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 301 - 320 of 454 in total

BREAKING FOOD NEWS

Din Din Supper Club Goes Legit

Portland's premier roving feast finds a new home on NE Glisan Street for supper club dinners, Sunday brunch, and morning treats.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 12/17/2012

RESTAURANT REVIEW

Animal House

Ox restaurant ignites a new steak experience: brazen, barbecued, and beautiful.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 12/14/2012

EAT HERE NOW

People's Pig Flies High

After disappearing last summer, the celebrated downtown food cart quietly resurfaces with fresh ideas and wood-fired meats stacked in artful sandwiches.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 12/06/2012

BREAKING FOOD NEWS

What You Need to Know About Ava Gene's

Stumptown lord Duane Sorenson cooks up a personal take on Italian food, crafted for Portland, and opening soon on SE Division.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 11/28/2012

BREAKING FOOD NEWS

Alma Chocolate Expands

With an expansion plan, a new event space, and creative chocolate dinners on the horizon, Northeast Portland’s quirky little chocolate shop gets ready for prime time.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 11/08/2012

BREAKING FOOD NEWS

Market: RIP

After mixed reviews and financial losses, ChefStable’s Kurt Huffman drops the curtain on his three-month-old downtown gamble.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 11/05/2012

EAT THIS NOW

The Soup Annex: A New Pop-Up Sensation

How an unknown artisan soup vendor moonlighting as a pop-up hogged the limelight in GQ magazine’s blowout assessment of Portland’s food scene.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 10/31/2012

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

New Fressen Bakery Rises

Deep under the radar in NE Portland, the cult farmers market bakery adds a brick-and-mortar home for its esteemed German breads, Bavarian croissants and Danish pastries, plus the intrigue of sandwiches and bread-focused specials.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 10/24/2012

Best Restaurants 2012

Meat-Free Zones

Relax, vegetarians! It's not all about prime cuts in this town.

  • By Allison Jones, Karen Brooks, and Rachel Ritchie
  • Published 10/19/2012

Best Restaurants 2012

The Next Wave

Five brand-new restaurants to look out for in the final months of 2012.

  • By Benjamin Tepler, Karen Brooks, and Rachel Ritchie
  • Published 10/19/2012

Best Restaurants 2012

Best of the Rest

Still hungry? We've culled the 35 local restaurants that should remain in any food lover's regular rotation.

  • By Karen Brooks and Rachel Ritchie
  • Published 10/16/2012

Best Restaurants 2012

Wine + Food = Love

Five spots taking wine pairing to the next level.

  • By Allison Jones, Karen Brooks, and Rachel Ritchie
  • Published 10/16/2012

Best Restaurants 2012

Five Things You Must Eat in 2012

You don't need to rent a tux to tackle these low-brow dishes.

  • By Karen Brooks, Rachel Ritchie, and Mike Thelin
  • Published 10/16/2012

Best Restaurants 2012

Chefs of the Year

Portland's top two culinary minds are French-inspired chefs from different generations.

  • By Karen Brooks and Rachel Ritchie
  • Published 10/16/2012

Best Restaurants 2012

20 Spots That Defined the Year in Food

It's our annual assemblage of Portland's most exciting eateries.

  • By Allison Jones, Benjamin Tepler, Karen Brooks, Rachel Ritchie, and Mike Thelin
  • Published 10/16/2012

BREAKING FOOD NEWS

Matt Lightner Awarded Two Michelin Stars

Oregon's avant-garde forager continues his climb to the pantheon of New York chefs.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 10/03/2012

REQUIRED READING

Feast Portland Interviews

Seven of the visiting Feast Portland food stars answer our culinary questions.

  • By Benjamin Tepler and Karen Brooks
  • Published 09/19/2012

Feast Portland Interviews

Q&A: Chris Cosentino

San Francisco’s offal lord talks about the inspiration for pig-brain mayonnaise, his leap into online food television, and Portland’s place in the national meat hierarchy.

  • By Benjamin Tepler and Karen Brooks
  • Published 09/16/2012

Feast Portland Interviews

Q&A: Chris Ying

Lucky Peach’s editor in chief dishes on his radical journal of food thought and underground art.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 09/14/2012

Restaurant Review

Baptism by Fire

After five years of wrangling the flames at Ned Ludd, chef Jason French delivers some of the year’s best meals.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 09/13/2012
Displaying articles 301 - 320 of 454 in total