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 61 - 80 of 401 in total

BREAKING FOOD NEWS

Falafel’s Rising Star Chickpeadx Opens Inside the Zipper

A promising Mid-East cart embarks on a new future inside the Zipper, a micro-business incubator on NE Sandy.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 07/01/2015

RESTAURANT AND BAR UPDATES

Portland News to Chew

Gabe Rucker takes over Little Bird, Erik Van Kley opens Taylor Railworks, and Flying Fish expands its seafood empire.

  • By Eat Beat Team
  • Published 06/30/2015

BREAKING NEWS

Kim Jong Grillin’ Opens Second Food Cart in Northeast Portland

From collaborative dinners with Portland chefs to new cart luxuries (outdoor tables! beer!), Han Ly Hwang ramps up his considered Korean street food.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 06/23/2015

HIT LIST

Where Portland Monthly Staffers Really Eat Lunch

Ever wonder where to grab a bite in the bustle of downtown Portland? We share our go-to lunch orders to help you wade through the sea of carts and delis.

  • By Allison Jones and Portland Monthly Magazine
  • Published 06/23/2015

WORD OF MOUTH

3 Things You Must Eat in Portland this July

Portland Monthly food critic Karen Brooks dishes on the restaurants, obsessions, and under-the-radar finds of the month.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 06/22/2015

The Scoop

Taste Test: Salt & Straw’s Food Cart Flavors

Portland’s ice cream innovators hit the streets to create five new flavors. We got the inside scoop.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 06/17/2015

BREAKING NEWS

HA & VL Founders to Open New Vietnamese Soup Shop in Late June

At last, Rose VL Deli will serve the 82nd Avenue shop's iconic Asian soups—and more—for dinner on SE Powell.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 05/26/2015

WORD OF MOUTH

3 Things You Must Eat in Portland This June

Portland Monthly food critic Karen Brooks dishes on the restaurants, obsessions, and under-the-radar finds of the month.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 05/26/2015

RESTAURANT REVIEW

The Rise of Portland's Iconoclastic Asian Cuisine

The city's new wave of Asian-inspired cooking is punk rock, adventurous, and delicious.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 05/26/2015

IN MEMORIAM

Why Josh Ozersky Was America's Most Original Food Writer

Local chefs and friends recall the life and times of meat evangelist Josh Ozersky, who moved to his beloved Portland before his untimely death on May 4.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 05/13/2015

BREAKING NEWS

Iconic Big Egg Cart Closing Sunday To Open Brick-And-Mortar

After this weekend, Portland’s temple to fried egg sandwiches will get a new lease on life: the just-closed Sugar Cube space on Alberta, opening late June.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 05/05/2015

WORD OF MOUTH

What to Eat in Portland in May

A sushi-inspired cheese bar and an obsession-worthy peanut butter truffle bar

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 04/27/2015

RESTAURANT REVIEW

Home at Last, Holdfast Blends Comfort and Avant Cuisine

The brick-and-mortar restaurant from former pop-up king Will Preisch plays the perfect stage for his modernist experiments.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 04/27/2015

BEST BRUNCH 2015

Toast Masters: The Best Loaded Artisan Breads for Brunching

The secret to a happy morning? Great bread with handcrafted extras.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 04/27/2015

BEST BRUNCHES 2015

The 10 Best New Brunches in Portland

A bumper crop of delicious new brunches takes root in PDX, with global flavors and, just as important, no hours-long wait for tables—plus five more plates we can't resist.

  • By Kelly Clarke, Benjamin Tepler, Karen Brooks, Rachel Ritchie, and Zach Dundas
  • Published 04/27/2015

BREAKING FOOD NEWS

Alma Chocolate Opening Second Shop

Portland’s premiere house of bonbons will expand to the Weatherly Creamery Building in June.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 04/21/2015

FOOD EVENT SPOTLIGHT

Coquine Eyes June Opening; Last Pop-Up April 17

Six courses of personal food and experimental craft ales offer a taste of things to come this summer on SE Belmont.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 04/14/2015

WORD OF MOUTH

Of Course There's a Vietnamese Pop Up in a Pizza Shop in Portland

...plus one cocktail you cannot miss this month.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 04/02/2015

RESTAURANT REVIEW

The Barbecue at People's Pig Will Leave You in Hog Heaven

Holy smokes! After perfecting sandwiches, the former food cart is writing its own rules for bombastic barbecue.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 04/02/2015

EAT THIS NOW

China's Famed Street Crepes Come to Portland

New downtown food cart Bing Mi! delivers jian bing for a crazy-good breakfast on the go.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 04/01/2015
Displaying articles 61 - 80 of 401 in total