Food Editor & Critic

Karen Brooks eats, drinks and thinks about food for Portland Monthly, where she continues her journey as Portland’s opinionated, trend-spotting food critic. She pens monthly restaurant reviews, writes and photographs the print magazine’s Word of Mouth column (aka: what I’m obsessing over now), drives the annual Best Restaurants issue, contributes to various food-cover packages, and breaks news for the magazine’s food blog, Eat Beat.

Karen began her journalism career at alt-weekly Willamette Week, doubling as food critic and Arts & Culture editor. Then she jumped ship to the Oregonian, doing double-duty again as Arts czarina and Food Critic while creating two of the daily’s most enduring sections: the weekly A&E and the annual Diner guide. At Portland Monthly since 2010, she’s continued her mission of ferreting out new restaurant models and maverick thinkers defining Portland’s food voice.

In her spare time, Karen is rabid NBA baller, film/TV junkie, and food author. She’s written nine books to date, most recently a book on Portland’s punk-rock food scene, The Mighty Gastropolis: A Journey Through America’s New Food Culture. 

 

Displaying articles 1 - 20 of 424 in total

BREAKING NEWS

Pok Pok’s Andy Ricker Closing Sen Yai; Nate Tilden of Olympia Provisions to Open Honky Tonk Taco in Its SE Division Space

Ricker will consolidate territory and expands his Whiskey Soda Lounge, while Tilden adds another charm to his fast-casual food bracelet.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 04/28/2016

BREAKING NEWS

Rose VL to Launch New Vietnamese “Plate Lunch” Menu

Beginning May 2, lunch is on at SE Powell’s tasty soup shop, from the founders of 82nd Avenue’s famed HA VL.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 04/27/2016

THE NEXT ROUND

Portland’s Best Bars 2016

We’ve got the city’s best new bars, 11 essential new cocktails, a watering hole for (nearly) every neighborhood, and a tasting room decision tree.

  • By Rebecca Jacobson, Fiona McCann, Marty Patail, Kelly Clarke, Bart Blasengame, Margaret Seiler, Ramona DeNies, Benjamin Tepler, Eden Dawn, Karen Brooks, Zach Dundas, and Brian Barker
  • Published 04/22/2016

REVIEW

Xurros and Xocolata Make Chesa and 180 This Year’s Dining Destination

José Chesa cooks up his own private Barcelona, soulful but modern.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 04/22/2016

MOCKTAILS

Hot Tips for Teetotalers

What to drink if you don’t drink.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 04/22/2016

BREAKING NEWS

Chef Doug Adams Leaving Imperial for an Undisclosed Project

The guy who brought Texan spice and Top Chef fans to the downtown hot spot will phase out this year to pursue a new opportunity.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 04/20/2016

BOOK REVIEW

Portland Chef Ryan Roadhouse Guest Stars in Questlove’s Wild New Food Book

The famed hip-hop drummer and food explorer reboots the food conversation with Somethingtofoodabout. One of his biggest muses? Nodoguro, PoMo’s Restaurant of the Year 2015. 

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 04/12/2016

Weekly Planner

Southern Cocktail Class, Passover Seder at Kenny & Zuke's, and More Portland Food Events

…including a month of special chef xurros from Lardo’s Rick Gencarelli, ice cream and comedy at Morgan St. Theater, and cider camp with Bull Run.

  • By Sarah Hopwood
  • Published 04/11/2016

BREAKING NEWS

Pine Street Market Opens Very, Very Softly

Eat Beat gets an early-bird look at Pine Street Market, with tastes from two star-studded new eateries: Trifecta Annex and Pollo Bravo. Let Stumptown's experimental food hall mania commence!

  • By Kelly Clarke
  • Published 04/09/2016

EAT HERE NOW

Where to Eat This Week

From fried cauliflower at Mediterranean Exploration Company to Apizza Scholls delivery, these are the things you must eat this week.

  • By Eat Beat Team
  • Published 04/06/2016

BREAKING NEWS

New Spot Tusk to Remix Middle Eastern Food for Farm-Centric Portland

Ava Gene’s chef Joshua McFadden gathers a talented team to rethink the world of couscous and cocktails. Rhubarb and parsnip baklava, anyone? Eat Beat has all the details.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 03/29/2016

REVIEW

Granola Power Ranking

Presenting Portland’s best morning bowls, oats to nuts.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 03/25/2016

WORD OF MOUTH

Han Oak Plays with Korean Cuisine, 180 Fries Up Spanish Xurros, and More to Check Out in April

From Peter Cho’s inventive prix fixe dinners to Jose Chesa’s pastry and paella, Portland Monthly food critic Karen Brooks dishes on the obsessions of the month.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 03/25/2016

RECOMMENDED EATING

The Best Finds at 180, Xurros to Dipping Sauces

We ate our way through Portland’s first xurreria to save you the calories.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 03/23/2016

HIT LIST

Where to Eat During Portland Dining Month

Which of the city’s 120-plus restaurants will you explore during our frugal, creative dining month? We’ve got a few ideas….

  • By Sarah Hopwood
  • Published 03/14/2016

EAT HERE NOW

Where to Eat This Week

From luxurious buttered tea cake at Maurice to messy brisket burgers at Smokehouse Tavern, these are the things you must eat right now.

  • By Eat Beat Team
  • Published 03/09/2016

BREAKING NEWS

Expatriate to Launch Twisted Asian Brunch March 19

Beast’s Naomi Pomeroy and barman supreme Kyle Linden Webster rethink waffles, burritos, and Bloody Marys for a spice-loving generation. Eat Beat has the first details.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 03/07/2016

BREAKING NEWS

Nodoguro to Open Brick-and-Mortar in Former Genoa Space in April

Pop-up artists Ryan and Elena Roadhouse find a home for their creative Japanese cuisine, hard-core sushi nights, and new mini menu backroom.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 03/01/2016

WORD OF MOUTH

A Communal Appalachian Feast and More to Check Out in March

Portland Monthly food critic Karen Brooks dishes on the restaurants, obsessions, and under-the-radar finds of the month.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 03/01/2016

REVIEW

Pizza Jerk is Portland’s First Punk-Rock Family Pizza Joint

Tommy Habetz brings together high chairs, punk rock, and some serious pies.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 03/01/2016
Displaying articles 1 - 20 of 424 in total