ONE TO WATCH
In summer, Café Castagna turned the keys to its kitchen over to a new face—chef Wesley Johnson. His charge: sync the house crush on Fertile Crescent cooking with the café’s beloved Euro classics. So far, the Mid-East restaurant vet is bringing a fresh voice to simple vegetables, charring carrots and beets with blacksmith rigor to pair with sharp tahini glazes. I’m intrigued. 1758 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Trumpets should herald the fall return of the World Cup Pecan Pastry at Little T American Baker. It’s an extraordinary annual treat, somewhere between the thinking man’s cronut and a breakfast riff on a pecan pie. Bite in to find accomplished croissant dough expressed in crackling layers with chunky pecan butter hiding inside. Baker Tim Healea’s pastry brainstorm helped America bring home silver in 2002’s World Cup of Baking. Twelve years later it’s still a winner.
2600 SE Division St
ONLY IN PORTLAND
On December 20, the mother ship of Portland eating powers down for winter hibernation. So buckle in for a final ride through the farmers market at PSU. Experience the delicious insanity of an eggy Bingo breakfast sandwich: the hand-tooled bun, the righteous garlic mustard, and, maybe, a goose egg. Weigh in on the market’s biscuit wars—Lauretta Jean’s golden rounds vs. Farmer’s Feast’s oblong beauties. And nab your instant holiday party saviors: Chop’s glorious pâtés, Fressen’s über-German breads, and Goldin Artisan’s terrific small-batch goat cheeses stand a mere 10 paces apart.