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 81 - 100 of 428 in total

BREAKING NEWS

Portland’s Little Big Burger Sold to Chanticleer Holdings, Inc.

Local burger barons Micah Camden and Katie Poppe sell their popular chain to focus on their other popular chain—Blue Star Donuts.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 08/03/2015

BREAKING NEWS

Ataula Owners to Open a Paella Restaurant and Churros Bar

The masterminds behind Portland’s popular Spanish eatery will launch two projects: Chesa and 180, both on Northeast Broadway.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 07/31/2015

SNEAK PEEK

A First Look at The Big Egg's NE Alberta Sandwich Shop

Portland’s cult food cart steps up as a bona fide restaurant on July 31. We take a look around.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 07/29/2015

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

True Tuscan Flavors at SE Division's New Pinolo Gelateria

Serious gelato heads, listen up! In a sweet space next to Xico, a Pisa native is churning intensely wonderful flavors, freshly made daily.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 07/22/2015

WORD OF MOUTH

5 Things You Must Eat in Portland this August

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

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 07/20/2015

RESTAURANT REVIEW

From Russia, With Love

Portland's veteran chef reclaims the lost culinary world of his childhood—and creates one of the year's most dynamic dining experiences.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 07/20/2015

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Rose VL Deli Opens Another Door to Vietnamese Soup Heaven

Dinner is on at SE Powell’s new soup-and-bahn mi shop, from the founders of 82nd Avenue’s famed HA&VL breakfast and lunch spot.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 07/07/2015

BREAKING NEWS

Biwa Owners to Open Kotori, a Sidewalk Yakitori "Restaurant"

On July 9, hardcore Japanese grilling hits the streets with beak-to-feet specials and a covered tachinomi bar for 20.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 07/07/2015

BREAKING NEWS

Bunk's Tommy Habetz to Open Pizza Jerk on NE 42nd

Moon Pizza is no more; the newly named Pizza Jerk will rise this fall with slices, pies, and soft-serve.

  • By Karen Brooks
  • Published 07/06/2015

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
Displaying articles 81 - 100 of 428 in total