made vegan by request. Burgerville, various locations
Pickled avocados at Bark City BBQ! This is another cart I haven’t written about that deserves your taste buds and time. There’s lots to love at Bark City, located in the exemplary yet poorly named Hawthorne Asylum pod, including a smoked turkey you just don’t see elsewhere and great brisket. One extra little side really kicks this cart up to 11, though: pickled avocado ($4). Lightly tart and almost effervescent, the creamy fruit really adds complexity to the meats and is great on its own. I’d buy a jar for home if I could. Bark City BBQ, 1080 SE Madison
Cool chef merch from Ava Gene’s and Departure! If you’re in the market for high-end chef swag, check out the collab between Portland’s Orox Leather and Departure’s Gregory Gourdet. This fourth-generation family of leather makers, originally from Oaxaca, teamed with Gourdet to create a knife roll ($380) that’s fancier than any of my purses. With a zippered pouch, six knife sleeves, and a lifetime warranty, this is the way to carry your blades in style. Meanwhile, Joshua McFadden of Ava Gene’s has paired with NYC brand Tilit to make an apron that blows the ass off your dad’s “May I suggest the sausage?” apron. It’s reversible—pine canvas on one side and a natural shade to the other—with plenty of pocket space and a sweet leather neck strap that comes off for cleaning, I’ve been wearing mine nonstop since I got it—even if I’m just watching TV. (JK. Kinda.)
Depression Dining by Eater PDX’s editor! It’s weird to put an exclamation point on something like depression, but Eater PDX’s editor, Brooke Jackson-Glidden, started an Insta account (@depressiondining) devoted entirely to how to best feed yourself if you’re in the throes of depression. Jackson-Glidden, who has depression herself, gives tips on what to keep stocked in your pantry and freezer and rates recipes on a zero-to-three spoon ranking of effort. Be well and stay nourished.