Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably already heard of Portland’s food cart star, Nong’s Khao Man Gai. The Thai chicken and rice mini empire has slowly grown over the past five years, with the flagship cart on Southwest Alder, a satellite near PSU, and a third takeout location on Southeast Ankeny (which serves as a de facto dining room) where she bottles her addictive garlic-ginger-soy sauces. But owner Nong Poonsukwattana’s fiery ambition knows no boundaries: on April 7th, she will open her first real sit-down eatery with soft serve ice cream and a bottled beer collection in Southeast Portland.
The new Nong’s will occupy a sunlit space on 609 Southeast Ankeny, formerly leased by Origami Catering, and just next door to the old sauce-bottling operation. At the new counter service brick and mortar, customers will pass by a big glass display looking into Nong’s sauce factory, before taking one of the 38 seats inside (or out on the sidewalk beyond a rolling garage door.)
Expect the same, infallible chicken and rice, along with the rest of Nong's expanded PSU menu, featuring Thai Basketball Mom’s Wings, sauced in tomato, Sriracha, and Chinese whiskey and her Coca Cola/cocoa powder-braised pork and rice offset by a heap of pickled mustard greens and boiled egg.
Local taps, along with some choice suds from Southeast Asia will stock the beer-only bar early on, with the promise of local cocktail collaborations in the near future. Also in the works: a signature KMG soft serve ice cream, with the exact flavor still to be determined.
Nong’s will be opened for lunch and dinner, though Poonsukwattana tells us she has plans for late night service (3 am!) as summer nears.
Nong’s Khao Man Gai
609 Southeast Ankeny, Unit C