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 458 in total

WORD OF MOUTH

Three Things You Must Eat This Month

Decadent-yet-healthy breakfasts, Spanish dessert breakthroughs, and dead-sexy chocolate bars.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 01/25/2016

RESTAURANT REVIEW

The Agony & the Ecstasy of Micah Edelstein’s Feisty Lamb

A one-woman restaurant bursts with heartfelt ideas and world flavors—if you can stick around long enough to taste them.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 01/25/2016

COMFORT FOOD

16 Ridiculously Comforting Dishes from Around the Globe

Search out your next rainy-day dish or guilty pleasure by comfort keyword: soothing, hearty, homey, gooey, or spicy.

  • By Molly Woodstock, Marty Patail, Kelly Clarke, Ramona DeNies, Benjamin Tepler, Karen Brooks, Rachel Ritchie, and Zach Dundas
  • Published 01/25/2016

BREAKING NEWS

Portland’s Din Din Will Close in February

Courtney Sproule is hanging up her apron for now. We’ll miss her unusual blend of French cooking, seasonal intensity and changing monthly décor.

  • By Benjamin Tepler and Karen Brooks
  • Published 01/18/2016

EAT THIS NOW

Where to Eat This Week

From spicy miso ramen at Departure to oysters at Olympia Oyster Bar, these are the things you must devour right now.

  • By Eat Beat Team
  • Published 01/13/2016

FORECASTING 2016

We Predict: Portland’s Best Restaurants 2016

A charcoal-fired paella restaurant, a Southern Thai curry house, the city’s first food hall, and bold new small plates compete to be Portland’s next great breakout.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 01/13/2016

BREAKING FOOD NEWS

Either/Or’s Ro Tam Is Bringing Won Ton Noodle Soup to Sellwood

Traditional techniques, old-school crooners, and moody nights will come together in February at a tiny new shop from a dedicated brother-sister team.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 01/04/2016

Year in Review

Karen Brooks’s Best Portland Dishes 2015

Portland Monthly’s food critic on the dishes that defined the year.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 12/29/2015

YEAR IN REVIEW

The Biggest Openings and Closures of 2015

The Eat Beat team examines the year in Portland restaurants.

  • By Kelly Clarke, Benjamin Tepler, and Karen Brooks
  • Published 12/28/2015

BREAKING FOOD NEWS

Nodoguro Relocating to Stray Birds Space in NE Portland

Come January, the inventive Japanese tasting menu restaurant will hold court in one of the city’s most hidden, magical spaces. (Get ready for the 21-course “super hardcore” dinners.)

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 12/22/2015

WORD OF MOUTH

Two Coffee Shops and More to Check Out in January

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

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 12/21/2015

REVIEW

Does Muscadine Make Portland’s Best Fried Chicken?

Laura Rhoman’s tiny Northeast Portland eatery delivers a genuine taste of the South, Nashville hot birds to true grits.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 12/21/2015

PORTLAND BUCKET LIST

50 Things Every Portlander Must Do

From transplants to natives, we present a quirky and quintessential bucket list for every type of Portlander.

  • By Fiona McCann, Marty Patail, Kelly Clarke, Ramona DeNies, Allison Jones, Benjamin Tepler, Karen Brooks, and Rachel Ritchie
  • Published 12/21/2015

HIT LIST

10 Awesome Chocolate Bars for the Holidays

We snapped open bars from Portland and beyond to answer your stocking stuffer prayers. Or keep them for yourself. We won’t tell.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 12/15/2015

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
Displaying articles 61 - 80 of 458 in total