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.
Portland's Best New Restaurants of 2015
Portland's Most (Overly?) Ambitious New Restaurant: Renata
Portland's Best Soup Shop: Rose VL
Portland's Best New Barbecue: The People's Pig
The Ultimate Portland Cheese Plate at Chizu
The 4 Most Memorable Portland Restaurant Moments of the Year
Portland Monthly's Rising Star Restaurant of the Year: Coquine
Portland Monthly's Restaurant of the Year: Nodoguro
Portland Monthly's Rising Star Restaurant of the Year: Nomad.PDX
Portland's Best Spot for Pig & Booze: Hamlet
Inside Ruth Reichl’s Post-Gourmet Blues Cookbook
Portland Gets a Taste of Southern Appalachia at Mae
Sushi Lovers, Listen Up: Nodoguro Adds a Second Night
WORD OF MOUTH
3 Portland Restaurants You Must Try in October
THE BITTER TRUTH
Everything You Need to Know About Bitters from Mark Bitterman's Groundbreaking New Book
The Surreal Beauty of the Portland Farmers Market
WORD OF MOUTH
3 Things You Must Eat in Portland this September
Sandwich Expansion: Bunk Sandwiches Opening in Brooklyn this Fall
Are Tomato Leaves Portland’s Hottest New Ingredient?