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 41 - 60 of 424 in total

READ 'EM AND EAT

The Best Local Cookbooks of 2015

From groundbreaking charcuterie tomes to giftable picnic handbooks, these are the year’s must-read Portland recipe collections.

  • By Kelly Clarke, Benjamin Tepler, and Karen Brooks
  • Published 12/15/2015

PORTLAND BUCKET LIST

Are You a Real Portlander?

Have you sprinted up Tabor? Gone commando at the World Naked Bike Ride? Consumed *all* the beer? Take our quiz to find out if you’re (nearly) native—or just got off the bus.

  • By Fiona McCann, Marty Patail, Ramona DeNies, Allison Jones, Benjamin Tepler, Karen Brooks, and Rachel Ritchie
  • Published 12/11/2015

EAT HERE NOW

Where to Eat This Week

From creamy, masa-steeped hot chocolate at Portland Mercado to a final Middle East brunch at Levant, these are the things you must consume this week.

  • By Eat Beat Team
  • Published 12/07/2015

INTERVIEW

Q&A with Roger Porter: Eating Words Is a Feast of Reading

A new anthology of food writing, coedited by former Portland food critic Roger J. Porter, is an epic collection of food tales by familiar and surprising writers.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 12/04/2015

BREAKING NEWS

Sneak Peek at Hat Yai, Langbaan’s Upcoming Sister Restaurant

It’s a curry house, a Southern Thai fried chicken joint, and the most intriguing restaurant on Portland’s horizon. As Hat Yai readies to open, Eat Beat has the first look at menu and chef details.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 12/01/2015

BEAN SCENE

Four Reasons to Sip at Coffeehouse Northwest

Northwest Portland’s premier coffee shop unveils a holiday menu worth celebrating. Glug eggnog latte with extra purpose on Thanksgiving morning, when all “pay what you like” proceeds go to charity.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 11/24/2015

WORD OF MOUTH

6 PDX Restaurants and Bars You Must Show Off to Holiday Visitors this Month

Portland Monthly food critic Karen Brooks dishes on where to take friends and family for winter libations and celebrations.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 11/23/2015

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Tastebud Fires Up in Multnomah Village

Mark Doxtader’s wood-fired spot opens with burly, smoky crusts and juicy whole roasted chickens.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 11/17/2015

RESTAURANT AND BAR UPDATES

Portland News to Chew

Pizza Maria shutters, Salt & Straw teases soft serve, and Stumptown Coffee launches breakfast.

  • By Rachel Grozanick
  • Published 11/16/2015

BREAKING NEWS

Castagna’s Justin Woodward Takes Over Castagna Café

Portland’s top modernist chef steers the legendary Southeast Hawthorne spot in a new direction.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 11/11/2015

HIT LIST

Portland’s Best Hot Chocolate

Three spots to get your hot cocoa fix, from glossy, chile- and lime-spiked Thai Coconut to a trio of dark chocolate "shots."

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 11/03/2015

FOOD NEWS

Gruner to Shutter; Ox to Open a Second Restaurant

The alpine institution will close its doors after six years, with Ox’s Argentine grill-masters taking over the space in March.

  • By Benjamin Tepler
  • Published 10/29/2015

INSIDER EATS

Where Do Portland’s Best Chefs Eat on Their Own Time?

From hearty Italian spreads to Balkan stews and cheap salt-and-pepper squid, our chefs devour the city.

  • By Kelly Clarke
  • Published 10/27/2015

TOP TABLES

The 50 Best Portland Restaurants For Any Occasion

Dine your way through Portland's top places to sit down for a great meal, whether you're looking for take-out or a ten-course affair.

  • By Kelly Clarke
  • Published 10/19/2015

HOMETOWN PRIDE

Muscadine Named One of Esquire’s Best New Restaurants in America

Following the lead of the late, great, Josh Ozersky, the national publication digs in deep to one of Portland’s leading Southern brunch spots.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 10/14/2015

BEST RESTAURANTS

Portland's Best New Restaurants of 2015

Sleeper hits and seriously personal cuisine defined the best Portland menus of the year—here are the 12 hottest places to eat right now.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 10/09/2015

BEST RESTAURANTS

Portland's Most (Overly?) Ambitious New Restaurant: Renata

Our love letter (sort of) to the year’s most-hyped restaurant

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 10/09/2015

BEST RESTAURANTS

Portland's Best Soup Shop: Rose VL

Portland’s soup masters are back with broths that airlift the soul to Saigon.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 10/09/2015

BEST RESTAURANTS

Portland's Best New Barbecue: The People's Pig

Cliff Allen embraces only one school of barbecue: his own.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 10/09/2015

BEST RESTAURANTS

The Ultimate Portland Cheese Plate at Chizu

Steve Jones just wants to make cheese fun. Mission accomplished.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 10/09/2015
Displaying articles 41 - 60 of 424 in total