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 458 in total

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

BREAKING NEWS

Vitaly and Kimberly Paley Will Dramatically Reimagine Historic Heathman Restaurant with Seafood-Centric Headwaters

New look, new direction, new seafood focus. Can the Paley’s Place team pull off another downtown hotel restaurant miracle blocks away from Imperial?

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 02/16/2016

BREAKING NEWS

First Look and Menu Details for Ataula’s Sister Restaurant Chesa, Opening Next Week

Chef Jose Chesa gets serious with a design-savvy new dining room bursting with smoked paellas, modern tapas, and a major bar. Eat Beat has the first report.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 02/16/2016

BREAKING NEWS

The Scoop on Bar Casa Vale, the Upcoming Spanish Spot from Olympia Provisions' Nate Tilden

What to expect at the restaurant and bar kingpin’s new project: “big-ass flames, Spanish braises, and major sherries.”

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 02/09/2016

BREAKING NEWS

Ken Forkish Reveals New Details about Trifecta Annex at Pine Street Market

Unusual pies from Forkish’s forthcoming pizza cookbook and crazy croissants will rise from a tiny space inside Portland’s first food hall. Here’s why they matter.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 02/03/2016

BREAKING NEWS

Salt & Straw Launching Soft Serve Ice Cream Concept, Wiz Bang Bar

It’s Dairy Queen turned upside down, Portland-style. Eat Beat has the first details on Kim and Tyler Malek’s new sit-down soft serve experience inside Pine Street Market, opening April 1.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 01/28/2016

COMFORT FOOD

The Wide World of Comfort (or, We’re All Gonna Die Anyway)

We scoured the city for the best warm-blanket dishes from across the globe. So go ahead, wrap your napkin around your shoulders like a Snuggie and dig in!

  • By Rachel Grozanick, Fiona McCann, Molly Woodstock, Marty Patail, Kelly Clarke, Amy Martin, Ramona DeNies, Benjamin Tepler, Karen Brooks, Rachel Ritchie, and Zach Dundas
  • Published 01/25/2016
Displaying articles 41 - 60 of 458 in total