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 221 - 240 of 429 in total

OPENING WATCH

First Look at Boxer Ramen

Micah Camden and Katie Poppe are ready to unleash downtown Portland's newest ramen shop, with noodles, amazing mochi, and a side of neo-pop cool by Nov 1.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 10/23/2013

BREAKING FOOD NEWS

Roe’s New Head-to-Fin Tasting Menus

Next week, Portland’s forward-thinking seafood speakeasy plans to unveil a new tasting menu concept—experimental, seasonal, and intimate.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 10/15/2013

BREAKING FOOD NEWS

Portland Gets Its Cake

As Northwest’s Two Tarts Bakery launches a new line of “Palace Cakes,” Southwest’s Baker & Spice cooks up a cake-shop headquarters, unfolding in mid-October.

  • By Molly Woodstock and Karen Brooks
  • Published 10/02/2013

RESTAURANT REVIEW

Holdfast Dining's One-Man Show

With just 10 stools and a rented kitchen, Will Preisch presents a pop-up vision of high-end eating: casual, personal, and thrilling.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 10/01/2013

BREAKING FOOD NEWS

Trigger to Close; Bunk Bar NE Will Rise

After serving its last meal on Sept 29, the year-old "Bunk-Mex" eatery will transform and join the Bunk family of sandwiches and anti-mixology.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 09/25/2013

FEAST PDX INTERVIEWS

Q&A: Bon Appetit's Andrew Knowlton

As Feast Portland readies to roll, America's pre-eminent food snoop reveals his Portland go-to spots, the next big food trends, and the best place for a Feast hangover.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 09/17/2013

FEAST PDX INTERVIEWS

Q&A: Night + Market's Kris Yenbamroong

He's obsessed with Thai drinking foods, DIY decor, and whiskey. Sound familiar? Pok Pok's soul mate dishes on why authenticity matters and how a makeshift dinner party grew into LA's most essential Thai food stop.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 09/10/2013

FEAST PDX INTERVIEWS

Q&A: Zahav's Michael Solomonov

Meet the iconoclastic, Israeli-born chef changing the Mid-East food conversation at Philly's lauded Zahav—and find out what he's cooking up for Feast Portland.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 09/04/2013

RESTAURANT REVIEW

Courtney Sproule, Party Girl

At Din Din, the food is French, the music rocks, and fun is the most important ingredient in the house.

  • By Karen Brooks and Stuart Mullenberg
  • Published 09/03/2013

BREAKING FOOD NEWS

St. Jack Heading to NW 23rd Ave

In December, SE Clinton's boisterous French eatery will grow bigger and bolder between NW Raleigh and Savier Streets.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 08/21/2013

SAVOR

Inside Le Pigeon's High-Flying Cookbook

Gabriel Rucker's new tome reveals stories and recipes from his James Beard Award-winning East Burnside kitchen.

  • By Benjamin Tepler and Karen Brooks
  • Published 08/16/2013

BREAKING FOOD NEWS

Little T Baker Outpost to Open in Union Way

In late September, accomplished baker Tim Healea will roll the dice at Portland’s newest retail experiment, a curated tunnel of shops and micro-eateries stretching from SW Stark to Burnside.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 08/14/2013

EAT THIS NOW

The Ice Cream Sandwiches of Summer

For Lovely’s Fifty Fifty and Two Tarts Bakery, the ice cream sandwich isn’t just business—it’s personal.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 08/07/2013

BREAKING FOOD NEWS

Portland Chefs Collaborate on Gene Thiel Memorial Dinner

The late Gene Thiel helped feed Portland’s sense of place and cuisine. On Aug. 20, more than 30 top Portland chefs will stage a feast of food and community to honor an iconic farmer.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 08/06/2013

RESTAURANT REVIEW

The Next Generation of Portland Food Carts

Meet the culinary missionaries at Picnic, Tiffin Asha, the Cheese Plate PDX, and Olé Latte serving up a new wave of cart cuisine.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 08/01/2013

BREAKING FOOD NEWS

New Details for Kristen Murray's "Pastry Luncheonette" Maurice

One of Portland's premier pastry chefs will showcase sweet and savory pastries, Moroccan meat pies and nightly "dessert cuisine" this fall.

  • By Allison Jones and Karen Brooks
  • Published 07/30/2013

IN MEMORIAM

Gene Thiel, 1936-2013

The potato whisperer and icon of the Portland Farmers Market has passed away, leaving his Prairie Creek Farm in Joseph, Oregon to his family.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 07/30/2013

EAT HERE NOW

Three Reasons to Love Ned Ludd

Portland's epicenter of quirkiness and farm-fresh intensity just keeps getting better

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 07/24/2013

BREAKING FOOD NEWS

What You Need To Know About Roman Candle Bakery

Stumptown coffee lord Duane Sorenson bakes up ambition, artisan breads, and casual dining next door to Ava Gene’s, opening on Monday, July 8.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 07/03/2013

RESTAURANT REVIEW

Modern Art

At Castagna, Justin Woodward is sending local food in a fresh direction—restrained, delicate, and dressed to kill.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 07/01/2013
Displaying articles 221 - 240 of 429 in total